I started learning the piano when I was 8 years old. I did up until grade 3 and then my parents said I could stop if I wanted to…and man did I ever. I hated taking lessons, I hated practicing, I hated being told what to play. However, I love love love playing the piano. When I stopped taking lessons and having to do exams, that’s when I fell in love with music and with the piano. Funny how things work out isn’t it?
I am so glad that my parents made me take music lessons. I would definitely not be the person I am today without that ability. Being able to play the piano up until grade 3 gave me all the basics I needed to know to branch out, play what I wanted to play, further advance my skills in my own time, in my own way and through songs that I actually wanted to play. While back then you had to physically drag me to the piano to do my practice, these days it’s an odd day if I don’t play the piano for a little while, or pick up the guitar.
Speaking of other instruments, I did recorder in primary school, and then I did flute for about 6 months, decided I didn’t like ‘breathing’ instruments, and tried the drums. I wasn’t too bad at the drums, and though my teacher was this incredible drummer, he was a sucky teacher. No offence, teacher-who’s-name-I’ve-forgotten, but you were. I never took guitar lessons at school, or after school, and when I eventually thought it might be a fun idea, I decided my fingers were too short and stubby and it wouldn’t work.
So I asked for a ukulele for my birthday a few years back, and looked at chord charts and YouTube clips, and realised after that I could probably transition quite nicely into guitar after I had got the basics of that. So one Wednesday afternoon with nothing better to do with my life, I taught myself guitar.
I’ve learnt, through all this, that I’m better at learning something if I do it by myself. Give me an instrument and I’ll work it out. There are a few musical instruments that I would love to be able to play, if only I could get my hands on them.
While I don’t like violin in a classical sort of way, I love in music (like this song, or this song), and could listen to the incredible Lindsay Stirling all day long. I’d love to be able to jump into songs like that and play away, or write my own songs on the violin. So.Awesome.
Reason I haven’t learnt: I don’t want to put the people I live with through the torment that is learning the violin. My cousin did it (good on him, right?), and I only visited a few times during that learning time to know that I never wanted that in my house.
I love me some country music. Even if I didn’t have any cowboys/girls to play with, how awesome would it be to just pick up your banjo and start a hoe-down throw-down swing-your-partner wherever you were? So.Cool. I figure I could get the hang of this quite easily, because it’s similar to a guitar, but with less strings. Sure the sound is totally different, but it be would fun all the same!
Reasons I haven’t learnt: I’ve been trying to think of a good, or even just semi-decent reason why I haven’t learnt the banjo, but the only thing I’ve come up with is simply…I don’t have one. I managed to grab my near-new Greg Bennett guitar in a charity store in England, and a ukulele doesn’t cost much at all…but a banjo? Expensive and also not that common in usual music shops.
Okay so this may seem silly, but the harp is so beautiful! Also I feel like harp players (harpists?) are either super duper graceful, or they’re actually crazy (Drella in Gilmore Girls anyone?). I’d like to think the harp would turn me into a graceful human being, but I have a feeling it would just up my crazy. All the same, it’s a beautiful instrument and while it is a string instrument (and apparently that’s all I can play), there are so many strings!
Reasons I haven’t learn: Ah, do you know how big a harp is? And do you know anyone with a harp? Exactly.
What’s an instrument you’d like to be able to play?