Play music, not just an instrument

music instruments

“Oh, you’re a musician. What do you play?”, “I play music”

Most of us will answer that question with a specific instrument, I know I did for years. I now answer it with “music.” This usually results in a confused look. So I follow it with “my preferred instrument is the bass guitar but I’ll play anything given the chance”

Why limit yourself to one instrument when there are hundreds out there. You never know what you might learn.

Drums, I love to bang on the drums every once in a while. In doing so my style of playing has taken a percussive nature with ghost notes, slaps and pops to mimic the bass drum and snare. It’s also made me concentrate on the drummers style and lock in with him. Every drummer is different and you gotta listen for his (or her) style and lock into it. A song changes and gets people moving when the bass and drums lock in.

Guitar, I have an acoustic guitar at home that I pick up every so often and belt out a few Irish ballads on it. Playing guitar has taught me about strumming patterns and how these effect what I should play on bass in a song. Singing has taught me about soloing and how to pick out the vocal line and play it on the bass.

Banjo and Piano Accordion, I also have a banjo and piano accordion in the house. I grew up playing trad on the piano accordion and picked up the banjo in later years. I tend to also learn how to play the tunes on the bass which helps me think of the bass as a melodic and solo instrument. And it’s fun to see who’s head turns when I start belting out a reel on the bass, cooley’s reel is my favourite.

You don’t have to remember to answer the question with “music” from now on. Just don’t stop yourself from picking up any other instrument and having a go. You never know what might happen!

Tom

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