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April 09, 2006

I've lately been thinking I need to finally act on my love of music, and take up an instrument. Not with an eye to performing, mind you, but merely for my own enjoyment. As if I need yet another hobby.

I don't know that I have any talent whatsoever, but when listening to good music, I always find myself wishing I were playing rather than just listening.

Piano would be great, as would guitar; both appear to be as simple or as complex as one might want to make them. And perhaps it's uncommon, but I'd love to learn how to play the violin.

I'm not terribly interested in playing brass or woodwind instruments — it's awfully hard to sing when playing those, though I'd not mind learning the bagpipes. Uilleann pipes (The what? Go here and listen to the sample of Track 4 — I think it's magnificent) might be a nice compromise, but I suspect the body of works for them is somewhat limited.

Problem: my hands are approximately the size and shape of bear paws. I think this is going to limit my options, as far as what I might be physically capable of playing.

Percussion would work with my monster mitts, but drums are neither particularly melodic, nor are they something you can pick up, sit back, and relax with. What a pity — I'm always tapping my fingers and toes along with whatever music to which I'm listening.

I need advice... and it's a bit too late for me to go look up the band teacher at my old high school to get said advise. Maybe a trip to the music store to talk to the pros there.

What do you think?

Posted by Russ at 01:56 PM, April 9, 2006 in Music

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As far as I know, you start out learning to play pipes with a chanter only, so you could try it out and see how it goes. I also want to learn to play the violin/fiddle, so I think that would be kewl :).

Posted by: Ith at April 9, 2006 03:35 PM

The main thing for me is I'd like to be able to accompany my crappy singing with crappy playing, which is why I like the idea of the guitar. Sure, piano is nice, but it takes concentration to play anything worth listening to, I am guessing.

And then there's the whole bear-paw thing. Seriously, I think it'll be a major limitation - being able to manipulate tiny strings is somewhat important for, say, the violin.

Tomorrow being one of my off-days from work, I'm going to pay these guys a visit.

I'll bet I can get some decent advice from them. But I'll bet none of them knows squat about the uilleann pipes. ;-)

Posted by: Russ at April 9, 2006 04:17 PM

I'd vote for guitar. piano is kinda pricey to get into if you're not sure about it. and a guitar would be more portable. or a karaoke machine. ;D

Posted by: maggie katzen at April 10, 2006 12:59 AM

You could try the electric bass guitar.

Posted by: Thibodeaux at April 10, 2006 11:23 AM