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Classic FM Drive with John Brunning 4pm - 7pm
11 June 2020, 11:34 | Updated: 11 June 2020, 11:44
Taking up an instrument? Great! But be warned - it’s not as easy as you might think...
Don’t say we didn’t warn you. 🤷♀️
You’re better off starting off with the basics. One step at a time...
No matter how hard you protest, everyone you know will assume that just because you’ve started learning an instrument, you’ll be a prodigy from the beginning. In the eyes of everyone else, you’re the Von Trapp children.
... or doing a party piece on demand, just like this:
You really think you’re making progress, you’re mastering the scales and arpeggios, maybe even a few little Grade 1 pieces under your belt... and then you see something like this:
Just because Jimmy Page uses a violin bow on a guitar doesn’t mean you can too. And don't think you can get away with a bare chest on stage either. See also: Nigel Kennedy’s concert attire.
Everyone wants to sound amazing from the moment they pick up a new instrument, but don't get too excited. Practise is hard. It takes a lot of effort and dedication. Most of the time, especially at the beginning, it sounds bad. It makes Britney Spears do this:
Your fingertips will never be able to feel anything ever again. Except pain.
What a chance to show your friends just how versatile an instrument the trombone is! It’s not all about comedy noises and the theme tune from Jonny Briggs, right? Wrong. All people want from you is this sound:
Is that a love-bite on your neck? No, you’ve started learning the violin.
Any dreams of cycling home or taking the scenic walking route will be quashed the moment you strap that contra bassoon or double bass to your back. Oh, and if you're of schooling age, you might want to think about preparing some witty answers to the question, “What's THAT?”
“Want to come for a drink tonight?”
But really, you shouldn't. Harness your sticktoitiveness. Keep going up and down those scales and doing those exercises. Like anything, practise makes perfect, and the joy you give to others with your playing will ultimately make the whole endeavour completely worthwhile.