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Old 12-18-2009, 05:35 AM   #41
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An interesting book, in which piano tuning plays a big part, is Grand Obsession. It's about a woman who decides to relearn piano, and her quest to buy the perfect piano. She takes years and travels over the world to find one she likes. When she finally finds it, she just loves the sound and spends over $30K (original plan was $5,000). When she has it shipped from NY to Minnesota, and it gets left outside or something like that. When it arrives, she no longer likes the sound. She has tuners travel from as far away as NY, and after years of frustration, eventually gets the sound she wants.

The first half of the book is good, the second is annoying.
FWIW, its Montana not Minnesota. I haven't actually read the book yet but the author is a friend of mine.
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:26 AM   #42
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I have at various times made my way through the brass instruments, and played the following in groups at one time or another: Bb tuba, Eb tuba, euphonium/baritone, trombone and trumpet. I've also tried French Horn, but that's best left to DW.

I spent a year and a half learning to play cello, and did play a couple concerts with a very low-end community orchestra, but my interest eventually faded. And I was never any good at it, either.

I also have a nice guitar that I planned to learn to play, but never got anywhere.

But I do play piano, and I'm better at piano than any of the other instruments I have played. And I have to admit I'm in the "real piano bigot" group. Given a choice, I'll play the real piano. But then, I'm spoiled and have a spectacular piano to play on. I have played on keyboards at times in the past, but haven't played on a high-end unit in the last 10 years. So I don't put much weight in my opinion.

MIL has a harpsichord that she has to tune frequently. It is a neat instrument, but tuning almost every time you want to play would get old very fast.

Back to OP's issue, learning a musical instrument takes time and patience. Learning subsequent instruments is easier than the first one, but still takes plenty of time and patience. You won't get good overnight.
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:49 AM   #43
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The thing I like least about a trombone is that it is almost never in tune, because humidity and temperature really play havoc with it.

My band director would tune all the sections at the beginning of each class with an electronic tuner except the trombones. We would just pick out the one who sounded the closest to the correct pitch and all tune to him..........
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:27 PM   #44
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I spent a year and a half learning to play cello,
Oh, me too! I forgot about that. Being the nerd that I was, I voluntarily took both a cello class and honors chemistry in summer school when I was in high school. Six teenagers and a cello crammed into an original VW bug, with my brother driving and the radio blasting as we careened over the Pali (mountains on Oahu) on our way to school! We had SUCH a ball that summer.
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Old 12-19-2009, 02:08 AM   #45
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...learning a musical instrument takes time and patience. Learning subsequent instruments is easier than the first one, but still takes plenty of time and patience. You won't get good overnight.
It's exactly the same as languages. The first foreign language is usually the hardest, and it gets easier, especially if it's in the same family. But still, it takes a lot of time and practice.
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Old 12-20-2009, 12:02 AM   #46
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I've always been drawn the sound of stringed instruments. Maybe in my next life I can learn to play a violin.

I have a question for the musicians here. Is the solo instrument in this piece a cello or violin? Music like this absolutely haunts me.

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Old 12-20-2009, 12:09 AM   #47
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I've always been drawn the sound of stringed instruments. Maybe in my next life I can learn to play a violin.

I have a question for the musicians here. Is the solo instrument in this piece a cello or violin? Music like this absolutely haunts me.

It's a cello, which happens to be my favorite instrument.

My very favorite cello concerto is:


The cellist here is Jacqueline Du Pre, with an amazing and tragic life. This piece always brings me to tears.
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Old 12-20-2009, 12:29 AM   #48
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It's a cello, which happens to be my favorite instrument.
Thank you. Isn't it amazing that the mind can be soothed by such sounds?
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Old 12-20-2009, 07:38 AM   #49
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I also think cello is the most beautiful instrument. The versatility of the piano makes it my preferred instrument overall, but nothing matches the cello's gorgeous tone.
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Old 12-20-2009, 08:44 AM   #50
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It's a cello, which happens to be my favorite instrument.

My very favorite cello concerto is:


The cellist here is Jacqueline Du Pre, with an amazing and tragic life. This piece always brings me to tears.
du Pre owns that concerto. Nobody in the world has played it better than her.

The conductor in that clip is Daniel Barenboim who was du Pre's husband. Not only is he still one of the top conductors in the world, but he's also a great pianist.
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Old 12-20-2009, 04:23 PM   #51
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All you frugal people here and not one admits to playing the instrument of the frugal. No, not a cheap instrument but one whose ancestral players were are known for frugality. My parents, who played multiple instruments, tried to get me to learn to play one since they thought that even one born as tone deaf as I was would have a problem making it sound a lot worse than a fine player. They were wrong.

I never got as good as this guy.
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Old 12-20-2009, 04:29 PM   #52
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My ancestry is Scottish but I can't stand the bagpipes!

I did buy a recorder for $4 in 1968 and enjoyed playing it for a few years. Pretty cheap for an instrument (but I was so poor at the time, that it was still an unwise splurge!).
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Old 12-20-2009, 04:39 PM   #53
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Q. What's the definition of a gentleman?
A. Someone who knows how to play the bagpipe and doesn't.
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Old 12-20-2009, 04:54 PM   #54
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Q. What's the difference between a bagpipe and an onion.
A. No one cries when you cut up a bagpipe.
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Old 12-20-2009, 05:17 PM   #55
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I played classical guitar for years - ever since early teens. Pretty rusty now, but I still have the guitar and plenty of music. All in climate controlled storage - haven't kept it in the motorhome - no room.

But I think I'll start up again one we move into the house.

I have been fantasizing about one of those awesome digital pianos as well. But I think I'll wait a while until we are really settled. When I hear an occasional classical guitar piece I remember all those cool things I used to know how to play.

Vicente - there is an amazing classical spanish repertoire for the guitar! (and I'm not even talking about all the cool flamenco/gypsy stuff either).

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Old 12-20-2009, 05:46 PM   #56
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Our parents spent some money for music lessons on all four of us when we were growing up. My sister and my two brothers took piano lessons. I learned the mandolin when I was 6 or 7. Didn't work, so switched to the guitar when I was about 12. Didn't get anything out of it either, other than calluses on my left-hand fingers. As much as I loved to be able to play the guitar, I came to the realization that I had absolutely no musical talent, and my efforts would be better spent elsewhere (like teaching myself Ohm's Law when 12, and reading Real Analysis textbook when at 17 ).

People who are good at music would not have to work so hard. Did someone mention the guitar and Spanish music? All I wanted was to be able to play "Spanish Romance" to serenade my eventual sweetheart, but was never able to get anywhere with my guitar.

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Old 12-20-2009, 07:37 PM   #57
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Music has always evaded me. I mimicked my older sister when I was younger and learned piano from her. I even took 1 year of real piano lessons when I was 14.
I could read music, had the memory thing down pat, and could play pretty well, but tempo and the "ear" just were not there. Oh well.
So I am content to strictly be a listener.
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Old 12-20-2009, 07:53 PM   #58
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I blame the public school system for the fact that DD doesn't do anything musical. She played clarinet in elementary school, and was very good. But they didn't have a real band or musical instrument instruction (she took private lessons which were inconvenient) as they did when I was young. They had a band in which everyone played the melody in unison.

I went to a concert, and this is what the band director said when they were getting ready (not making this up): "Everyone sit up straight and put your feet on the floor. The audience isn't going to remember how you sound, but they are going to remember how you look."

She also took some piano lessons. Who knows, maybe she'll pick it up again some day and get the same pleasure that I do out of it.

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Old 12-22-2009, 11:26 PM   #59
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In rereading Vincente's original post about persevering in his guitar practice, and my post about my own failed attempt, I realized that I sounded too defeatist. I may be a special case, and I hope Vincente will not get discouraged and continue to practice.

About Spanish music for the guitar, besides Asturias, another favorite of mine is Recuerdos de la Alhambra ("Memories of Alhambra"). Loving this music, I hope to visit Alhambra some day. Here's a good performance by a fellow who had studied under Andrés Segovia.



In researching on youtube, I ran across this video of a little Korean girl playing the same piece. OMG! While no one will compare her performance to that of an adult virtuoso, she is practically a baby! Look how she is performing the tremolo, how she stretches her little fingers to reach across the frets. I want to cry! I want to hug her.

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Old 12-25-2009, 06:13 AM   #60
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I assume air guitar doesn't count.
So, if air guitar is out, I guess Wii Rockband probably doesn't work either although I do enjoy playing it?
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