How many of us here on thesession.org play multiple instruments? I get the impression that it is quite common here, and I for one would be interested to get a learn a few things from other people who dabble in playing the music on more than one horn.
First off, how many instruments do you play? For the purposes of this discussion I’d like to restrict this to instruments you would play in front of another person, although I am curious to know if anyone is learning anything new at the moment.
Second, what inspires you to play more than one, and how did you get into playing your second(or third, or fourth) instrument? Also, which do you consider to be your primary and how much more advanced do you feel you are on that instrument than the other(s)?
And third, how do you divide your practice time, and also are all the instruments you play typical to Irish traditional music or do you also play other instruments nonstandard to the genre/other genres?
I’ll go first I suppose. I play flute primarily, silver flute for work and 8 key flute for Irish trad. I also play c#/d accordion, uilleann and highland pipes and fiddle. I only play American and Cape Breton music on the fiddle(not particularly well) although it has been a curiosity of mine for many years and I play a smattering of Irish tunes as well, though I never bring it to a session. I ended up playing flute as a subsitute for pipes, since the set of (uilleann) pipes I had was rubbish. Accordion is another one of those curiosities that I have finally had the money and time to invest in as I’ve grown older. I started music as a highland piper and moved to uilleann pipes from there, but I haven’t ever had success with a set(although that is soon to change).
My practice time is limited, so I tend to spend more time listening than playing. On everything but flute, my repertoire is limited, although I have a fairly large core of tunes, polkas and slides mainly, that I can play on them all. Lately I have been devoting more time to sitting down and messing with my fingering on accordion. I figure this is typical for multi instrumentalists, but my interest in instruments tends to go in waves. Sometimes this helps me stave off frustration , sometimes it adds to it.
I’ve been ruminating on giving all but one of them up for years now but have never quite got myself to do it, except for a brief period when I played only 8 key flute. Has anyone else gone through this? And what was your motivation/end result?
Thanks in advance for your time sessiongoers.