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Thread: Learning more than an Instrument (2 Instruments) at the same time

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Learning more than an Instrument (2 Instruments) at the same time

    Hi Friends !

    I hope everything is well !

    As I've already introduced myself in the other Forums, I've been learning Guitar for almost an Year now and now I've been planning to start learning Keyboard also.

    Just wanted to get some advice whether its ok to learn 2 instruments at the same time. I guess the same Music Principles apply to all intruments and Styles and I thought what I learn in one will be helpful in the other also [IMHO]. Kindly correct me if I'm wrong.

    Kindly advice is its ok and should I continue, or should I just concentrate on this at a time
    Thanks and Best Regards

  2. #2
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Funky Munky World
    Of course, you can learn as many as you like.

    My only comment would be that we all only have a finite amount of time, and I assume if you share your available time equally across each instrument you are effectively halving the time that a person would be learning and practicing if they only learnt one instrument.

    Ergo, it will take you twice as long to learn one instrument as a person who learns at the same rate as you.

    But you may find you are naturally able to progress quickly and you blow my theory out of the water.

    Most important thing is, enjoy yourself!

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    do whatever you feel is necessary. If you have an interest, persue it. It's as simple as that. I highly recommend two instruments. That way if you get bored of one, instead of having to find a non musical activity to amuse yourself, you can just switch instruments. Plus I find it very satisfying to learn the basics of an instrument I know nothing about.

  4. #4
    Artistically Bankrupt
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Russ' above comment can be applied to learning both the guitar and the guitar.

    That is, if one chooses to dabble in all (or many) styles of guitar music, then what one gives up is the fiendishly adept expertise of a single discipline. It takes about as long to become "pretty good" at multiple styles as it does to become "damned good" at one.

    Applying that to two different instruments, you can effectively multiply the problem. For instance, acoustic delta blues slide guitar combined with jazz piano would take a while. However, fingerstyle blues guitar and blues piano would be faster.

    Having said all that, I'd do whatever gives you enjoyment. I am happiest being "okay" at any style, never to be excellent at any one. Who knows? Maybe if I live long enough, I can be excellent at some of them.

  5. #5
    Wordgirl: Jaded Musician jade_bodhi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Southern USA

    Keyboard + Guitar = More Knowledge

    Mr. N.

    I've viewed the three or four youtube videos of you playing that you posted, and I encourage you to begin learning the keyboard while you're learning the guitar. You have a good ear if you figured that tune Fur Elise out on the piano. I don't like to be disagreeable, but I think UKRuss's response was a little off the mark. Yes, learning piano will cut into the time you can spend learning guitar, which you already have some talent with, but learning to play keyboard will have a synergetic effect that will help you learn music theory on the guitar more quickly. It's true that every minute you spend at the keyboard is a minute taken away from learning guitar technique, but every minute spent at the keyboard will deepen your knowledge of the guitar as well. I have been playing guitar for fourteen years, and keyboard for one year, and I have learned so much from the keyboard about how to compose music on the guitar. The keyboard is a powerful learning tool; that must be why so many musicians on other instruments dabble at the keyboard. Good luck. You have a good ear and talent.

    Nobody ever shared
    what we have known...

  6. #6
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Deep East Texas Piney Woods
    Picked up a $100 fiddle on a trip to Mountain View, AK last year. That led me into standard notation and I was able to take that to my guitar fretboard, So the two helped each other.

    After a couple of months with the fiddle the instructional CD's last song sounded a lot like the first song in the workbook and they both sounded a lot like two cats fighting, so I decided the fiddle would take too much time to really learn how to play and the time I was spending with the fiddle was time I was not spending with the guitar.

    So....... I'd say give the second instrument a try and see if it works for you, I got more than $100 worth of fun and I now understand standard notation better to boot.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 01-17-2007 at 03:55 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Northwood, Ohio
    I agree with what's been said here already as long as you're serious about wanting to learn multiple instruments, it is more than able to be done. Music is music regardless of what medium it's coming from, and by learning more instruments you are expanding the number of ways you can express this one thing [music]. In high school I studied 4 aspects of music privately at one time (piano, guitar, horn, and composition), and while it was very demanding (resulting in very little sleep, and my graduating on a teacher's failure to report my grade on time...haha), it has helped tremendously, as each aspect helped me understand the whole that much better. I say go for it, be willing to work - push yourself, but have patience and you should be successful in learning any instrument, in any combination that you want.
    Last edited by jloving; 01-17-2007 at 09:40 AM.
    Hidden Content - The Music

  8. #8
    Inquisitor BillyJack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Go for the two instruments!!! It helped me by hopping from strings to keys and back again when it come to theory and application.

    Early on, I found that with the piano, notes and their relationship to other notes was easier to identify than they were on the guitar because, each note in the octave had a distinctive visual location within each octave (the "C" is the white key in front of the set of two black ones and so on). This helped me in reading music due to not having to think about the note location on the instrument as I was trying to learn to read notation.

    The guitar on the other hand helped with interval relationships for things such as chord construction. Since the relationship of each interval has the same spacing regardless of what fret you start on, I didn't have to really think of what note was the 3rd, 5th or whatever of the root. I just had to know the pattern of the scale I was working with.

    I found it very helpful to study different aspects of theory using the different perspectives that the two instruments offered.

    The down side is the time it takes to become comfortable with the instrument. Same as with one instrument, practice is a key element in proficiency. By playing two instruments, you basically double the time it takes to be fluent with the mechanics of playing either because, the techniques are so dissimilar. As time progresses however, it becomes second nature to apply what you will learn to each and will balance out.
    Last edited by BillyJack; 01-17-2007 at 03:32 PM.
    Money can't buy you happiness but, I bet it's more comfortable crying in a Porsh than a Pinto!

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    I don't necessarily agree with the idea that learning another instrument will make you take longer to become proficient on your main instrument. There are times when I can play the guitar all day, every day, but that doesn't happen all the time. The majority of the time there is an upper limit to how much I can practice. Once it's reached, everything else isn't all that benefitial. So at that point I'm either going to be doing a non musical activity, or I'm going to be playing another instrument. Either way, it doesn't take away from how much I play my main instrument.

    atleast that's the way it works for me.

    But I say go for it either way. There's nothing like picking up a new instrument, practicing for 1/2 an hour and being twice as good as you were when you started.

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