Do you Perform Instruments for your Music Compositions?

Do you Perform Instruments for your Music Compositions? If so, what instruments do you usually play/record? :slight_smile:

I am getting more and more inspired to record actual instruments, which means I need to practice and learn how to play them. And, well…buy them in the first place lol. Now the question is, what instrument(s) to learn? :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve been thinking of flute, as it hopefully is not too hard (like violin). But it is still probably harder to learn than I want it to be lol.

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I play guitar, but unfortunately not well enough to record yet. Also, I didn’t have a decent microphone until recently. I recently acquired a snowball microphone by blue. I’ll be trying to bring my playing up to speed now.

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I do have a guitar as well, and gone back every once in a while to learn how to play. But I always run out of time and energy to keep at it.

Another thing is that I still would love to improve my piano skills by regular practice. I really should set up a practice routine, and schedule a few minutes every day for instrument learning/practice.

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I haven’t done it before but last week I was making this spaghetti western theme and I couldn’t find a decent whistling plugin so I whistled the lead by myself. Came out pretty good in the end! I’ve also thought about recording some trumpet but I don’t have a space to record it in, it’s too loud to record in my small studio room

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I was so inspired yesterday when I found this performance video, based on one of my favorite computer games ever: Heroes of Might and Magic III! :stuck_out_tongue:

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Play bass on a few of my tracks. Need to improve my keyboard skills and learn to play properly. Would love to get some more interesting tuned percussion and instruments like tongues drum and Kalimba and try a few more interesting instruments.

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I am a keyboard player first and foremost, which I guess is a huge advantage, as I can at least record all parts in software instruments. But…I am soooo much yearning to perform a “real instrument”, as in recording with audio. Anything from electric guitar, to flute, to violin. Perhaps even some hand drums. I find that playing a real instrument (as opposed to software with MIDI keyboard) can add so much of that human feel, groove and soul to a composition.

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I think there is definitely something about tactile feel of handling and playing an instrument. I did a bit of recording with friends kalimba and it was so much fun. Keep wondering whether to get a cheap trombone again as I used to play although recording brass I feel could be tricky.

My friend taught himself to play hurdy gurdy for a game sound track recently.

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Well, as ya’ll know, I’m not a rational, sensible person, so I went with violin and cello - but out of those, I’d say the cello is easier to handle, at least for me. The long, heavy strings do demand a lot from the bowing technique (which is already a pretty difficult aspect of this instrument family), but the more stable instrument and more relaxed posture add up to it being easier to deal with shifting, vibrato, string crossings and all that. YMMV.

Other than that, vocals happen occasionally. (Recently picked that back up, after about two decades.) Of course, I figured I’d learn things properly this time, so now I’m studying bel canto/opera. I’m a tenor, apparently! Found another octave of “full” voice I didn’t know I had. Now, just like the bowed strings, while some aspects are surprisingly simple once you “get” them, all in all, actual opera technique is REALLY difficult, so we’ll see how that works out - but I’m not giving up just yet. :wink:

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Vocals are fun to record, and even though I could probably do something (I don’t suck, but I am no pro), it is just so much more demanding on my perfectionism and frail ego when recording my own vocals :stuck_out_tongue:

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The video I linked to above, I believe that is a “tin whistle” flute, isn’t it? That is something I think I could learn with relative ease (or perhaps I am hoping too much here) :stuck_out_tongue:

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The tin whistle basics are easy to learn but lots of the magic comes from expression. I have one and I tried to record it but it’s also quite a loud instrument so I can hear the room too much at home

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That is the big thing with real instruments. It’s all about expression isn’t it? And that is the hardest part to “master”. But if we can, wow, then software instruments have no way of competing. :slight_smile:

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The best thing is that you can have a million takes and record your playing a small part at a time and sound like a pro

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I think vocals are by default the most personal and sensitive instrument to most people, both musicians and listeners, simply because we’re all so trained on recognizing different voices, interpreting speech, detecting emotions etc - it’s all considered basic social skills.

And of course, this weird phenomenon on hearing ourselves on recordings… :smiley:

That said, once you become deeply familiar with any instrument (or Morse telegraphy, BTW), you start to perceive it more like human speech, in that you pick up on subtle details that have little impact on the untrained ear. I think it’s the same phenomenon as speech/vocals. It just seems different, as most of us can’t even remember a time before we could understand words, or recognize people’s voices.

And, either way, yeah, expression is what it’s all about… If you don’t have a clear vision of what you want to express, sampled instruments might save your *ss to some extent, as they tend to have a fair bit of “canned expression,” but with a real (or modeled) instrument, you have to rely entirely on your own expression.

On the upside, if you have a feel for expressive playing/singing/whatever, I think you’re halfway there, regardless of which instrument you pick up. Sure, you still have to practice the mechanics of getting the instrument to do what you want, but knowing exactly what you want to achieve gives you a very short feedback loop to guide you towards the technique you need.

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I’m intermediate on clarinet and alto saxophone, but unfortunately I have very cheap instruments, so I’m better off using samples. My tone sounds fine when I’m playing, but when I record it, it sounds like like someone who just picked up the instrument (kind of like how you hate the sound of your own voice).

Monophonic instruments also aren’t of much use when comping up with polyphonic ideas.

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