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Are you a musician?
Old 01-03-2007, 08:52 PM   #1
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Are you a musician?

I played trumpet in high school with success; ended up in the all NY State concert orchestra, etc.

I had to choose going to the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY or a regular liberal arts college after receiving acceptances to both. It was not an easy decision but I went to college. At age 19 I bought a Henri Selmer trumpet while backpacking through France during the Vietnam War. It was confiscated by customs in D. C. -- I had to return for it with a metal file so I could obscure the manufacturer's name and logo. The customs agent felt sorry for me and let me go after just a few scrapes. I left those scrapes there just for kicks.

In college, I played professionally in a jazz combo at a music club for 3 years. I earned $7 per hour plus a steak dinner, plus a frosty, bottomless mug of Michelob which I duly consumed repeatedly. There were waitresses at the club who liked musicians. It was the perfect college gig. I bought a car with cash on my earnings (a Toyota Corrolla for $1100 which lasted me 11 years. I told the guy I knew how to drive a stick shift but I lied; for 20 minutes I could not leave the dealer cause I couldn't find reverse). I played backup for Harry Belafonte one year when his trumpeter got sick, and I had a union card.

Since having to earn a real living, my trumpet has mostly collected dust. I hope and plan to resurrect in in FIRE, maybe with a few fellow FIREs who remember acoustic music.

I love music. We have a timeshare in New Orleans which floats with Jazzfest week, to which we are going this year. I like music theory. I know what an augmented chord is .

What's your musical story?
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Re: Are you a musician?
Old 01-03-2007, 09:27 PM   #2
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Re: Are you a musician?

very cool doc. i've always envied those with musical talent. i took 6 years of guitar lessons and i can't play worth a damn. i have no idea what i was doing in our high school rock band, i totally sucked. maybe it was because i supplied the electric amps, yeah, that's it, the amplifiers.

there is so much music in my family but i got none. mom played the classics beautifully on piano even after arthritis rearranged her fingers. in my grandparent's generation my family was in entertainment & music. when dad was a kid he got to sit on fats waller's lap during a performance at the apollo theater.

i've recently been putting together a cd of some of the collected works so my niece and nephews will know they have music in their blood. maybe in them it will rekindle some note-worthy gene. because it sure passed by me.
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Re: Are you a musician?
Old 01-03-2007, 09:35 PM   #3
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Re: Are you a musician?

I think you are a musician if you enjoy and appreciate good music, per your taste. It taps into some primeval portion of our brain somehow.

After all, it is designed to be listened to more than to be performed.
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Re: Are you a musician?
Old 01-03-2007, 09:56 PM   #4
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Re: Are you a musician?

Saxophone & clarinet were high school band instruments but Pittsburgh winters just didn't mix with marching band & football games.

But at USNA I discovered that the Pep Band got free bus & football tickets to away games. It was the only way for plebes to get away from Annapolis on weekends, so I quickly became one of the peppiest saxophones around.

After USNA I never had time for it. I could fool myself into believing that I'd like to take it up again in ER, but I don't think anyone wants to listen to me practice and there are too many other things I'd rather do. Music was just a means to various other ends.
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Re: Are you a musician?
Old 01-03-2007, 09:59 PM   #5
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Re: Are you a musician?

I started too late, so it never stuck. Tried to teach myself on the electric guitar at around 14. I can still play riffs from Walk This Way, Smoke on the Water, Iron Man, etc. Formed a metal band (before it was called that) with some friends. They didn't like my guitar, so they make me lead singer. We were baaaad (and not in a good way). Never made it out of the garage.

Started our kid on piano a few months ago (age 3). She has already passed me by. She's playing stuff by ear after hearing it a couple times. I try to keep up with her, but in a few months I'm sure I'll just be enjoying piano vicariously through her.

Start 'em young!
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Re: Are you a musician?
Old 01-03-2007, 10:27 PM   #6
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Re: Are you a musician?

Can't carry a tune in a bucket.

Can barely manage to play radio.
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Re: Are you a musician?
Old 01-03-2007, 11:05 PM   #7
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Re: Are you a musician?

I play drums guitar the fool CDs and internet radio.
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Re: Are you a musician?
Old 01-03-2007, 11:31 PM   #8
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Re: Are you a musician?

First job was playing guitar and singing lead in a topless bar at 16. Job lasted about 2 years. False ID provided by bar owner. :
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Re: Are you a musician?
Old 01-04-2007, 12:13 AM   #9
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Re: Are you a musician?

I love music. Unfortunately I am not a "natural" but playing music did take me on some interesting journeys anyway.

I played alto sax in the high school pep band. The pep band knew how to have a good time and we traveled around the state playing rowdy songs for our basketball team. So much fun!

I had the obligatory piano lessons while growing up and that eventually led to a 1-year state-wide appointment as head musician for the Washington/Idaho Rainbow Girls organization. I did a lot of traveling that year and met a number of wonderful people. At the end of the year I got to play the grand piano for the 3-day state convention in the Seattle Center Arena.

As an adult I took up african and middle eastern drum playing. I was very lucky to get regular lessons from none other than Mary Ellen Donald. Playing drums can make you very popular at parties. I was recruited by a local nubian dancer to join her band and play tar (the frame drum) for her audition at the prestigous San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. Right before we went on stage, I found out that one of the festival judges was none other than Hamza El Din. Good grief! Strangely enough I was reasonably calm during the performance.

Lots of other adventures, but those are my favorite highlights.
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Re: Are you a musician?
Old 01-04-2007, 02:59 AM   #10
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Re: Are you a musician?

I took (gulp) accordion lessons as a kid.. Imagine how cool that made me!
My parents had a piano, but pushed the accordion since it was "more portable"! Yeah.. like in 1972 all the kids in class were gonna be clamoring for me to "bring my accordion over" I switched to piano for a year or two but got discouraged since the right hand went great but the left hand never got up to par, having only pushed buttons in the past.

DH, on the other hand, went to the Santa Cecilia music academy in Rome, studying piano and orchestra direction. He actually got to direct the RAI (public TV) orchestra at some rehearsals when he was 15 or so. Orchestra directors, however, have to have rich families. When the family fortunes fell, the music career ended, although some occasional gigs after that were playing at the wedding of a Borgia princess, and doing a piano bar stint at a swingers' club. . For a while he was in a "prog" (progressive rock) group that did original stuff, until the group did what groups usually do and drifted apart.

He always longed to play the organ rather than the piano, so when we moved to the US we bought a church organ, which we then hauled back here with us. He doesn't practice as much as he should (i.e., hardly ever). I think he is depressed comparing the technical chops he had back when he was a teenager and able to perform at a real concert pianist level.. with what he is able to eak out after 30 years of no practice. Anyway, we have a "music room" with the church organ, a baby grand piano, and, yes, the accordion.. all gathering dust, I am ashamed to say.
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Re: Are you a musician?
Old 01-04-2007, 08:12 AM   #11
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Re: Are you a musician?

Well, I'm a wannabe who's finally going to do something about it.

I've had a long time love of classical guitar, but no formal training, & many years ago gave up trying to teach myself - though I did attain a level of proficiency at other styles.

So now that I'm going to have all this free time - see below! - I've lined up a teacher & am looking for a good instrument - I can afford something much better than my old box, & figure it will be easier to learn on than a low-end student model.

Anyway, I doubt that I'll ever consider myself to be a "musician", just a happy amateur who is finally fulfilling an unmet ambition.

BTW, date below is to official ER - I'll be on leave the last week, so last day at the mine is 1/17. The closer it gets, the better it looks!
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Re: Are you a musician?
Old 01-04-2007, 08:53 AM   #12
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Re: Are you a musician?

Been playing on and off since I was sixteen. Actually, it is more therapy than anything else. I do play for small groups at times and even take requests, but usually keep on playing anyways.
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Re: Are you a musician?
Old 01-04-2007, 09:03 AM   #13
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Re: Are you a musician?

Took up the Banjo when I turned 50, 9 years ago. Was inspired by "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" and "Dueling Banjos". Kept at it a couple of years, but never got very good. Had trouble playing "up the neck". Still own 3 Banjos and hope to get inspired again to start practicing.

Any Banjo players out there?
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Re: Are you a musician?
Old 01-04-2007, 09:47 AM   #14
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Re: Are you a musician?

Started playing trombone in 5th grade. Stepmom had a piano teaching certificate, so guess who made me practice?? Got good enough to be All-State 3 out of 4 years in HS. I have about 50 medals from Solo and Ensemble, mostly firsts.

Marched 5 years in HS marching band (incoming freshman allowed to march) Also did pep band, orchestra, concert, and jazz bands. Our band was pretty good, so we had an album cut my senior year. We had over 100 kids in band out of a HS of barely 1000 kids...........

When I was 19, I marched in a drum corps. We traveled the country, and finished the year at the World Championships in Birmingham. Got rid of the trombone after marching in the college band for two years. Have not played trombone for 20 years................... :P :P

Had the opportunity to pick up a 2-valve G bugle baritone from a client's son a couple years ago. I play it about once a week or so............it's a fun instrument to play. Would like to play more.........maybe get a trombone again........

I got a call from one of my band buddies from HS. They are looking to put together a reunion concert with a bunch of us old musicians in a couple years. Looking forward to it.......just like riding a bike...........

Rich, if you were good enough to back up Harry Belafonte, why didn't you get a cushy orchestra gig on SNL??
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Re: Are you a musician?
Old 01-04-2007, 09:56 AM   #15
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Re: Are you a musician?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kowski
First job was playing guitar and singing lead in a topless bar at 16. Job lasted about 2 years. False ID provided by bar owner. :
I found myself stranded in Texas in the 60's, as the outfit that I
was working for went belly-up.

I took a job as a piano player in a "Cat House", just outside of
San Antonio.

That's were I became acquainted with ReWahoo, who after all these
years directed me to this forum.

Small world.
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Re: Are you a musician?
Old 01-04-2007, 10:20 AM   #16
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Re: Are you a musician?

I've always loved the guitar. When I was a teenager my parents bought me an electric guitar and amp from Sear for about $50.00 total. I just couldn't get into it since I found it uncomfortable and very hard to play (sore fingers and all). I swore one day I would buy my own and play like Eddy Van Halen. When I had the money I bought a used one but it had its issues also, guitar. This guitar took me so far, but one day I hoped I could get a guitar that would stay with me for like. Couple of years ago I got the guitar of my dreams, complete with Amp and pedal, but couldn't devote the time to practice. Now that I recently retired, I'm hoping that after I figure out all of this investing stuff..... : Laugh: Iíll be able to keep up with Angus, Eric, Eddy, Jimmy and the rest.


Comming to a concert near you!

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Re: Are you a musician?
Old 01-04-2007, 11:00 AM   #17
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Re: Are you a musician?

Quote:
Originally Posted by My Dream
Couple of years ago I got the guitar of my dreams, complete with Amp and pedal, but couldn't devote the time to practice. Now that I recently retired, I'm hoping that after I figure out all of this investing stuff..... : Laugh: Iíll be able to keep up with Angus, Eric, Eddy, Jimmy and the rest.
You might want to read some of their biographies. For them guitar is an obsession-- the first thing they pick up in the morning and the last thing they put down at night, including their families. If you've been meaning to pick up a guitar some day then you're not even close to their mindset... or to the hours of practice that they call "fooling around"...
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Re: Are you a musician?
Old 01-04-2007, 11:30 AM   #18
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Re: Are you a musician?

Played trombone, piano and guitar as a teenager. In high school I had to choose between advanced chemistry or band. Chose chem, and the die was cast.

Didn't play at all from then until about 1988 when I saw the movie "The Man with Two Brains." At the end of the movie they play "All of Me," and that reawakened my desire to play.

Since then I've been switching back and forth between trombone and piano, and now I play 90% piano.

My main group is The 24/7 Jazz Quartet -- bass, drums, piano and a great teenage sax player. We had about 30 gigs in 2006, and we released our first CD last month. I never make a profit, when driving costs are figured in, but we have a great time. I practice a few hours a day.

Here's an excerpt from our CD: All God's Chillun...

Would be fun to put together a band at an ER meeting, huh?
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Re: Are you a musician?
Old 01-04-2007, 11:38 AM   #19
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Re: Are you a musician?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarhead*
I took a job as a piano player in a "Cat House", just outside of
San Antonio.

That's were I became acquainted with ReWahoo, who after all these
years directed me to this forum.
Does REWahoo still spend most of his time in Cat Houses?

I think it's nice of him to devote time to animal rescue like that.
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Re: Are you a musician?
Old 01-04-2007, 11:39 AM   #20
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Re: Are you a musician?

Have played guitar for 40+ years... Damned, I'm old!! :P

Self-taught...
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