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Topic: Do you play an instrument in addition to composing?

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  1. #1

    Do you play an instrument in addition to composing?

    Hi,

    I would like to know how many composers/sequencers are actively learning to play acoustic instruments. I\'m especially interested in those who have pursued instruments to the point of learning technique not just technicalities.

    I have been playing (learning) the bass trombone for two years and have learned a lot that I think aids my compositions. Just curious to know if the amount of time and effort I spend on this instrument also helps composition or would the time be better spent on composing.

    Thanks

  2. #2

    Re: Do you play an instrument in addition to composing?

    I can\'t say it is a requirement, because there are too many people with freak talents in composing and sequencing. However, learning to play an acoustic instrument of any nature will expand your knowledge, understaing, your palette.

    Most musical pursuits in a given area will give fringe benefits back to other areas. For example: Learning to play drums makes most piano players have better time and rhythmic sense. People into compositiona and orchestration are better at creating a \"good part\" within a piece, as they have the \"big picture\" point of view. It goes on and on....

    Music is a journey. The possible paths are infinite, but they all connect.

  3. #3

    Re: Do you play an instrument in addition to composing?

    I play bassoon and have a degree in double bass performance. I do composition only now though, but learning to play those instruments proved invaluable to me.

    Mahler

  4. #4

    Re: Do you play an instrument in addition to composing?

    I think the more musical knowledge you know the better. Sure there are some writers who don\'t play anything, but I believe if they could play something they\'d write all the better.

    I personally think everyone who is a musician should be able to play very well at least one instrument on which you can play harmonic progressions - so guitar or Piano. Best if you can play both. I was a composition major and studied 3 very intense years of college level piano. It has been invaluable and I\'m thinking of grabbing a masters in Piano performance just to force more technical practice.

    Also part of my degree required taking a cross section of different orchestral instruments. I didn\'t have to learn them fluently, but enough to understand the instrument. I can say I write better parts for the instruments I learned to play just a little. And I have often wished I had taken more of those classes. So the answer from me... YES!

  5. #5

    Re: Do you play an instrument in addition to composing?

    Each instrument is a universe in itself and has a musical sphere of its own. Melodic instruments are vety useful because they permit to explore melody without any harmonic \"restrictions\", and inversely, a harmonic instrument or structure can lesd melodies into new, unexplored territories. Both are essentiel and can bring novelty and surprises into each other.

    Personally, I am primarily an instrumentalist, I begun on drum, which I played for 15 years but I quit. And since I\'ve been studying singing, flute, clarinet and piano.

  6. #6

    Re: Do you play an instrument in addition to composing?

    I\'ve played trumpet in concert and jazz venues - both have allowed me to understand the nuances of trumpet performances which in my opinion has been beneficial in my brass arrangements. Even with a deeper understanding of the details in brass, making good arrangements for brass is tough as ****.

  7. #7

    Re: Do you play an instrument in addition to composing?

    I\'m a organist.

  8. #8

    Re: Do you play an instrument in addition to composing?

    I play the guitar, some electric bass (when I need to in my songs), a little drums and when needed, cello. I played the cello for 5 years but quit a couple of years ago. I just recently borrowed a decent instrument and I play it every now and then [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] It really helps knowing how the different instruments work when you make music!


    Mats

  9. #9

    Re: Do you play an instrument in addition to composing?

    I\'ve just taken up Guitar at the age of 31, in the hope of being able to include realistic sounding playing - via a Line6 Pod - in my compositions. In a similar vein, I\'ve started tinkering with a few instruments which don\'t really lend themselves to sampling, such as Didgeridoo, Waterphone, Musical Saw, etc. In real life I\'m a Pianist and Clarinettist, which I think does inform my writing for those instruments.

  10. #10

    Re: Do you play an instrument in addition to composing?

    Hi all,
    I\'m playing Trumpet in church now for more or less 10 years.

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