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Thread: Identity crisis

  1. #26
    birder catmandu2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identity crisis

    Doug, I dearly miss the repertoire. Other instruments and forms are as satisfying, but...

    The Bach, and the flamenco. That, and associated "identity," was hard to give up, for sure. Taking up other instruments, folk forms, etc, necessarily put the kibosh on that. 25-30 years worth. Ugh.

    Banjo, fdl, mndln...as much fun as I had with that, wasn't as difficult to let go of. There's a lot of stuff out there.

  2. #27
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identity crisis

    I certainly don't have a problem with 'letting go' of instruments or even styles of music, though it looks otherwise.

    But as J-45er says, "one needs to make ground" or make progress.

    (You probably remember that I play Irish fiddle and second violin in a community orchestra as well as mandolin/mandola in a klezmer group.) And I love many styles of music I'll never get to play.

    But to get better, I can't dally in a bunch of instruments. I need to work at one. For me, it is the violin/fiddle. And that is a problem right now because of my injury. Before the accident, I was spending a lot of time on mandolin. And many people think my main thing is mandolin. So it is an identity crisis.

    I also have a real interest in arranging music, and I think I bought the guitar so I can analyze some recordings that have the guitar. My justification was that 'you can't get a guitar sound without a guitar.'

    For now, the only thing I can do for any length of time is to study and to 'punch notes' into Finale on the laptop.
    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

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  4. #29
    birder catmandu2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identity crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by catmandu2 View Post

    Banjo, fdl, mndln...wasn't as difficult to let go of...
    I misspoke, upon reflection. It's all hard to let go (for me). The sounds are all good.

    I was reading some Cage this eve, he's saying he has no favorite work (as so doing negates all that is not preferred). I feel like that. I have what I'm doing, but everything I did before is just as valuable/meaningful. Just tools in service of the music.

  5. #30
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identity crisis

    As others have said, follow the music to whatever makes you happy. I switched from bass to guitar 20 plus years ago. The music I became immersed in needed it. A year ago, the need to play mandolin finally stuck. And just in the past couple of weeks, added octave mandolin. Because I hear a need for it in the music I now play.

    Do what you want, and let others deal with it.

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  7. #31

    Default Re: Identity crisis

    Fretfet2,
    If you've just started fiddling, there's a very good chance that this will settle the crisis for you. Because on average, it takes a bit more time to really get a fiddle under one's fingers to the equal point, of say, a guitar or mandolin.

    Like everyone else in this thread I play a bunch of instruments. But otherwise my identity is decided by environment.
    At the jam, they say, play yer fiddle.
    In the band, they say, play yer fiddle.
    I'm content because I don't have to pack around but a small case. (+amp for gigs)

    At home I let the music decide, so a few years ago, at fifty-something, I learnt piano.
    Now, I totally get where the discussion turns to "what's determined as learned?" Because, Bile the Cabbage Down, does not a fiddler make. On the other hand, if I know my, I, ii, iii, IV, V, vi vii, on said instrument, but don't know the fret board per se, I can think of no time in my journey that I needed more. So learning new instrument X, I have a well formed goal from passed experience.

  8. #32
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identity crisis

    I suppose I'm also letting the musical situation determine my work.

    It is odd however that the situation calls for no instruments as I am recouperating from a severe accident. (7 months now, I'm doing great

    This situation has given me time to reflect on my musical past. I want to have an integrated plan rather than a practical reaction to what is needed in 'the band' or group situation.

    Would you agree that 'becoming a better musician, meaning that knowing some music theory on all of the instruments, is a good idea? I'm afraid that I'll get right back to reacting to 'the band' or group situation.
    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

  9. #33
    birder catmandu2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identity crisis

    *oops, I see now you were responding to the post above. Never mind
    Last edited by catmandu2; Mar-13-2018 at 2:30pm.

  10. #34
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identity crisis

    I don't know if I could learn the fiddle, seems so tough to get a musical sound from one just picking it up cold and giving it a try; I've done that a few times in life, but nothing serious. Lately I've just been really mesmerized with the sound of fiddle played by good fiddlers. There's nothing like it, it's such an expressive instrument.

    My own musical journey began with singing at age 4 or 5, then cornet and drums in marching band, then guitar beginning at about age 11 or 12. I've spent a lifetime doing guitar and vocals in several 'genre', and was content studying and playing more guitar techniques and styles until I made the foolish mistake of buying a cool looking old bowlback mandolin off ebay a few years ago. I had given up the idea of being a multi-instrumentalist 40-some-odd years ago, sold everything (banjo, hawaiian guitar, uke, fiddle) except for one guitar and a half-dozen harmonicas right about the time I married for the first time.

    I got bitten by the mandolin bug once I tried one, and have suffered a severe case of mandolinitis for the past couple years. I see my guitars daily, and feel them calling from time to time, but I've practically dropped my guitar studies and certainly my guitar skills have atrophied, as I've spent a little more than two years now focusing on the mandolin.

    There's no practical reason for this. I only perform in public occasionally right now, so there's no explanation I know for why I focus so much on mandolin other than I love it.

    I like the idea that I can get up to speed on either the guitar or mandolin when circumstances do call for it. I'm working on starting a new band now, and have a female vocalist/guitarist/mandolinist - it's handy that we can switch off guitar and mandolin as need be - and a bass player/vocalist who is dabbling in guitar as well. We need a banjo and a fiddle at this point.

    Though I've been able to tinker with piano, and consider myself a pretty handy rhythm guitarist, I find myself in my 60's becoming a decent multi-instrumentalist for the first time strictly due to my love for the mandolin. Maybe some day I'll be ready to concentrate on guitar studies once more.

    In the end, what's most important to me is enjoying the music for as long as I'm able.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
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  11. #35
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    Default Re: Identity crisis

    Personally, I just go with the flow. I do whatís in front of me. I used to confuse an effort to be efficient with control. At one point like
    a lot of people, I kept track of the weekís 168 hours in an effort see what I was doing and how could I improve things. Not much fun

    Now,many years later, there are things I learn for different gigs or jams and whatís great is thereís more time for me and my things
    I know I love to play and i enjoy interacting with people

    As far as constant dissatisfaction, that stuff can kill you, somebody suggested the book effortless mastery by Kenny Werner Some people like it some donít. Personally it got me playing again after so much dissatisfaction just made me sick of playing.

    A Bill Evans quote became my motto ď if itís worth doing, itís worth doing badlyíí. Iím having a lot fun these days
    Thanks for being there. Iím new to this site and Iíve enjoyed a lot of what iíve read.

  12. #36
    birder catmandu2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identity crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by Mtl SeŠn View Post
    Personally, I just go with the flow. I do what’s in front of me. ...
    Ya I'm from the david lindley school. I went from page to scruggs after phys graffiti

    There are aspects in a topic as this that are far-reaching (cultrual, etc). I often mention that piece of Caiohmin O'raghallaigh in the regional styles video - "impossible to remain in one tradition, these days..." (prphr)

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