My biggest 'do-over' wish in learning music

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
10 years ago
790 posts
My do-over would be to not drop my violin lessons. I really should have stuck with it, but I was very immature and did not practice.
Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
10 years ago
1,836 posts
Makes yer dulcimer kinda soggy doesn't it?Grin.gif
David Swanson
David Swanson
@david-swanson
10 years ago
17 posts
I guess my "do-over" would be to not give up playing music after high school. I played trumpet & french horn in high school & was good enough to make All State Band & All State Orchestra. I figured out that I didn't want to try to make a living at it or be a band director, so I dropped it completely when I went to college. Taking up the dulcimer a few years ago made me realize just how much I missed making music. I guess the dulcimer counts as a very belated "do-over" maybe? Wish I could progess as fast now as I did as a teenager!
Paul Certo
Paul Certo
@paul-certo
10 years ago
242 posts

It's not the destination that matters, it's the journey. I have been playing guitar since 1966, and there still isn't time to learn all the songs I want to learn. Dividing my time among several instruments doesn't make it simpler, but even if I concentrated on one, there are always new things to learn.Just enjoy every minute of it.

Paul

Sam
Sam
@sam
10 years ago
173 posts
Your comment really strikes home with me. I will never be an accomplished player ... but ... I am learning to strum just the melody to some songs I like. If I don't progress any farther, I can at least enjoy the music I CAN make on my dulcimer. I'm happy with that.

folkfan said:
I wish I'd discovered the dulcimer earlier since it is an instrument that I can play in spite of the way my brain is wired. In grade school, I pretty much gave up on the idea of actually learning to play an instrument and now there isn't enough time to learn all the songs I'd like to learn, but I do enjoy what I have learned.




--
The Dulcimer. If you want to preserve it, jam it!
folkfan
@folkfan
10 years ago
367 posts
I wish I'd discovered the dulcimer earlier since it is an instrument that I can play in spite of the way my brain is wired. In grade school, I pretty much gave up on the idea of actually learning to play an instrument and now there isn't enough time to learn all the songs I'd like to learn, but I do enjoy what I have learned.
Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
10 years ago
1,836 posts
I wish I had started singing out loud when I started playing dulcimer 35+ years ago; rather than singing internally for 25 or 30 years first!
Sam
Sam
@sam
10 years ago
173 posts
Had a crushed larynx in my 20's. Voice has been all over the place since. One day I have a whisper, next gravely, next very high... once in a great while ... deep, rich and not at all bad to listen to, just can't count on it to get all the way through a song ... but brother ... 'emme tell you what ... I'm whistlin' FOOL ! ! !


--
The Dulcimer. If you want to preserve it, jam it!
Paul Certo
Paul Certo
@paul-certo
10 years ago
242 posts

I had a thing called Singers Node, which is a tear in a vocal chord. Caused by over stressing the vocal chord, without a proper warm up. In my case, our girls were small, and delighted to hear Dad sing about Little Red Riding Hood. They especially liked the Big Bad Wolf howling parts.Until it caught up with me. One thing I was told was you need to warm up your voice like an athlete warms up their muscles before running, or whatever. Singers node makes it hard to hit the high notes, and gives you a really raspy voice, VERY much like Louis Armstrong. I have often wondered if he had it, and was stuck with it. In my case, it was repaired with a laser surgery. That was a 20-something years ago. Here's some info on warm ups :

http://www.nyee.edu/pdf/voice-vocal-warm-ups.pdf

Paul

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
10 years ago
1,199 posts
Thanks for the encouragement, Mary Z! When I was young, singing came more naturally. Now, I could have a cheap vocal coach if I'd just take the trouble to record myself singing-- when I listen to a recording I can hear when I got flat. On the one hand, I'm grateful I can tell that I'm flat. On the other hand. . . 107.gifSmile.gif I've got no voice to sing lead yet used to be a decent harmony singer.
Mary Z. Cox
Mary Z. Cox
@mary-z-cox
10 years ago
60 posts

Believe it or not--I've actually "done over" my biggest musical do over--and found it's never too late to do it over. :)

When I was younger, I mistakenly felt that you could only have one good banjo or one good dulcimer at a time.

I wish now that I had just gone ahead and bought every banjo or dulcimer that appealed to me, brought it home, played it, enjoyed it, and just laughed about all the fun it is to just buy any old instrument you want and not feel guilty.

I used to feel that I didn't deserve a bunch of beautiful instruments--but now I don't feel that way anymore. Instrument builders don't build them for folks as rewards--they build them for folks who will play them and enjoy them. :)

And yes--it's wonderful to have the instruments you really want to play.

The other thing that I have "done over" is that it is okay to just let an instrument "go" to someone else. I've sold and given away and traded perfectly good instruments because sometimes it just seems that the new person and that instrument are right for each other now. And it isn't painful and I've never felt any regret. Grin.gif

That "do over" started with a man who just called me up and told me he had been wanting to buy my old bass for over 30 years and it was never for sale and he was wondering if I might finally sell it to him. I almost said no just on a reflex--but stopped--and glanced over at that bass--standing in a corner--with a light coat of dust--and it looked kind of sad--so I said "okay--why not?" I gave him a fair price--he came and got that bass the next day--took it directly to a job in a chicken wire bar--they looked so happy together and I never missed it once!

Best wishes,

Mary Z. Cox

www.maryzcox.com

Mary Z. Cox
Mary Z. Cox
@mary-z-cox
10 years ago
60 posts

Robin,

You can still sing--but you have to approach it as another instrument. I recently heard Joan Baez on NPR and she said that although she was able to "just sing" and sound wonderful when she was young--as she has got older--she has a voice coach and does voice exercises everyday just to be able to maintain some pitch, tone, and volume.

If professional singers have to do all this to keep up their voices--regular singers most definitely would also have to exercise and train to keep up their voices too. :)

Best wishes,

Mary Z. Cox

www.maryzcox.com

Robin Thompson said:

As a teenager I sang a lot and have sung very little as an adult. I wish I would've kept singing because it's fun and I can read music for singing. My ear for singing is no longer good. I go flat a lot, doggone it.

PS-(I can't sight read for playing dulcimer-- either mountain or bowed. Wish I could. Though I am glad I can play by ear.)

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
10 years ago
1,199 posts

As a teenager I sang a lot and have sung very little as an adult. I wish I would've kept singing because it's fun and I can read music for singing. My ear for singing is no longer good. I go flat a lot, doggone it.

PS-(I can't sight read for playing dulcimer-- either mountain or bowed. Wish I could. Though I am glad I can play by ear.)

Dana R. McCall
Dana R. McCall
@dana-r-mccall
10 years ago
170 posts
Dorene I wish I had had you as a teacher my life might be completely different now. I might have been a headliner in Vagas! LOL Really I wish I had been incouraged in stead of discouraged. You sound like a great teacher.Smile.gif
OH and one more thing I had a senior moment Ms. Nimix was my home ec. teacher sorry Ms. Nimmix. Ms. Gilkey was the music teacher. I can't believe I did that.
Dorene Dennie said:

I teach choir in a middle school...I once had a girl who passionately loved to sing and was completely off pitch and loud. What an opportunity! I will make this short, but it is a long story. Bottom line is that I worked with her a lot and within a few months, she was finding pitches. By the end of two years, she went to our state's solo/ensemble competition and got gold...in the highest division. A teacher had told her to give up music before she got to me, but she didn't listen. I'm sure she's out there today somewhere and singing every day. I'm glad you found the music in your life again!! No one should ever take that from someone...especially not a music teacher!

As far as what I would do different...I wish I would have had the opportunity to learn to play by ear. I am classically trained, but I'm launching an adventure in folk music to see if I can reclaim my natural abilities to play by ear. It was pounded out of me from the very beginning. I am grateful for my career in music, but I'm also excited about exporing this whole new approach!!

Dana R. McCall said:

When I was in Jr High I wanted to be in the chorous ok I no spelling sorry. I loved to sit in my room and sing along to the little GE record player mom had gotten me. So when in music class (Ms. Nimmix) the baine of my existance said there were going to be tryouts I was thrilled. She had us all line up and we were to sing a song can't remember what, as she walked along and sorted us in to different groups alto, suprano, tenor or whatever. I was whatever. She kept moving me from one end to the other and back again. I have the same prob today changing keys to much starting in one and jumping to another. Finally she threw the hands up and gave up on me. She said in front of everyone she just didn't think music was my thing. I was devestated. I really did give up on music didn't even listen to the radio much. My kids would get mad because I didnt like to listen while I was driving in the car. Then I found the Mt. Dulcimer Music is once more the happiness in my life. The kids get upset now because they can't shut me up. LOL Ms. Nimmix Tongue.gif

Sorry forgot the point. If I could do it all over again I wouldn't have listened to Ms. Nimmix and give up I'd kept on then till I found my nitch . Never give up!Grin.gif

Paul Certo
Paul Certo
@paul-certo
10 years ago
242 posts

In the words of John Lee Hooker," Let that boy boogie-woogie. It's in him, and it's got to come out!"

I hate to see see someone stifle another person's creativity. My brother tried hard to play trumpet in school, but gave it up when told his mouth wasn't shaped right. The teacher told him he could do well if he put the effort he was making into a clarinet or sax. He had no interest in those, so he stopped music altogether. But he can imitate a trumpet with his mouth, so how wrong could it be?

Paul

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
10 years ago
1,980 posts
If I had it to do over again, as a girl i would have chosen to take violin in school instead of 'cello. Then i probably wouldn't have had to sell it when I moved so often- I could have taken a little violin with me easily and continued playing instead of selling my cello at age 22 and then not playing any music at all for years. Playing violin also would have enabled me to transition into old-time music as a fiddler pretty well. :) As it turned out, I sort of came into old-time music through the back door, the l-o-n-g way around instead, through mandolin, banjo, and dulcimer.


--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Sam
Sam
@sam
10 years ago
173 posts

Since it's only been a very few months ... that's easy. I would have started asking questions sooner here at FOTMD. I knew so little that it was difficult to even ask anything. I still don't know much, but I do know to go ahead and ask and then we'll work it out in the ensuing discussions.

That would be my advice to any one new to music, the mountain dulcimer or FOTMD.

Sam




--
The Dulcimer. If you want to preserve it, jam it!
Dana R. McCall
Dana R. McCall
@dana-r-mccall
10 years ago
170 posts

When I was in Jr High I wanted to be in the chorous ok I no spelling sorry. I loved to sit in my room and sing along to the little GE record player mom had gotten me. So when in music class (Ms. Nimmix) the baine of my existance said there were going to be tryouts I was thrilled. She had us all line up and we were to sing a song can't remember what, as she walked along and sorted us in to different groups alto, suprano, tenor or whatever. I was whatever. She kept moving me from one end to the other and back again. I have the same prob today changing keys to much starting in one and jumping to another. Finally she threw the hands up and gave up on me. She said in front of everyone she just didn't think music was my thing. I was devestated. I really did give up on music didn't even listen to the radio much. My kids would get mad because I didnt like to listen while I was driving in the car. Then I found the Mt. Dulcimer Music is once more the happiness in my life. The kids get upset now because they can't shut me up. LOL Ms. Nimmix Tongue.gif

Sorry forgot the point. If I could do it all over again I wouldn't have listened to Ms. Nimmix and give up I'd kept on then till I found my nitch . Never give up!Grin.gif

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
10 years ago
1,980 posts

I often think about things I might have done differently over the years if I could start to learn to play music all over again from the beginning.

I don't mean the most obvious thing of "I wish i had started playing music earlier in my life"- that's too easy.

I mean something like "I wish I had gotten a guitar instead of that flute I started on", or "I wish I had joined that choir in school like I had wanted to", or "I wish I hadn't listened to that teacher", or "I should have bought that accordion!" (ok maybe not that one...lol!)

There are doubtless also some of us who would not wish to have done anything differently at all!

What would you do differently now if you could go back in time to when you started playing music?




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Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990

updated by @strumelia: 02/24/19 11:44:57PM