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Thread: To the multi instrumentalists: which instrument is your no. 1 ?

  1. #51
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: To the multi instrumentalists: which instrument is your no. 1

    My order of succession has been:

    1 Banjo (1970)
    2 Flute and Piccolo (1974)
    3 Mandolin (1975)
    4 Fiddle (1985)
    5 Dobro (2000)
    6 Double Bass (2018)

    I played violin, recorder, harmonica and jug band instruments in the 1960s as a youngster before getting serious with music on the banjo.

    Banjo is now my primary instrument and is the instrument most people associate with me. I've been very active with the double bass lately though, and I get calls often to perform with it; I play double bass seriously for pizz, slap and arco, and I consider it a very close second to the banjo in importance to my musical performing -- I enjoy playing it a lot.

    I no longer play or have a flute, piccolo or fiddle.

    I stopped playing mandolin for about 20 years but kept the instrument and came back to it in 2012 with a couple of nice new mandolins, it is now my go-to instrument around the house, mostly for relaxation but also for a little jamming and performance.

    I play Dobro most rarely lately but still enjoy the instrument a lot.
    Last edited by dhergert; Nov-06-2019 at 10:35am.
    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug
    (plus a large assortment of banjos, dobros, guitars, basses and other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [7/29/2019 -- New Arrival!!!]

  2. #52
    Registered User Teddy_2's Avatar
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    Default Re: To the multi instrumentalists: which instrument is your no. 1

    Hi everyone! I did not get any notifications so iím surprised with all the responses! Thanks for all your warm welcomes and cool (and funny) answers! So as I mentioned, for me mandolin is now number 1, I still love to play the bass but with a fulltime job and sports and hobbies a second instrument is just not really doable. As a female player I want to do a special shoutout to Sierra Hull (she has been a big inspiration the last years)! Looking forward to read discuss and hang out here :D

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  4. #53
    Registered User Teddy_2's Avatar
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    Default Re: To the multi instrumentalists: which instrument is your no. 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Homer Savard View Post
    1. Banjo
    2. Mandolin
    3. Guitar
    4. Porsche
    All the instruments can go IN the Porsche :P

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  6. #54

    Default Re: To the multi instrumentalists: which instrument is your no. 1

    Quote Originally Posted by dhergert View Post


    6 Double Bass (2018)
    I think I ruined myself more on DB as anything -teaching myself Ron Carter style on an old Kay basically using Segovia scales studies books. I had to lay off for 5 years to let my hand heal. I gave it up for good a few years ago for the little fiddles - due to worn CMC joints. Though I blame too much windsurfing.. DB still my favorite instrument of all time.

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  8. #55
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: To the multi instrumentalists: which instrument is your no. 1

    Quote Originally Posted by catmandu2 View Post
    I think I ruined myself more on DB as anything -teaching myself Ron Carter style on an old Kay basically using Segovia scales studies books. I had to lay off for 5 years to let my hand heal. I gave it up for good a few years ago for the little fiddles - due to worn CMC joints. Though I blame too much windsurfing.. DB still my favorite instrument of all time.
    Yea, a lot of people online talk about getting hand and shoulder injuries playing double bass and I'm very careful about this. Because I play other instruments and don't want to compromise my hands for those instruments, my priority philosophy about Double Bass setup is hands, posture, feel, tone, and volume, in that order.

    As such I'm using the lowest tension synthetic strings that I can find that still sound clear and natural on my (~1930 Alcoa aluminum) double bass, and the rest of my setup (including sound post adjustments) works around those strings.

    Anyway, with this setup typically I can literally play for hours per day without hand injuries, including blisters. For example, a few months ago we did a 7-day bluegrass cruise where I was playing double bass for 4 and 6 hours a day, having a great time, with no problems.

    And, I don't beat myself up trying to play loud -- I always carry an amp and I'll very freely threaten to use it if other instrument players don't control their volume; not that my bass is quiet, but all double basses have acoustic limitations.
    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug
    (plus a large assortment of banjos, dobros, guitars, basses and other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [7/29/2019 -- New Arrival!!!]

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  10. #56

    Default Re: To the multi instrumentalists: which instrument is your no. 1

    I started on guitar. Had three different teachers over the years with the last one being a jazz man who had played with the big bands. I studied with him for almost ten years. Through him I started playing bass and then got interested in mandolin. I have played all three in band situations, and am currently playing bass at church 2 or 3 times a month and mandolin in a band 6 to 8 times a month. My last 3 bands, other than church, have been on mandolin. I also dabble a bit on tenor banjo and dobro.

    One_Dude

  11. #57
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    Default Re: To the multi instrumentalists: which instrument is your no. 1

    Hmmm, in chronological order, Iíve played guitar, mandolin, ukulele, dobro and concertina. I still play all but dobro (Hand issues prevent me playing it). I donít think I really have a number one, or I could say my number one varies among them. I donít gig on anything, but attend jams/sessions on all. Anyone else in the same situation?
    Thanks

  12. #58
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    Default Re: To the multi instrumentalists: which instrument is your no. 1

    Never played any instruments, ever. Took up the mandolin at 57 years old. Loving it.

  13. #59

    Default Re: To the multi instrumentalists: which instrument is your no. 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy_2 View Post
    which instrument is your no. 1 ?
    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Ohrt View Post
    ... fifth-tuned instruments ...
    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    ... things tuned like a mandolin ...
    Quote Originally Posted by atsunrise View Post
    ... tuned in fifths ...
    Quote Originally Posted by CWRoyds View Post
    ... I just love fifths tuning, ...
    Yep! I agree completely. Anything tuned in fifths, and (for me) preferably an octave lower than mandolin, for a more mellow sound. GDAE, or GDAEB, or even CGDAEB.

    And I finally "went electric" a few years ago - never thought that would happen! It turns out to be a lot more satisfying sound for a lot less money, and a lot more variety of sounds, from just *one* instrument. There's no longer any need to keep a whole houseful of dozens of cluttery space-wasting acoustic instruments anymore like I used to have decades ago.

    I discovered that even a cheap two-bit electric guitar (when combined with an acceptable amplifier so you can get good sound), can be easily repurposed for full-fifths tuning (CGDAEB) without having to go rob a bank just to be able to tolerate the sound of the thing. The last few years I've had a lowly Squier which, surprisingly, is actually pretty well built and plays quite easily, even though there's only 2-out-of-5 of the switch positions that don't have hum (I don't need to use the other 3 positions anyway, so it's no biggie). Of course, I have it tuned in fifths.

    That CGDAEB- or GDAEB-tuned instrument (depending on what mood I'm in, I often disable the low/bass C string to stop it from ringing too much) is currently paired with a small affordable Roland Cube amp which has different built-in 'modeling' sounds to choose from. The amp is really the most important contributor to electric instrument sound anyway, so with that Roland amp if you get bored with the nice sweet 'acoustic' modeled sound (that's what I usually use) you can easily switch to some raucous distortion just for fun for a few minutes! Oh, and especially for that latter type of sound, the headphones-only 'silent' practice option works great, no worries about other people in the house complaining about your choice of music! On such a solid-body instrument, when using headphones, all anyone else hears is a tiny unamplified plink-plink sound which is far less likely to offend... they'll have no idea you had the amp knob set to heavy-metal distortion or whatever! Lol! Great for practice! I don't use distortion all that often anyway, but it's fun once in a while and nice to have the option. The rest of the time, I find the Roland 'acoustic' sim sound to be sufficiently pleasing, so you get the convenience and affordability of electric, with the mellow sound of acoustic.

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    Default Re: To the multi instrumentalists: which instrument is your no. 1

    Started on piano first as a child, and it's still my main instrument, but not very portable (LOL!) I took up guitar second in my teens (in the 1960s, didn't we all play guitar in the 1960s?,) and then soprano and alto recorder. Then added mandolin (4 years ago,) violin (poorly) and oboe (also poorly.) I would now consider mandolin my second-most capable instrument, then guitar and recorder tied for 3rd. I enjoy them all, but just am more proficient at some than others.

  16. #61
    Jerry Cobbs jerrycobbs's Avatar
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    Default Re: To the multi instrumentalists: which instrument is your no. 1

    Started on bass and piano so young I don't remember exactly when. I took guitar lessons for a year or so as a teenager, but would never admit to playing anything but bass and keys until recently. When I met my wife we began writing together and experimenting with other instruments. I inherited and restored my uncle's guitar and discovered DADGAD tuning, which opened up a whole world of sound for me and I began playing guitar in public. After a year or so of that I became obsessed with the OM/Irish bouzouki and ended up owning an Eastman MDO-305, which I tune to GDAD and is currently my go-to instrument. I sometimes worry that my grandmother is looking down in disappointment because I've "abandoned" my uncle's guitar! My wife got a fiddle, almost on a whim, and in just about a year became a very passable player. She now owns an acoustic and an electric violin and we write and play Appalachian and Celtic-style folk together. Along the way we also acquired a couple of cigar box guitars and three Merlin strumstick dulcimers, which we sometimes incorporate.

    My next obsession is a handpan drum, and I am currently scheming as to how to finance a purchase with a combination of selling surplus instruments and anticipated Christmas money. No way I can afford a genuine Hang or its replicas, but Guda makes some beautiful looking and sounding tongue drums which I think would sound nice with our stringed instruments.
    -- Johnson MA-100 Mando
    -- Eastman MDO-305 OM
    -- 3 Seagull Merlin dulcimers (2GDG, 1DAD)
    -- 1952 Harmony Roy Smeck guitar
    -- Ortega Lizzie Ubass
    -- Leigh Campbell electric violin
    -- Pfretzschner violin
    -- Glaesel viola
    -- Ibanez acoustic/electric guitar
    -- Misc: a cello, 2 cigarbox guitars, charango, djembe, slide dulcimer.

  17. #62

    Default Re: To the multi instrumentalists: which instrument is your no. 1

    Sax since 1985, Clarinet, Flute, other woodwinds (recorder, ocarina) since 1992 or so, Mandolin since 2002. They're still pretty much in that order. It was nice to pick up an instrument after so many years that could actually play chords--finally, I didn't need an accompanist!

  18. #63
    Registered User Teddy_2's Avatar
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    Default Re: To the multi instrumentalists: which instrument is your no. 1

    I would love to play double bass also! And I'm probably also going to ruin my joints by the sports i do xD
    De bal is rond.

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  20. #64

    Default Re: To the multi instrumentalists: which instrument is your no. 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy_2 View Post
    I would love to play double bass also! And I'm probably also going to ruin my joints by the sports i do xD
    I have a small bass ukulele tuned in fifths which is a lot of fun to play, and going from octave mandolin there’s very little extra practice needed.

    BUT I have to say that in a physical sense, when the double bass arrives it’s serious.
    This instrument bellows, ‘come on guys let’s barn dance!’
    Old UserName: AtSunrise. DOUBLE STOPS in Rise by Eddie Vedder:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7SsNJkZBKuA
    https://www.youtube.com/user/Joedynamo1066

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  22. #65

    Default Re: To the multi instrumentalists: which instrument is your no. 1

    I have to say, when I was playing I quite felt - when I showed up to parties, band practices, dances...that's when the music started. That's when things started swinging. So my little saying is - When the bassist shows up is when the music starts.

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  24. #66
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    Default Re: To the multi instrumentalists: which instrument is your no. 1

    I have to admit it's been awhile since i've played mandolin, I should dig it out and see if there's any more f hole cracks, at least...

    My parents liked to sign me up for music lessons and math and computer classes so I never had time for anything else, and I could never quit band or piano lessons cause they were good for me, even tho i would ask every couple weeks. Which i'm grateful for now, it wasn't to hard for me to pick up instruments from my kidhood, piano and clarinet and percussion, after not playing awhile.
    The Keepers: Kentucky km900, looking for next one
    Yamaha piano, clarinet, violin
    Stage1 pedal steel, some banjos and a dobro don't get played too much

    Shopping/monitoring prices: Yamaha brass, single/double reeds

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