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

  1. #1

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

    I once put a mandolin under my chin and then used my fiddle bow to bow the mandolin. LOVED the sound, at that time the sound reminded me a little of Scandinavian nyckelharpa, kind of open and haunting sounding.

    If you're not familiar with nyckelharpa, here's one from someone else's YouTube page:



    But my bowed mandolin it was just a spur-of-the-moment thing and I didn't pursue it, would have required making a round-top bridge (like on fiddle) to play single notes on 2nd/3rd strings, otherwise they're all double-stops with adjacent strings. I think I was about 15 or 16 years old at the time.

    Caution: If you have a prized Lloyd Loar or something, you might not want to attempt that because the rosin from the fiddle bow might not be good for your instrument's finish, I don't know, it doesn't seem to hurt violins though as long as it isn't allowed to build up. Back then I was playing a very bad-quality old plywood-top mandolin so there wasn't much risk involved.

  2. #2

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

    I'm gonna have to think on this one and get back to you.
    In the mean time, welcome to the forum.
    Oh and congrats on a (the?) most unusual debut post!

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

    The weirdest thing? Besides using the sweet gentle mandolin to play searing psychedelic blues-rock?



    (Actually, that can't count, because that's normal to me, AFAIC. ) Maybe it's playing leads behind my head. There are a couple of songs I do that on, regularly. It has to be a simple melody, one I can nail every time without fail, because it's all too easy to look like a fool when out on a limb like that.

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    Maybe the weirdest thing of all is me picking up the mandolin in the first place. I've got some nerve. What was I thinking?!?!?
    Last edited by journeybear; Jul-14-2015 at 7:19pm.
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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    This could get interesting.......
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Market Man Barry Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    I traded for this instrument. I need to replace a couple strings but my goal is to learn wanted dead or alive on it since it is D major tuned
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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Mighty fancy cheese slicer you've got there Barry.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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

    It's a mandoline.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    I don't know about weird, but a different experience. More than a handful of musical friends have passed on in the last several years, and we all play at the funeral. Standing there crying my eyes out while trying to play the Rochester Shottish because it was his favorite tune, well its a little strange anyway.
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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Jeff, whose favorite tune was Rochester Schottische? And did you play the three parts in three different keys?

    On the topic: weirdest gig I ever had was playing for a guinea pig race. But I played "normal" music in a conventional fashion.
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Played "Old Daingerfield" live on stage with a Djembi player from Ghana providing the backup.

    What Bill would have thought, I can only begin to imagine.
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    I can't read this thread title without thinking "this one time at band camp . . . "

    Anywho, I've made some musical pieces with recordings of drinking water and lightbulbs and many other things. Guess that's pretty weird to some people. Made a piece with a mandolin hit by in-ear headphones (those ones with the rubbery outside) - that actually sounded pretty good but was very quiet.

    As for live performance, I once played a 1-hour harmonica piece. I was outside. The other harmonica performer was inside a building. But it was freezing and windy (unexpected for Santa Barbara, CA) so all the audience members were inside. It was so cold that the harmonica stopped playing well but I kept playing anyway . . . actually, that was more miserable than weird.
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    I'm thinking the question relates more to a single act than an entire gig. I mention that just to keep this thread distinct from the several weird gig threads that have come along now and then. I don't recall this question being asked before, and I find that intriguing. And deserving of its unique identity.

    That doesn't mean there aren't some great stories to be found in those threads. Allen's story is there (possibly the best), my pig races story is too, and plenty others. Have a look and a laugh!
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  18. #13

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

    I can also play the Star Spangled Banner on the mando (and on the electric bass too), though I also learned Di*ie this past week. I've also bowed various instruments, with mixed results. I also commonly use a slide on the mandolin and it sounds great.

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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Wrote a "Sonata for Prepared Mandolin" in composition class. Preparation involved sticking a pencil eraser between a couple of strings and a tie tack between a couple more; techniques involved plucking both below the bridge and above the nut, and sliding the pick up and down the fretboard along one of the string pairs, and goodness knows what else.

    On viola, I was part of the orchestra for a student opera at Cal Arts called "The Medicine of the Spiral." There were some notated quarter tones and whatnot, maybe some other Penderecki-style notation.
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Tilting my house 30 degrees eastward for a SAW group video, 5 years ago:

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  22. #16

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

    Playing lap steel a long time back, I would switch between open D and open G tunings depending on the song that our group was playing. At one practice session I got lost between the two alternate tunings and noticed that suddenly everything i played sounded Hawaiian. I guess I must have stumbled on C6 or E6 tuning. We started using it to perform I'm a Lone Cowhand.

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  24. #17

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

    So many intriguing replies! I also love the idea of Petrus' slide mandolin, I bet it sounds fantastic, and objectsession's musical lightbulbs are a neat idea too.

    Oh! you guys have reminded me of something, a link sent to us last year by a car club, at first I thought the following video was actual auto-shop people (which would have been totally awesome) but even as done by professional performers it's kind of entertaining (that is, assuming it's real and not dubbed/synced, still not entirely sure), anyway it's Carmen opera-something supposedly played on ordinary materials repurposed into serving as musical instruments:


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

    Start playing banjo !,
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Quote Originally Posted by Petrus View Post
    I also commonly use a slide on the mandolin and it sounds great.
    I do too, a little. In the band I play slide on one song only, "Dead Flowers" by The Rolling Stones. It makes it more country, and varies the sound a bit. I look forward to it when it comes up. But I don't think it's weird. Then again, I'm weird ...

    I love music being played on found objects - or as you said, repurposed. I'm impressed they found a way to sneak the composer's name in, sort of. The box with nails in it played with a bow - it's from a company called "Buzet," which is almost Bizet. I suppose "Habanera" from "Carmen" being played by car men is another pun ...
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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

    When I was in college, every year at the music majors' end-of-the-year banquet, there would be an hour or so of odd musical performances. One very straight-laced old professor would stick a metal funnel into the end of a coiled length of garden hose. He'd put a mouthpiece into the other end, vigorously twirl the last 3 feet of the hose and play "When the Roll is Called Up Yonder." I recall four young ladies gargling a tune in 4-part harmony, complete with well-timed spits and swallows. Two theory profs played a six-part jazz harmony version of "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" by simultaneously playing two flute-o-phones each and humming through their noses. My part came in a group of 40 or so hopelessly horrible beginning string techniques students playing a musak arrangement of "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" on our violins. I still wake up in a cold sweat sometimes with that ringing in my ears.
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Deciding, at age 51, that my first musical instrument would be a mandolin.
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    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Quote Originally Posted by JL277z View Post
    So many intriguing replies! I also love the idea of Petrus' slide mandolin, I bet it sounds fantastic, and objectsession's musical lightbulbs are a neat idea too.

    Oh! you guys have reminded me of something, a link sent to us last year by a car club, at first I thought the following video was actual auto-shop people (which would have been totally awesome) but even as done by professional performers it's kind of entertaining (that is, assuming it's real and not dubbed/synced, still not entirely sure), anyway it's Carmen opera-something supposedly played on ordinary materials repurposed into serving as musical instruments:


    This reminds me of the movie Sound of Noise about a band of rogue percussionists. A pretty entertaining romp that relates to this thread.

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

    When I was a graduate student at Minnesota (circa 1975), a buddy who worked on a big mainframe computer asked me if I knew any computation-intensive calculations he could use to test out some new system software. I asked him to generate a couple thousand digits of pi (= 3.14159 etc.), but to do it all in base 12 arithmetic, so that it could be played as a 12-tone piece of music. It was pretty random (duh), and no secrets of the universe were revealed. I ran across a short sound file out there somewhere recently - someone else's, not mine - if you're curious enough to surf for it.

    Jerry M.

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    And I think Jerry may win the cookie! That's pretty weird.
    My band used to do a full band behind the head thing, we did it once on the orchestra riser at a theater while some girls were doing double Dutch jump rope; they were behind us as the riser went down. The crowd thought it was hilarious! So did the rope jumpers!
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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Ha! I wrote a composition based on pi in high school, but it was diatonic ... I didn't think of doing it as a 12-tone piece.
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