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Old 01-05-2013, 12:53 AM   #1
SymphonyMachine
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Being a multi-instrumentalist?

Fellow UGer's, in your opinion. Do you think it's better to focus solely on one instrument, or try and play two instruments? Is it possible of to play two instruments at a very high level? There are only so many hours in a day.
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:03 AM   #2
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If its what you want to do, then do it. I forget who it was, but one of the best classical concerts I ever saw was a soloist who performed a violin concerto and then a piano concerto.

I play a lot of instruments, just because its what I do, and I have to for music school.

Also, what instrument are you thinking of learning?
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:18 AM   #3
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I focus on guitar, but my skills there can also carry over to instruments such as bass, ukelele, etc. So in that sense, by focusing on that one instrument, I am also a multi-instrumentalist.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TK1
I focus on guitar, but my skills there can also carry over to instruments such as bass, ukelele, etc. So in that sense, by focusing on that one instrument, I am also a multi-instrumentalist.


very minimally. not to knock you, but i wouldn't consider that being a multi-instrumentalist. being a guitarist does not make you a bassist or a ukulele player. there are techniques idiomatic to both instruments that are not necessarily idiomatic to guitar. sure, they carry over, but that does not grant any sort of proficiency.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:32 AM   #5
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I think it comes down to you and how well you learn. I can pick up anything string-based very quickly due to my familiarity, for instance. Due to my prior knowledge with guitar, I outpaced my piano teacher's lesson plan.

If you're dedicated and understand music, you can do it. ...Not that I'd expect mastering everything to be realistic, but being able to play many instruments very well isn't a far-fetched goal at all.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by will42
If its what you want to do, then do it. I forget who it was, but one of the best classical concerts I ever saw was a soloist who performed a violin concerto and then a piano concerto.



Julia Fischer?
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:13 AM   #7
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Being a pianist since the age of seven helped my guitar playing loads. I didn't realise it til later on, but it did. I can also play uke.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:23 PM   #8
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Well, I'm a Music Business student studying classical guitar in school. I also play electric guitar, and electric bass. I want to be really good at both guitar and bass. Like the level of musicianship as Paul Gilbert, Guthrie Govan, Bryan Beller. Is it possible to achieve that level of playing on these two instruments?
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:45 PM   #9
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I think just being very familiar with the musical scale and how to make chords(assuming the instrument in question uses chords often) stands for a lot being a multi-instrumentalist. Fluency, and the things that make each instrument unique will come to you through familiarity
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SymphonyMachine
Well, I'm a Music Business student studying classical guitar in school. I also play electric guitar, and electric bass. I want to be really good at both guitar and bass. Like the level of musicianship as Paul Gilbert, Guthrie Govan, Bryan Beller. Is it possible to achieve that level of playing on these two instruments?

Guitar and bass are pretty similar instruments. They have same techniques and stuff and basically if you can play guitar, you can play bass. But they have a different role in a band.

It's easy to start playing the bass after having played the guitar. You know the technique and the notes on the fretboard. The playing style is different, some things that work on guitar don't work on bass and vice versa. Playing fast on bass is also a bit harder because of the longer scale and heavier strings. (Though playing super fast on bass won't sound as clear as on guitar and many times you don't even want to play 30nps on bass, it won't sound good - though it doesn't sound good on guitar either. ) But I think the same speed on bass is a bit harder than on guitar.

I wouldn't consider myself as a multi-instrumentalist if I only played bass and guitar. They are so similar instruments. As I said: if you can play the guitar, you can play bass pretty easily (you just need to learn to play the basslines).

BTW, I play trumpet, guitar, bass, drums (not really well) and piano (I pretty much suck but I can play chords and stuff).
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlasco
Julia Fischer?


I do believe that you are correct, sir.
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:15 AM   #12
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Yes

Caveat: Every musician should have some kind of knowledge of the piano and drums. I don't even mean technical proficiency (I don't know how to play the piano), but some idea of how they work.
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:13 AM   #13
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I think playing more than one instrument is very helpful in giving a musician a better insight into the potential of other players. It helps in writing parts for different instruments if you know the limitations therein as well.

Here is a set of mine that features my drumming, bass playing (not with a pick, BTW) and keys playing. Guitar being my main instrument, it shows up on a studio track or two.

http://soundcloud.com/scottjonesmus...er-instruments/

I've also written a ton for full orchestra (first link in my sig).

My fusion CD (also in my sig) is all my playing or sequencing of each instrument.
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Jones
bass playing (not with a pick, BTW)

shut up poser

TS: it's a line of thought more than any level of technical ability to be truly competent with an instrument in any functional setting (aka composition and performance). if you're at a level where you can reproduce what you need out of multiple instruments, you're on the write track, but if you're writing for guitar and just kinda filling in the other instruments you're losing a lot of potential and might not be nearly as multi-faceted as every-god-awful-musician-in-the-world-with-a-guitar-and-keyboard-and-bass thinks they are.

learning to play other instruments on a technical level can only serve to help you, but it's important to recall that you need to legitimately learn to internalize their role in a song. most composers don't play 9/10 of the instruments they write for because they understand the compositional processes required to get their muse onto the sheet. you should aim to be able to do this far more than how hard you can try to impress people with how many instruments you play because you're so edgy and mysterious and deep.

as-is, however, it sounds like you can't even play guitar in a way that's meaningful beyond how many hours you can put in on it. come back to this question in a couple years and it'll make a lot more sense.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:05 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hail
shut up poser

TS: it's a line of thought more than any level of technical ability to be truly competent with an instrument in any functional setting (aka composition and performance). if you're at a level where you can reproduce what you need out of multiple instruments, you're on the write track, but if you're writing for guitar and just kinda filling in the other instruments you're losing a lot of potential and might not be nearly as multi-faceted as every-god-awful-musician-in-the-world-with-a-guitar-and-keyboard-and-bass thinks they are.

learning to play other instruments on a technical level can only serve to help you, but it's important to recall that you need to legitimately learn to internalize their role in a song. most composers don't play 9/10 of the instruments they write for because they understand the compositional processes required to get their muse onto the sheet. you should aim to be able to do this far more than how hard you can try to impress people with how many instruments you play because you're so edgy and mysterious and deep.

as-is, however, it sounds like you can't even play guitar in a way that's meaningful beyond how many hours you can put in on it. come back to this question in a couple years and it'll make a lot more sense.


Uh, what?

How did my answer come off as "poser". I answered in an honest way, from my perspective.

The only reason I mentioned the "no pick" thing was because most bassists will immediately look the other way when they see a guitarist playing bass, because often times they will opt for playing with a pick, which is fine, but wasn't my choice. I simply wanted to point that out.

I'd surely love to know your background and experience, as I'd be more than happy to learn from a someone who could offer me insight, and make me a better player.

I'm not sure how my answer warranted such a harsh reply.

Oh well...

Either way, have a great day and best of luck to you in your pursuit of excellence.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:25 AM   #16
Hail
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i play bass and nobody who doesn't suck at bass cares if you use a pick or not. whatever gets the job done in a way that fits the music and isn't detracting.

i'm incredibly abrasive and insult people to get them to get upset because it's funny. if you thought i was like legitimately trying to attack you i would have done a lot better than call you a poser, chill out tom hess
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:32 AM   #17
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Normally, I'd say, whatever makes you happy.

I'm not sure where you are in life, but I can absolutely guarantee that your abrasive approach, while "humorous" in this setting, if carried over to life outside the forum, will only cause you suffering. Not sure why that would be a mark of honor for you.

Anyway,

Steve Swallow and Anthony Jackson are both terrifying bassists who use picks. Most do not. Most ARE jaded against picks, as a main technique. I simply pointed out my approach.

Take care.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:00 PM   #18
Hail
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i'm kinda drunk cause i just got off work cause it's how i cope with working till 7am and not making a living doing something useful i promise i'll say something that isn't dumb and tasteless when i'm awake again

the main thing being though you've had a lot more experience than me around "real" bassists and musicians. which causes a big barrier when you try and bridge to the realm of irony and masturbation that's the 90s avant garde scene and the 2009-now prog metal scene. "nowadays" it's almost a joke to care who does what. most people program their drums now for convenience (or use samples to reinforce live takes) and if it sounds good on the record and they can organically reproduce it live it's impossible to knock. this is a different mentality from probably pretty much everybody you've worked with, and possibly yourself, because it eliminates a facet of realism. it's about pragmatism, doing what works, and understanding that nobody hearing the record will ever be able to know what you did once it's all mixed and properly handled.

anybody who's done DIY production (like yourself) will, i'd assume have at least experimented in the realm of picks, particularly outside of traditional (blues, rock, jazz) environments because it's just a lot easier to cut through the mix in a dense setting. this is the mindset i was basically raised in and surrounded by musically.

i have (well, had) no reason to think you were more than just another cocky (as in moreso than me) 17-year-old guitarist who learned all his scales and thinks he's too good for a band. then some guy on the internet told him "hey only losers use picks" so you had to show you were in the club. that's how i saw it, and it was a bit of an insult considering how much i do put into my craft when i'm not being half asleep and down a few glasses of wine on a music theory forum

it'd be like some douche at guitarcenter telling you 'oh yeah, i play guitar. i used to play electric but it's okay i play classical nylon because that's automatically better right'. it comes off as pompous, and on here i'll bite when people have no idea what they've done

i don't know why i didn't just keep making fun of you but everyone here really likes you and your advice posts were worth a skim and i didn't get nauseous reading them (which is unusual) so i'm trying to explain a little bit why it came off as arrogant to me and why i'd justify calling you a poser.

though like i said i was being a lot more obtuse than actually bringing a point to the table. most people ignore me when i do that because it's a habit or reflex rather than me trying to call you out. plus i make fun of guitarists who play bass all the time because, i mean, i'm the viola of a rock band ensemble. it's my only leverage
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:09 PM   #19
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Actually, all excellent points.

I look forward to our further interaction.

(For the record, I'm not 17. Rather, 46, and have been doing various aspects of this a VERY long time.)

I only strive to be helpful.

Take care.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:31 PM   #20
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no i know i just saw no avatar and links and someone i didn't recognize here and that generally ends up in that region of stereotypes

are you planning on sticking around mr jones? i feel like this is the most positive thread derailing i've ever accomplished here
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