Learning to play music.

Discussion in 'Music Ministry' started by Alive in Christ, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. Alive in Christ

    Alive in Christ
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    Hello Biblicist!

    You posted...

    Yes, I do. The banjo is my primary instrument these days. But prior to taking up the banjo, I started years ago with the acoustic and electric guitar, then the dobro. I have never taken lessons, but at the very beginning I got a chord chart. After learning the chords I would just play around with the instrument until I figured it out.



    I would have to say yes. It certainly seems that I am musically inclined. God must have passed it on through my mother, who never took a piano lesson in her life, but she figured out on her own, with no lessons, how to play beautiful piano. She played the songs of her generation. Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Nat King Cole, etc.

    I've sorta done the same thing, but with the music I like. Blues, Jazz, country and some rock.

    Then, after being born again, I play the same way, but with Gosple music.


    Well, thats really hard to answer. They are both stringed instruments of course. But they are not tuned the same way. Honestly, I dont think one is particularly more difficult then the other.

    I think that the primary thing is to pick the instrument that (((YOU))) really really (((WANT)))..deep in your heart..to play. Just which ever one turns your crank.

    And wichever one you really want to learn, find ways to WATCH people play. On TV. In videos. people playing in music stores. And there are tons and tons of video lessons on youtube. You can watch 'em over and over and over again until you get it.

    And if you can find a good teacher that will help.

    Do you live in a city, or way out in the country?
     
  2. glfredrick

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    I learned to play several musical instruments, and all included some form of lesson structure. Though I started with lessons, there is no substitute for actually playing and eventually all the lessons do is expose one to higher levels of performance to which one must practice, practice, practice!

    I started playing accordion, and wish that I had learned the left hand keyboard as well as the right (on accordion there are buttons where otherwise keys are used). Because of this, I understand any instrument that plays with a keyboard, but my fingers are not trained so though I can read music well, my play is not great. That could be remedied with practice so that I could play well on piano (I do okay with an organ where cords are just held with the left hand).

    I left off the accordion for percussion. To most people that is "drums," but a true percussionist plays all sorts of instruments including scaled pieces like marimba, xylophone, and tunable headed instruments like tympani.

    I taught myself to handle the trap set (drum set) and became rather proficient after a LOT of practice. It is very difficult to split off both hands and both feet with all playing some other rhythm at times, but the most skilled players do so often. Less skilled players have to resort to thud, tap, thud, tap, in harmony between hands and feet. Skilled players can play a 6:8 with a foot, 4:4 with hands, and some alternative rhythm with the other hand and foot if the song calls for that. Speed and accuracy on the set is also needed to perform to the level that most are accustomed to hearing.

    I probably played for 3-5 hours a day when I was learning before I finally started to pick up the skills needed to get innovative during play with an actual band.

    Currently, my wife is learning to play keyboard and guitar (she is 54). That is not easy but I am working with her and learning myself as we go. Again, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE is the key!
     
  3. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Good....your qualified to play at any Polka Party in Wisconsin :love2: Save me a Brat & a beer! :laugh:
     
  4. Alive in Christ

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    glfrederic....

    It was none other than Louisville Ky where I started playing music. Born and raised there.

    I enjoyed watching the Cardinals win earlier today!
     
  5. Winman

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    I have been playing guitar about 40 years. I would say the first year or so is the roughest. The guitar is not a difficult instrument, but it is difficult to play WELL. Most folks think all the work is in the fretting hand, but it is the picking or strumming hand that really takes work.

    You just have to stick with it. If you do anything over and over again, sooner or later you are going to get good at it. Practice is the secret, there is no magic formula, and you can't play the guitar in one week like these advertisements you see.

    That said, there are more resources today than ever. You can go to YouTube and watch videos on how to learn your basic chords, how to hold the guitar properly, how to strum, etc... I wish they had this stuff when I started, I simply struggled along.

    If you still have a guitar, practice the basic open chords like C, F, and G in the key of C, or G, C, and D in the key of G. You might be surprised, but you can play hundreds of hymns such as Amazing Grace with these three basic chords. As you improve you learn Minor and Dominant chords. You just have to stay at it and be patient. I would say it took me three years to know what I was doing, ever since then I have been trying to perfect what I know. You have to enjoy practice. If you do not enjoy practicing, then music is not cut out for you.

    Practice, practice, practice! That is the secret to playing music well on any instrument.
     
  6. Winman

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    Let a proud father show off his daughter, this is my daughter Rachel when she was 8 years old.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjpsWbOmqdA

    She started piano when she was 7, takes lessons every week, and practices at least one hour every day. She is now 13 and plays very complex classical music such as Beethoven, Bach, Chopin, etc... She is well known in our community as a piano player and plays at nursing homes to entertain the elderly. She even gets paid, a Congregational church paid her $100 to play 45 minutes, and she often gets paid by the nursing homes, but that is purely voluntary on their part. She plays in our church on a regular basis and fills in when our regular piano player who has been ill lately cannot attend.

    She is in the 7th grade and this year is playing all the music for the play "Annie" that the school will put on in March. So, she has been practicing these songs many hours lately and has several school rehersals each week. As I said, the secret is practice, practice, practice, and Rachel practices every day.
     
  7. Alive in Christ

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    Winman...

    That was great with your daughter!

    She was playing Ragtime wasnt she?
     
  8. Winman

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    Yes, that was Maple Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin. I made this video when she was 8 years old and had been playing about one year. She is MUCH better now. She takes lessons every week. My son, who just turned 10 this week also takes lessons, but he is not nearly as good, he hates to practice. That said, he has an amazing ability to write his own songs and is quite good. So, Rachel is a player, where he is more of a songwriter if you know what I mean. Songwriters are often not good players, and players are often not good songwriters. I consider myself a player, I have written a few songs over the years, but they are pretty lame. :tongue3:
     
  9. Winman

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    A little more boast about my daughter, she "almost" has perfect pitch. The other night I was playing a song on guitar with many chord changes and made a mistake. She said, "You were supposed to play a F chord Dad." I asked, "Do you know this song?" She said, "No, but I've heard it before and know it goes to a F chord there."

    I often test her, playing chords or single notes and ask her what they are. She will get it right probably 95% of the time. The A note or chord fools her sometimes, but that is about it. They say most folks that have perfect pitch started playing when they were very young. I started as a teen and can recognize a few chords when I hear them, but only a few.
     
  10. glfredrick

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    I am good at pitch and even better at rythm, but not perfect. Wish I could make my voice behave better. While I can hear pitch I struggle with hearing my own voice and control of what I do hear, well... :BangHead:
     
  11. Winman

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    I have a good ear for pitch, but from years of singing WAY TOO LOUD in Rock bands my voice is shot. I had a good voice when I was young, now I sound like a frog, think Tom Waits, only worse!

    Here is a couple of videos from a band I was in a few years back, this was just a practice. We didn't play anything too offensive, but I began to be convicted and quit. Now, I only play traditional hymns in church. I am the fellow with the blue and white Strat.

    http://www.casttv.com/video/882d421/the-dazz-the-dazz-1000-miles-video

    http://www.casttv.com/video/klwa9n/the-dazz-the-dazz-mr-breeze-video

    Pretty rough, but we were just practicing.
     
    #11 Winman, Feb 11, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2012
  12. 12strings

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    I would add that for any of the plucked stringed instruments, starting out is difficult because of the lack of calouses on the hands. I remember trying to play guitar several times as a teenager and quiting because my fingers hurt. I ended up rooming with a guitarist in college and he let me play his whenever I wanted so I gradually built up some calouses.

    Now I've been playing for 12 years and don't think about it much. No guitar lessons for me, but I was learning guitar on my own while at the same time takings some music theory classes, so that definitely helped...and simply being around guitar players who were better than me and willing to show me a few things.
     
  13. Alive in Christ

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    Winman...

    Hey now, I enjoyed those videos! Very good. JJ Cales Call me the Breeze is always good to hear. And on the 1st one I noticed that the singer sounds a Lot like Neil Young. :thumbs:
     
  14. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Blood will out Winman.....Welsh blood! :love2:
     
  15. Winman

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    Thanks, that was the drummer Keith. The sound was poor, these videos were taken by the bass player's girlfriend who just bought a little camera and wanted to try it out. We we actually learning these songs, they were much better in time.

    They were great guys and we didn't play anything very heavy, but still, I began to be convicted and no longer play in Rock bands, although my church formed a band and we played some modern Christian music. It was actually heavier than what my Rock band played. I have gone back to traditional hymns and am very happy with that decision.
     
  16. Winman

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    I'm not sure what this means, I am not Welsh, but I have been able to trace my father's family back to 1527, we came from Pateley Bridge, a little town in Yorkshire, England, my family coming to America in the 1600's. My grandmother was Irish, and I have one great-great Grandmother who was a pure Cherokee Indian. So, I am a mutt. :tongue3:
     
  17. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Did you not identify your mothers side as being descendants of Jefferson Davis? His Relatives were Welsh starting in the USA in the state of Pennsylvania....look it up if you dont believe me. & of course we in the USA are all of mixed linage. That is what makes us Mericans. :laugh:
     
  18. Winman

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    I didn't know Davis was Welsh, so I must be a little Welsh. My mom passed away this October, but she kept very detailed records on our family tree. My older brother is going to send me some of the information, she has family photos going back to Civil War days. I am definitely a Rebel, though I live in the North, I bleed grey.
     
  19. Winman

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    Totally off subject, but if you are interested in your family tree, I have found RootsWeb to be excellent, as I said earlier, I was able to trace my father's family back to 1527, and my mom's family back to the mid 1600s on this site. If you can find one family member, click on their name and it will give the name of their parents, you just keep going back from there. Excellent site.

    http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/
     
  20. Alive in Christ

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    It sounded real good.

    I've never owned a strat, but I do have a Telecaster. Dont play it much, though, just on the those times when I want that sound.

    I am very partial to Les Pauls. I love the tone I get with those double humbuckers.
     

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