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TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

Pretty Little Lyres

Okay, next bagpipe.

Swedish bagpipes

To start off with, yes there are tons of very different kinds of bagpipes. Depending how you count them, about 100 or so, from as far west as Portugal, as far south as Oman, as far north as Lappland (the arctic areas of Scandinavia), and as far east as India.

To head off any question: no, the Scots positively did not invent bagpipes, nor were they particularly early adopters. The slightly more intellectual misapprehension is that it's a "Celtic" instrument, with the Breton of France and Galicians of Spain being further evidence as the remnants of European Celts. However, this is also disproven by the fact that the non-Celtic neighbors of these folks also have bagpipes, and then plenty of areas with little/no Celtic influence. Bagpipe origin is still disputed, but primary theories are that it's a Middle Eastern instrument spread by the Crusades, an Indian instrument spread by the Romany (gypsies), or a Roman instrument spread by colonisation, though again there's no evidence that the Romans brought the pipes to the British Isles. In any case, Swedes had bagpipes too. The last traditional player shuffled off this mortal coil pre-WWII, but the instrument was revived around the 1980s.

I play Swedish pipes (sackpipa) myself, and they're awesome. They're of moderate volume, so easy to play indoors or along with guitar/fiddle. They have a very distinct mellower tone than the more popular pipes, probably because they use a very different type of reed, and cylindrical bore. On the practical side, sackpipa are also great because they're small, take little air, can play several different scales (which not all pipes can do), and are quite inexpensive.



If you're interested in taking them up, a good-quality student pipe made from synthetics costs $385 from Seth Hamon in Texas. If you're dead set on wood, either Hamon or Boris Favre (Vancouver, BC) can hook you up for probably $700-800. If you go with Hamon, I'd definitely pay for the small upgrade to synthetic reeds, as that eliminates one real hassle for noobs.

There are plenty of players online (both English and Swedish speaking), a forum for each language, and an entire instructional website with massive detail, technical tips, tunebook, etc. If you're interested in this at all, you simply must read Olle Gallmo's "Swedish Bagpipes" site.



Clips:

- Lördagsvisa, my favourite Swedish song, played with a modern hybrid sackpipa with bellows under the arm (rather than blowing by mouth) and bass drone.
-Ljugaren, played with a sackpipa, fiddle and drum
-The Miller of Dee, an old British folk tune on sackpipa


In a few days, I'll cover the next type of pipes the Scottish smallpipe. Again, if you want a Scottish bagpipe for marching around or playing funerals/weddings, before you buy anything find yourself a band or teacher. The Great Highland pipe has a very specific tradition, and (IMO) is great in those traditions but not very versatile outside them. If you want a Scottish pipe for jamming with friends, playing in a band with fiddles and guitars, kicking back in your apartment with a beer and playing some jigs, you definitely want a Scottish smallpipe instead of the Great Highland pipe.

If interest holds, later on in the thread I can delve briefly into Spanish, Italian, French, and German pipes. I don't play those myself, but can provide you some resources to explore. The Italian pipe is chronically short of players in the US, so if you're an Italian American wanting to get in touch with your heritage, I highly recommend looking into those. Here's the trailer for a great documentary on Italian pipes, shot by an Italian-American piper.

TapTheForwardAssist fucked around with this message at 22:59 on Jun 4, 2011

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sithael
Nov 11, 2004
I'm a Sad Panda too!

Do you have any recommendations for a good tiple (any kind)? I've actually been looking for one since getting my cuatro, but ebay doesn't have much of a selection.

squeakygeek
Oct 27, 2005


How about the didjeridoo? I picked one up in Australia a few years ago and figured out the circular breathing but haven't done much with it since.

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

Pretty Little Lyres

squeakygeek posted:

How about the didjeridoo? I picked one up in Australia a few years ago and figured out the circular breathing but haven't done much with it since.

The Cleaner, above, opened himself up to didg questions; I'll ping him on PMs if I can.

The main thing I'd imagine comes up with didg is not so much how to get better at it (keep playing, watch YouTube tutorials, read threads about it), but what to actually do with it. I haven't played on seriously, but I'd be curious to know what folks do with this skill. It sounds cool, but do you back up certain kinds of jams, play along with albums, just meditate, or what?



quote:

Do you have any recommendations for a good tiple (any kind)? I've actually been looking for one since getting my cuatro, but ebay doesn't have much of a selection.

Your Google-search is as good as mine, unfortunately. Do you read Spanish at all? Might be more threads on some Spanish forums for it. I know that Lone Star had a pretty good rep, and looking into it I see they're now called Paracho, and that is the main make sold on eBay. Is Lone Star also the one you got your cuatro from?

I don't know what you do on your cuatro (just strum it uke/guitar style?), but you might find it really interesting to watch some YouTube of tres players. Traditionally, it appears the main thing tres does in backing up is to play complex arpeggios; that is, to form a simple chord with the left hand, and then the right hand plays a series of fingerpicking patterns, then change chords and keep playing a similar pattern. It's very distinctive once you get used to listening for it, and makes a relatively simple string sound ornate.


I'm inclined to cover autoharp next, but before I do, does someone already here specialise in that? I can give some general advice and cool clips, but don't have a ton of specifics. You can do really complex stuff on one as you get good, but for basic "chord... strum-strum" stuff it's an extremely easy instrument, fast to sound good on, and there are plenty of quite inexpensive used ones of good make on eBay.

PJ Harvey does some freaky stuff; she is to autoharp what Rasputina is to cello: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Va0w5pxFkAM

The Cleaner
Jul 18, 2008

I WILL DEVOUR YOUR BALLS!


squeakygeek posted:

How about the didjeridoo? I picked one up in Australia a few years ago and figured out the circular breathing but haven't done much with it since.

Well I'm in the same boat you are. I'd say most people are, as it's a fairly hard instrument to add to a jam/garage band sort of thing. The only two things I'd say you might look into if you're very into playing it yet at a standstill and don't feel like sitting on a street corner droning for change...

1. Beat boxing while playing it. I don't do it myself but there's lots of vids of people literally beat-boxing into it as they play. It can sound cool but it often sounds mediocre if your not already heavily experienced at beat-boxing.

2. Modding it. Adding a small mic at the end and installing FX processing and knobs directly on it like one YouTube guy did. Very cool but also kinda complex. Purists will probably scoff at this but it can sound really otherworldly.

3. Playing to trace/techno beats. You have to be GOOD to do this and not sound terrible. But much like the videos out there, once you get experience it can sound really incredible. You need to be able to play fast, circular breathe fast, and have good lung capacity.

Hope that at least inspires some interest. Most people I know, including myself, are stuck in that rut. I mean, it's kind of a one-note instrument and hard to play in a band but there are some cool things people are doing with it.

The Cleaner fucked around with this message at 04:49 on Jun 6, 2011

Rainbow Tapir
Aug 19, 2010


Regarding the ocarina, when I got mine I did some of research into the different brands and such, and the ones that I got recommended time and time again were Focalink and Maparam (except the Maparam site is entirely in Korean and appears to be down, except I don't actually know because I can't read Korean). I've had no experience with Maparam but I can personally recommend Focalink, mine is from there and was about $90 including shipping and sounds excellent (maybe not pro-standard but a reasonable facsimile).

I will admit that I got mine due to Zelda as well (it's the same style, and it's even blue) but it's extended pretty far past that and I love just taking it somewhere that I can't take a bigger instrument, it sounds really nice and you can get some pretty complex tunes on it I hope to branch out to a double ocarina sometime soon.

The Mutato
Feb 23, 2011

Neil deGrasse Highson

Dulcimer question here!

So after seeing the OP here, the dulcimer really caught my eye, and in my guitar playing I tend to write lots of drone-style riffs so I feel it would really suit my style.

Basically, I'm left-handed and in Australia, so that restricts my options quite a bit. I talked to the guy at my local guitar shop and he said he is pretty involved with someone who custom-makes quality dulcimers for "under $500". My only other option is buying a $250~ dollar dulcimer of ebay and reversing the nut myself (how much would this cost/involve by the way).

Great thread and thanks in advance.

WAFFLEHOUND
Apr 26, 2007


I'd love to learn the steel pan drum, I love the sound and I've played one once before and it was a blast. Anyone have any advice on learning that isn't "spend a grand on one and see if you like it?"

GoutPatrol
Oct 17, 2009

Coal Jobs for the Coal God



I've actually had a mountain dulcimer inside a closet in my house for as long as I can remember. This topic has given me a reason to dust it off and learn how to play it.

Party Spock
Feb 16, 2011

Everybody have a logical time

Thank you for a fantastic thread!

You don't happen to know anything about the double flute, do you?

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

Pretty Little Lyres

quote:

I've actually had a mountain dulcimer inside a closet in my house for as long as I can remember. This topic has given me a reason to dust it off and learn how to play it.

Awesome! After you mess with it for a day or two, you'll probably want to spend $5 on a new set of strings (online may be easiest). If your tuners misbehave and keep slipping, or if you get it tuned up perfect but a few notes sound off when you play, post here or PM me and I can walk you through some really simple basic maintenance.

Note the above posts for all the online tutorials, book, etc.

quote:

I'd love to learn the steel pan drum, I love the sound and I've played one once before and it was a blast. Anyone have any advice on learning that isn't "spend a grand on one and see if you like it?"

You might want to do a little google-research here. I glanced around, and I'm finding some brands like Panyard that carry a broad range, some as cheap as $150 or so on Amazon. Also there's Rockcreek who appear to be pretty serious folks and have a "single guitar" drum for $595. They also have a variant called a "tongue drum" (not to be confused with the wooden tongue drum) that aren't true classic steel drums, but are similar and a lot easier/cheaper to make; those are $145 for a 9-note, but I'd suggest going up at least a size.



Neat clip of hand-playing the above.

I'd definitely go digging and read up on it; maybe see if there's a good big percussion forum that has some steel pan threads, or where you can sign up and post a noob thread?


The Mutato posted:

Dulcimer question here!

So after seeing the OP here, the dulcimer really caught my eye, and in my guitar playing I tend to write lots of drone-style riffs so I feel it would really suit my style.

Basically, I'm left-handed and in Australia, so that restricts my options quite a bit. I talked to the guy at my local guitar shop and he said he is pretty involved with someone who custom-makes quality dulcimers for "under $500". My only other option is buying a $250~ dollar dulcimer of ebay and reversing the nut myself (how much would this cost/involve by the way).

Great thread and thanks in advance.

Coupla things. US/AU$500 is pretty steep for dulcimers unless the guy has a seriously good rep. And even then, I generally wouldn't advise a noob to spend too-too much on a new custom dulcimer, mainly because you might not know what you like until you get a better feel for the instrument. So you don't want to buy something high-quality but arbitrary, and a year later realise that you definitely want a cedar-topped, walnut-body baritone with Schaller tuners and the 1+ and 6+ frets. Not to say that you shouldn't buy a good dulcimer as your first if you can afford it (and they're really not pricey instruments), just that paying extra for new and custom may lock you into something you'll transition away from.

If your budget is anything near $500, I would definitely look into buying a good used custom or top-end production dulcimer from the US. I've seen McSpaddens (respected workshop company) go in the mid-$200s used (often with nice case), and some good custom makers like go for $300-400 new, so $250ish used. Even with hefty shipping and tariffs, you should be able to come in well under $500, and again unless this guy has a serious online rep that's a high price for just some dude. I'd feel fine getting a used McSpadden off of eBay, and for used custom I'd hit up the Sales forum at Everythingdulcimer.com and stick to buying dulcimers from current/recent/living makers, and ones who have a butt-ton of threads oohing and aahing over them as folks squeal about getting their new Maker XYZ.

That said, if you consider yourself a good judge of guitars, and you get a chance to check out this custom Ozzie's work, if you get a warm fuzzy about it, his stuff sounds/feels great, and you have some general idea of what you want and can afford $500, I wouldn't flat out advise not to.


So far as left handedness. Barring the odd one made with an irregular body shape, dulcimers are internally and externally symmetrical, so to switch handedness all you need to is swap out the bridge and nut, though depending on how the cut them you might be able to literally just take it out, flip it around, and now it's lefty. If you get a brand like McSpadden, they may have a bunch of extra slots cut in the nut for re-configuration already. And/or with any dulcimer where the maker/outfit is still running, you can probably have them just send you an extra nut and bridge in the mail for cheap, and pretty much any guitar shop could fabricate you a new nut/bridge and set the action height of your choosing, which shouldn't cost more than $50 or so.


Long post, but basically you have a variety of options. If you decide to track down a good used US dulcimer, PM me and I can help you find a good one.


quote:

You don't happen to know anything about the double flute, do you?

There are quite a few different kinds of double-flute. Fortunately for you, I have at least passing familiarity with several of them. Which kind are you talking about :
-Eastern European? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Li0CMEnqmLM&feature=related
-Native American? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqxQ0XqZxG4 (this guy has a ton of awesome clips)

TapTheForwardAssist fucked around with this message at 03:46 on Jun 8, 2011

GoutPatrol
Oct 17, 2009

Coal Jobs for the Coal God



TapTheForwardAssist posted:

Awesome! After you mess with it for a day or two, you'll probably want to spend $5 on a new set of strings (online may be easiest). If your tuners misbehave and keep slipping, or if you get it tuned up perfect but a few notes sound off when you play, post here or PM me and I can walk you through some really simple basic maintenance.

Note the above posts for all the online tutorials, book, etc.

Its actually working pretty well. I bought new strings from Amazon just in case I screw something up. I got my sister who has perfect pitch to put it Mixolydian mode from the Wild Dulcimer link (after I struggled for around 20 minutes trying to get it tuned right from an already out of tune piano.) I've never played a string instrument before so getting my fingers to fret (if I'm even using that as a verb correctly) consistently is a challenge, but I think I'm strumming pretty well. I've gotten much better in the couple hours I've been screwing around with it. My sister asked to try it and after 30 seconds figured out how to play the melody of Norwegian Wood.

Exploding Barrel
Jun 17, 2005

Lights out!
Guerilla puppet show!


Glad I found this thread, I've been having an itch lately to play an instrument again but have no idea where to start. I played the clarinet for a year in middle school and have pretty much forgotten how to read music but I can probably relearn. I did bass and banjo for a couple months each but had to stop both for various circumstances. Any advice for what I should try to pick up for this bout of musical experimentation?

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005


Update on the bowed psaltery. My parents decided to sponsor me as an early birthday present after I talked about the instrument on Facebook, so as the money wasn't an issue, I got my hands on a pretty instrument. It's wonderful to play, and me an my friend has a lot of fun jamming with it and the guitar. I'm thinking about doing a ukulele/psaltery version of I See a Darkness.

DreadLlama
Jul 15, 2005
Not just for breakfast anymore

Have any tips on where to get an alpenhorn? They're quasi-famous from the Ricola commercials in the 80's.



I don't see any valves on them. Do you play it like a bugle?

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

Pretty Little Lyres

Got to get to bed; dulcimer/psaltry replies later, though glad for the good news on both.

DreadLlama posted:

Have any tips on where to get an alpenhorn? They're quasi-famous from the Ricola commercials in the 80's.



I don't see any valves on them. Do you play it like a bugle?

Yes, you do. Alphorns and bugles both fall into the category of "natural horns", horns where the body is fixed (no valves, no slides), so primarily you can play the "harmonic series". Think of tunes like Taps, Reveille, etc.; those sound like that because those are some of the only notes they have, ones occurring in the harmonic series, discrete mathematical steps of increasing pitch.

You can game the game a bit with some lip adjustment or (on instruments where you can reach) sticking your hand in the bell. Natural trumpets in general are pretty cool, and most parts of the world have one kind or another. I'm partial to the Tibetan dragon horn myself:



Though the Tibetan dungchen is cool too:




So far as alphorns, they're drat pricey, like $2,000-4,000. However, there are other ways to go about natural horns. There are a few folks online who have built alphorn-type things out of PVC and whatnot, so that's looking into. And actually, a didgeridoo is a kind of natural horn, just with a larger embrochure than we're used to.

It may sound a big odd, but you can get a feel for natural horns by spending a few bucks and making a hosaphone:



Basically, you buy a brass-instrument mouthpiece (probably cheap on eBay, you need to read up and figure what kind you want), buy a length of hose, a funnel, and connect them all. Kinda DIY, but the result is a no-kidding natural horn, and they don't sound bad for the price, and if you're going to enjoy playing any kind of natural horn you'll have weeks of fun just messing with a hosaphone.

Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZU6EzfNt7fM

Note that most clips are just folks experimenting, mainly brass players who just made one for kicks, though there are a few professional performance clips. Overall, it is mainly treated as a novelty instrument, though generally as capable as natural horns are, but in general people really into natural horns are baroque geeks that own $5,000 instruments so aren't going to focus on the hosaphone for long.

In any case, if you want a natural horn at all, a hosaphone is somewhere to start, and if you dig that you should look perhaps into building something more substantial of PVC, getting a good quality bugle, a starter baroque classical horn, etc.

Also, not a natural horn, since it has finger-holes, but a cool obsolete brass instrument is the serpent: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMwTv4hfQv8



There are a few folks online who've build PVC serpents, and I reckon you could always build a hole-less serpent to play as a natural horn if you want something more portable than a alphorn.

If you end up messing with any of this, definitely let us know. It sounds pretty cool, and for the price a hosaphone seems a sure thing.


quote:

Glad I found this thread, I've been having an itch lately to play an instrument again but have no idea where to start. I played the clarinet for a year in middle school and have pretty much forgotten how to read music but I can probably relearn. I did bass and banjo for a couple months each but had to stop both for various circumstances. Any advice for what I should try to pick up for this bout of musical experimentation?

Dang bubba, can you narrow it down a bit for us? What kind of music styles are you interested in playing? What social role do you want to fill?

If you, say, like bluegrass and want to be able to go to bluegrass jam sessions at bars, jam out at music festivals, etc, you could get a mandolin.

If you want to just smoke a bowl, lay on the couch, and make some soothing and melodic sounds, get a Native American flute.

If you're into singer-songwriter stuff, and want a mellow instrument to back up your voice but something more interesting than guitar, get a concertina.



Not that any of these apply to you, but just showing that it's a pretty open-ended question. Post back and let us know what kind of music you want to do and why, maybe a little info if you want this to be a serious study or just something casual you can dick with and be sounding good on with little practice, and some idea of price so that we don't try to excite you about expensive stuff (there are tons of inexpensive instruments too).


EDIT: If anyone is looking for some cheap but usable Scottish bagpipes, there are a couple eBay options that look good:



Piper's Choice "kitchen pipes" @ $49 and three days left. Not an amazing brand, but not terrible, and since these retail for $325, I'd say a pretty good deal for $150 or under.

Seth Hamon Scottish smallpipes (mouthblown) in Bb. I know this guy personally and he makes good stuff, these are with 1+ days left, $300 bid and $390 BiN, so even at $390 I'd say these are a decent deal, and at $300 a steal.

TapTheForwardAssist fucked around with this message at 06:32 on Jun 9, 2011

Exploding Barrel
Jun 17, 2005

Lights out!
Guerilla puppet show!


TapTheForwardAssist posted:


Dang bubba, can you narrow it down a bit for us? What kind of music styles are you interested in playing? What social role do you want to fill?

If you, say, like bluegrass and want to be able to go to bluegrass jam sessions at bars, jam out at music festivals, etc, you could get a mandolin.

If you want to just smoke a bowl, lay on the couch, and make some soothing and melodic sounds, get a Native American flute.

If you're into singer-songwriter stuff, and want a mellow instrument to back up your voice but something more interesting than guitar, get a concertina.


Not that any of these apply to you, but just showing that it's a pretty open-ended question. Post back and let us know what kind of music you want to do and why, maybe a little info if you want this to be a serious study or just something casual you can dick with and be sounding good on with little practice, and some idea of price so that we don't try to excite you about expensive stuff (there are tons of inexpensive instruments too).


Sorry, shouldn't type when I'm feeling tired. I'd be looking for something to just kick back and play with, not really looking for jam session with folks nor am I anything close to a singer/song writer, just kinda looking for a new hobby on a simple instrument. Price wise $100 or below is good but there's some flexability in that.

Chin Strap
Nov 24, 2002

I failed my TFLC Toxx, but I no longer need a double chin strap

Pillbug

Ive always wanted some sort of concertina or accordion type instrument, but wonder if the cheap ones are any good at all. How much am I looking to spend on a servicable one?

Paramemetic
Sep 29, 2003






Fallen Rib

The Theremin is the world's first electronic instrument, invented in 1928 by Russian physicist and musician Leon Theremin. It is also the only instrument played without physically touching anything (excluding laser harps, etc., where the person touches light). The theremin is known for being able to produce a variety of tones, but is especially noted for its ability to mimic human vocal qualities. It is also well known for providing sound effects or ambience in horror and sci-fi movies. A relative of the theremin, called the Tannerin, was used to generate the tones heard in Good Vibrations. Theremins have recently grown somewhat in popularity and general public knowledge, for example after having been featured in an episode of The Big Bang Theory.



Theremin is played by interacting with the electrical fields around two antenna. Your body's biocapacitance interrupts the wavefield of the antenna, some science stuff happens, and noise is produced out of an amplifier! The loop on the left of the theremin controls volume: the closer to the volume loop you are, the quieter the sound - the further, the louder. It is important to be aware of this, as many beginning thereminists will forget to keep their hand in place and make a very loud noise while stepping away. One trick to resolve this is by laying the output cable across the loop.

The second antenna controls pitch - the closer things come to the antenna, the higher the pitch is generated. This makes for a very fickle instrument. The wave is much larger than the playable area, and people walking within a few feet (when I have it tuned, normally about 4-5 feet) will change the shape of the field and subsequently, the pitch. The theremin is very difficult to play, considered by many to be the most difficult in the world, because there is no physical feedback. Even violinists can feel string tension, whereas the theremin is just out there in the air. This makes it very hard to play. It's also very easy to lose pitch and key, because the instrument has no fixed intervals. Many beginning thereminists think they sound great (myself included) but realize later that they sound god awful, when their ears become more acute and discerning.

Here I am, playing the theremin at a local library for their kick-off of their Summer Reading or something (I wasn't clear on the details, they just wanted a thereminist):


A good playing theremin is about as expensive as a mid-range guitar. My theremin, a Moog Etherwave, cost $350, and this is about the normal price. I would strongly recommend starting with an Etherwave or an equivalent, as they are the "gold standard" of entry-level theremins, and they are very well built. There are also kits available to build your own theremin, which will run anywhere from $100 to $300. Alternatives to the Etherwave include the PAiA Theremax, which runs about $230 but is known to be more difficult to control. The cheapest theremin available that is at all decent ist he B3, at around $150.

Playing the theremin also requires an amp. Any amp will do, though guitar and bass amps are not generally designed to play the range that a theremin generates (when I tune mine, I can go from C0 to Bb8). Because of this, I recommend getting a keyboard or vocal amp, which may be another $2-300 investment.

Here are some videos of my favorite Thereminist, Randy George, actually performing well on the theremin and making it sound beautiful, in contrast to the previous video.
Trois beaux oiseaux du paradis - Maurice Ravel
Something About Us - Daft Punk
Crazy - Gnarls Barkley

Paramemetic fucked around with this message at 15:00 on Jun 11, 2011

Xiahou Dun
Jul 16, 2009
BUTTS





I know it's not the case, but every time I see someone playing the theremin, I can't shake the impression that they're just humming and making weird hand-gestures.

And have a theremin link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AerCCx7Fas

(Bill Bailey is awesome.)

You mentioned tuning it ; how the hell does one go about that?

Paramemetic
Sep 29, 2003






Fallen Rib

Xiahou Dun posted:

I know it's not the case, but every time I see someone playing the theremin, I can't shake the impression that they're just humming and making weird hand-gestures.

And have a theremin link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AerCCx7Fas

(Bill Bailey is awesome.)

You mentioned tuning it ; how the hell does one go about that?

There are four knobs on my theremin. In order from left to right, the first is volume, which expands or collapses the size of the volume antenna field. The next is how it's tuned, the pitch control, which expands or contracts the pitch field. By doing this, one can change how big an interval any particular gesture makes. For example, I tune mine so that the interval from a loose fist to my fingers extended at the first knuckle is one octave.

The other two knobs control the shape of the wave and the brightness of the tone.

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

Pretty Little Lyres

Chin Strap posted:

Ive always wanted some sort of concertina or accordion type instrument, but wonder if the cheap ones are any good at all. How much am I looking to spend on a servicable one?

Stand by, this is going to be a long one. I'll try to give you the wave-tops and not get into undue detail until you give some indication of what direction you want.

Accordion and concertina are conceptually similar, but have somewhat different feels, have very different musical roles, and the communities of players don't really cross over that much.

Generally, if you're interested in a squeezebox (to use a generic slang term for both), which you pick will generally be decided by what type of musical tradition you want to fit into. Exceptions being if you're going for "LOL random!!!" just playing along with your indie band, or if you're more interested in backing up your singing, jamming with a guitarist doing general American popular acoustic, etc.

EDIT: As with most things in this thread, do not just buy some random squeezebox off of eBay without discussing it with someone knowledgeable. There are a variety of lovely import boxes on the market, and obsolete boxes with are 95% likely broken and completely uneconomical to fix. I or members of various musician forums would be happy to help you find an affordable and quality deal, just make sure you don't just buy the first piece of poo poo that looks shiny and is cheap

General definitions: on accordions, the buttons push at right-angles to the bellows, on concertinas they push in the direction of the bellows. Sounds a minor distinction, but its follow-on effects make the big differences.

Bi/Uni-sonoric: on both accordion and concertina, the big divide in types is based on whether they're bi or uni-sonoric (pause for joke). A bi-sonoric instrument has different notes on the push and pull, kind of like a harmonica where you get different notes breathing in and out. A unisonoric instrument has the same note on push and pull. The upshot of this is bisonoric squeezeboxing is defined by having to change directions a lot, adding a lot of rhythm. Unisonoric you just keep pushing until you run out of air, then start pulling until you run out of air, so they're flowier.

Piano accordion
Speaking in very general terms, the main unisonoric accordion is the "piano accordion", probably what most people think of when they hear "accordion":



It has a standard piano-type keyboard on one side, and on the other a bunch of buttons which give bass notes and chords. They're not at all bad instruments, but they're rather heavy/bulky, culturally seen as a little cheesy, and I dunno I just never really got into them. In fairness, they do have a lot of range, and can play in any key:

Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blWiR_SPl7Q

Button accordions
These, for our purposes, are generally bisonoric, so in YouTube clips you can note folks doing some bouncing to change notes. I was going to say "there's a huge variety of these", but come to think of it, most of them are pretty similar, it's just that a wide variety of traditions use somewhat different distinct variants. For example:

Cajun

Cajun (not Zydeco, which is more varied) about exclusively uses one-row, 10-button accordions. These are drat awesome.



Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0PJRetnkIE (rarely played purely solo like this, but sounds great backing up his song. Usually played in a Cajun combo with guitar, fiddle, triangle [seriously] and bass)

Tejano

Don't know much about these, but they usually play three-row button. Apparently one of the gods of Tejano never used his bass buttons, so imitators stopped using them, so now there are Tejano boxes that come from the factory with no bass reeds since nobody uses them anyway.



Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb7gMVazWJI&feature=related

Irish

The Irish mainly use the 2-row button accordion, though there are some minimalists using the one-row. I'm a contrarian, so I like the one-row, also called the "melodeon"

The Irish one-row melodeon is almost the same thing as the Cajun, but slightly different voice and usually a different key.

Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DIWdxr7r44



The two-row has two rows in two different keys, and by alternating rows you can get more in-between notes, and also only "bounce" when you want to for rhythm, and other times cheat around it by changing rows.

Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esAhsMR0kVg&feature=relmfu



Okay, that's the utter basics of accordions. Moving onto concertinas. Speaking very generally (and using unofficial terms), there's the "concertina" as known in the English-speaking world, and there's the "konzertina" or "Big Square German Concertina" played in Germany, Argentina, Upper Midwest USA, etc.

Konzertina/bandoneon/chemnitzer

These are a bit big, about the size of a largish button accordion, but smaller than a piano accordion. Bisonoric in almost all cases. Crucial to both Argentine tango and Milwaukee polka. The Argentines got it when German immigrant sailors were asked to play some background music in Argentine brothels, which makes for a cool backstory.



Clip of tango: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4c-B7dPBzaU

Clip of Americana alt-country band 16 Horsepower: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wu_d_tyroMI

Concertinas

Briefly, small hexagonal/octagonal boxes with buttons on the end. I won't post a ton of pics, since the major variants look about the same except for key layout.



Anglo concertina: bi-sonoric, popular for Irish and English traditional folk-dance. Called "Anglo-German" until WWI made German stuff unfashionable (calling frankfurters "victory sausage", etc.)

Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lJHpJHJcS0

English concertina: unisonoric. The scale alternates between the two sides, so since the scale is divided between two hands you can do lightning-fast runs, so not as good for chords but great for melody, fiddle-tunes, classical, etc.

Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BQJOucVnCw (she's playing a rather rare baritone/bass concertina)

Duet: unisonoric, but the low notes are on the left hand and the high notes on the right. Kind of a compromise between the two above, and in my opinion one of the more flexible boxes for folks who want to do basic jamming, backing up a band, singer-songwriter, etc. I play one myself, and I've been really happy with that choice.

Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9j8YTTT6wU




So, that about explains the basic. If, reading this, anyone is interested in one kind or the other, shout out and I can walk you through the thought. Squeezeboxes aren't unduly expensive for starters, but it varies a bit by type. There's a very reputable line of starter concertinas (of any of the three types) for around $350, Concertina Connection. I imagine we can probably find you most any of the above boxes in the $300-600 range.

Lastly, in all seriousness, if you're interested in button accordion, blow $20 on one of these. It's better if you can try one out in a store that happens to have them so you can check out a bunch and make sure you get a good one, but for $20 I'd take the risk on eBay just to try one out.



Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTTDyfY_x7A

Additionally, I have a buddy who, for about $90, can gut the insides of these and put in top-quality reeds, so you can actually end up with a decent knock-around box. I've had a few of those, and they were perfectly in-tune, good tone, and great for jam sessions. Overall a good buy if you kind of want a squeezebox but don't want to get too deep at first.

TapTheForwardAssist fucked around with this message at 03:50 on Jun 10, 2011

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005


Xiahou Dun posted:

And have a theremin link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AerCCx7Fas

(Bill Bailey is awesome.)

Bill Bailey is the main reason I love weird instruments.

Speaking of which. I found out violins aren't as expensive as I first thought. Can anyone recommend a good place to get a cheap fiddle online? Not the weirdest instrument, but when in the outskirts of Rome...

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

Pretty Little Lyres

Black Griffon posted:

Bill Bailey is the main reason I love weird instruments.

Speaking of which. I found out violins aren't as expensive as I first thought. Can anyone recommend a good place to get a cheap fiddle online? Not the weirdest instrument, but when in the outskirts of Rome...

I'd try checking the NMD:ML goon thread on Bluegrass music: http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3385681

I know there are tons of relatively cheap fiddles (mostly Chinese, and some Eastern European) available online, but I'm not familiar with which brands. I'd ask there, and also do some basic Google research. If you can find a mention of a reputable brand, you can't go too wrong. Though I would also weigh the costs of getting a used semi-okay instrument online vice a new cheapie. There are just so many zillion violins on the market, you can't help but find a good deal on a decent Czech or something make somewhere. Heck, I'd even check whatever your Craigslist equivalent in Norway is.

Though speaking of Norway and fiddles, if you ever do get serious about fiddle you owe it to yourself to save up for one of these:



Hardanger fiddle: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardanger_fiddle

Basically, a violin with open-tuned strings, a slightly flatter bridge for bowing multiple strings, and four extra sympathetic strings which are not stroked with the bow, but just vibrate due to the vibrating air around them, giving these resonant effect.

Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cc-WGo4N8h8&feature=related


Do note: if you happen to buy a relatively sturdy cheapie fiddle, and are willing to butcher it, there are some folks who have had musical success (if not aesthetic) converting cheap fiddles to Hardangers. Here is one such fellow, who's a mad genius of musical experiments: http://dennishavlena.com/hardangr.htm

And dang, here's another one with some great pics: http://feedbacksolo.wordpress.com/



That settles it: get a cheap fiddle, prioritising getting one that's not Chinese, and ideally rather over-built and clunky (to give you more meat for conversion). Play it for 6-12mo or so, and if you like it then convert it. I would also recommend that, even if you get a normal fiddle, that you consider swapping out the classical strings for Norwegian folk-strings which are made to accommodate alternate tunings. Everyone plays the drat fiddle GDAE, so even if you don't intend to play purely Norwegian, try some alternate Norwegian tunings even if you're playing Irish or whatever, give yourself some cultural distinction.


quote:

Sorry, shouldn't type when I'm feeling tired. I'd be looking for something to just kick back and play with, not really looking for jam session with folks nor am I anything close to a singer/song writer, just kinda looking for a new hobby on a simple instrument. Price wise $100 or below is good but there's some flexability in that.

Okay, still a little vague, but we're getting more of an idea. Do you have a particular style of music you're interested in learning? Or a specific kind you like to listen to and would enjoy playing, and/or kick back on the couch and play along with your stereo (a really overlooked way to practice)? Clue us in on those, and it'd help.

Given low price, easy to learn, and past but not much recent musical experience, I have a few ideas, most of which are mentioned above. For dicking-around music, particularly if you don't sing, you probably want something a bit more melodic, as doing backing chords along with nothing is a little monotonous.

Most of the easier string instruments are more used for chording backup, at least at the earlier levels, with dulcimer being a major exception (and cheap!). Maybe check out the dulcimer clips and stuff I posted above, bounce link-to-link on YouTube and see if it grabs you.

Other than strings, a lot of wind instruments are pretty inexpensive, easy to just pick up and noodle with, and they're melodic so you can do more of playing familiar melodies by ear, or playing a harmonising line along with your stereo. Of the above winds, I would most strongly suggest tinwhistle, as it's extremely inexpensive, durable, and has a less-mellow sound that's more aggressive. If you happen to like Irish/Scottish music, question answered, positively get a tinwhistle. And even if you don't, still a good option. The basics are very easy to learn, and there are still plenty of ways to keep it challenging. Plus, seriously, under $10.

If you want something even easier than tinwhistle, basically impossible to sound bad on, but a little bit quieter/mellow, consider Native American flute. They're a little pricier than tinwhistles (everything is), but we can still get you in for probably $50-60 on a decent one. It's not generally ideal for specifically saying "I want to play along with this Modest Mouse song", but for just zoning out and improvising on a very forgiving instrument that it's really easy to sound good on, NAF is a great option.

Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAZ_2I6NK3M



If you like blues or country, we can talk harmonica, but maybe you've already thought about that. A good mouth-harp is about $20-30, lots of learning materials online.

So there are four options. If you dig any of those, or don't like any of them, post back with some details.


Attention graphics goons: I'm dead-set on getting goons to play music, and I'm an actual adult with a job. I need a banner ad, to advertise this thread. If you can design a banner for me, and I choose yours to purchase on SA, I will either buy you the avatar of your choice, archives/plat, or inflict the avatar of choice on your enemy.

Details: 40kB max, exactly 468x60px, Allowed types: GIF, PNG, JPG

Suggested texts: "Don't let your summer slip away..." "Now is the time to learn a weird instrument" "See our A/T thread to learn about learning: dulcimer, tinwhistle, ocarnia, theremin, autoharp, and various bagpipes"

I am totally open to any other verbiage that gets the message across, any cool use of pics/animation, etc. PM me or post here if down.

TapTheForwardAssist fucked around with this message at 01:22 on Jun 11, 2011

Stupid McStupidFace
Feb 15, 2007
I hate your face.

How much is the iPad Ocarina app like a real ocarina?

Tell me about the hurdy gurdy! How quickly can I become a member of the Arcade Fire?

Exploding Barrel
Jun 17, 2005

Lights out!
Guerilla puppet show!


I always have wondered about playing the harmonica but it always seemed like a difficult instrument to me for some reason, so I'd love to hear your opinions on it. I'm probably going to scout the local music store for a tin whistle as it seems my best option for a gently caress around instrument as well.

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

Pretty Little Lyres

Exploding Barrel posted:

I always have wondered about playing the harmonica but it always seemed like a difficult instrument to me for some reason, so I'd love to hear your opinions on it. I'm probably going to scout the local music store for a tin whistle as it seems my best option for a gently caress around instrument as well.

I really don't know much about harmonica; I've messed with it some, but mostly the folk "straight harp" styles, so really don't know the "cross harp" blues styles. If you're really big into blues or country, I'd say just get a harmonica anyway and use online tutorials to learn.

However, if you're more interested in playing melodies (and particularly if Celtic stuff appeals to you) you can't beat tinwhistle.

So far as choosing a cheapie, check out: Chiff & Fipple's Guide to Inexpensive Whistles. There are just a few lovely makes of whistle out there, which is baffling because even decent ones are ultra-cheap. I want to say that the Schylling or First Act I bought at some kids' toy store sucked (and was made, bafflingly, of steel), and the Cooper I bought at a museum giftshop was pretty lame.

Depending what brands you run across, I've had good experiences with Soodlum, Oak, Feadog, which are all pretty much like Generation but maybe a bit better fipple (mouthpiece) design and QC. Waltons are a bit odd since they're very lightweight (aluminum) and a bit more fragile, but played well. Clarkes are good but very different, very breathy/soft, and the most fragile since they're a conical design that's more crushable, so don't just toss a Clarke in a backpack (like a certain girlfriend once did).

Get one in D, hands down. Once you get it, start at Chiff & Fipple for info and forums, and start following the trail of tons of free educational materials. Once you learn the basics, if you do have an interest in Irish and Scottish there are tons of sheet music online. As in "more songs than you could ever possibly learn." And if Celtic isn't your thing, you can still sound good playing whatever, though I would advise you pick up a few extra cheapies in alternate keys as you go along.

The single most important thing when starting out on 'whistle is breath control. Varying breath pressure bumps you into higher ranges, so spend a little time at the beginning playing in the lowest parts of the scale, where you blow as softly as possible to still get a note. Don't let initial squawks or octave-jumping throw you; it's very easily fixed with a little steadying of the breath, and once you get used to the breath nuances they'll be totally second nature.




For upcoming instrument intros, anyone have a strong preference between Celtic harps and autoharps? I'll try to cover the hurdy-gurdy in the next day or so as well. Before anyone gets their hopes too high, they're kinda pricey and take a lot of maintenance/tweaking. But they are pretty awesome.



Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJTn7WXSu68&feature=related (Page/Plant of Led Zeppelin, with a 'gurdy on Gallows Pole)

Xiahou Dun
Jul 16, 2009
BUTTS





Just checked with my girl who plays fiddle : cheap fiddles are really, really awful. If you have a buddy who plays, you might be able to find some wheat amongst the chaff, though.

Have you considered renting instead? It's very reasonable.

Also, hardangers own.

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

Pretty Little Lyres

Xiahou Dun posted:

Just checked with my girl who plays fiddle : cheap fiddles are really, really awful. If you have a buddy who plays, you might be able to find some wheat amongst the chaff, though.

That is one bright spot: it's way easier to ask some friends "hey, does anyone play violin and can come with me to the pawnshop to find an okay cheapie?" than it is to do the same for, say, an Indian sarangi or an early 20th C. American dolceola.

I played violin/viola/fiddle for quite a while back when I was younger, but that was before I was involved in buying lots of music gear, swapping stuff, pawnshop hunting, etc. By all means, do a little internet research about the advisability of buying cheap, how cheap, how to get a decent deal on a non-lovely fiddle, etc.

I still vote you get something moderately-priced and hack it into a hardanger though. It's your duty as a Norwegian.

DreadLlama
Jul 15, 2005
Not just for breakfast anymore

TapTheForwardAssist posted:

Tibetan dungchen is cool GODDAMNED AWESOME too:





wikipedia posted:

It is the most widely used instrument in Tibetan Buddhist culture. It is often played in pairs or multiples, and the sound is compared to the singing of elephants.

Thank you for this information. I had no idea these existed before now. But it's very obvious that I need to get one. I'm in China right now, finishing an English teaching contract. And Tibet is right next door to China. This is almost like a sign from the gods that I should own a Dungchen.

Do you know any more about them? I'm going to try to get one, but Chairman Mao is a complete bitch about letting foreigners into Tibet.

Exploding Barrel
Jun 17, 2005

Lights out!
Guerilla puppet show!


Well, I picked up a Feadog whistle in D and a Hohner harmonica today. Really need to work on my breath control for the whistle or all I'm going to do is scare my cats at this rate.

Mradyfist
Sep 3, 2007

People that can eat people are the luckiest people in the world


Exploding Barrel posted:

Well, I picked up a Feadog whistle in D and a Hohner harmonica today. Really need to work on my breath control for the whistle or all I'm going to do is scare my cats at this rate.

Those Feadogs (and the Guinness whistle, which is the same thing with different branding) are definitely a soft touch, but they sound great. Especially for slow stuff, although I like them a lot for the bouncier fast stuff too.

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

Pretty Little Lyres

Exploding Barrel posted:

Well, I picked up a Feadog whistle in D and a Hohner harmonica today. Really need to work on my breath control for the whistle or all I'm going to do is scare my cats at this rate.

Oh yeah. One suggestion: get in position, with all your fingers closed, and just breathe as soft as you possibly can into the whistle. Increase pressure slightly, slightly, until you start to get a tone, and then a nice even D tone. If you start to sharpen or leap/shriek, back off a bit. I'd try to spend a few minutes at a stretch, several times throughout the day, just trying to get a nice even tone at the very lowest note. Once you have that down, you do just the lowest D, and then raise one finger to get the lowest E. Over a couple days, and again several times per day, just keep doing that.

Not that you need to do nothing but scales for weeks or anything, but for at least a few days try to just pick it up for three minutes, work on getting a perfectly smooth note, set it down, and pick it up again next time you walk by it an hour later.

quote:

Do you know any more about them? I'm going to try to get one, but Chairman Mao is a complete bitch about letting foreigners into Tibet.

No idea, but if you're in a city of any size, perhaps there's a Tibetan diaspora population? Try asking a few folks if there's a certain part of town where the Tibetans hang out, or any Tibetan restaurants, temples, clubs etc. where you can go and ask some folks about where to find such a thing.

There are some smaller Tibetan horns too, so if you can't get a huge one, maybe a smaller?

TapTheForwardAssist fucked around with this message at 00:35 on Jun 12, 2011

ZakAce
May 15, 2007

GF

Speaking of instruments from China / surrounding areas, I happen to play the erhu. I was visiting Christchurch last July, and there was this awesome instrument shop (Gandharva Loka, which is closed ATM due to the September / February earthquakes), which happened to have an erhu, among other things (such as a couple of Tibetan horns). I can ask questions about the erhu, if anyone's interested.

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

Pretty Little Lyres

ZakAce posted:

I can ask questions about the erhu, if anyone's interested.

Awesome addition! Back when we had the shamisen question, I was wondering if we had an erhu player (just in terms of how they're vaguley of similar construction). If you have interest, it could be cool to have a post on it in the above format: name, description, how hard/easy, cost/availability, why it's cool to play and what you do with it, pics, videos.


I was talking to my cousin today, and she'd just seen Arcade Fire play and was stoked about the hurdy-gurdy. So with that, and since it's been asked above, and because it's a topic of perennial goon interest:

Hurdy-gurdy

First confusion to address: the "hurdy-gurdy" as in "wheel fiddle", as in "Arcade Fire", as in "medieval music" is absolutely NOT the same thing as "hurdy-gurdy" in terms of "oversized music box", "organ-grinder", "Italian dude playing for coins with a little monkey holding out a cup", etc. Long etymology story, but suffice to say two totally different instruments:

This is what we're talking about :


NOT this:


The hurdy-gurdy is a string instrument wherein a crank turns a wheel, and the wheels spins, rubbing a number of strings and acting as a perpetual violin bow. One or more of the strings are "fingered" via a series of push-buttons which push into the string and raise its pitch, while other strings are left to be simply bowed as a constant drone. So like the dulcimer it's a "string bagpipe" but endlessly bowed by a wheel.

It's first clearly attested in a big carving in Spain around 1100 or so, showing a two-man box. Nerd that I am, when I was backpacking in Galicia I absolutely had to go see this in person:


The instrument spread throughout most of Europe, generally as a peasant instrument, though in areas like France it was adopted by the aristocracy and made hoity-toity when a fad for pretending to be hicks and play shepherd instruments came into vogue. Pretty much the 17th Century French equivalent of wearing trucker hats and drinking PBR.

In the modern day, the hurdy-gurdy is used for various types of traditional music across Europe, as far east as Russia. A few folks also play very primitive versions of it (the symphony or chifonie) for Early Music. In the USA, it's primarily associated with traditional French folk music, and with backing up English folk-ballads.

From what I understand, it's relatively easy to play simply, and you can add fancier stuff as skill builds. However, they are somewhat finnicky, with various moving parts and close alignments, so it's not something you just chuck in the corner, haul out a month later, play for five minutes, and set down. If you want to get into gurdy, you want to me ready to take some care of it and learn a lot of little tricks to keep it running smooth.

Pricewise, as you may guess they're not cheap. They're a very small market, take a lot of skills and time to build, as well as a lot of start-up costs. The main folks in the US making them are some nice folks I've known personally, Alden and Cali Hackmann up by Seattle. Their base models start at $2500, and they're busy enough making the stock models that they've stopped doing custom for a while. If you're serious about gurdy, and have $2500, check them out at their info-filled website: http://www.hurdygurdy.com/



I will caveat that there are a variety of makers in Europe, but a lot of them don't seem easily accessible to English speakers. I'd presume there are a decent number in Eastern Europe, but they don't seem to be clearly linked into the larger scene, so I don't know how you'd go about trying to find a bargain deal on a small Hungarian gurdy, etc. EDIT: Some of these guys are up online now, see below link for some makers in the $800-1500 range.

There are a few makers making the medieval-style primitive gurdies for notably cheaper, like $700-900ish. These are pretty limited in terms of key and range, but if you're okay with limitations and/or focusing on strict medieval, it may merit a look. For example, Susato Minnesinger: EDIT: The reviews on the Susato aren't amazing, so you might want to save a little more and get a nicer one; on page 29 I have a list of the more affordable builders.



As noted many times in this thread: do not buy the first "bargain" gurdy you see on eBay. It will likely suck, and you'll have blown money you could be saving for a good one. Don't buy a gurdy unless someone who knows gurdys gives you objective advice.

Hurdy gurdy is a complex topic, and I only know it indirectly, so if you want more info, I'd hit up this forum: http://www.gurdy.co.uk/forum/index.php

Clips:

*http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DX08nQows0 Cool dark Russian playing
*http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDAqO4cA_Y0 Ritchie Blackamore (formerly of Deep Purple)
*http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZKQf-JIvRU Matthias Loibner, a drat genius (though he is using some effects pedal trickery)

TapTheForwardAssist fucked around with this message at 21:56 on Mar 23, 2013

ZakAce
May 15, 2007

GF

Right, then, I'll do the best I can.

Name: Erhu (duh). Translation: Two-stringed barbarian instrument.

Description: It's a spike fiddle, very similar to the violin (but with only two strings instead of five).

Cost / availability: I have no idea. I got my one at that store I mentioned (Gandharva Loka, which could possibly re-open in the future - the owners have expressed interest in re-opening) for NZ$250-ish (can't quite remember).

Why it's cool to play: Because you can play all sorts of music on it, including some violin music. You play it sitting down, with the instrument on your leg and the bow held horizontally between the two strings. The strings are tuned to D and A above middle C.

Pics / videos: Look on Wikipedia or Youtube. This is a good website: http://www.philmultic.com/home/instruments/erhu.html.

If anyone has further questions, I'd be happy to have a crack at answering them.

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

Pretty Little Lyres

ZakAce posted:

Right, then, I'll do the best I can.

Name: Erhu (duh). Translation: Two-stringed barbarian instrument.

Looking at some clips, it can sound relatively similar to the fiddle. Got any comments on what aspects of playing it differ from fiddling, what new perspectives/angles it gives you? What kind of music do you play on yours?

Gumby Orgy
Mar 21, 2007

by T. Finn


I was thinking about getting a melodica, kalimba, and an array mbira and starting a hipster band.

realpost: Is an array mbira hard to play?

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005


I have a friend who plays the Marimba, he says it's quite hard, and he's practiced for several years. He's a bit of a musical genius though, and the best drummer I've ever met personally.

TapTheForwardAssist posted:

Looking at some clips, it can sound relatively similar to the fiddle. Got any comments on what aspects of playing it differ from fiddling, what new perspectives/angles it gives you? What kind of music do you play on yours?



They have one of those in the weird music shop, used for about $100. The first thing I noticed is that it's very hard to play, and since they took in on commission (or whatever it's called when they only pay the seller if it's sold), I can't be completely sure that it's functional. I kind of want it because it's cheap and pretty, but I try to stay away from thoughts like that.

Also, thanks for all the fiddle info. A Hardanger fiddle has always been a dream of mine, seeing as my mother is from around those parts (and also they are loving cool), so I'm going to ask around a bit to see if some of my friends know anything about fiddles.

Black Griffon fucked around with this message at 18:55 on Jun 12, 2011

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Econosaurus
Sep 22, 2008

Successfully predicted nine of the last five recessions



So what's the best of the under $10 tin whistles? Also, the forum linked doesn't have a tin whistle section...where should I be looking for help with that?

Edit: also how is the $13 orcarina?

Econosaurus fucked around with this message at 22:14 on Jun 12, 2011

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