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Musical Instruments

image credit Texas Tech University Clarinet 101 explains all the things you need to know about getting started with the Clarinet. I began playing the Clarinet at school. I love its mellow tones. Playing the higher register is quite tricky. My first tune from memory was from Peter and the Wolf, and as a party piece I ham through Glenn Miller's American Patrol. The clarinet is a versatile woodwind instrument with a mellow tone that is used from classical to jazz. Maybe you are looking for clarinet music, perhaps you want to know how clarinets are made and which are the best clarinet makes. You might want to hear popular clarinet pieces. I hope this lens will help you learn more about the clarinet.

When asked 'if you could choose to play a musical instrument', many people would reply "I wish I could play the piano." A very common question is 'how to play the piano'? Imagine the pleasure you would get from playing the piano and seeing the happiness it creates for others. Learning to play the piano might seem daunting at first, yet with a bit of inspiration from great players and great teachers a bit of effort and practice everyone can play something enjoyable. Playing your first piano piece, just imagine how that would feel, I'm sure you can see the smiling faces of your listeners and hear their applause as you read on. I began learning to play the piano when I was 4 years old. My mother was a music teacher and she gave lessons from the family home before becoming a full time music teacher. Because getting the basics right can be a bit of a chore for young kids (scales and arpeggios) Mum used to place 6 M&Ms on one end of the keyboard (the bass end) and each time I did an exercise (say the scale of E major) one of them was placed at the other end of the keyboard. Once 6 repetitions had been complete then I got the the 6 M&Ms! How I never ended up as the toothless pianist I'll never know!. I always remember mum saying some interesting things about playing the piano. The first was that whilst the player might very conscious of mistakes such as missed fingering, the odd wrong note, bad phrasing etc, It is surprising that general listeners tend not to notice. So if you are playing in public just get on and play and don't make a thing about the mistakes you know about. This of course doesn't apply to examiners and knowledgeable listeners who are very exact and precise. The other thing she used to say was that often in a social setting people sit and 'listen' to a piano player whereas they will join in and sing along with a guitarist. That is of course until they have imbibed enough Dutch courage to give it a go! I think the point she was making was that playing the piano is regarded as a performance rather than a shin-dig. One thing that used to drive her up the wall was 'Chopsticks'.The old 'this is what I can play even though I can't play anything else' Surprising really because she wasn't a music snob, although Fur Elise was another tune she had in her sights when gunning for average piano players! A big question too is whether playing the piano is a natural talent or simply down to hard work and practice. You'll find links here that explore this issue. At the end of the day we cannot ignore the fact that some players are better than others. So we have to consider the art and technicality of playing too. Getting a grip on what musicality actually is and how we know it when we've got it is another matter entirely.

Imagine playing the violin, just think about the pleasure it would give you and the people listening. Someone wise once said, the journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step and that's how it is learning to play the violin. Think of the information here as your first step to enjoying the music of the violin. The violin is a really versatile instrument. The leader of the orchestra plays the violin. Initially its a bit tricky to master because there are no frets on the finger board to help locate the fingers for the correct notes. One of my favourite contemporary violinists is Nigel Kennedy his idiosyncratic style and dramatic playing are very appealing. Violins are used in a huge range of music from classical, country, blue grass, through to jazz and pop and rock. Its an instrument that allows the violin virtuoso to really show off and be flamboyant. The Latin name for Violin is 'Vitula' which means stringed instrument. The modern recognisable form of the violin was designed in the 1500's by Andrea Amati. Because of the characteristics of individual manufacture the tone of violins varies. This means that some violins are prized more than others. The most famous violin maker is perhaps Antonio Stardivari. Violin makers are known as Luthiers and the name applies to the maker of any type of stringed instrument too. The tone of a violin is known as its 'voice'.

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Charlie Parker is quoted as saying ""You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get...