Playing any instrument at a professional level is no mean feat. That’s why becoming a pro at more than one instrument is something worth celebrating. The question is, what does it take to become a multi-instrumentalist? The following advice from Willy M will help you get started:
Of course, there has to be real passion driving you in this direction. Passion and interest, as well as determination, will help you on this journey toward success in mastering several instruments.
The beauty of music is that its foundations remain the same all over the world, and this isn’t likely to change anytime soon. A proper understanding of music theory will help you understand the workings of different instruments. Its unchanging nature gives you a solid ground to build upon.
The basic notes will almost always be the same, no matter what instrument you switch to. (I say almost, because some world instruments do have extra notes, but for our discussion we will stick to well-known Western instruments.) A Major scale will always be A Major scale. A Minor scale will always be A Minor scale. Via TakeLessons
An Understanding of Instrument Classification
Instruments fall into different categories which you need to know so you know how to apply your efforts.
But first, let’s break down the four main types of instruments:
Piano (including keyboards)
Stringed instruments (including guitar, banjo, mandolin, and violin)
Wind instruments (including flute, harmonica, brass instruments, and bagpipes)
Percussion instruments (including drum set, djembe, and cajon) Via TakeLessons
Readiness to Adjust
For instance, in playing guitar, one hand does the strumming while the other holds the chords, and they work in coordination. If you switch to playing the piano, your hands will need to get accustomed to playing different things. this means you will need to master a new skill, which will be beneficial in your musical journey.
There will be some muscle memory issues that need to be worked out with almost every transition you make. Sometimes you will be switching from predominately using your left hand to predominately using your right, or vice versa. Via TakeLessons
Willingness to Learn Anew
When learning your first instrument, you may not have learned some things that are required to learn another one. Even if you went through music theory classes, there are definitely some things that are completely absent in one instrument but are fundamental in the other.
Depending on the instrument you begin with, some new musical techniques may need to be learned. If you started with an instrument that uses a particular clef, you might need to learn to read another clef. If you never read tablature before, you might need to learn. Via TakeLessons
There are things that you will be happy to know are similar when playing two different instruments. Enjoy these pleasant surprises that come along your way.
You may find that your fingers are already trained. For instance, a guitar uses the left-hand fingers for playing chords and lead lines. The Irish tin whistle uses the left hand to finger some of the holes, and the dexterity gained from playing the guitar can easily cross over to the tin whistle. Via TakeLessons
And Discomforts too…
As you switch from playing one instrument to another, you should be prepared to be uncomfortable. Posture and other things necessary in playing the instruments will need to be adjusted accordingly.
You may find that the way you comfortably sit with one instrument is not the way you sit comfortably with another instrument. As an example: when I play the banjo, I sit with my knees tucked in to allow the banjo a place to rest while I play, whereas with the drums, my knees are wider apart to reach the hi-hat and kick pedals. Via TakeLessons
Once you have prepared yourself as mentioned above, then you can begin your journey into becoming a multi-instrumentalist. Remember to be patient with yourself and take one instrument at a time. Set realistic goals so you don’t end up demoralizing yourself in the process. All the best!
Featured Image: Image Credit
Meet Richard Swift. The multi-instrumentalist who played on the new album and also co-wrote ‘Alone’ – the title track. pic.twitter.com/zR8SWBC3lX
— The Pretenders (@ThePretendersHQ) October 25, 2016
He’s a producer, a singer, a songwriter and a multi-instrumentalist!
— BBC Radio 1 (@BBCR1) October 31, 2016
WATCH THIS MULTI-INSTRUMENTALIST TURN ‘STARBOY’ INTO A CLASSIC DAFT PUNK TRACK
Plenty has been said about The Weeknd’s “Starboy,” both praise and critique alike, and among those sentiments is the idea that Daft Punk didn’t stay true to their sound – just one opinion out of many. Well, Samuraiguitarist has taken the hit single and morphed it into the classic ambience of Random Access Memories.
Building off the style of Nile Rodgers’ funky progressions, Samuraiguitarist traces the track’s bassline akin to 2013’s “Get Lucky,” and voicing the lyrics through a talkbox throughout the track brilliantly recreates a classic Daft Punk feel. There are even moments of crackled vinyl dispersed through the cover. If you’re curious to hear what “Starboy” may have sounded like in a parallel universe, watch the video below. Via Youre DM
18 Year Old Multi-Instrumentalist Rocks The Guitar And Didgeridoo At The Same Time!
Playing an instrument is no easy task, so imagine how difficult it is to play multiple instruments at once. For musician, Fingers Mitchell Cullen, it’s a task that he does often and does well. The 23-year-old singer/songwriter is best-known for his skills in the 12 string guitar, but that’s not all he can do. In this amazing performance from a performance in Australia, Fingers leaves everyone in the crowd stunned when he hits the stage and plays multiple instruments. One thing is for sure, artists like this certainly don’t come around very often.
Watch the video to see this unbelievable performance! Via Super Star Magazine
GRAMMY AWARD-WINNING MULTI-INSTRUMENTALIST SAM BUSH MAKES TRIUMPHANT RETURN WITH STORYMAN, AVAILABLE JUNE 24TH
June 2, 2016 – Nashville, TN – GRAMMY award-winning multi-instrumentalist Sam Bush, returns with his seventh Sugar Hill release, Storyman, on June 24th. Sign up here to get pre-order info when available.
Sam Bush’s new album Storyman is a freewheeling collection that gleefully picks and chooses from jazz, folk, blues, reggae, country swing, and bluegrass to create a jubilant noise only classifiable as the “Sam Bush sound.” Many of the songs are stories––several of them true––and the legendary mandolin player co-wrote every one of them with friends, including the late Guy Clark, Emmylou Harris, Jon Randall Stewart, Jeff Black, bandmate Stephen Mougin, and others. Storyman continues Bush’s tradition of creating something completely new and fresh for each recording, this time focusing on stories from some of the most popular songsmiths of our time. Via Sam Bush