If you could learn to play any musical instrument

  • Thread starter Dembadon
  • Start date
  • #1
Dembadon
Gold Member
624
89

Main Question or Discussion Point

I hope to learn to play the piano someday. I love how it can fit into almost any genre of music, and I'm always moved by its fullness of sound and the variety of moods it can create all by itself.

Lacking any constraints (money, time, etc.), what musical instrument would you learn to play and why?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Jonathan Scott
Gold Member
2,294
991
The piano is a good choice, and digital pianos are now finally reaching a standard where they are a reasonable substitute. (I rehearsed the solo part of Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with my symphony orchestra last week using my Roland FP-7F digital piano, although I find its sound a little irritatingly muffled at times).

I mainly play the violin (also several other orchestral instruments), which means usually I need to play with other people to get the full effect of any music.

On all my musical instruments, I find it a bit frustrating that the biggest limitation on my playing is that as an amateur with limited free time I do not have the time and patience to develop the strength and speed to play better, so I often end up playing in rather a sketchy way not because I don't know all the notes but because I simply do not have the necessary strength. On special occasions (such as when playing a concerto) I have taken extra time and built up my speed and strength (which also means I can play other works better for a while), but it doesn't last for long unless I keep at it.
 
  • #3
6,265
1,277
Yes, piano for sure. It's the most versatile. And, in our times, you can buy electronic keyboards that are inexpensive compare to real pianos, and much smaller hence portable.
 
  • #4
575
47
My voice. If I could sing well, I'd do some musical theater.
 
  • #5
Jonathan Scott
Gold Member
2,294
991
I must admit that if I had the money and the time then in addition to my current instruments there are several other instruments that would interest me, including the harp.

Or, if you count the "symphony orchestra" as an instrument, I'd certainly like to do more conducting.
 
  • #6
1,184
222
saxophone
 
  • #7
Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
18,825
2,052
Guitar and electric organ/piano, but I'd also like to get (and learn to play) a Mellotron.
 
  • #8
WWGD
Science Advisor
Gold Member
2019 Award
5,338
3,279
Bagpipes. I love the soulful sound. Still, I had some practice pipes a while back, and sometimes
I would tell people I was going home to play with my bagpipes, people would smile, as if I was
using a euphemism.
 
  • #9
Danger
Gold Member
9,607
246
I am just now learning to play the radio. :cool:

My hope is to, by this time next year, graduate to "remedial tape-deck".
 
  • #10
WannabeNewton
Science Advisor
5,803
530
I've always wanted to learn how to play the drums but at my age I have no idea how I'd be able to get lessons without it being awkward.
 
  • #11
769
38
f1ef5l.png


If only...

Seriously, I would like to learn piano and saxophone would be a lot of fun.
 
  • #12
Danger
Gold Member
9,607
246
at my age I have no idea how I'd be able to get lessons without it being awkward.
Or breaking your arms? :p

Inasmuch as your profile photo is too dark to be seen, you seem to bear a disturbing resemblance to my niece. You don't happen to be a daffy Cree, do you?
 
  • #13
Dembadon
Gold Member
624
89
The piano is a good choice, and digital pianos are now finally reaching a standard where they are a reasonable substitute. (I rehearsed the solo part of Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with my symphony orchestra last week using my Roland FP-7F digital piano, although I find its sound a little irritatingly muffled at times).

I mainly play the violin (also several other orchestral instruments), which means usually I need to play with other people to get the full effect of any music.

On all my musical instruments, I find it a bit frustrating that the biggest limitation on my playing is that as an amateur with limited free time I do not have the time and patience to develop the strength and speed to play better, so I often end up playing in rather a sketchy way not because I don't know all the notes but because I simply do not have the necessary strength. On special occasions (such as when playing a concerto) I have taken extra time and built up my speed and strength (which also means I can play other works better for a while), but it doesn't last for long unless I keep at it.
Yes, I've come to realize I'll probably never be able to play as well as I'd like, but I hope to reach a point that'll be pleasant to listen to and fun to play. :) I have a great deal of respect for violin players; seems like an extremely difficult instrument to learn.
My voice. If I could sing well, I'd do some musical theater.
This is a close second on my list. I'd love to develop my voice as well.
I've always wanted to learn how to play the drums but at my age I have no idea how I'd be able to get lessons without it being awkward.
Most community colleges I've seen have courses geared towards beginners. However, you must also accept that learning any instrument is awkward for most people at first. :) After some time it will start feeling natural. Unless you meant awkward in some other respect (socially, culturally)?
 
  • #14
WannabeNewton
Science Advisor
5,803
530
Inasmuch as your profile photo is too dark to be seen, you seem to bear a disturbing resemblance to my niece. You don't happen to be a daffy Cree, do you?
No I'm a dude haha.

Unless you meant awkward in some other respect (socially, culturally)?
Yeah as in there just seems to be a bit of a stigma against people who start learning an instrument from the ground up well past their childhood/very early teens. I would feel too self-conscious as a result whilst learning.
 
  • #15
Danger
Gold Member
9,607
246
No I'm a dude haha.
Oops! Sorry. :oops:

In retrospect, I should have known because you seem to have less facial hair than she does.
 
  • #16
1,541
3,291
Drums or cello, but today I'd probably choose cello, I really like the sound (I can play the piano and guitar).

Yeah as in there just seems to be a bit of a stigma against people who start learning an instrument from the ground up well past their childhood/very early teens. I would feel too self-conscious as a result whilst learning.
It's hopefully only in your mind, dude! ;) I can of course only speak for myself, but I have great respect for anyone that tries to learn an instrument, regardless of age. I have tried to learn how to play drums, but I hadn't it quite "in me" and I realized it would take a lot of practice and time, time which I did not have at that moment.

EDIT: By the way, I started learning how to play the guitar at 20. A couple of years later, I was a guitar player in a band.
 
Last edited:
  • #17
1,541
3,291
I hope to learn to play the piano someday. I love how it can fit into almost any genre of music, and I'm always moved by its fullness of sound and the variety of moods it can create all by itself.
There is another cool thing with piano, it comes with bonuses*; if you learn how to play it, it should be quite easy to learn how to play organs and synthesizers, at least in my experience (and Mellotrons too, I think, hehe).

, but I'd also like to get (and learn to play) a Mellotron.
Some Vsti mellotrons in the meantime, maybe? :):
I have tried one or two of these, but I don't remember how they sound...

* EDIT: There's a bonus with guitars too. Switching from guitar to bass is not particularly hard IMO.
 
Last edited:
  • #18
lisab
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,887
616
I wish I could fiddle.

(There you go, Danger, a big fat fastball right over the plate...)
 
  • #19
Danger
Gold Member
9,607
246
(There you go, Danger, a big fat fastball right over the plate...)
Thank you, my darling, but I think that I'll just take a walk on it. Given my history here, any mention of rosining up my bow would probably get me banned again. :rolleyes:
 
  • #20
dlgoff
Science Advisor
Gold Member
3,828
1,759
Lacking any constraints (money, time, etc.), what musical instrument would you learn to play and why?
The oboe. Why? Have a listen.

 
  • #21
wukunlin
Gold Member
415
101
Theremin

592px-Etherwave_Theremin_Kit.jpg
 
  • #23
263
40
I already know how to play guitar, when I was 21 I walked into a pawn shop and bought a used squire strat for 100 buck didn't know how to play so I used the left over cash I had working as a clerk at a quicke mart to pay for lessons, I wanted to play finger style like paul simon (think scarbouroh-fair) and electric like jimmy page. I ended up getting a classical teacher taught by someone who learned from andres sagovea so I learned classical, I only learned how to play a few songs but a can learn a new one if need be. I remember getting a violin bow and trying to play like jimmy page on Kashmir, it left rosin all over my fretboard and made a mess but it was fun when I was experimenting. now I got a Jackson with a Floyd rose (a shreaders guitar that I dreamed of when I was starting out.)

I could be a rock star but I don't practice much so I suck, still I can play black dog though. in the next life i'll do everything I ever wanted and be a rock star as well along with my other aspirations, I figure if your half way decent being a rock star is the only job I'd actually want to do (making millions while young) then I can concentrate the rest of my life doing science stuff.
 
  • #24
Danger
Gold Member
9,607
246
in the next life i'll do everything I ever wanted and be a rock star
Has it crossed your mind that even if reincarnation existed, rock music probably wouldn't by the time you come back? It might be to that generation what banging sticks on stones is to ours.
 
  • #25
1,541
3,291
Theremins are really cool. A bit more expensive :), but also cool: Laser harp.
 

Related Threads on If you could learn to play any musical instrument

Replies
37
Views
8K
Replies
37
Views
39K
  • Poll
  • Last Post
4
Replies
93
Views
9K
  • Poll
  • Last Post
2
Replies
35
Views
10K
  • Last Post
Replies
14
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
23
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
24
Views
3K
Replies
6
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
691
Top