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Thread: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

  1. #51
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Somehow I forgot this. Rock conch? Why not? I did get satisfaction, winning the adult male competition. I also played "Smoke On The Water." Note strategic use of Mandolin Café cap.

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  3. #52

    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    I also play occasionally above the bridge, on the short length of strings between the bridge and tailpiece. They can't be fretted but they make a very high-pitched sound when strummed harp like or just plucked, generally as an exclamation or coda at the end of a piece. You can also gently flick the short length of strings between the nut and the pegs. It's particularly effective with the E string. You just give it a quick flick with your left index fingernail. It's sort of like a "ding!" Again, it creates a slightly comical period to a piece.

  4. #53

    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skunkwood View Post
    The nerdiest, and perhaps weirdest thing I ever did musically was to program a mainframe computer (HP 9000 F*(?) ~1974 time shared with 16 different high schools) using machine language to play the melody to a Bicycle Built For Two (a la Hal 9000 from 2001 Space Odyssey). This was in high school, as a demo for Parent Teacher night, using paper tape as the programs storage medium. CRTs were just starting to become a user interface to the time shared mainframe, the system hard disk was a bout 16 inches wide, we didn't even have a card reader , yet. Bits were converted to tones on circuit board driving a speaker made in the electronics class by some other nerds.
    Cool! Kind of a Bell Labs homage. (That song was used in 2001 because it was programmed into a computer at Bell Labs earlier.) I once had the honor of meeting Max Mathews, who was one of the people that worked on that. Seems like he probably always got requests to play that, and he had it ready (on his laptop, not a mainframe). He was a really friendly guy.
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  5. #54
    Registered User Polecat's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Enjoying this thread immensely, thanks to all contributors.

    I once got thrown out of the lobby of a bank where I was providing the music for an art exhibition opening, with a fiddler, for playing the Soviet National Anthem on an electric mandolin (yes, I was doing the Hendrix thang...)

    I thought long and hard about whether to share this, as I would like other cafe members to still take me seriously, which seems unlikely:

    http://picosong.com/mLbw/

    Recorded circa 1998 on one of those 4-track cassette recorders, two tracks for voice, and two for electric mandolin junked up using an ART Multiverb rack effect unit and a few distortion stomp boxes, plus a home-made valve amp.
    Believe it or not, I actually wrote this piece, or at least sketched out what I was trying to accomplish - I was listening to a lot of John Zorn and Japanese noise-core bands at the time (I'm feeling much better now). Fortunately, I never found anyone else who shared my enthusiasm, so all that remains of this phase in my musical development (?) are a few hours of appalling racket on cassette tape.
    BTW, anybody who manages to listen to the whole 6 minutes of this trash has both my profoundest respect and deepest sympathy.
    Last edited by Polecat; Jul-17-2015 at 10:35am.
    "Give me a mandolin and I'll play you rock 'n' roll" (Keith Moon)

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  7. #55
    Registered User sgrexa's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    No idea why I spent hours trying to arrange this on mando? I guess I learned a few things in the process, but the problem is I have since forgotten almost all of them now.



    Sean

  8. #56

    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Probably heard it before:
    I used to be side-man for this couple. They were nice and very supportive of me.
    They used to get a few gigs. They never brought a PA system. A couple times we'd show up and start playing only to have the PA, mikes, & stands taken out from under our very noses. It teaches one grace. But the hardest thing is to see the looks on an audiences faces, as they were just getting into us. Disappointment of the highest order. One incident, we really had the crowd & were really engaging them. The previous group started taking down the mikes & stands. One of the fellows started striking up a conversation with me. Totally unrelated to what was happening. I tried to be as nice as possible to let him know I was a little busy. You see, I didn't know or understand the system belonged to them. I can't remember if we even got to finish the song. Weird & Educational all at the same time.

  9. #57
    Registered User bradlaird's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    The weirdest thing? That is tough for me to decide. There was the "playing the Sears ratchet wrench on a rap version of The Ballad of Jed Clampett"... Oh, so many to choose from. For a limited time only I have posted a few of my strangest musical moments here:

    http://www.bradleylaird.com/blog-art...nge-ideas.html

    Enjoy them while they last. My better sense is telling me to delete that page now.
    Last edited by bradlaird; Jul-17-2015 at 2:59pm. Reason: typo

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  11. #58
    Registered User bradlaird's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Quote Originally Posted by bratsche View Post
    I was once hired, along with a bunch of other musicians, not to play, but to mime playing along with a soundtrack.
    I've been there. A couple of times. The WORST was sitting on the iron cowcatcher of The General (a real locomotive... look 'er up.) for nearly 3 hours wearing some ridiculous checkered shirts, "train hats" and a red bandana while "the star" screwed up her lines about 89 thousand times. I don't blame her though. The director had her playing the fiddle, narrating, and crossing a real gravel railroad track in heels. Not many could pull that off without looking down. I was in such a hurry to leave there that I literally ran out of the place, ripping off that bandana and hat, jumped in my 79 Dodge Colt and floorboarded it. Exactly 1 mile down the road I was pulled over for speeding by the Kennesaw PD. My hurry cost me $75.

  12. #59
    Registered User grassrootphilosopher's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Since I am a bluegrass picker:
    - failing in a turkish jam session
    - playing funk in a nebraska bus station
    - playing a st. patrick´s day gig (irish music [me] trying not to sound irish)
    - playing along with my father singing (he sang wonderfully [a beautiful soul too] except his rythm revealed is WWII participation)
    - siging the Tennessee Stud on the bus because my daughter ordered me to (she sang along of course)
    - continuously (at present) trying to find comon ground with a german classical trained (very good too) musician concerning various musical styles (he got bit by the bluegrass bug, thank god; it took me long enough; on the other hand I am willing to play baroque music bluegrass style...)
    - (many more)
    Olaf

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  14. #60
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Quote Originally Posted by bradlaird View Post
    ... I was pulled over for speeding by the Kennesaw PD. My hurry cost me $75.
    Did you explain the unusual circumstances? Seems to me he might have let you slide out of sympathy for your suffering.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  16. #61
    Mandolin Dreams Unlimited MysTiK PiKn's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    once upon a time, I "wrote" an Irish song, or perhaps better described as a Gaelic song. I wrote the chords on paper. And I sang the words, in Gaelic. It was difficult to write the words because I don't speak Gaelic, let alone write it. I don't read Gaelic either, so putting words on paper made no sense. But I rehearsed this song for a week or two, and then abandoned it. The singing was difficult to memorize for the above reasons. However, I was somewhat successful in singing and playing it although it was different every time. I realized eventually the whole thing was too embarrassing. I later discovered a similar song called 'several species of small furry animals living in a cave and grooving with a pict'. but my song was definitely gaelic and not pictish, if there's such a thing, and there might be. But it lacked a clear theme, and clear words, and clear meaning. I think it was expressionist music. It had emotional appeal; and people likely never would have realized that the whole thing was a gutteral noise fake of an ancient gaelic chune. I still recall one line that I memorized - but, for the above reasons, I can't tell you what they were. Another fear was that I might have become a gaelic rockstar, with people crying for more more more - and, for the above reasons, that would not have worked, since I only had one set of chords. I could attempt to revisit this - but I will wait for a further immersion in another more appropriate thread called my entire gaelic reportoire revealed at last. It was actually quite good; but I don't speak gaelic. I have heard it spoken - two old men on a bus on the isle of skye, scotland; while the bus stopped for sheep crossing the road, the entire herd. I think the herdsman knew the bus driver. the sound is all i know. if you ever see the album, it's me, at last revealed. be sure to buy it, you will love it. really it's an english translation of something unknown, but it exists as a memorable experience, and for now, remains as it was, until further notice. you'll know when you hear it. stay tuned.
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    "The intellect is a boring load of crawp. Aye. Next wee chune".

  17. #62
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Quote Originally Posted by MysTiK PiKn View Post
    ...a similar song called 'several species of small furry animals living in a cave and grooving with a pict'. but my song was definitely gaelic and not pictish, if there's such a thing, and there might be.
    The words on that song (Pink Floyd) are in a somewhat exaggerated Lowland Scots (I doubt the Picts spoke that). And yes, it is not Gaelic. And I wouldn't exactly call it a song...


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  19. #63

    Smile Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    I love all the experimentation and cool ideas that people have done, great stuff!

    Found this yesterday while looking for something else, looks like resonator mandolin, resonator guitar, banjo, and a hydro-powered hydraulic ram water pump serving as the percussion section:


    Hydraulic ram water pumps require no electricity nor fossil fuels. When I was a kid the nearest neighbor had that type of system that she'd used for many decades. My dad tried one briefly but it kept needing parts or something (vague recollections of problems with leather seals) and he didn't have time to keep messing with it so we strung electric wire all the way down to the creek, the wire running right alongside the black plastic pipes (ugh), put the electric pump in place, good to go. This was for irrigation of a small field to keep down the fire danger during summer. Ironically, the old 65-foot dug well couldn't handle the increased load of irrigation at that time of year (must not have been much of an aquifer), but the creek had good flow year-round.

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  21. #64
    Mandolin Dreams Unlimited MysTiK PiKn's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post
    The words on that song (Pink Floyd) are in a somewhat exaggerated Lowland Scots (I doubt the Picts spoke that). And yes, it is not Gaelic. And I wouldn't exactly call it a song...

    ummagumma = imho, best they ever did. but they did a lot of great stuff. possibly the best was that they could do it live, even tho they used some recorded fills, soundFX, etc. /darksidemoon, etc.

    I saw a great documentary recently, w much detail detail and detail. Before it was called Scotland, many cultures w their own language - picts, norsemen vikings, and gaels, etc. The Gaelic princes (brothers) exiled for protection, raised by grandparents I think, to north of Ireland - they returned - much war. Somewhere the evolution of the word Scotland appeared, and the Gaelic dominated all, and became the popular language. Too many details to remember it all. Before the Gaelic dominance, there were about a half dozen little countries, with their own language and customs. There were wars through all this period; but the Gaelic princes returned and stabilized everything, which eventually led to modern day Scotland - and yet, it's in their history, the Scots still seem to want to be a separate country - recent referendum almost made it, and they may try again, or so I recall from a brief news item a few months ago. My background is Irish; but I always felt an affinity to Scotland. I also have an affinity for Single Malt Scotch Whisky. If it isn't Scotch, it isn't whisky. And when they simply say "whisky", they mean Scotch - people really need to learn that - rye??? what's THAT crawp???? Aye, get it rrwrwr-rightt lawdeee. Personally, I love Scotch; and rye is like sody pop. And then there's Irish, which is another animal entirely. I'll stick to a goood Scotch, aye.
    But it was fun to watch Floyd crash an airplane onstage live. Watch That Axe, Eugene. I remain disappointed that Floyd broke up. I was lucky to see them twice. Roughly '73. Buffalo, NY and Hamilton, ON. They remain unique.

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    "The intellect is a boring load of crawp. Aye. Next wee chune".

  22. #65
    Registered User zedmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    I tried playing a guitar by hooking a pen over the low E string and bouncing it off the strings while I played chords--it sounded awful.
    Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?

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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    I sang the part of The Great King Rat in a little theatre production of The Pied Piper. "The king of all the rats am I, a rodent proud and free..."

    I've recorded a cello part and a bodhran part in two different recording sessions and I don't actually play either instrument.

    Converted a Telecaster Thinline to fretless.

    Played at a biker club with a Neil Young tribute band. Awesome gig, and I'm a very long way from the biker lifestyle.

    Subbed for a pipe organist's page turner.

    Overdubbed a single bowed low C on a de-tuned double bass on some recording or another.

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  27. #68

    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Played uke to accompany our mayor singing Tie A Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Old Oak Tree at the YMCA

  28. #69
    Registered User Toni Schula's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Playing Duelling Banjos with three melody instruments is quite weird. Every phrase is repeated once as usual, but as there are three musicians this stating the phrase and repeating it goes round and round in circles. You really need to concentrate, not to miss your part!

  29. #70
    Registered User Kevin Stueve's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Quote Originally Posted by MysTiK PiKn View Post
    ummagumma = imho, best they ever did. but they did a lot of great stuff. possibly the best was that they could do it live, even tho they used some recorded fills, soundFX, etc. /darksidemoon, etc.

    I saw a great documentary recently, w much detail detail and detail. Before it was called Scotland, many cultures w their own language - picts, norsemen vikings, and gaels, etc. The Gaelic princes (brothers) exiled for protection, raised by grandparents I think, to north of Ireland - they returned - much war. Somewhere the evolution of the word Scotland appeared, and the Gaelic dominated all, and became the popular language. Too many details to remember it all. Before the Gaelic dominance, there were about a half dozen little countries, with their own language and customs. There were wars through all this period; but the Gaelic princes returned and stabilized everything, which eventually led to modern day Scotland - and yet, it's in their history, the Scots still seem to want to be a separate country - recent referendum almost made it, and they may try again, or so I recall from a brief news item a few months ago. My background is Irish; but I always felt an affinity to Scotland. I also have an affinity for Single Malt Scotch Whisky. If it isn't Scotch, it isn't whisky. And when they simply say "whisky", they mean Scotch - people really need to learn that - rye??? what's THAT crawp???? Aye, get it rrwrwr-rightt lawdeee. Personally, I love Scotch; and rye is like sody pop. And then there's Irish, which is another animal entirely. I'll stick to a goood Scotch, aye.
    But it was fun to watch Floyd crash an airplane onstage live. Watch That Axe, Eugene. I remain disappointed that Floyd broke up. I was lucky to see them twice. Roughly '73. Buffalo, NY and Hamilton, ON. They remain unique.
    Uh I think you misspelled Bourbon there.

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  31. #71
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    My band was hired to play on a yacht going up the Potomac river and on that day it started to rain and the river got pretty rough and the boat rocked back and forth and we had a hard time keeping our balance and I ended up playing in front of different mics at various times...

    Another thing I tried once was to install unwound strings on the D and G courses on a mandolin along with the normal wound strings, much like a 12 string guitar would have....I didn`t care for the sound so I gave up on that idea, I`m sure others have tried it and maybe liked what they heard...

  32. #72
    Registered User Colin Lindsay's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Quote Originally Posted by MysTiK PiKn View Post
    There were wars through all this period; but the Gaelic princes returned and stabilized everything
    Love that phrase… no doubt the smaller tribes and kingdoms were glad of the ‘stability’…

    Anyway I’m a hybrid - Ulster-Scots, which means my ancestors came from the Anglo-Saxon area of Lindesey, moved up through England (Lincolnshire) into Scotland and then across to Northern Ireland around 1700 - 1800 and have remained ever since. Notwithstanding those who claim there is no such thing as Ulster-Scots culture, the music involves bagpipes and other local instruments such as the huge Lambeg Drum, which has dozens if not hundreds of localised rhythms depending on where the player comes from, interspersed with more-wodely known Irish and Scots tunes. The best of both worlds, probably.
    Incidentally if I drink enough whisky I can speak fluent Ulster-Scots, an example of which I’ve added below (taken from some local government website or other):

    We’d be ableeged gin ye’d gie us aa tha wittins ye can anent tha ootfa ye’r makkin pleen o, takkin in thďngs tha like o:
    tha day, oor, date an richt bďt whar thar wus tha ootfa
    whut the’ caa tha offyser or yin frae tha darg-ban yokkt intil’t, an thair shoodčr nummer an tha leuk o thaim
    whut the’ caa onie yins remairkin whut cum aboot, an thair bakkin an langbl’r nummer
    tha registratin nummers o onie motors ’at wus yokkt intil tha ootfa
    onie ither helplie or effeirin pruif, tha like o leknesses or soon or video recoardins
    Dinnae fash yersel gin ye’ll can gie nae mair nor a feck o this wittins. We’r fur ettlin at fynnin whutiver wittins we reck tae be effeirin til yer pleen.
    Ye maun mak yer pleen athin a towmond o tha ootfa ye’r taen wi.

    Total gibberish, but when drunk it all makes perfect sense. So: the weirdest thing I’ve ever done musically, apart from phonetically singing a Greek song in Greece before a Greek audience, has to be either playing along with a pipe band on my hurdy-gurdy (great drones for pipe band tunes) or else playing jigs and reels accompanied by Lambeg Drum players at an Ulster-Scots concert, and trying to work out if those speaking the language actually liked it or not.
    For some info on Lambeg drums and their rhythms see the video below.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51MClt_FW0s
    "Danger! Do Not Touch!" must be one of the scariest things to read in Braille....

  33. #73
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Quote Originally Posted by kstueve View Post
    Uh I think you misspelled Bourbon there.
    Really? That's all you found bewildering in all of that? Oh, wait, you meant - ummm ... never mind ...
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  35. #74
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Quote Originally Posted by kstueve View Post
    Uh I think you misspelled Bourbon there.
    ...indeed he did. No idea why he spelled it rye.

  36. #75

    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie Poole View Post
    Another thing I tried once was to install unwound strings on the D and G courses on a mandolin along with the normal wound strings, much like a 12 string guitar would have....I didn't care for the sound so I gave up on that idea, I`m sure others have tried it and maybe liked what they heard...
    I didn't mind that sound on actual 12-string guitar, but it wasn't really one of my favorite sounds either, never tried it on mandolin though. When I was about 15-16 I had a 12-string guitar that I'd retuned in fifths, for playing fiddle tunes. I vaguelly recall I didn't like the flatpick behavior, the pick didn't glide as smoothly as on mandolin, probably because (1) some of the strings were really slack (loose) after I retuned them, and (2) in each pair of strings, the wound string sat up a little bit higher than the plain string, it was hard to do fast fiddle-tunes and have them sound halfway acceptable. But that guitar was really hard to play even in standard tuning, the action was very high (old warped neck, no truss rod), one of those trapeze-tailpiece flat-top cheap plywood guitars where there isn't much string pressure on the bridge to start with (even without the high action) so it was, um, tonally-challenged even under the best of circumstances. It was an interesting experiment though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie Poole View Post
    playing along with a pipe band on my hurdy-gurdy (great drones for pipe band tunes)
    Cool! I'll bet that sounded really nice. I like drone sounds, they're mesmerizing (in a good way) and relaxing.

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