MULTI-INSTRUMENTALIST,"jack of all trades master of none?"

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by TIMBONE, Sep 25, 2004.


    TIMBONE Active Member

    How many instruments do you actually play? Is it possible to be of a good standard on more than one? What is the limit, two? three? My daughter has advanced grade on piano, grade 5 violin, grade 3 french horn, grade 2 flute, and sings in the Halle Choir.

    I started on timpani & percussion, then moved onto kit. I also play piano, guitar and bass guitar. My main instrument is trombone, (which I studied at RNCM), and I have taught all brass instrumnents, including french horn, although as a performer I would not feel confident above 2nd tenor horn!!! Oh, and I can also make some kind of vocal sound, although you would have to ask a 'flixtonite' about the entertainment value, (they heard me singing at my wedding)!!!

    So come on tMPers, how many instruments do you play, (or have you played), and do you know any good MULTI-INSTRUMENTALISTS?

    Oh, I nearly forgot, there are several 12" vinyls knocking around with me playing the STYLOPHONE!!!
  2. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    I play:-
    Piano/keyboard; folk, classical, electric and bass guitars; Clarinet, flute and all saxophones; cornet, tenor horn, bari, euph, trombone, Eb Bass; Drum kit and ALL percussion (xylo, marimba, glock, timps, triangle... you knooooow the rest! :lol: ;-) )

    I'm about grade 5 in brass, guitars and piano etc...
    Grade 8 percussion, clarinet and saxophone(s)....

    Started learning when I was 6 and never stopped :-D

    TIMBONE Active Member

    Ahh Naomi, but can you play the mouth-organ, sorry, harmonica. I used to think that the only two notes in music were 'suck' and 'blow'.
  4. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    Oh yea I've got one of them too! :lol: ;-)
  5. Sellers_Bird

    Sellers_Bird Active Member

    im grade 8 on cornet and flute... so they say! oh, and grade 1 *distinction* on piano :D
  6. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    G'Day! My real name is James Morrison, and muck about with a few wind instruments ................ (in my dreams!) :-D
  7. Brian Bowen

    Brian Bowen Active Member

    Anthony Halstead is impressive. I've heard him on CD's with the Hanover Band (the early music group -- not brass band) and others either conducting, playing harpsichord, or Horn. His recording of the Weber Horn Concertino on natural horn has become well known.
  8. Johan

    Johan New Member

    My Statement : If there's a hole in it, I can play it.

    No ladies, just brass instruments............;)
  9. BoBo

    BoBo Member

    Started on French Horn, when I came to brass banding after 20 years I had a choice, and playing such a pig of an instrument pretty well anything seemed easier, that said I would attempt anything smaller than a tenor horn. Settled on trombone eventually after being round most of the band, logical choice after french horn!!! :rolleyes:

    Anyone heard Glyn Williams do his thing with everything from Sop to Bass, I guess its all that time in a music shop between customers?
  10. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Having started on clarinet I then moved to sax in my early teens & am reasonably proficient on various sizes, although I'm not really comfortable on tenor. My clarinet & bassoon playing is a little rusty, but could be called upon if necessary.

    Band-wise, I've played everything from horn down at one time or other, although I am not a natural trombonist, having to think to hard about the positions, rather than finding them automatically.

    Other than that, it would just be singing, as my dalliance with the viola did not last beyond senior school, & my accordian playing is limited to block chords & the occasional melody line.
  11. Well Worth It

    Well Worth It Active Member

    Could probably be described as multi-instrumental, but definitely a master of none........yet ;)

    [AdvC.Horn, G#7 Piano, and kit well enough for s'got to be at least grade 18.]

    TIMBONE Active Member

    Peter, an instrument which I would love to have learnt to play is 'accordian', even block chords and melody line like yourself. Another is 'organ', which, as any keyboardist will know, is a completely different technique to playing a single keyboard, such as piano.
  13. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I picked up the piano accordian when in college, and it was invaluable when taking part in open-air witness, or if turning up at a hall & finding the piano horrendously out of tune. I did have a go at trying to play it properly - bass and chords alternating etc - but found I was getting nowhere. Still used occasionally when asked to sing solos or for accompanying chorus singing.

    Incidentally, i'm sure you'd find it very easy to pick up if you have a basic knowledge of chord structures - which you obviously do with your composition & arranging. Chord buttons arranged going up or down in 5ths, bass note, major chord, minor chord, 7ths etc (depending on what bass you've got) in rows. Chromatics can get a bit hairy, and it helps if you've got a large span for moving to obscure keys!
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2004
  14. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Well there's trumpet, then there's cornet. Dabbling in flugel horn, tenor horn, occasionally percussion, Stylophone..... spoons, elastic bands round tobacco tin, comb and paper (apparently, former Prime Minister John Major was a comb and paper 'virtuoso'...)

    Yup, definitely master of none in my case!
  15. jpbray

    jpbray Member

    Just BBb and proud of it.

    You can only play one instrument at a time, unless you are one person band (being PC) :p :p
  16. imthemaddude

    imthemaddude Active Member

    I have 1 grade 8, 1 grade 6 and 5 grade fives and a grade 2 I started the organ when i was 3 and had trouble reaching the pedals! Since then I also took up Piano,. keyboard, cornet, Tenor Horn, Flugel, Sop, Clarinet, sax's, flute, violin, and or course at school i played three of the recoders and the ocarina and I've also been a singer at various times.
  17. JessopSmythe

    JessopSmythe Active Member

    Does playing the piano up until age 5 count? Or failing Grade 1 Cello? I can still play a recorder too!
  18. Morghoven

    Morghoven Member

    I suppose it depends what you mean by 'master'. Certainly those Anthony Halstead types who are properly international class at two completely different instruments are very very rare, and that's the sort of standard I think of as 'master' - others of course may disagree!

    For the record: I started out on piano, then recorder (but that got dropped by the end of school!), then baritone with a later move to euphonium. Now consider myself first and foremost a trombonist, but have done most of my banding on percussion. Not a bad organist but not fantastic. And have just landed a great job playing keyboards on the tour of 'Blood Brothers'. Make of that what you will!

  19. cornetgirl

    cornetgirl Active Member

    Ok, I've got 5 Grade 8 Distinctions (violin, viola, flute, piano, cornet) and I'm a similar standard on percussion. Can also sing a bit.

    I guess I could be pretty darn good if I could only be bothered to practise them all... I'm sure my standard has dropped which is sad so maybe I'll tootle off and do some practise. Trouble is I don't have a piano, which is really annoying - so anyone with a spare they would like to donate????

    Rach x

    TIMBONE Active Member

    THE OCARINA! There was one knocking around our house when I was a kid, fabulous instrument, made of clay I think, (well that's what it looked like when it got chipped, 'it wasn't me, it was 'im"). Can't remember what country it comes from, but I remember hearing one being played properly - awesome.