What instrument do you play?

Discussion in 'Off Topic / Chit-Chat' started by fish.com1, 15 Jul 2009.

  1. fish.com1

    fish.com1 Member

    North Yorkshire
    Hey guys

    I've got my Trombone grade 3 tomorrow afternoon, after doing grade 1 this time last year. I had the choice of skipping grade 2, which i did ( :rolleyes: ), and am a little nervous about tomorrow :(

    I was wondering if anyone else plays an instrument, and if anyone has done a grade, perhaps you could share your experiences?

    My grade 1 went fairly smoothly, and instead of the usual month or two of waiting to find out if you passed, i found out straight away, because my sister who was doing her grade 5 cornet exam thought she had done terrible, so started crying ( :lol: ), and the examiner guy felt sorry for her and told her she'd passed, and because im her brother he told me that i'd passed too :)

    So, does anyone else play an instrument?

  2. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    worksop, nottinghamshire
    drums mainly, and a bit of piano, guitar & viola

    I have never done any grades...

    good luck
  3. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Expert

    newark notts.
  4. samc

    samc Member

    mark you look pretty pro

    i used to play a bit of guitar but sold my electric and kept the acoustic but forgot alot of stuff which some people say you can't but you can. maybe if i was shown again id remember
  5. vauxhallmark

    vauxhallmark Member

    I did those grades - had to do grade 8 recorder recorder, clarinet, piano and theory as part of my college course (though I'd already done most of the instrument ones). Be confident - your teacher won't put you in for a grade if they don't think you're ready for it!

    Try and think about what you can do to your pieces to make them sound great (perhaps try and listen to a few great trombonists playing your piece), but for the studies and scales, nothing's gonna beat practice. Put all the scale, arpeggios etc you have to do for your exam on slips of paper, fold them all up, put them in a bowl, and pick out two or three every day, and play them at a speed you can do them perfectly. Don't try and play them faster if it makes you make a mistake. They seem boring, but every piece is made up of little bits of all our scales, arpeggios, dominant 7ths, diminished 7ths etc. - they seem boring, but those are the notes you need to know!

    Sight reading practice is easy, buy a hymn book, and just play a few every day. That's the skill that will get you a seat in any orchestra you want when you're more experienced.

    Please try and find a band or orchestra to play in if you don't already.

    Above all, just enjoy your trombone, and the fantastic noise you can make with it!

    Good luck,

  6. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Lincoln UK
    My main instrument is bass, but I can also play keyboards and guitar (not like Mark. I fudge it)

    I also sing a lot and was always the singer in whatever band I was in. Always first up on the Karaoke

    Not played live for nearly ten years now and only picked up the bass a couple of times in the last few years :)

    On the forget note above. I agree. Used to play the recorder in primary school and could read music. Can't read music now. Don't know what happened there. lol

    Never did any formal training or grades even though my Mum is a top piano teacher. lol.

    Last time I played a gig (band cancelled at my local so me and 3 other regulars (who'd never even see each other play let alone played together) spent 4 hours rehearsing some songs and did a 2 hour gig :) even sounding almost like we had been working together for a long time.) The guitarist was an ex session player that had worked with Dire Straits apparently. No idea on how true this is as you know how true some people's thoughts are. I do know he was an alcoholic, druggie but an unbelievable guitar player. lol. Played Sultans of Swing solo note for note.

    Gig fees were...............Free beer all night. The second half of the gig was remarkably good for 4 people struggling to stand up :lol:

    Unlike Mark I was never really prepares to commit time to a band. I like to have my options open so always ended up doing one offs and jams. lol

    This is the only pic of that now infamous night I have now :)

  7. plantbrain

    plantbrain Expert



    and the tub:

    Tom barr
  8. amy4342

    amy4342 Member

    I currently teach piano and violin with a diploma in practical performance and in teaching in each instrument. I also have a grade 8 in singing and theory, and I'm starting at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama next September. Can't wait!

    Alex, how did the exam go? I wouldn't have been nervous about skipping a grade - I mostly put students in for grades 1, 3, 5, 7 + 8. I do the scales and bring sight reading and aural skills of the missed grades up to scratch as I go along, but I don't do the pieces because I don't feel the time dedicated is beneficial.

    With regards to advice, practice at least three times a week, in a routine if possible. Always try to practise a mix of scales and technical skills, pieces, aural and sight reading throughout the week. Don't set yourself a time limit (within reason - don't go practising for hours) - set some realistic goals and set out to achieve them within that practise session. I.E. Practise 4/5 scales/technical skills (slowly, always focusing on the quality of the sound, not the speed), then aim to complete x amount of a piece or increase the speed dependant on what stage of the piece you're on (remember to work through difficult bits very very slowly - make sure each note is right before you speed it up slowly to fit with the rest of the piece), then sight read a random piece of music (practise makes perfect) and then maybe play a short tune and sing it back, or make some points about a random piece of music (staccatto/legato, tempo, tonality etc). to improve aural skills. That way, when it comes to the exam, the sight reading and aural skills have been practised as much as the scales and pieces, which often loose people that merit or distinction because they're not practised enough.

    Experiance gained in an orchestra is always invaluable and expands skills hugely. It's also fun!

    I really hope you do well! But above all else, enjoy!
  9. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Lincoln UK
    Tom . love the first bass. apart from the amount of strings ;) but that second bass is butt ugly. lol

    Surely they are not dodgy d'aggio string s you're using??

    There I am talking about basses and I play with an '82 Ibanez Blazer custum (in my piccy, that I had to strip and rebuild myself. lol

    Tried many times in my younger days to replace it but no matter how much they cost they never matched the sound :(

    Ugly and boring but struggle to get that clank without tieing a double weight Ricky round my neck. lol

    (I want to sound like Geddy)

  10. hellohefalump

    hellohefalump Member

    Newhaven, east sussex
    My sister just did her grade 3 trombone too!

    I play the trumpet as my main instrument. I found exam things got easier (scales etc) when I started learning the piano though because I could visualise the keys and play the coresponding note on the trumpet.
  11. plantbrain

    plantbrain Expert

    The Mod 6 is awesome if you can handle the 6 string bass. The strings are not those.

    I prefer a 4 string.
    6 took some getting use to.

    The Factor is really awesome, light and great sound. Stu Hamm from Joe Satriani used them, Duran Duran etc.
    I have a Fender Jazz that's been modified and redone but has a nice maple neck, and Stick Washburn bass and Warwick Fretless thur neck Thumb bass as well. Love the Warwick fretless with a wedge fretboard(brighter than the ebony).

    Sort of a Les Claypool/Primus/Stu Hamm/Flea/chili pepper/Rage Against the Machine/Vic Wooten fusion.
    It's not what I really want to play and all.......more Jaco and Jazz, but that is what keeps coming out :rolleyes:
    SWR amps
    Folks seem to like it a lot, not sure why:)

    I might get a Rick, but I like Alembic's. I'd like to upgrade to a status graphite or a Stein for the Stick.
    So a nicer stick, a rick, and an alembic 32" scale with LED's and MK, Series 1, or a distillate.
    I try all sorts of strings really, not really that picky, as long as they do not break.

    I figure those will run about 1000$ for the stein/status, 1000$ or so for a used Rick, 2000-3000$ for the Alembic used.
    So if I have an extra 5000$ :lol:

    I use to play the viola and the French horn through middle and high school. Wish I'd picked up the upright bass.
    I played Jazz bass in high school, then all sorts of weird marching band instruments(horns).

    Tom Barr
  12. fish.com1

    fish.com1 Member

    North Yorkshire
    Wow thanks everyone for the great replies :)

    I'd lke to play the drums, but all the teaching slots are taken at my school :(


    Wow, Nice one mark looks like it used to be a great band, looking at the website :)

    My sister started playing guitar late last year, it's amazing how quickly she's picked it up

    You might find it's easy if you have another go ;)

    Nice, a year 11 who just left my school, did grade 8 on the trombone, it must be really hard, because he's very good but still found it tough going. Thanks for the advice mark, I don't do sight reading, but I think it's compulsory after grade 5 so i'll keep that advice in mind.

    Our school has 3 bands, concert, jazz rock, and folk band, i'm only in concert band at the minute, but hopefully i'll get to join the others as I get better.

    Thanks for the advice :)

    I can't sing, so respect for doing that.

    I have a tin whistle similar to the recorder, which i'm trying to learn to play, but I think i'll have to learn another clef (trombone is bass, and I think tin whistle is treble :?)

    Nice pic and sounded like a good night :lol:
    Nice :)

    I don't know much about guitars so I'll shut up now :oops: :lol:

    Hi Amy

    Good luck at the college in september. Hope it goes well :)

    The exam went ok, thank you for asking. I messed up the lip flexibility and parts of the aurals, but the scales/arrpegios and pieces went fine, so fingers crossed i'll pass 8) I think I was nervous because, in grade 1 I passed with distinction, so don't want to let the standard drop kind of thing. But my sister explained to me yesterday, that a pass is a pass regardless of the merit/distinction, so i'll be pleased with whatever as long as I pass :)

    I think next time I will practice less for the pieces and more for the aurals/technichal work, because I think that is where I let myself down. You live and learn I geuss.

    Thanks for the advice, it is nice getting good pointers from people in the know, and as i've already mentioned I am in the band at school, and I really enjoy it :)

    Thanks again for the advice :)
    Thats a coincidence!

    The examiner yesterday played the trumpet, I think it helps if your examiner plays the same instrument as you, because they know how challenging it can be.

    I'll let everyone know if I passed when I get the results, my teacher said it should only be a couple of weeks until he gets them through.

  13. fish.com1

    fish.com1 Member

    North Yorkshire
    I got back from holiday a few days ago, to a message on the phone saying i'd passed with merit :D
  14. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

    Daventry, Northants
    I tell you what, i pretend to play the guitar (again, all the gear and no idea) and Mark picked up mine and i was absolutely blown away! Proper pro, fingers all over the board and i was just in ore. Respect to anyone who can play like that!
  15. Superman

    Superman Member

    I used to play the piano regularly and got to grade 6 but gave up as playing 3 pieces for a year and a half for exams wasn't my idea of playing the piano anymore.

    I generally play when I visit my parent's house now but only when they're not in.

    I love playing but I find it a very personal experience and don't like to play in front of people anymore.

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