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Discussion Starter #1
One of my many unfulfilled aspirations is to master a musical instrument. I was just wondering if any of y'all has managed to do that very thing? If so, how? and which one? I am just horrible at routine matters. :bored:
 

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I started, realized I was following a set schematic, got bored and quit.

Which, in hindsight, I should've realized before I started.
 

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I'd rather read a book than write one, eat a meal than prepare one, play a game than design one, watch a movie than direct one and listen to an instrument than play one. Every child knows that play is nobler than work. Creation is overrated, consumption is where it's at.
 

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I'm currently taking a beginner piano course at my university, as well as attempting to teach myself. I'm also learning hammered dulcimer.
Luckily I played violin and saxophone as a kid, so I have some musical knowledge which makes it a little easier to pick up different instruments.
 

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I play a guitar. Sometimes I just find myself a youtube lesson and try to learn a song...

I was always rather visual than musical, but lately I just tried it.
 

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Yes, for 2 years. That's pretty long for me.
I really like bass lines in songs and I thought it should be fun to learn something about playing... but the routine... I had lesson once a week and mostly I was too lazy to practice at home in meantime. It was so boring, even if I felt satisfied after playing some difficult (for me) parts. And when finally I want to play - I can't even find tabs for songs I like.
And you know what? I regret I didn't buy that telescope instead of guitar. I would sell it if I hadn't had thoughts like ''maybe I'd play it next time".
 

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I tried to learn how to play guitar a few years ago. I quickly realized that I had no natural talent for guitar, which meant becoming a proficient would require a lot of practice. Practicing was not my forte so, after only a week of lessons, I gave up my dreams of becoming a rock goddess. I eventually traded my guitar for some stereo equipment for my car, which was a good deal for me because I do have a natural talent for wiring sound systems.

I played trumpet for a half a year in middle school and managed to learn "When the Saints Go Marching In" and "Mary Had a Little Lamb" before I quit. I wonder if I can still play them? Probably not.

There are several musical instruments I have yet to try however, so I can't completely rule out the possibility that there is at least one out there I can play, beautifully, as soon as I pick it up. Until then I'll just have to listen to other talented people make music on my kickass sound system.
 

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I played the piano for 8-9 years as a child. I started to really appreciate it in the last two years of practice, but I had to stop, because I couldn't bear the classes with my teacher anymore.

I didn't practice decently for more than 10 years now, I just did for a few days last year when visiting my parents for 2 weeks. Turns out all those classes weren't as useless as I thought, and it came back pretty fast, including reading sheets, which was my greatest difficulty. I've been, since a few years, wanting to seriously get back at it, and I will as soon as I possibly can.

Master it… I would argue that it's impossible to master an entire instrument. One can master certain pieces, certain creations, to a larger extent, entire styles, but not an entire instrument. It's a lot of work. Those we call masters, put a lot of work in everything they play, every single piece (that said, not every single piece requires mastery to be played). They master each piece they play by studying them. It doesn't come immediately. Mastering an entire instrument would require way too much brain processing.
 

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Electronic music composition on software - if that counts. Also have a few synths I dabble with.

The great thing about sofware composition though is it's mainly "intellectual" mastery rather than "manual/mechanical" mastery. So you don't necessary need fast fingers - just your brain, and some time (it's far from easy too, on contrary to what many people believe).
 

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I personally can play piano, banjo, bass and guitar. By extension, I could easily pick up any of the bowed and mallet/keyboard instruments (cello, viola, marimba, glockenspiel, etc). Brass and woodwind instruments are a very different story though - I have no experience with those, nor percussion.

I started playing piano at about 7 and continued until maybe 15. I am 22 now. I was very proficient for my age. I would have continued with piano forever except for the fact that it really messes with my emotions. I learned banjo, bass and guitar just enough to have fun learning them but I don't have enough interest or respect for them to have continued past a moderate knowledge of them.

Practice was difficult for piano and easy for the rest. This is because piano is genuinely harder than any of the other instruments. It takes a lot of work to be good.



I'd rather read a book than write one, eat a meal than prepare one, play a game than design one, watch a movie than direct one and listen to an instrument than play one. Every child knows that play is nobler than work. Creation is overrated, consumption is where it's at.
As someone who composes, I would actually agree with you there. There is definitely a great thrill and satisfaction from writing something.... but I think the consumer really is in a better position in terms of enjoyment. I don't know if I would phrase it in terms of nobility, however. If anything I think maybe it's more noble to create. But definitely more fun to just listen and consume.

I would argue that it's impossible to master an entire instrument.
Well good gravy, how do you define mastery? Whether you define it in absolute or relative terms, I would argue it is definitely possible to master and instrument. If someone who has been playing at the highest level for decades is not a master then how do you define it?

The great thing about sofware composition though is it's mainly "intellectual" mastery rather than "manual/mechanical" mastery. So you don't necessary need fast fingers - just your brain, and some time (it's far from easy too, on contrary to what many people believe).
Very interesting point you make here. I think you are partially correct. I write music on software but I also know how to play. It is possible for me to sit down and click in notes and make it sound good. That is true. But there is definitely a different dimension to playing-in notes through a midi keyboard. I can create through the muscle memory of my fingers what I could never do by clicking in - there is far more emotional-cohesion and a compelling nature to that which is played by my hands.... but on the other hand there is more technical variation and originality from that which I click in.

My best work was a complete fusion of the two - it wouldn't have been possible without either.
 

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Yep, I've mastered the piano. Haha, my parents forced me through the routine which I hated. But now I really enjoy it as I get to play the songs I like and do improv. I've even written a few of my own songs.
 

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Well good gravy, how do you define mastery? Whether you define it in absolute or relative terms, I would argue it is definitely possible to master and instrument. If someone who has been playing at the highest level for decades is not a master then how do you define it?
I would say that there are some masters of some instruments playing certain styles of music, but not all styles, that's really too much knowledge for one person. A lot of jazzpeople can be called masters playing their instruments, but because they play jazz. Make them play classical, or ragtime/stride, and they are not masters anymore. They can certainly read the sheets, and play them on the spot, but in order to master anything they play outside of their comfort zone, which is jazz, it requires work. It is needed, because they cannot read everything that the composer intended just by reading the sheets. Mostly a certain feeling, or emotion, that cannot really be written on the sheet, despite all the indications that are written.
 

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I played percussion from 6th grade through high school, and then some in college. My specialty has typically been with keyboard percussion (xylophone and all that jazz). I played crash cymbals in the marching band, which gave me an appreciation for what I viewed as more brutish percussion instruments at the time, and I learned how attention to detail can make the largest of artistic differences in non-pitched instruments. I do small percussion things like congas and shaker at churches. I also own a ukulele, but I can hardly play few chords on the thing.

Most important to me out of all of my experiences is the marimba. The marimba is my soul instrument.The mastery question is an interesting question though. To me, it seems that the more I learn and immerse myself in my instrument, the more I realize how much more is out there to learn. For example, I move from two mallets to four mallets on he marimba, and then suddenly there are all of these different grip styles and all of these new techniques, not to mention the sudden increase in range of difficulty of music that I become aware of. Then I discover people play with six mallets, and that adds another world on top of the one I just discovered. There are so many dimensions of discovery and learning.

Long story short, this instrument is my true love:
 

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I currently play the cello and the piano, and self taught myself guitar.

I enjoy music, but the most fun about it is the music theory since I can pick apart why notes are where they are and the meaning of the songs
 

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Ack! Just what I though. If we're approaching this realistically, it is really hard to become proficient in an instument if you weren't put through the basics as a kid.... Damn.

I mean, I play a little clarinet, sax, and piano but not very well.

I do like that music theory approach though. I'll have to look into that.
 

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Ack! Just what I though. If we're approaching this realistically, it is really hard to become proficient in an instument if you weren't put through the basics as a kid.... Damn.

I mean, I play a little clarinet, sax, and piano but not very well.

I do like that music theory approach though. I'll have to look into that.
It has honestly been the hardest part for me, learning music theory. Rhythm was pretty innate, as far as basics time signatures go at least, and I didn't really study more advanced time signatures, however reading sheets was a pain.

But music theory is the best foundation. It doesn't go away as fast as I initially thought, and if you have it you can stop practicing, and it'll all come back really fast, and it no time you'll be back where you left it all.
 

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Ack! Just what I though. If we're approaching this realistically, it is really hard to become proficient in an instument if you weren't put through the basics as a kid.... Damn.

I mean, I play a little clarinet, sax, and piano but not very well.

I do like that music theory approach though. I'll have to look into that.
Yeah, it allows me to harmonize easily and just enjoy songs more by appreciating the work put into choosing each note.
 

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It has honestly been the hardest part for me, learning music theory. Rhythm was pretty innate, as far as basics time signatures go at least, and I didn't really study more advanced time signatures, however reading sheets was a pain.

But music theory is the best foundation. It doesn't go away as fast as I initially thought, and if you have it you can stop practicing, and it'll all come back really fast, and it no time you'll be back where you left it all.
also, when learning pieces there is a pattern, so if you can recognize the pattern you can memorize the piece easier and learn it faster
 

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My parents forced me to take piano lessons when I was very little. I hated it and stopped going after a year. That's the only formal experience with musical instruments I've had.
 
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