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What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?

Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 07 Feb 02 - 11:49 PM
Blackcatter 07 Feb 02 - 11:55 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 07 Feb 02 - 11:59 PM
Amergin 08 Feb 02 - 12:01 AM
Amergin 08 Feb 02 - 12:02 AM
ddw 08 Feb 02 - 12:04 AM
GUEST,allie kiwi 08 Feb 02 - 01:01 AM
DougR 08 Feb 02 - 01:02 AM
Ebbie 08 Feb 02 - 01:13 AM
paddymac 08 Feb 02 - 01:56 AM
BlueJay 08 Feb 02 - 03:24 AM
Sarah the flute 08 Feb 02 - 03:40 AM
katlaughing 08 Feb 02 - 03:55 AM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Feb 02 - 05:42 AM
GUEST,The Ghost Of Willie Clancy 08 Feb 02 - 05:44 AM
gnu 08 Feb 02 - 06:35 AM
53 08 Feb 02 - 06:36 AM
GUEST,tHE gH 08 Feb 02 - 06:44 AM
NicoleC 08 Feb 02 - 12:36 PM
Midchuck 08 Feb 02 - 12:43 PM
Rustic Rebel 08 Feb 02 - 12:47 PM
harpgirl 08 Feb 02 - 12:53 PM
Justa Picker 08 Feb 02 - 01:03 PM
GUEST 08 Feb 02 - 01:12 PM
artbrooks 08 Feb 02 - 01:23 PM
Wyrd Sister 08 Feb 02 - 02:11 PM
Les from Hull 08 Feb 02 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,Just Amy 08 Feb 02 - 02:42 PM
katlaughing 08 Feb 02 - 03:47 PM
catspaw49 08 Feb 02 - 04:08 PM
GUEST,Russ 08 Feb 02 - 04:14 PM
MMario 08 Feb 02 - 04:16 PM
Desdemona 08 Feb 02 - 04:41 PM
Benjamin 08 Feb 02 - 06:09 PM
Bill D 08 Feb 02 - 06:43 PM
Catherine Jayne 09 Feb 02 - 12:13 AM
catspaw49 09 Feb 02 - 12:21 AM
Amergin 09 Feb 02 - 12:24 AM
GUEST,Whippoorwill 09 Feb 02 - 01:22 AM
GUEST,Boab 09 Feb 02 - 01:32 AM
GUEST,Charles 09 Feb 02 - 04:21 AM
Jeanie 09 Feb 02 - 11:32 AM
Rogalski 09 Feb 02 - 12:26 PM
Little Hawk 09 Feb 02 - 01:18 PM
Wincing Devil 09 Feb 02 - 01:43 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 10 Feb 02 - 01:55 AM
Gillie 10 Feb 02 - 07:38 AM
Jon Freeman 10 Feb 02 - 08:11 AM
alison 10 Feb 02 - 08:15 AM
Jeri 10 Feb 02 - 08:37 AM
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Subject: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 11:49 PM

What's the easiest instrument? I have got a tin whistle, but I am not very good at it, I am thinking of getting one of them irish drums, they look easy to play.Thanks for any advice.john


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: Blackcatter
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 11:55 PM

John,

The Irish Drum is definately not easy to learn. It is pretty tricky to get the rhythm right.


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 11:59 PM

Oh, thanks anyway, I like to learn an instrumet because Les said if you play an instument you dont have to dance.


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: Amergin
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 12:01 AM

try a mountain dulcimer.....


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: Amergin
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 12:02 AM

the nathan's belly drum is fairly easy to learn too....at least it was for me....


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: ddw
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 12:04 AM

If you just want to make acceptable accompanying noises, the 10-hole harmonica doesn't take a rocket scientist. Same is true with an Autoharp. But if you want to REALLY PLAY those puppies, they can be as challenging and most other instruments. If you want examples, listen to Mike Stevens on harp or Bryan Bowers on Autoharp.

cheers,

david


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: GUEST,allie kiwi
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 01:01 AM

Triangle

And have I lost my cookie? hmm

Allie


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: DougR
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 01:02 AM

Well, a kazoo isn't real difficult if you practice a lot.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: Ebbie
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 01:13 AM

I agree with the mountain/lap dulcimer suggestion. If you stay with the simple tunes and chords you can't really go wrong, imo.

Learn two or three tunes and once you're proficient on them, you will be able to play along or lead in a group. And since not all tunes are really suitable for the lap dulcimer, you can always say without embarrassment, I'll wait. Just my opinion.

Eb


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: paddymac
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 01:56 AM

Well, it may be true in some areas that if you play you won't have to dance. But I'd be real careful of "them Irish drums." If you're too obstrusive in some circles, you might have to "run like hell away," which may be more difficult than dancing.


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: BlueJay
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 03:24 AM

Respectfully, I feel that Allie is wrong. The Triangle must be a real bitch. I had one, and couldn't get more than one note from it, no matter what I did. (I admit, I didn't try a slide).

I haven't tried the lap dulcimer, and all the percussion and flute/whistle things I gave up long ago as too difficult for me. There must be a certain mental state that I am lacking to be able to play such things.

What I really feel is that there are no instruments that are truly easy to play, unless you get into the electronic things sold at WalMart where any five year old kid can open up an orchestra. (And I don't think that's entirely bad, either).

Any instrument, almost by definition, IMO, must be challenging in order to offer satisfaction to the player. Subtle nuances, etc.

Even the Kazoo, as DougR states, requires some practice. Spaw, as President of the Kazoo Flatulent Musician's Society, might be able to offer some useful tips in this regard.

Thanks, BlueJay


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: Sarah the flute
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 03:40 AM

Banjo - cos no-one ever wants anyone to play it!


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 03:55 AM

BlueJay! LMAO!!

My vote goes for mountain dulicmer, too, also known as lap dulcimer and Appalachian dulcimer. Spaw's got a really neat drawn up plan for making a quick and easy one for kids that my sister has used with kids from kindergarten age (5&6) on up. I think the plans are in the kids' section here at the cat. That would give you an inexpensive way of seeing if it's something you might like.

The piano is not hard, if you can read music, or have a good ear and don't get too complicated, but they are tough to haul around.:-)

Also, I have a plucked psaltery that a granddad made and sold on eBay; he offers them quite often. They come with music sheets which slide under the strings and markings of where to pluck for each note of a melody; easy as pie and they sound similiar to a small lap harp.

Have fun!

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 05:42 AM

If you are capable of playing the bones at all, you can pick up the basics pretty quickly. And they are a lot more portable than a bodhran, and easier to conceal.

And the clincher - it's the only instrument you can play while you are actually drinking. (Apart from the footdella maybe.)


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: GUEST,The Ghost Of Willie Clancy
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 05:44 AM

The uilleann pipes!

They're a complete doddle.

You'd pick them up in a weekend, I reckon!


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: gnu
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 06:35 AM

Ghost... that's why their so darn inexpensive.


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: 53
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 06:36 AM

I always thought that it was the harmonica, but some of the advice that I have heard about it, sort of makes me want to stick to the guitar.


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: GUEST,tHE gH
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 06:44 AM

The expense is just a smoke screen.

Otherwise every bugger'd be playing them, like with the guitar!

I reckon most people could be reasonably proficient within a couple of days ... a week at most ... start off with a nice easy tune like The Bucks Of Oranmore or a wee easy jig like The Gold Ring and then take it from there!


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: NicoleC
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 12:36 PM

Dulcimer, huh? And I just bought my Mom one of those $7 tin whistles 'cause I thought it would be really easy for someone who's never played a thing in her life, and she has suddenly decided she wants to be musical.


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: Midchuck
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 12:43 PM

You can learn enough guitar to accompany your singing or someone else's fiddle or whatever, in maybe six weeks of practice a half-hour to an hour a day.

You can practice eight hours a day for fifty years and not be any close to mastering the instrument than when you started - maybe further away, because you become more and more aware of what you don't know.

That's part of what makes it fun.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 12:47 PM

If you have any kind of rhythm the washboard is pretty easy. I have a friend who mounted an electric pick up on his and plugs it in. Sounds good. He uses those snare drum brushes. Another friend duct-tapes thimbles to all of his fingers to play one.


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: harpgirl
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 12:53 PM

...the easiest one to learn to play is the easiest one to learn to play for you. I don't think any one instrument is easier to learn than another. If an instrument is easy for you to play it's probably because you resonate with the instrument, so to speak.

ddw, have you really mastered the autoharp? It is not easy to play it really well, I think. Same is true for the mountain dulcimer, imho hg


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: Justa Picker
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 01:03 PM

I'm really surprised no one has mentioned the piano - the most basic instrument from which everything else flows.


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 01:12 PM

Justa Picker,

Someone (kat) did...

Read the thread, eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: artbrooks
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 01:23 PM

I'd suggest the nose flute, since playing it basically involves a controlled sneeze. However, I wouldn't suggest trying out someone else's unless you boil it first. For those who haven't seen them, they look a lot like a CPR shield and sound something like a slide whistle.


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: Wyrd Sister
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 02:11 PM

air tambourine


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 02:13 PM

John - if you fancy 10 hole mouth organ/harmonica/gob iron/tin sandwich, don't buy one. I'll be happy to pass on one of my 'retired' gob irons, and give you some starting points. It's the instrument I started playing (all of 40 years ago!) But I think that you should keep going with the whistle - especially when you get a computer and can download some tunes in ABC format.


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: GUEST,Just Amy
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 02:42 PM

I find the easiest instruments to play are: Tambourine, Bones/Spoons, Nose Flute or Autoharp. I took 7 years of piano lessons and 2 years of guitar. I picked up autoharp in about 2 minutes about 1 year into the piano lessons. Can't say I ever got good but it is easy to learn the basics. The nose flute just grosses people out which is why it is my favorite. You can learn the spoons in 10 minutes and be as good as anyone else in about 1/2 hour. Pick up a tambourine - you are playing it.


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 03:47 PM

Baritone uke is a nice size and it's easy to learn a few basic chords on it, too.

HeyaJP! I really did have ivories on m'mind!**BG**

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: catspaw49
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 04:08 PM

Tell ya' John, Skin Flute may be YOUR instrument and you probably already have a "leg up" on it.......so to speak.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 04:14 PM

My vote for mountain dulcimer. Get someone to show you the basics (tuning, simple fretting, strumming) and you will probably be playing a recognizable tune in half hour or less.

Be warned. A fair percentage of players of other acoustic instruments are annoyed by the sound of the lap dulcimer.


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: MMario
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 04:16 PM

it depends on the person.


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: Desdemona
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 04:41 PM

Lots of people say the recorder; in fact last year, my (then 3rd-grade)son's entire music class learned the basics of playing it, and this year everyone was expected to choose an instrument on their own. My son chose the saxophone(!), but can still be heard to tootle away on the recorder occasionally.


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: Benjamin
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 06:09 PM

I'd guess the triangle. The Mandolin hasn't been too challenging yet though.


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 06:43 PM

well, the uilleann pipes (especially those with full registers!) ARE slightly easier than tying your shoe whilst fending off a swarm of bees during a ski jump in a hurricane...at night...while drunk.

But for making tunes easily, I would go with a recorder. (no tuning like an autoharp)...the mountain dulcimer is pretty easy also, and is not TOO hard to tune. The recorder can be carried in a pocket and practiced almost anywhere.

Even easier...just learn mouth music! *grin*


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 09 Feb 02 - 12:13 AM

Dont learn the violin!!!! I have been playing for 17 years (I am nearly 22!!) and i wouldnt say it is easy to start. I have been classically trained and although I can play mozart, bach, beethoven etc resonably well I find learning folk tunes quite difficult.....I put it down to music college training........everything seems to sound baroque in style!!!!

catsPHiddle

"One of those Irish drums" is a bodhran, and unlike what people think in general, they are NOT an easy instrument to master. As you know john I've been playing for nearly two years now and it's taken me a long time to get as far as I am. I used to be the bain of everyone's life on my old drum, playing the same horrible rhythm, which isn't a problem, as that is what it is there for, but I wanted a lot more out of it. I wanted to express myself through my playing, which is why I probably have such a bad back and wrist. If you do decide to get a bodhran, you need to take a lot of time over deciding which one to get. Every one is different even if they're made by the same person/company. Each has a different skin, therefore has a different tone, and different beaters also give different sounds...that does not include stanley knives!! Chose wisely and find someone who can teach you well. I love my bodhran, it was £125 and is not as expensive as drums made by companies such as Roddy Turner, whose bodhrans aren't as high quality and personally I really don't like. To start with get a reasonably cheap one, but chose one with a good skin and good sound. If you need someone to go shopping with you I would be quite happy to help you choose the right one.

Sorry to go on so much, but my bodhran is my life.

See you soon John,

JeZeBeL xxx


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Feb 02 - 12:21 AM

All good points Jez.....and you can use it as a porta-potty too!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: Amergin
Date: 09 Feb 02 - 12:24 AM

Spaw...I reckon that would be the best use for one....though I must admit they are handy for going to the pubs....you can use it as your own personal barf bucket....


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: GUEST,Whippoorwill
Date: 09 Feb 02 - 01:22 AM

I haven't noticed anybody mention bass fiddle. If you can hear chord changes you can get enough music out of it to get by in a week or two. Like everything else, though, the more you learn the more there is to learn. I've been playing since 1957, and I still hear guys who make me want to go home and shoot my instrument.

Baritone uke is good, but why not tenor guitar? Don't have to pull your fingers in so tight. I've got an old tenor banjo that I tune the same as a uke (strings 1-4 on guitar). Four strings are easier than six, and you can learn to play it badly in a very short time.

Whip


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 09 Feb 02 - 01:32 AM

Easy to bang a rhythm on a bodhran---but NOT so damn' easy to PLAY one! Once you master the rhythm part, you must begin to improve; if it turns out that you can't, then forget it---you just aren't a "drum person". A bodhran can transmit a great variety of nuances, but it takes skill and practice to master the art. Try walking in on an Ian MacKintosh performance with a bodhran under your arm---"Boab, if you as much as show a stick, I'll hae you wearin' that thing like a horse-collar!" One of the main things about bodhran is knowing when NOT to play it. Ian aint anti-bodhran---he just knows that one of the commoner traits of bodhranni is the belief that their art enhances every melody; it doesn't! An easy instrument to learn?--a Jawsharp---but, like the drum, it hasn't got a part to play in every tune!


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: GUEST,Charles
Date: 09 Feb 02 - 04:21 AM

It depends on who can instruct you in the instrument and what kind of music you are playing. I've had a totally non-musical friend back us up on the electric bass after about 10-15 minutes instruction on country waltzes. ("OK, Start with this note, when we sing 'away' hit that note, next line go back to the first note, then on the last line go dum-dum-dum on these three. Got it?")


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: Jeanie
Date: 09 Feb 02 - 11:32 AM

I agree with MMario and Harpgirl - depends on the individual. I've just (this last week) started playing the mandolin, and it's great ! Wish I'd known years ago how easy it would be to play. I can even play "Captain Pugwash" - a great ambition fulfilled.

- Jeanie


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: Rogalski
Date: 09 Feb 02 - 12:26 PM

yep I would definately go for the Irish Pipes [being a scotsman] they look really easy especiallythe fullset with the drones and regulators, and i'm sure whoever said the price was a smokescreen was right....I mean, just take a look at them, any decent plumber could knock them together in about 10 minutes!!!! rogalski@bigpawsrecords.com


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Feb 02 - 01:18 PM

The kazoo is the easiest. Harmonica is also rather easy, if you don't feel the need to progress past beginner level playing. Dogs are easy too....just blow on a harmonica and the dog does the rest.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: Wincing Devil
Date: 09 Feb 02 - 01:43 PM

IMNSHO: The Vox Humana.

Easiest to learn, most difficult to master.

(AKA The Human Voice)

Wincing Devil   >;-(
<--- Insert Pithy Tagline Here --->


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 01:55 AM

Thanks everybody, especialy Les and JeZ, for your kind offers, I decided to take both your advice, stick with the whistle & practice more and by a bodhran as well.I am working almost every day at the minute but I hope to see you both soon.john
PS. I will TRY to go to the new session in Beverley on Tuesday, Les if I go you are welcome to a lift.cheers.john


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: Gillie
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 07:38 AM

Triangle or jew's harp!! Even a shaky egg.


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 08:11 AM

John, for the most part, forget "easiet". The best instrument for you will be the instrument you most want to play and it will be worth it even if it takes you years.

The drum and "easy to play" is the classic example of why there are so many bad bodhran players about and why the instrument has such a bad name in many sessions. It is a wonderful instrument but it takes skill and feeling for the music (and for the people you are playing with) to become someone that others enjoy playing with... It should never be considered an easy way into a session.

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: alison
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 08:15 AM

whistle is easier than the recorder... no "weird" fingering... and no thumb hole

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: BS: What's The Easiest Instrument to learn?
From: Jeri
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 08:37 AM

John, I'll have to agree with Jon. As why an instrument is easy. They all take work to learn, and they all take a lot of work to master.

Find one you love the sound of. Find one where the work of learning will be fun so you don't give up on it. You'll eventually quit practicing on the easiest of instruments if you don't love the sound of it enough to get through the hard parts. Trust me - I have a ton of instruments here I can play half-assed. Fiddle is what I stuck with, and fiddle is one of the hardest instruments to play. I stuck with it because I kept imagining what I could sound like.


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