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Rllink
09-02-2014, 06:17 AM
In fourth grade music we all learned to play the Tonette. From that experience, I learned Every Good Boy Does Fine, and FACE. In fifth grade I took up the Trumpet in school, and quit before I got to sixth.

For my 45th birthday my mother for some reason had a guilt trip for selling my trumpet. Thinking that if she had kept it, I might have started playing it again, she bought me a trumpet. I went to the music store, bought some beginner trumpet books, and got myself back to where I was when I quit in the first place. Didn't like playing the trumpet any better than I did in the fifth grade.

Winter of 2013/2014, hung around most of the winter in San Juan, PR with my neighbor, a drummer, and his brother-in-law, guitar player. Played some rhythm on the pandereta with them.

April of 2014, age 64, took up the ukulele.

Prior to April, that is the extent of my musical experience. The ukulele is my first stringed instrument. At times I feel like what I don't know about music is overwhelming. Other times I feel fortunate that I'm a clean slate. Most of the time I don't think much about it either way. Obviously, I was thinking about it when I wrote this thread though.

SteveZ
09-02-2014, 06:37 AM
Know what you mean about early music lessons. At about the same young ages I had accordion lessons (small 12-bass). When no one noticed after I hadn't touched it for a couple years, I gave it to a kid my age who just immigrated and also played - definitely a win-win.

Jim Hanks
09-02-2014, 07:46 AM
At times I feel like what I don't know about music is overwhelming.
I've been doing something musical for most of my 46 years and I still feel that way. :-)

CeeJay
09-02-2014, 11:42 AM
I've been doing something musical for most of my 46 years and I still feel that way. :-)


Fifty five years,same for me.....

Doug W
09-02-2014, 02:08 PM
Almost 62 and as of 4:00 pm today I know everything about music.

Concertina
09-02-2014, 03:19 PM
Age 6 - learned to play piano and the lovely EGBDF and FACE
Age 9 - learned guitar
Age 13 - played flute in my school band
Age 32 - picked up the uke and never looked back!

Somewhere in there I also learned to play the ocarina but that only impresses the guy that hand makes them at the Ren-Faire and people who love The Legend of Zelda hehe.

ksiegel
09-02-2014, 03:28 PM
Can't read music, but sang in choirs from 7th grade on. As a high school senior, I found out that the choir directors all thought I could read music because I picked it up so fast. They played my part once or twice, and I had it. I quit choir in college, when choir director insisted I sing Operatic Tenor Style - which hurt both my throat, and ears.

Only instrument lessons I took in elementary school were drum lessons - kicked out ofter 1/2 year because I was still unable to do a quarter-note roll. I know what a time signature is, but can't put it into practice to save my life.

Taught myself to play guitar when I was 13 by memorizing chord diagrams in the back of "Alfred's Basic Guitar Course Book One", and played (mediocre at best) until an arm injury about 4-1/2 years ago.

My late father-in-law gave me his 1950s Harmony 3 years ago on Thanksgiving, and I've found I can play for hours without any problems - so I do.

I have several ukuleles - probably more than average, but play them all.

I still can't read music, and have a hard time remembering the names of the strings (gCEA, I think?), but I play by ear, and enjoy every second of it.

I can count on one hand how many things I think I know about music. Based on experience, I'm probably selling myself short, but still feel like a complete beginner.


-Kurt

VegasGeorge
09-02-2014, 05:07 PM
In a nutshell:
Piano
French Horn in public school band and orchestra
Los Angeles Conservatory of Music
Community Symphony Orchestras
USAF NORAD Band
California State University Northridge Band and Orchestra
Alto Horn (British Tenor Horn)
Monterey Peninsula College Jazz Band
Salvation Army Band
Great Highland Bagpipe
1st Salinas Valley Highlanders Pipe Band
Piper at Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach
Ukulele
Along the way I've encountered the Autoharp, Recorders, Guitar, Harmonica, and the Musical Saw

igorthebarbarian
09-02-2014, 07:31 PM
I have literally zero experience. As in nothing ever... Picked up the uke at around age 35 figuring it would be good for relaxing from work. I'm just a basic strummer but it does work well for relaxing/decompressing/having fun with. For me that's good enough.... My brother played drums/drumline in high school. My uncle plays trumpet and taught music, so there is some rhythmic ability in my genes somewhere.

PhilUSAFRet
09-03-2014, 02:43 AM
Received my first uke at age 10. My Dad taught me "Yes Sir, that's my Baby". It took me about 55 years to learn any more songs and pick up a few more ukes....see signature. Between those times, I blew on a harmonica, banged on some conga and bongo drums and tried to learn guitar and bass about 10 years ago with few results.

Ukejenny
09-03-2014, 03:09 AM
Age 2: Took rubber bands and strung them on the drawer pulls of my mom's dresser and played them, improving ways to be musical
Age 11: Started Clarinet and pursued it through school
Age 22: Taught elementary music and band after graduating from college
20's/30's: Take up some instruments and try guitar unsuccessfully
Age 34: Took some time off from music so I could change lots of poopy diapers
Late 30's: Started teaching lessons again and remembered just how much I love it
40's: Teaching lessons to wind instrument students, playing ukulele, clarinet and flute and loving it.

And I feel like I have only scratched the surface in what I want to learn. That's okay; it's the journey, not the destination, that excites me.

KaijuEmily
09-03-2014, 06:08 AM
In school they made us learn a few songs on plastic recorders. I joined the school band bacause my friends did, but only played bass drum (doesnt count really!) I got a set of bongo drums at a yard sale but never learned how to play them. I finally got into learning music in 2012 with the perchase of my Hugh Tracey alto kalimba. But I recently fell in love with the ukulele at 28. I no longer worry about being percieved as "cool" so being a beginner at music is not a problem.

Down Up Dick
09-03-2014, 06:36 AM
Started on Trumpet in fourth grade. Played through ninth grade (plus Drum Major).
Switched to French Horn for high school orchestra and Baritone Horn in marching band (too short for Drum Major).
Also played 2nd Trombone in a dance band, and sang in Choir and boy's Glee Club. Played a little Sousaphone for
kicks, but they're hell on a windy day.
Played Bugle in the Keesler AFB Drum and Bugle Corps -- lotta fun.
After a long break, I bought a 2nd hand Cornet and played it for a long time. In addition, I taught myself to play a
borrowed flute (using old trumpet music), and later bought one of my own (Later sold) .
Then I went berserk and bought a French Horn. My first musical failure. I fought with that darn thing for years but
just couldn't re-master it. So I traded it for a Euphonium which turned out to be my second musical failure. I just
didn't have enough lip for the high notes.
Sometime in there I bought a King Tuba that I really, really love. It's a blast to play. I play all kinds of music on it.
Then I traded the euphonium for a Baritone Horn, and it's all right. I also bought a keyboard--only a partial failure.
Whew! Then I bought another Flute which I still play, and later an Alto Flute which I play and like even better. I'd
Like a Bass Flute, but they're too expensive. I've picked up over the years a bunch of wooden flutes (Baroque, Irish,
Fifes and wooden piccolos. I also played Harmonicas (and still do) for a long time.
Then I got the urge to sing again, and took an old Uke that my Godmother (a Hawaiian lady) gave me many years
ago off the wall to accompany myself. After that, I got a mild case of UAS and got the Ukes that I have now.
I want a new Alto Flute and two or three more Ukes, but I think I'm too old to keep buying all this stuff. I don't know
what the heck my wife's gonna do with all this stuff when I kick the bucket.
Well, that's my musical history except for what I've forgotten. :old:

janiep81
09-03-2014, 07:10 AM
I suppose I began in my church choir as a preschooler. :)
I began piano lessons at 6 and played until I was 13. I learned most of my theory and how to read music that way.

I played clarinet in the school band for one year. I didn't hate the clarinet but I sure hated band. Then I tried guitar lessons in high school (mostly to impress boys) but I wasn't really in the right frame of mind.

I stuck with choir through college, even though I majored in other things. I met my husband there. He's a guitar player and even teaches a bit so he's been helpful when it comes to teaching my piano/choir brain to "get" strings.

I suppose things are coming full circle because I took up the uke to teach music to the preschoolers at church.

Music is wonderful.

Shastastan
09-06-2014, 12:41 PM
@Down Up Dick. You've had some pretty neat experiences, IMO. I don't see any of them as mistakes either. It's a lot of fun to try new things in music. I'm currently an intermediate level trumpet player and I play in public concerts and with various groups. I've bought and sold a number of horns and currently have a trumpet, cornet, and flugelhorn. It took me some purchases and sales to get the ones that work best for me. I've also been on the mouthpiece safari. I quit playing at age 15 and didn't start again until age 65. I have some ukes, but I'm still a rookie. I've tried piano and guitar but I could see that they would be really difficult for me to learn. I have no big ambitions to be a great uke player--only to have fun which I'm having. If there are instruments you want to try and can afford it, I say, why not? You might sell them at a loss later, but so what? Trumpet playing is becoming a little of a chore for me because I no longer want to spend as much time practicing. That's the price you have to pay to play a brass instrument in keeping your chop muscles in shape. Whereas with the uke it's not so hard to get back in playing shape--at least for the types of songs that I try and play. My problem is that I have too many playing commitments. People ask me to play and I can't seem to say no. The commitments cut down on traveling and other things as well. I guess the uke could save me from that though. When I'm asked to play, if I bring a uke instead of my horn, they won't ask me to play there again :).

Ukejenny
09-06-2014, 01:03 PM
My first musical failure. :old:

I don't believe in musical failure - or at least, those experiences aren't just failures... They carried you to where you are now in your musical life. I think you've done some cool stuff.

You and I have played quite a few of the same instruments.

Down Up Dick
09-06-2014, 01:38 PM
Ukejenny, I really like the sound of a clarinet especially the low range. I bought an old metal one from a pawn shop near Keesler AFB, and I was gonna teach myself to play it. However, there's a rule against playing musical instruments in the barracks, so I took it back. Luckily the store guy gave me my money back. I can play clarinet a little bit.

If I were 50 years younger and had unlimited funds, I'd learn to play the banjo and/or the oboe. I have a fantasy that I'm locked in a music store over night and can try out all the instruments. Wouldn't that be fun? Later :old:

SteveZ
09-06-2014, 03:43 PM
Ukejenny, I really like the sound of a clarinet especially the low range. I bought an old metal one from a pawn shop near Keesler AFB, and I was gonna teach myself to play it. However, there's a rule against playing musical instruments in the barracks, so I took it back. Luckily the store guy gave me my money back. I can play clarinet a little bit.

If I were 50 years younger and had unlimited funds, I'd learn to play the banjo and/or the oboe. I have a fantasy that I'm locked in a music store over night and can try out all the instruments. Wouldn't that be fun? Later :old:

Consider the four-string tenor banjo. Just restrung mine tonight from GDAE to CGDA and it's a fun instrument.

Down Up Dick
09-06-2014, 04:02 PM
SteveZ, learning new information isn't an old person's forte. I'm having enough problems with the Uke. Just to learn all the chords I know, I've had to play them over and over. And sometimes I start to play something, and I can't remember a chord. I have to look it up.

My embochure is on it's way out too. Some days I can still play well but some not. That's one of the reasons that I picked up the Uke -- Ahh well . . . :old:

Shastastan
09-07-2014, 10:14 AM
SteveZ, learning new information isn't an old person's forte. I'm having enough problems with the Uke. Just to learn all the chords I know, I've had to play them over and over. And sometimes I start to play something, and I can't remember a chord. I have to look it up.

My embochure is on it's way out too. Some days I can still play well but some not. That's one of the reasons that I picked up the Uke -- Ahh well . . . :old:

Our section leader (23 trumpets) in our symphonic band is 87 years old and still very close to the best player in the section. AT 75, my chops are starting to feel flubbery at times, but I think I have a few years left. No chops problems with my ukes, though.:D

Down Up Dick
09-07-2014, 10:47 AM
Well, Stan, that's great. I don't play the trumpet any more and haven't for a long time. My tuba is fine, though I don't play it often enough. My baritone is a bit flubbery too, but, if I played it more, it would probably be okay. My concert flute is a little weak, especially on the high notes, and a bit windy. My Alto Flute is always great. I like it a lot. I can still play well, but not like I did in my younger years. My memory is bad sometimes (it comes and goes), my eyesight
is getting to the point where I have trouble reading some of my music (I play by ear or from memory a lot), and my hearing is doing weird things too.

We had a Community Band here that had a Euphonium player (I think) who was over a hundred years old! But that's not me, though I do the best I can. I took up the ukulele so I'd have something to play when my chops finally die. I had the urge all of a sudden to sing too.

My mother is 102 so maybe I'll live a long time too, but I'd hate it to be without music. So do what you can to keep playing and be thankful that you can do it. Some old people can't even walk or see or hear or don't even know where they are. Be grateful. :old:

Nickie
09-07-2014, 12:06 PM
What is "embochure"? Forgive my ignorance, that sounds like a fancy word to me....

I started with a trombone, because it was shiney, and I liked the bent tubes all over the place. And the music teacher said it was a good idea, because I could draw a bass clef but not a treble clef. I did a pretty miserable job of driving my parents crazy with it, unitl they got my little brother a clarinet....that was worse noise. I'm sure I sounded like a sick calf bellering, but he sounded like somone was trying to kill a parrot. Band teachers taught band because they couldn't do anything else in those days. They weren't very nice or very smart. One day a teacher bounced his baton off the head of the kid next to me, for hitting too many wrong notes. I think it was actually me doing it, but the teacher couldn't tell. After five years of doing that to get out of other things at school, I quit, and my parents sold the horn, and went out to dinner with the money. Then I joined the Air Force Drum and Bugle Corp, and marching with that stupid uniform was even worse. I lasted about 6 months. The bugle was way less cool than the trombone. And I wanted to strangle the drummers.
After a long hiatus from playing anything, my college roomate/boyfriend brought home a fiddle and handed it to me. He said "You're enrolled in Violin this semester. The teacher tuned this thing for you." So I messed around with that for a while, the teacher was real nice to me, but told me I wasn't ijmproving very much. So I brought a mandolin and sucked at that too. Then somone stole both of them.
So I took time off from that. Then I moved to the Nashville area, bought another fiddle, from the Old Time Picking Parlor, where I used to go listen to real musicians play Bill Monroe songs. Then bought another mandolin, took lessons, one teacher "fired' me, and I got another. He was a brand new born again Christian, and although a brillinat musician and great teacher, I quit because I got tired of him trying to save me. So I fired him. It kinda felt good. I bought a cheap guitar, never could play a darn thing on it, so the guitar and the mandolin got sold. Many years later, I gave the fiddle to a bright young music student, and he still plays it.
Many years hence, my BFF takes me to Sam Ash music....we see the ukuleles....now I have a piano too....

Down Up Dick
09-07-2014, 12:26 PM
Nickie, embochure is one's "chops" or how she holds her lips to make a noise through the mouthpiece. When one gets old she loses muscle strength in her lips. Then it's difficult to play high notes or to play for very long. One's lips get numb and sometimes useless --so it goes. :old:

Nickie
09-07-2014, 02:00 PM
Nickie, embochure is one's "chops" or how she holds her lips to make a noise through the mouthpiece. When one gets old she loses muscle strength in her lips. Then it's difficult to play high notes or to play for very long. One's lips get numb and sometimes useless --so it goes. :old:

Ah, thanks for the enlightenment....so what I have to look forward to is if I get old enough, I won't be as good a kisser....crap....

ubulele
09-07-2014, 03:38 PM
Forgive the pedantry, but it's "embouchure".

CeeJay
09-08-2014, 12:05 AM
I thoght that those in the .S.A leave the ot of a lot of words that s English do se the letter in. Tricky is it not ?

DownUpDave
09-08-2014, 01:54 AM
I have zero formal music training. I never took up any instrument in school nor any music classes. I was in the school choir in grade school but purposesly failed the 8th grade audition because the guys on my football team said choir was for sissys. I did teach myself to play harmonica in highschool to impress the girls.

Fast forward to about 7 years ago when I fell in love with the idea of playing acoustic guitar, so I bought one and took lessons. I had some success in learning to play but on a limited basis. Guitar was a very solitary endeavor, going down into the basement and practicing for an hour or two a day during the winter months. I would then put the guitar away from April till Decemeber when the nice weather allowed for golfing, fishing camping biking etc. etc. This is not a good recipe for success, but I did enjoy the sound of a stringed instrument which brought me to the ukulele about 6 months ago. Completely different experience, I play all the time and I attend three different regular uke jams. Just what the doctor ordered, I am 56 years old and having maximum fun.

Down Up Dick
09-08-2014, 03:49 AM
Good for you, Brother With A Different Mother, way to keep trying. Mouth Harp can bring a lot of comfort, and it's fun to play with the Uke too. Get yourself a neck harp holder. I tried my son's acoustic guitar, but I was too uncoordinated at the time
and same with my keyboard. When my left hand was chording, my right would chord too--didn't work. My golf wasn't much good either.

Ever play golf in the snow? They use painted balls--crazy, but, in Japan, we shot many a field round (Archery) in pretty deep snow. If one missed the target his arrow was gone 'til summer. Really hurts one's fingers too.

Well, I'm glad you found your instrument, making music is a benefit and a joy. Keep it up! :old:

DownUpDave
09-08-2014, 04:07 AM
Hey bradda Dick, loved your musical story as well. We can go by the name "crank brothers", that was too funny, loved your rebuttal. Winter as a young person in Canada was fun, skiing, outdoor skating and hockey on a pond, snowmobiling, ice fishing. I still ski but winter just seems cold and long now.

One of the Uke Jams I frequent does harp instructional as well and throws in a song or two to play along with. I have not touched a harmonica since high school but think I will buy one and start up again.

I have really enjoyed this thread, reading everyones mini musical biograghy has been interesting.

Down Up Dick
09-08-2014, 04:44 AM
Dave, if you get another harp, I'm sure you'll be able to pick it right up. It's not called a blind man's instrument for nothing. It's all right there in your mouth like whistling. My favorite is the Golden Melody (Golden Mel) except that one can't work on it. I've retuned many a harp to other tunings and had a good time doing it. My harps have all kinds of different tunings, but they started out as regular harps. I was really into harmonicas for a long time. I still play once in a while and was amazed to find that I can play along with my Ukes. Will wonders never cease! :old:

graybones
09-08-2014, 06:03 AM
This is a great thread. I love reading everyone's musical journeys so far!

I started with piano lessons as a kid, didn't get far. Played flute in middle and high school band (6 years) -- I really wanted to play saxophone, but my parents found a cheap second-hand flute and said "Ya get what ya get and ya don't get upset!" I was good enough but never great at it. Tried to learn guitar from late high school all through college. Never really enjoyed it, was just forcing it because I thought it was cool. Finally, found ukulele last year at age 24 and it was a match made in heaven. I inherited a vintage banjo from my aunt and I'll eventually try my hand on that as well.

Even though I didn't stick with piano, flute, or guitar I'm grateful I had exposure to making music as a kid and teenager.

Shastastan
09-08-2014, 09:08 AM
I thoght that those in the .S.A leave the ot of a lot of words that s English do se the letter in. Tricky is it not ?

Now CeeJay, You know full-well about the Americans' difficulty with the English language.

Shastastan
09-08-2014, 09:18 AM
.....
We had a Community Band here that had a Euphonium player (I think) who was over a hundred years old! But that's not me, though I do the best I can. I took up the ukulele so I'd have something to play when my chops finally die. I had the urge all of a sudden to sing too.

My mother is 102 so maybe I'll live a long time too, but I'd hate it to be without music. So do what you can to keep playing and be thankful that you can do it. Some old people can't even walk or see or hear or don't even know where they are. Be grateful. :old:

Besides finally learning chord structures, I also took up the uke for when I have to stop playing trumpet. It's fun in the meantime though.

Yes, I am very grateful that our choir director at church wanted me to start playing the trumpet again. Getting back into music has been a real gift from the Lord for me. It's very enjoyable to play with others and play for our church, retirement homes, schools, and our local veterans' home. Oh yeah and our 110 member symphonic band, too.

Glad to hear that everyone's musical journeys have ended on a happy note(s) with our ukes.

Rllink
09-08-2014, 09:20 AM
I thoght that those in the .S.A leave the ot of a lot of words that s English do se the letter in. Tricky is it not ?No idea what you are trying to say. We had a German exchange student probably ten years ago now. There were actually two going to school here. They picked up all our Iowa inflections, expressions, and slang. They were pretty sharp girls, and I was surprised how much they sounded like Midwesterners when they left. When they got back to Germany, their teacher, who was educated in England, told them their English was terrible. I thought that was kind of mean.

Down Up Dick
09-08-2014, 09:35 AM
It's hard to believe that CeeJay's people gave us our language. I Mastered in it,but I have no idea what he said. :old:

Shastastan
09-08-2014, 02:49 PM
It's hard to believe that CeeJay's people gave us our language. I Mastered in it,but I have no idea what he said. :old:

CeeJay is having a little fun with us. I get the "tongue-in-cheek" and am enjoying the creativity. Thanks, CeeJay. Of course, I've always loved the British dry wit.

Down Up Dick
09-08-2014, 03:50 PM
Either that, Shastastan, or he's having a stroke! :old:

Daktari
09-09-2014, 01:00 AM
It's hard to believe that CeeJay's people gave us our language. I Mastered in it,but I have no idea what he said. :old:

Two nations divided by the same language as they say :D

Shastastan
09-09-2014, 08:54 AM
Two nations divided by the same language as they say :D

I had not heard that before. I've really enjoyed the internet and one of he reasons is that there is so much more contact and exchange between the various folks who have "English" as a common language. It might be just me, but the net seems to have made the world smaller, figuratively speaking.

Larry D.
09-09-2014, 01:46 PM
Almost 62 and as of 4:00 pm today I know everything about music.

Thanks for the laugh!
I hate for people who think they know it all....it make people like you and I who really do know it all look bad. I heard that many years ago and have used it with some that really do think they know it all. That is of course other than young teenagers....who really do know it all...just ask them...lol

Daktari
09-10-2014, 12:55 AM
I had not heard that before. I've really enjoyed the internet and one of he reasons is that there is so much more contact and exchange between the various folks who have "English" as a common language. It might be just me, but the net seems to have made the world smaller, figuratively speaking.

Technology has made the world shrink in many good ways, although I remember the days before such instant communications with much fondness.
Technology allows me to build a relationship with my best friend who lives thousands of miles away. Without technology we'd have been most unlikely to meet in the ether, across the ocean. I'm grateful to be able to say that I shall be flying over to NJ to visit her later this year.
We laugh often about the differences in our language expression.

Shastastan
09-13-2014, 09:07 AM
Technology has made the world shrink in many good ways, although I remember the days before such instant communications with much fondness.
Technology allows me to build a relationship with my best friend who lives thousands of miles away. Without technology we'd have been most unlikely to meet in the ether, across the ocean. I'm grateful to be able to say that I shall be flying over to NJ to visit her later this year.
We laugh often about the differences in our language expression.

The wife of our symphonic band director is from England. She's also a member of the band. One year, we were rehearsing for our annual 4th of July concert and her mother was visiting from England and playing a clarinet part. Our director, who is a big kidder, asked his mother-in-law, how she felt about playing the "Stars and Stripes Forever" march since we had independence from England. Mom (Mum) immediately responded that she was only going to play the "stripes" part. We were all ROFL. This is a true story; I was there.