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When you first made music?

GUEST 05 Nov 01 - 03:48 PM
GUEST,Steven G. 04 Nov 01 - 09:15 PM
GUEST,CarolC (not getting cookies) 04 Nov 01 - 07:36 PM
53 04 Nov 01 - 02:34 PM
Giac 04 Nov 01 - 07:56 AM
Sourdough 04 Nov 01 - 05:23 AM
Luke 11 Dec 00 - 09:16 AM
P05139 11 Dec 00 - 06:51 AM
GUEST,Fibula Mattock 11 Dec 00 - 06:41 AM
P05139 11 Dec 00 - 06:24 AM
blt 11 Dec 00 - 04:03 AM
Sourdough 10 Dec 00 - 02:38 PM
Kim C 03 Jul 00 - 10:02 AM
Ella who is Sooze 03 Jul 00 - 05:25 AM
Chanteyranger 03 Jul 00 - 03:23 AM
bbelle 02 Jul 00 - 04:59 PM
Melani 02 Jul 00 - 04:37 PM
Susan from California 02 Jul 00 - 01:58 PM
Chanteyranger 02 Jul 00 - 05:39 AM
Terry K 02 Jul 00 - 02:44 AM
Ferrara 01 Jul 00 - 11:07 PM
IvanB 01 Jul 00 - 03:38 PM
Mrrzy 01 Jul 00 - 03:04 PM
Sourdough 30 Jun 00 - 06:37 PM
WyoWoman 30 Jan 00 - 12:21 PM
Sourdough 30 Jan 00 - 02:58 AM
GUEST,Terry 30 Jan 00 - 02:42 AM
GUEST,Terry 30 Jan 00 - 02:33 AM
Sourdough 30 Jan 00 - 01:28 AM
GUEST,Bobby 29 Jan 00 - 02:21 AM
Owlkat 28 Jan 00 - 01:56 AM
Sourdough 28 Jan 00 - 01:30 AM
GUEST,rdpayne@cal.net 28 Jan 00 - 01:24 AM
Sourdough 28 Jan 00 - 01:05 AM
black walnut 27 Jan 00 - 11:23 AM
Liz the Squeak 27 Jan 00 - 04:22 AM
CBjames 27 Jan 00 - 01:19 AM
JenEllen 27 Jan 00 - 12:18 AM
WyoWoman 27 Jan 00 - 12:17 AM
JamesJim 26 Jan 00 - 03:34 PM
kendall 26 Jan 00 - 03:26 PM
kendall 26 Jan 00 - 03:24 PM
Rana 26 Jan 00 - 03:09 PM
Mbo 26 Jan 00 - 02:40 PM
Amos 26 Jan 00 - 02:25 PM
Sourdough 26 Jan 00 - 02:02 PM
joeler 24 Aug 99 - 07:18 PM
WyoWoman 24 Aug 99 - 12:46 AM
Joe Offer 23 Aug 99 - 12:39 PM
Neil Lowe 23 Aug 99 - 11:50 AM
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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 03:48 PM

Refreshing


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: GUEST,Steven G.
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 09:15 PM

Well for me, I have been playing guitar for about 18 years now, and never sung or played in public before. Everyday I would practice my guitar, and enjoy picking on the flat top to pass time, and for enjoyment.

Just recently I started attending concerts and playing in public for the first time. It is nerve wracking at first, but I feel home on the stage now. I really enjoy playing music, and to be able to share a song or two to the audience.

And 53, I know the feeling. I am singing in public for the first time myself. I never thought I was a great singer either, but after playing in a concert, people come up to me an say "You done a great job on that song you sung." And I would say to myself after the comment, "I guess I am not that bad of a singer after all." So 53, keep it up, it is fun, and they say "Practice makes perfect."

Steven G.


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: GUEST,CarolC (not getting cookies)
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 07:36 PM

I just realised I had some of these moments recently. At the Getaway. I was playing some waltzes on my accordion, accompanied by Dick Swain on bass concertina. I think both of us were pretty moved by the sound of the waltzes and the way the instruments combined (despite my mistakes).

I think maybe one of the best parts for me was seeing people spontaneously dancing to the music we were making. It felt like a great compliment to me when that happened.


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: 53
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 02:34 PM

i've been playing the guitar for 36 years and i've always wanted to sing, so just here recently i've discovered that i can actually sing pretty decent, and it's a shame that i haven't been singing sooner, but know i try and practice with my playing everyday. BOB


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Giac
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 07:56 AM

Let's blicky this one, too:

Magical moments


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Sourdough
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 05:23 AM

The "magical moments" thread reminded me of this one from a while back. I thought it would be a good time to resurrect it.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Luke
Date: 11 Dec 00 - 09:16 AM

I grew up in a family of four boys. We are quite widespread in ages my closest sib is 7 years older than I the next 7 years and the next 3. As I was growing up my brothers and my dad had a barbershop quartet. I remember them setting my older brother up on a stool so he would be the same height as they. There were no real bass singers in the family but that was ok cuz they had Jimmie Lucas boy soprano and could pitch evrything way up there. The sound of that group was beyond music. In mymind it was and still remains what singing should be. There was such love and care taken in all the arrangments they made. Sunday afternoons were just made for singing away. They were very heady arrangments made slowly and totally by rote.

As I watched them and listened I learned all the parts but mostly I learned Jimmie's cuz I figured it my birthright comin at me so I better be ready when it was my turn. My bros also had quartets of there own. Even Jim had one as he grew into a teen. There were some sundays when there was a differant qurtet in 3 differant parts of the house. I would just move around and check out the differances between them all. It was then I started hearing how much differance is created by saying a vowel one way or the other. The purest chords rang from the purest vowels. And the purest vowels were sung by the fella's with the most open hearts willing to give themselves totally to the song and the music.

Anyway, I never got the chance to be in the fam quartet. Dad got busy with biz, my oldest bro got hitched and Jim went to college. I was left to my own devices.

Jim came home from college with a banjo one day and a bunch of Kingston trio records and some neat lookin' books called Sing Out Magazine. I was 11.

Man the sound of that banjo. I wanted it bad. I went to the libarary and got every eddie peabody record they had. Jim taught me 3 chords and told me I could play every song in the world with them. Hey at 11 who you gonna believe if not your bro.

Trouble was, I couldn't play his banjo unless he was around. Not good. The Cornet I was playing in band just wasn't any fun when compared to the BANJO.

One day while babysitting for my oldest brothers kids I found a plastic baritone uke called a T.V. Pal. That was my axe. Jim showed me to tune it like the four strings of a banjo and I also learned uke chords so I was on my way. Soon after Jim figures out that the tenor najo we'd been playing was not what was gttin' all the notes on the Pete Seeger records so we tried our hand at converting it to a 5 string. Pretty much of a botch job but hey, it played.

Then it was Pete Seeger's How to Play the 5 String Banjo for us and we started off at the same time. I however had way more time to devote to it since he was a college student and I was just a lad.

That summer he went to work in New Hampshire at a YMCA camp. There was a man working there who could flat play the thing and Jim was so bown away that he got me a job the next year so I could get close to him myself. That was the first time I was in the same room with someone really playing. I cannot decribe in simple noun and verb how totally gob smaked I was. I was 12 and hooked.

The money from the summer earned me my own first banjo, it was a Kay. I went back home and started me a folk group. Since then I have really done nothing but play and make music.

Nothing as pure tho as the sounds of little Jimmie boy soprano and the family quartet. It is only what I can do.

Luke


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: P05139
Date: 11 Dec 00 - 06:51 AM

I used to be in choir as well, but I had to leave when we started doing songs from "Les Miserables". I was crying instead of singing. Not a good idea *BG*

Mind you, I got my boyfriend into it!!


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: GUEST,Fibula Mattock
Date: 11 Dec 00 - 06:41 AM

I choked on my Uncle Metal-Detector's tin whistle when I was a baby, does that count?*BG*
All my childhood was filled with traditional music. I remember lying in bed at night and the sounds of voices, pipes, fiddles, whistles (and even banjos, bodhrans and accordians!) floating up through the floorboards at one of my parents' many great parties.
I don't play an instrument (though I'm trying to learn the guitar), I just hang round Mudcat hoping all the expertise here will be contagious (in a musical sense). I did used to sing in school though, and I'll never forget the choir's version of Vivaldi's Gloria - the opening movement. Everyone in the choir loved singing it, and before we finished one term, we asked if we could sing it for the last time. It was amazing. I remember the hair on the back of my neck standing up. I loved choir.


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: P05139
Date: 11 Dec 00 - 06:24 AM

I think my first taste of music was when I wasn't even born. Mum told me about a festival in 1983 (I turned up in 1984) when she was watching a ceilidh band playing. Apparently she then felt little kicks inside her and I was dancing in the womb!!

My first experience OUTSIDE the womb was probably at my parents' folk club in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. I used to get passed round all the folkies there (I was only 2 or 3 months old). My first festival was when I was 4 months old (Wath, May '84).

I can't remember not singing, I started cello when I was 9 (stopped when I was 14), Keyboard came along at 15, and I play bodhran, seriously for a couple of years and messing about since I was about 10.

I was in a folk group about 6 months ago as well. For more info, see my profile.


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: blt
Date: 11 Dec 00 - 04:03 AM

As a very young child, I'm told by my parents that I sang all the time. I absolutely yearned, this I remember very well, to learn to play something, and this resulted in my being given a guitar on my 8th birthday. It was a plywood guitar from Sears, had decals of the Lone Ranger and Tonto on the front, and multi-colored nylon strings.

I also attempted to play the piano wherever I found one, just trying to play the melodies that I heard constantly. I thought everybody had music in their head and was surprised when my older sister told me no, I was simply nuts--which I believed, briefly. I pretty much played whatever I could get my hands on as a child, winding up with guitar because, well, it was the thing to do in the mid-60s. I remember my mom asking me how I'd learned to sing harmony--I didn't know that's what I was doing, and it again puzzled me that she didn't hear it. No one else in my family listened to music really; that I was still playing folk music in my 30s was of some concern to both parents--at 12, it was cute; at 21, a great outlet; at 35--wasn't I ever going to go back to school?

Some days, all I want to do is sit and play and sing, it's like food to me.


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Sourdough
Date: 10 Dec 00 - 02:38 PM

I know that I have resurrected this thread before but it seems to cast a wide net and turn up some of the best stories on Mudcat so here it is once more. Let's see what comes in.

As I was reading through the thread again, I was interested to see posts from people I have gotten to know better by their subsequent postings and it made their "first time" stories all the more gripping.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Kim C
Date: 03 Jul 00 - 10:02 AM

When I was a wee lassie I had a little toy piano. My mom's friend Judy had a REAL piano at her house and I used to pick out hymns on it when I'd stay there. Eventually I started piano lessons and went on for about 12 years or so.

I first sang in public in the first-grade Christmas pageant. I was an angel (hahaha) and I sang Silent Night. (I don't guess they do that in public school anymore, though.)

I figured out harmony from listening to the Beatles, and my high school had an a capella madrigal group that I sang in for about three years. That was pretty magical.

KFC


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 03 Jul 00 - 05:25 AM

When I was little I used to sing alot (still do now)

But I used to love to hammer the hell out of my fischer price drum thingy.

So that's probably why I still like doing the same (though not as hard now)

I always used to like to play on my cousins miniature piano too.

Ella

the first time I appeared publically was probably in kindergarten (I lived in Germany for a while) when I got to ting the triangle (big excitement) and shake the snow bells.


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 03 Jul 00 - 03:23 AM

Moonchild -

That should have been filmed with a home movie camera! So, at 6 did you hold a martini glass in the other hand and sing "Fly Me To The Moon"?

chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: bbelle
Date: 02 Jul 00 - 04:59 PM

I've been singing since I said my first sentence ... at nine months old, however, my first public performance was when I was 5 years old. My father was assigned to NATO in Naples, Italy. I was still an only child and my parents took me everywhere with them so my education from early on was cosmopolitan and sophisticated. One night they came home from an engagement to find me standing atop our round coffee table (the low Japanese type with the legs that came off). I was jauntily holding a cigarette (not lit, of course), and singing "Ol' Man River," while I sauntered around the table. They knew, then, that I was destined for stardom.

moonchild


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Melani
Date: 02 Jul 00 - 04:37 PM

My parents used to sing to me at bedtime when I was little. My mother did all the standard kiddie nursery rhymes, but the only songs my father knew were "The Eastbound Train" and "Frankie and Johnny". My mother told me I couldn't carry a tune, so I shut up for a long time. When I was 10, I rode my bike to the house of the neighborhood little old lady who gave piano lessons. Unfortunately, all the other kids had started at five, so the mandatory recitals were really embarrassing. After screwing up the third one in a row, I quit and took up guitar when my father began building them. He began encouraging me to play and sing. I did that through college and then took up pennywhistle, but fell in with a group who didn't want to hear it, so I shut up again, this time for about 25 years. About five years ago I found the right place again and was encouraged to sing, and they haven't been able to shut me up with a gag ever since. It's all about being in the right place with the right people.

Chanteyranger--stick to fiddle. Autoharps have too many strings and take too long to tune.


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Susan from California
Date: 02 Jul 00 - 01:58 PM

The first time I made music publicly,not as part of a school chorus or choir, was about 7? years ago. My husband and I had heard a wonderful song that was fairly unknown at the time, decided that the message in it needed a wider audience, and we asked if we could sing it at church. (The song was Steve Earle's "Nothing But A Child") we were both petrified, but knew that since nobody else in the congregation listened to Steve Earle we were fairly safe. Since then, we have done many covers of songs that we knew nobody had heard before. It is amazing how knowing that nobody was going to compare our version to a "professional" version kept us calm! They kept asking us to sing, and we ran out of "unknown" songs. We really got brave, and Keith wrote a whole bunch of songs, and I have contributed both lyrics, harmony lines and even one melody! Again, since nobody knows how the songs are "supposed" to sound, we felt free to share :-)

For Christmas this year, I decided to give Keith an hour of studio time to record his original stuff, and that gift has turned into an indie cd of accoustic Christian songs that should be in our hands by the end of this month. We hope that someone "real" will think the songs are good enough to record, because we think the messages are important. Yikes!

Sue


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 02 Jul 00 - 05:39 AM

In the late 70's I had discovered the New Lost City Ramblers for myself, checking out albums from the public library. I wanted to sound like Mike Seeger with his autoharp singing "When First Unto This Country." (I think that is the title). Well, the first time I wanted to make music was in a dream. I was sitting around a large table with about ten other people and was asked to sing something. I picked up an autoharp, held it upright to my chest Seeger-style, and suddenly remembered that I had absolutely no idea how to play an autoharp or sing. Luckily the dream ended there. Now, to get to your question, it was when I started playing fiddle, in 1986. I had been going to an Irish session in a restaurant in North Berkeley (now it's a Thai place), and just listening. A Concertina player there asked if I played an instrument. I had a violin in my closet for 12 years, not played since a year or two after high school. I started to bring it to the session, and one time I decided to start a tune I had learned off a record, the Kesh jig. I started, the sessioners listened through a few bars, then everyone followed in. I then felt a part of something musically. The sense of community and shared music really sparked something in me. One evening a young fiddler named Alasdair Fraser came into the restaurant session, and hearing him set me on my path. Still don't know a damn thing about autoharps.


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Terry K
Date: 02 Jul 00 - 02:44 AM

So glad that Sourdough refreshed this thread as I feel that I too have some "unfinished business". This should probably be a personal message, but hey.

Having long agonised under my burden of high ambition/low (no) talent, I made a cri-de-couer in this thread (as Guest Terry on 30th Jan), almost immediately followed by Sourdough's advice.

I was so taken by those words - especially the last line. It told me that it's OK to play simple songs, so rather than trying to regale my household with inept renderings of "cool jazz piano", I went back to the old songbooks and it's been a revelation. I get so much more out of playing Clementine properly (still badly, but properly!) than I did from struggling with stuff that is too hard.

I felt such a surge of enthusiasm by going back to basics that I was inspired enough to start guitar - again using Sourdough's philosophy of keeping modest ambitions. I somehow felt that I was no longer on my own - I had the confidence that if I needed help and encouragement I would find it at the Mudcat.

I'm now amazed at how well guitar is going (the piano background has helped immeasurably). I'll soon be starting with a group tutor session at Further Ed College to help with technique and to overcome fear of playing in front of others, but in the meantime, the pleasure I get from my musical fumblings has entered a whole new dimension.

I don't have the words to express my delight and thanks, but Sourdough, you made a difference.

Cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Ferrara
Date: 01 Jul 00 - 11:07 PM

This is a wonderful, rich thread and there are all kinds of levels on which I would love to respond, but there's one incident that stands out for me as being a watershed (one of many) in the progression from awkward music-lover to (yes) musician.

That was, the morning *after* the first time I took a seminar with Gerry Epstein. Gerry works a lot on voice placement with people who are new to his workshop. No one ever talked to me about voice placement before, or encouraged me to let my voice out. Actually, aside from the fact that it took me years to sing on pitch, people kept telling me my voice was too loud.

The day after the workshop, I tried a new song, "Un Canadien Errant." I pitched it well and accompanied myself on the zither. The amazing thing was that I sang it in this *huge* voice! -- and it felt wonderful and I felt that I sounded great, no less. I felt as if I'd gone into Gerry's class with a voice like a six-foot pine tree and come out with a voice more like a redwood... I've gotten lots more out of Gerry's classes and also Lisa Null's workshops over the years but that day stands out in my mind so much. By now, there are lots of times - two or three times a month, at least -- when I sing the way I always wanted to.


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: IvanB
Date: 01 Jul 00 - 03:38 PM

When I was about 4 years old, I found a piece of bamboo, I assume from a broken fishing pole. I started pretending it was a horn and kept blowing into it. Apparently, something loose inside became wet enough to act as a reed, because suddenly there was sound coming from it. Being realistic, over 55 years later, it played only one note, and that probably sounded like a duck with laryngitis, but to my young ears, I was playing music! Although members of my family have related to me that, at the age of 3, I used to sing 'Accentuate the Positive' with perfect pitch and diction, that bamboo pole is MY first recollection of performing 'music.' I've never been without some sort of music in my life since. Although most of what I've done in later life would better qualify as music, I'll still never forget the 'magic' of that bamboo pole!


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 Jul 00 - 03:04 PM

The only "breakthrough" moment I recall was once when I was in grad school attending an undergraduate party, and someone started singing Ripple (I believe the walls were rippling for him) and I started singing too, and suddenly noticed that I was keeping the melody beautifully even though John was harmonizing (my main weakness, I tend to try to follow)... It sounded great, people (undergraduates!) actually stopped partying to listen, some even came away from the keg! It was truly beautiful, but I've never been able to figure out the precise combination of chemicals to repeat the experience... and now am probably too old, sigh, to try...


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Sourdough
Date: 30 Jun 00 - 06:37 PM

I was going through some old threads and came across this one that had some good things in it. I'll bet there are people now who would like to add to it and I'd be interested in what they have to say.

As for me, I see have unfinished business with WyoWoman. Apparently, I never answered her request for the name of the piano teaching software. I had checked at Radio Shack in Petaluma where I had originally seen it for sale. The sales clerk said that they don't carry it any more. WW, Ill try again.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: WyoWoman
Date: 30 Jan 00 - 12:21 PM

Sourdough, do you know what the name of that program was?

WW


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Sourdough
Date: 30 Jan 00 - 02:58 AM

I was very lucky in that the kind of music that I liked was also very simple, 3-chord music so as soon as I learned D, G, and A7t, I was off and running, picking up those simple songs from songbooks, bothering friends, etc. If simple strumming n a guitar of traditional ballads and songs that have more in common with Down in the Valley than Metallica, a guitar works very well. You can slowly improve your chording and your picking, bit by bit. With those three chords you can play in D but learn one more chord, C, and you can play in the key of G as well. Little by little you can build your knowledge on a guitar.

If you are around folk musicians, see what you think about the mountain dulcimer and the Autoharp. They both give a great deal of musical pleasure right from the beginning of learning them.

I saw a wonderful piano teaching softare program that requires a keyboard to be attachd to you coputer but it trains you, through games as well as songs and drill, how to play keyboard instruments. They tested it here in Petlauma with kids in the third grade and it turned them into piano players of surprising ability within a year. I had never played a keyboard before but when I saw an outfit for sale at the local Radio Shack, I tried it out for a half hour and was surprised at how much fun it was and that I was actually learning something about playing a keyboard instrument.

I hope this is of some help and I wish you success in your quest. It is a worthwhile one.

SOurdough


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: GUEST,Terry
Date: 30 Jan 00 - 02:42 AM

This may be a thread which can help a struggling non-musician. 5 years ago I bought a piano to see if (at age 51) I could better fulfil my lifetime love of music. I confirmed over the last 5 years that I have no talent whatsoever, can only play Grade 1 stuff, and really badly at that. I had some lessons but got not much from them, though I still intend to resume lessons when time permits. I'd like to play guitar (probably to the same level of incompetence). Question is, has anybody been in a similar predicament and found a way to progress? Is there any "instrument/technique/other" so that the completely talentless can start to achieve the kind of pleasure that real musicians experience? Terry


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: GUEST,Terry
Date: 30 Jan 00 - 02:33 AM


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Sourdough
Date: 30 Jan 00 - 01:28 AM

Amos,

Thanks for the nice words. Today I ride a BMW and can do things that I once only dreamed of, like accelerating on an uphill grade, but I still kind of miss the little scooter.

I almost never took up the guitar because I had kind of talked myself out of the possibility that I could ever learn it. I was at a junior high school dance and I rmemeber playing a little air guitar. Then, all of a sudden, it became very clear in my fifteen year old consciousness that I was never going to play a guitar. I remember the feeling, the place, so clearly. I remember even the direction I was facing in the room. It was so clear. This was a pleasure that I would never know. Luckily, within five years I turned out to be very wrong.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: GUEST,Bobby
Date: 29 Jan 00 - 02:21 AM

I had been "knocking around" on my guitar for about a year. I had two or three Hank Williams songs that I was playing and a few others.

My brother-in-law was a much better player than I was. He had written sevral songs. I told him one day "I wish I could write a song." He replied "well you can do that today, just do it" (long before Nike adopted that slogan).

Well at that time my older sister had an old cat that was dying. My younger sister had a new kitten that had just been born. I sat down and wrote a song about the two cats. My brother-in-law was right, me writing a song, as limited as my talent was, was just a matter of me sitting down to do it. All it took was a level of commitment.

In my song "Josseta and Biff" the first verse was about the old cat, the second verse was about the kitten, the third verse contrasted the two as living and dying entities. Truthfully,the song really sucked but it was a start. I proved to myself that I could do it. That was twenty years and I've been writing (and getting better at it) ever since.

Now I want to get back to Hank Williams. I was really into him (still am) when I first started writing. If one knows just five basic chords (GCDAE, B helps a bit too)they can pretty much play Hank's ENTIRE song book. He was also so illiterate that he could hardly barely sign his own name. And yet, he wrote some incredible fricking songs. The guy changed music and greatly impacted the art of songwriting with a few simple tools simple. He was a crossroads of country, blues, gospel and unknown at that time, he was at the roots of rockabilly and rock. He didn't have much going for him but he took it a damn long way.

Ultimately, I honestly believe that one can write a GREAT song with very little talent. Musical talent surely helps, Lord knows I wish I had more. Still, I believe that writing a good song firstly requires sincerity, passion and commitment above all else.

Great musical talent alone will not neccessarily make one a great, or even a good song writer. On the other hand, minimal musical and literary talent can indeed make one a song writer of historical importance (as it did Hank), IF one approaches the process with sincerity, passion and commitment.

I think that's the key to writing folk and traditional music. It's not about having a pretty package that's wrapped with a fine bow, it's about what's in the box.

I guees what I want to say is even if you only know two chords there's a song in you if you'll just look for it. And more than that, there wouldn't really be anything holding you back from being able to write a great song. But if you know three chords, I like your chances much better.

To me writing a good song has MUCH more to do with "the process" than it does having a level of talent and musical knowledge.


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Owlkat
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 01:56 AM

Hi hi,
So, my story.
I found a ukelele and an Arthur Godrey book of chords in the cedar closet when I was about seven. I would sit in there and play so no-one could hear, since I figured that it was put there to be out of the way, and I wasn't sure if I was doing something wrong. Nobody complained, so I took it up to my room, and played there.
I loved making the music, but since my folks considered it just kind of a distraction, and didn't pay it much mind, I kept it to myself until I discovered coffeehouses, and I was off and running from there.
Wow, audiences. What a hit it was. I started to play anyplace that people didn't seem to mind, and would pay attention, and, well, that was about 35 years ago.
I envy those whose parents actively encouraged them, and/or who presented an example to follow. I'm trying to be a musical role model to my daughter, even though she lives 2800 kms away. She does love making music, and I do what I can to lead the way and show her that it's a good thing. I send her music books and songs. For Hanukah, I wrapped her gifts in printouts of songs, which was fun for her to read as she was tearing them open.
Well, there you go...
Owl.


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Sourdough
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 01:30 AM

Somehow the previous message took off a little prematurely.

What I had started to say was that CBJames story of singing for her dying mother reminded me how songs become invested with the emotions of our lives. Those of us who love music and have made it a part of our lives may have scores if not hundreds of songs with their own individual heart strings. It is such a warm, human moment, singing to a parent at the end of life. It is a primal comfort. A glimpse of a moment like that is one of the reasons I like Mudcat so much.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: GUEST,rdpayne@cal.net
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 01:24 AM

My grandmother woukd sing or whistle tunes all day long, my dad would sing songs when we went on long trips. Our favorites were "Oklahoma Hills" and "The Forest Ranger Song". When I was about seven years old my brother got a cheap plastic guitar for his birthday that he soon lost interest in. I picked it up and the book that came with it and began playing the songs. The only one I remember is "Shanendoa". Since I was using his guitar, he thought there must be something to it and took it back. Then it got broken. Eight years later I bought a $25 Stella. I paid $10 more than Mason Williams and had to put pads of tape over the ends of my fingers because teh grooves got so deep the no matter how hard I pressed the strings wouldnn't gp down to the frets. It was so nice when my fingers went numb because then they didn't hurt anymore.


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Sourdough
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 01:05 AM

CB James:


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: black walnut
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 11:23 AM

when i was in grade 6 or 7, i entered a singing contest at our school. the song we had to perform was 'it isn't raining rain to me, it's raining daffodils. in every dimpled drop i see wild flowers on the hills....'. i won first place, and got a trophy. i'm pretty sure i won because i was the only person who remembered all of the words. funny, these days of middle age, i can't seem to remember the lyrics to anything!

~black walnut


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 04:22 AM

Until I was about 9, I sang very quietly. > > > >

The short pause was for those who know me to stop ROTFLTheirAO, and to get back in their chairs. Anyway, I would sing so quietly that I was practically inaudible. Then one day, a teacher who was particularly sarcastic in manner accused me of not making a noise, but just mouthing the words. She said something on the lines of 'you make more noise in the playground', so I just took a deep breath and opened up to yell it out, and to our everlasting surprise (and, incidentally, right in her ear), out came this amazing note, in pitch and louder than the rest of the class put together. The rest, as TWKM will testify, is history.

LTS, who hasn't been quiet since!!


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: CBjames
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 01:19 AM

Well DubDub

My Mom got me singing. Roy Rodgers & Gene Autry were a hit early on. After that - Just about everything from Gershwin & Cole Porter to the Kingston Trio & Miriam Makeba. I can even butcher (a capella) some Vivaldi and Bach.

She gave me my first stringed instruments (a gutbucket, then a ukelele) & when I showed a small proficiency she helped me talk my Dad into buying me my first guitar - not the Stella - I bought that in my own later. We got recorders, we even had some ocarinas. We loved the kazooo--- .

I diddled at the piano when available. Dallied with tinwhistle & even took lessons in clarinet for a while.

But when did I first make music?

It had to be when she was dying & all I could do was to sing for her. There was a piano in the first hospital, just a door or so away from her room. Pretty awful versions of "Stormy Weather" & "Happiness is Just a Thing Called Joe" were tinkled out there. In the next (& last) place all I could do was sing. Stuff like "Begin the Beguine" and "Over the Rainbow"

Funny how you think all your life that you're makin' some kind of sound - but then all of a sudden there you are makin' a sound that's important - both to your own samll audience and you.

That was several years back. Don't send sympathy. But for me that was when music came real.


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: JenEllen
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 12:18 AM

I remember in the fourth grade starting violin lessons. I loved the sounds. One night, I played this horrible little "russian" number from my text, and actually played my little sister to sleep...I knew the power of music right then and there. The instruments have expanded and I have changed, but there is still no greater joy than having someone so at peace with your noise as to fall asleep on you.


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: WyoWoman
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 12:17 AM

Hey there, Sourdough,

Thanks for refreshing this thread. I've only been popping in and out of the 'Cat lately because of time constraints and other concerns. Imagine my surprise to see this thread back on the board.

Unfortunately, I immediately went into remission with my guitar-learning (see time constraints above) and have just now picked it up again. But I am making progress, am actually able to accompany myself on a few songs. Now my quest is to be able to fingerpick my accompaniment and, again, that looks do-able, for the first time in my life.

The other day I recorded a song that I sing with a friend who's a guitarist -- just messing around, but when we played it back, I had that "Wow" again. It actually sounded pretty good -- like REAL singing. Amazing. I'm so inspired by the process of making music, and by the way you get to know another preson deeply when you've spent some time making music with them. Such a blessing.

WyoWoman


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: JamesJim
Date: 26 Jan 00 - 03:34 PM

I suspect most everyone discovers the "magic of music" in stages. My stages:

-I had two older sisters who played piano. Having been born in the "sheet music" era, singing was a part of my earliest memories of life. My sisters wore me out with tunes like; "Give me 5 minutes more," "The Old Lamplighter" and "Racing to the Moon." Singing probably helped me talk early. We sung most every night (now they can't shut me up).

-When I was in the 4th grade, I wanted a trumpet. I got a cornet, which was just as good (probably better). I learned to read music early in life and I was excited by the harmonies of "Band." The real benefit of reading music was discovering those harmonies. I began to discover the possibilites and how to apply them to singing. I had a blast.

-I applied those "harmonies" in church choir, where I quickly learned to sing tenor. That led to singing solos and with a quartette. What an experience.

-Later in life (age 39), after singing folk music for a lot of years (with a lot of friends who played instruments), a good friend finally convinced me to buy a guitar. I wouldn't change anything in my musical life, except I wish I had added accoustical instruments to it when I was much younger. I didn't think it was possible to open the door to my singing life any further than it already was, but I was wrong. I've enjoyed it ever since.

Those magic moments still come at certain times, but it's always with others. I remember a "hoot" a few years ago, when near the end of an evening everyone was a little mellow (the beer had been flowing). About 20 of us stood in a circle and sung; It Soon Be Done, Amazing Grace, Will the Circle be Unbroken, Streets of Glory and several others. There was truly love in that circle of friends. How do you explain/describe that to someone who has never experienced anything like it (when someone at the office says, "How was your weekend?," what do you say)? Thanks; this was a good thread and great memories! Jim


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: kendall
Date: 26 Jan 00 - 03:26 PM

I've been singing and collecting songs since very early childhood. Having 4 brothers, 3 of whom I made music with, there was singing all the time at our house.
The first one I ever learned went..There was a young farmer who lived by a crick, a decent young farmer who played with his...marbles in springtime etc


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: kendall
Date: 26 Jan 00 - 03:24 PM

I've been singing and collecting songs since very early childhood. Having 4 brothers, 3 of whom I made music with, there was singing all the time at our house.
The first one I ever learned went..There was a young farmer who lived by a crick, a decent young farmer who played with his...marbles in springtime etc


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Rana
Date: 26 Jan 00 - 03:09 PM

Possibly hitting saucepans with wooden spoons, but then it possibly wasn't considered music since the post-industrial German avant-garde rock bands hadn't come out yet. :-)

Rana


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Mbo
Date: 26 Jan 00 - 02:40 PM

My first experience with music? I wasn't ever born yet when that happened! My mother was still in the USMC when she was pregnant with me. Once, she had to attend a Marine parade--and when the marching band--with those big bass drums--came close to where she was standing--she said I started jumpin' around in there--and keeping perfect time with the drums! I guess it was written that I should love music ever back then!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jan 00 - 02:25 PM

Ah, Sourdough, whoever you are, here's to you and your achin heart! I too ran a scooter through a field of dreams, a little Lambretta up an down the streets of San Francisco, where I'd run away to from the rich suburban hills of Fairfield County in me heedless youth. God, I loved that machine.

Your description of love AND motorscooter is a pearl, mate. Thanks for the memories. A


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Sourdough
Date: 26 Jan 00 - 02:02 PM

I was going over some old threads and was reminded of this one. I thought I would refresh it and we would see what other stories are out there.

As an aside, Joeler's message above, reminded me of when I was a musician for John Cage. Now that would have tested Joeler's resolve to appreciate and love every sound.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: joeler
Date: 24 Aug 99 - 07:18 PM

Oh, what a beautiful question. The essence of life, the smell of a summer rain, the feeling when a small child hugs you, and the sound of music..... I personally cannot remember my life without music. My brother was a master at the piano, his son is a concert pianist in Europe, my father could play any instrument he picked up, my sisters could harmonize from birth and there is no sound that I hear, from a bird singing, to the Warsaw Concerto, that I do not appreciate and love. Your friend Joel


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: WyoWoman
Date: 24 Aug 99 - 12:46 AM

Wow, Neil, that was a splendid question. My first response was "all of them," but I do know what you mean. Rock music seems a lot more concerned with feeling than story ... But as far as I'm concerned, none of it is music if it doesn't use the words/story in service to the feeling.

Does that make sense?

WW


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Aug 99 - 12:39 PM

I guess I've always sung, since my dad sang all the time. I first got serious about singing in fifth grade, when I joined the school choir at St. Rita School in Racine, Wisconsin. I guess that was 1958. Sister John Bosco assigned Ron Benedict and me to sing alto, and we beamed with pride every time she'd say that we were "really sharp." I recently found out what she meant....
Sister also recruited me for her harmonica band, but I never got very good. I've always wanted to play the guitar, and I keep trying, but I just can't quite get it - but you can't stop me from singing.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Neil Lowe
Date: 23 Aug 99 - 11:50 AM

....was first introduced to the blues by my uncle who brought in a Jimmy Reed album and played, "Bright Lights, Big City." Knew instinctively at that tender age that something was going on there, but not sure what. Later, discovered the so-called "psychedelic" rockers on the burgeoning "underground" radio stations borrowing heavily from Reed, et al and pumping all that impassioned intensity into Fender Strats and stacks of Marshall amps. Made me break out in goose bumps all over, e.g., James Marshall Hendrix's cover of "Red House" (still does). Now, I rely on that as my "emoticator": it's what let's me know if a song has been imbued with a little piece of the performer. Failing that, if all the LED indicators on the equalizer max out and stay there throughout the recording, that's a pretty good sign too, but not as reliable as the goose bumps.

BTW, what other musical genre aside from the blues has as its primary purpose the conveyance of a specific feeling, as opposed to telling a story, etc?


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