Your other instruments - influences?

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by dougmon, May 31, 2020.

  1. dougmon

    dougmon Gretschie

    Jan 9, 2013
    Hey all:

    I know that many of us here play other instruments. When I read a thread where someone talks about other instruments, I always wonder - what was the motivation? Was there a certain musician that influenced you to take up another instrument?

    I took up harmonica because of Sonny Boy Williamson, although the first person who really blew me away on the harp was Magic Dick from the J. Geils Band. I'm still not any good, but I enjoy trying.

    So, I'm going to throw this question out to another harp player to get us rolling and I hope people that play other instruments will chime in:

    @thunder58, was there any one player that influenced you to take up the harmonica?
    ZackyDog, mrfixitmi and thunder58 like this.
  2. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    I tool piano, violin, trumpet, baritone horn - all were motivated by Chinese dragon parents.:D I am so glad that I was made to take piano, I passed the suffering onto my kids.

    Guitar was the first instrument I chose for myself..
    Waxhead, Flouswa, Lunchmeat and 7 others like this.
  3. GretschPraise

    GretschPraise Gretschie

    Jun 26, 2017
    Tampa Bay
    acoustic guitar (grew up in the 60s), mandolin- thanks to Grisman and Rice I was into Dawg, everyone else around me was into Celtic, so that's where I ended up for a dozen years or so. Electric makes up 80% of my playing right now.
    mrfixitmi, mandobandit and dougmon like this.
  4. mandobandit

    mandobandit Gretschie

    Apr 1, 2019
    There was a few years where I was heavily into bluegrass, fiddle tunes, folk, Americana.
    Now guitar has always been my main focus but I owned and could play(to rudimentary level) mandolin, dobro,banjo(Scruggs and claw hammer) and even a little fiddle.
    I enjoyed them all but found it to be too many to be as proficient as I wanted
    mrfixitmi likes this.
  5. speedicut

    speedicut Friend of Fred

    Jun 5, 2012
    I took piano lessons when I was a kid but hated them and still cant play, but, it taught me to read music to an extent.
    I heard earl Scruggs when u was about 14 and bought a cheap banjo and taught myself to play it somewhat... I got much better on it years later but quit playing it 20 years ago when I decided to focus more on guitar
    mrfixitmi likes this.
  6. lp_bruce

    lp_bruce Gretschie

    Apr 28, 2019
    Metro Detroit
    I am self taught on keyboard and play some on stage with my acoustic trio, especially Celtic music. I'm not good enough to really have any influences.

    I play just a little harmonica.
    mrfixitmi and dougmon like this.
  7. BFTmarshall

    BFTmarshall Gretschie

    Jan 12, 2020
    35 years bass
    almost 5 on guitar now
    2nd year of drumming

    so glad took the time to learn to be my own band..the music making is never ending now & recording at home has saved me a small fortune this last 6 months. No more waiting on depending on non motivated players
    mrfixitmi and dougmon like this.
  8. pmac11

    pmac11 Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2018
    Toronto, Ontario
    Took piano lessons until I was 11, quit because he wouldn't teach me Benny and the Jets.. only classical. Played baritone in the school band grades 7 and 8. Guitar I chose for myself in grade 9, it stuck. Still play a bit of piano, great instrument for writing.
    mrfixitmi and dougmon like this.
  9. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    My parents paid me 8 years of piano-lessons. I played every day but never practised properly. So I became quite good at doing my own music with that instrument but never reached a degree as a proper pianist.

    Knowing sheetmusic, harmony etc. helped me a lot when learning the guitar, too. It was easy to learn and I did not need any teacher.
    I used this knowledge for arranging and composing. Made everything much easier.
    To this day I enjoy playing the piano every now and then. It is a little orchestra in itself.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
    ZackyDog, Henry, Tadhg and 4 others like this.
  10. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Friend of Fred

    When I was about 5 years old, I loved using wooden spoons on empty cardboard oatmeal cylinders. Drumming just seemed to a natural thing for me. My mother recognized it, because she did some drumming as she grew up (snare, cello, and piano). In 4th grade, we had moved to a new school (new state) and I wanted to join the school band on drums. The music director told my parents that he had plenty of drummers, so if I wanted to be in the band, I had to play clarinet. I suffered through that for about 2 yrs, and then just gave up music (bad music teacher - long story).

    At 43, I was preparing to head into ministry, when I friend told me that if I was going to work with kids, I needed to learn to play the guitar. With that, she gifted me an Alvarez RD-8, and off to seminary I went. It took me a while to learn to play (I suppose all the school work kept getting in the way), but that became my second instrument. At 52, I started playing the drums, and that instrument is still my first love. Eventually, I picked up a used keyboard to work out a few things that made more sense on a keyboard, and I still dabble on that instrument. A couple of years ago, Rich (@thunder58) got me interested in trying to learn harmonica. It turns out that it's not quite as easy as it looks, but I'll get it one day. I'm in no real hurry.

    For, me there have been plenty of inspirations for the instruments that I have chosen, but in the end, I have never wanted to play like a "hero." I have only wanted to be the best me that I can be, and to have fun playing.
    new6659, mrfixitmi, thunder58 and 2 others like this.
  11. 19MGB76

    19MGB76 Gretschie

    Jul 31, 2018
    Piano lessons through college. Picked up a guitar in college. Studied sax and percussion in college. Played violin from 10 through being an instructor at a couple institutions as well as teaching string pedagogy and playing full time in many orchestras while gigging on lead alto in a big band. Since semi retirement I'm mostly playing bass - electric and upright - and playing clarinet in the local symphony. Throw in some time working as a drummer and timpanist with an opera company, plus other groups on misc instruments and most people don't believe that I did any of that so I mostly just shut up and ride my bicycle whenever possible.

    I enjoy playing almost anything with most levels of players, but there are enough seriously messed up people in music that I'd rather spend time with my (or any) dog watching tv than have anything to do with them.
  12. stiv

    stiv Country Gent

    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    I envy all of you guys that have piano skills. Right now I’m struggling to learn it to a decent stage (like being able to play my songs and sing live).
    The good part of this sad story it’s that it challenged me like nothing did in the last 10 years.
    I’m fighting the fight! :)
    Sabato, loudnlousy, new6659 and 5 others like this.
  13. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    Synthesizers... If I could...

    OK... I stop ! ;)


    Attached Files:

  14. oneforsorrow

    oneforsorrow Electromatic

    May 15, 2020
    I sure wish I had piano lessons growing up but I'm certain I would've detested it. No one in my family had one iota of music training or interest for that matter. But in the 3rd grade, we were given this extensive testing where we listened to a bunch of music and were asked a bunch of questions. Based on this, some music company pitched instruments that aligned with our test results from the aforementioned questions. Turns out, I was well suited for drums. So I started playing in 4th grade. I was lucky enough to be in a school with an exceptional band director and as it turns out, an assistant band director whose degree was in percussion. A couple of years later, my family moved across the country but again, landed in a school with another exceptional band director. And a couple of years later, we moved again but this time the band director was so inept, our drum major did most of the directing. My interest waned about that time as some friends and I were forming our first band. There were 2 of us that played drums and by then, I'd picked up guitar so I switched. That was in 1985 or 1986. But I've never really stopped drumming. I still do all the drumming for our recordings and LOVE the drums.

    As for influences, I've grown over the years. At first, it was all about Kenny Arnoff. Then I graduated to Jim Keltner and Levon Helm. But at 50 years old, I lose my mind over Jay Bellarose. That guy is otherwordly. Such a holistic approach to rhythm with a touch and feel that is as organic as a human can be with an instrument. And his tone is so rich and spot on. It helps that he plays on so many of my favorite records too. Played a festival last year about this time and he was part of the house band (Over The Rhine). I got to chat with him briefly. Super nice guy. I told him how he completely changed my approach to the instrument and he was gracious and forthcoming on the topic. If you ever get a chance to see him play, be sure to do so.
    LivingMyDream, mrfixitmi and dougmon like this.
  15. davenumber2

    davenumber2 Gretschie

    Nov 1, 2019
    Columbia, MO
    I play bass in a band. Some of my buddies needed somebody to fill in. 8 years later I’m still filling in. The lead guitar player and I switch for a few songs so I get to have my guitar fix too.
  16. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Hey @dougmon . not really sure if there was one particular player who really influenced me ...well John Lennon , Neil Young do come to mind . And that album , " J. Giles - Full House Live " with Richard " Magic Dick " Salwitz ( listen to Whammer Jammer ...WOW ! ) I really like to collect the limited edition harmonicas also and I'm constantly bugging Hohner for a Neil Young tribute harmonica when I get the chance .... maybe someday :rolleyes:
    I belong to SPAH ( Society for the preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica ) I once wrote a story of how I had gotten interested in harmonica and they had published it in there magazine . Maybe it will help explain things .....:) IMG_0689.jpg IMG_0688.jpg
  17. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Just a few and always growing IMG_2872.JPG
  18. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Not much but when I do I just strum ..... IMG_0012.JPG IMG_0010.JPG
    hcsterg, Tele295, new6659 and 3 others like this.
  19. RomanS

    RomanS Gretschie

    May 26, 2010
    Vienna, Austria
    I took up the bass as a teen, because there were so many other guitar players (most of them better than me...), but everybody was looking for a bass player.

    Took up lap steel because I love Hank Williams, and other country music from the 40s and 50s.

    I tried learning pedal steel, but gave up after a year, not enough time to concentrate on that difficult instrument.

    And I played accordion for a few years, because I love Tex Mex music, particularly Flaco Jiménez. Even used that instrument in a band for a few songs; unfortunately, that band fell apart, and accordion doesn't fit in either of my two current bands, so I haven't really been practicing in a long time...
    LivingMyDream, mrfixitmi and dougmon like this.
  20. mrfixitmi

    mrfixitmi Synchromatic

    Mar 20, 2010
    I had taken piano lessons from my Aunt when I was age 6 through 12. When I was 11, I made a mistake and asked her how come I could not learn cool songs like "Pappa's got a brand new bag", she slammed the keyboard cover on my hands...after I got the feelings in them, it was back to the Danube Waltz, and other songs that a young adult "craved". I put up with it until I turned 12, and stopped practicing.

    Since I was already playing an upright Bass in the family polka band, a guitar was the next progression. I do have to admit that knowing how to site read from piano helped a lot for guitar, especially in the studio, where the music had not been played on the radio.

    When I saw Earl Scruggs playing the Banjo when I was 14, something stirred inside, and it seemed like such a happy place where I felt I needed.
    It took me two years to save up for an Aida Banjo, it still plays well, except not by me, my son is 1000 times better than I ever was. I felt the best thing I ever did was give my son space and not micro-manage him, he loves music, is better in all aspects than the old man, but I do get to play along with is good.
    new6659 and LivingMyDream like this.
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