How old were you when you started?
How old were you when you started playing music??
I was 5 when I started the fiddle, whistle and flute 11 and harp14.
How old were you when you started playing music??
I was 5 when I started the fiddle, whistle and flute 11 and harp14.
Had about 10 lessons on violin - classical style at age 12.
Then nothing else until Mrs Dave gave me a whistle at age 26
I’ve just started the Uilleann pipes at 52. Beats doing a workout every morning!
Home made guitar (made by by dad), tea-chest bass, washboard and harmonica - 9-ish years old, slightly better guitar -14, fiddle - 56.
(dropped the first two)
It’s a matter of contention whether or not I play *music* even now! However, unless you count plinking an xylophone, blowing a kazoo, banging a drum etc when I was a kid, I started playing guitar when I was sixteen. While not totally useless i.e I could do lots of chords, strum, some fingerpicking, even playing some melody, I never really mastered the instrument. If I had been able to sing, I’d have got away with things like so many people do 🙁 but I was forced to try other things.
I was thirty when I bought my first mandolin but only played accompaniment at first, although I taught myself a few tunes by ear. It was my late thirties before I started to play the instrument seriously and I’ve been hooked ever since. A short time later, I also started on the fiddle (though it had been lying about in the house for a year or two before that). As the years went on, I also acquired a couple of octave mandolas (or is it mandolin), a banjo mandolin, and a tenor banjo.
There’s no stopping me now. 🙂
I can also play melodies on keyboard instruments but I’m not too hot with the "left hand".
I was thirty when I started on the ‘ol banjo.
It is already interesting to see how old many of those above were when they started, which proves it is never too late to start - as long as you do start! Despite being very interested in music all my life I was never inspired to really play anything following an evil piano teacher experience at the age of 12. After a while I thought I was probably too old to start, thank goodness I changed my mind! (my wife may not agree of course 🙂) )
Anyway, at least it shows that you don’t have to have been playing since the age of three…..
I started playing Whistle in my twenties. Was given a metal flute a couple of years later. Struggled with that until I was 40 (I’m a bit of a stubborn fool), when I did the sensible thing and gave Mr Cotter a call. Am now struggling with Wooden Flute(!)
classical guitar: 9-11
started recorder at age 10 (i think?)
classical guitar at 13/14 (stopped at 16)
clarinet from 15 till 18 (100+ members marching band)
some guitar from then on (folk) but nothing ‘real’
got in contact with ITM and started flute aged 23 and (flemish) pipes at 25.
these last two are the only i still play …
Violin : 6-9 (never again so far)
Guitar : 15
Mandolin : 32
Tenor Banjo : 33
Harmonica : right about now
Had one year of Cornet (!!!) when I went to grammar school aged 11.
Then discovered the whistle when my big sis came home from a year away in England. Still remember the very first tune I played - an english folk song called ‘Summer Goodbye’ aged about 12. Started going out to sessions when I was about 14 or 15 and have never looked back.
Big bro Ciarán was playing an old EKO guitar which I footered with on and off finally starting to play flute when about 18 on a dreadful Hawkes Siccama system.
Fell in love and bought my Monzani and Hill in 1978 at age 21.
I was just 7 when I started the concertina.. Athena, were you by any chance in Limerick last week? If your the person I’m thinking of, I think we had tunes in Nancy Blakes? Edel
No, Edel, wasn’t me.
But I know of you from my friend Meave McSweeny… flute, acc. and concertina.
Started playing whistle when I was thirteen, then progressed to the pipes at fourteen, gave them up as a bad job and learnt to play flute instead. At the same time just to make my life a wee bit harder I also learnt guitar. Was rubbish at everything but the flute.
In saying that I was really lucky that some of the local players took me under their wing, so from the age of fifteen onwards I would say that there are very few flute players this side of Belfast that have`nt given me a lesson in one way or another.
Been playing for 17 years now, thats nearly 20 years all in and before you ask it doesnt get any easier!
classical piano - 7 to 15 (I wouldn’t call it playing though)
classical guitar: 15 to now
bodhran, spoons, bones, tin whistle - 22 to 22 and 1/2. It’s better left to others.
accordion - 25 to 25 and 1/4
acoustic guitar - 25 to now
clarinet - 27, i.e. a week ago. Making all sorts of funny sounds. Perfect instrument to play quietly to yourself on a bus.
Played the fool most of my life. Started whistling less than a year ago (40).
I was 12 when I started the tin whistle, 13 on tenor banjo and guitar, and 14 on the bleugrass (open G) banjo…
Saxophone: 9 (Band geek, thru-and-thru)
Random bamboo flutes: 25-ish
Flute: 36 (about 2 months ago)
I remember trying to play a cardboard clarinet when I was three. Then,
Piano 7 (stopped at age 10)
Mandolin and banjo 17/18
Rain stick 33
Shakey egg 35
Spoon ( I can only play one) 38
Harmonica – 9
Guitar – 10
Recorder – 21
Fiddle – 28
Whistle and various fretted instruments – around 30
Fiddle again – 35
and again – 56
tapping feet: 20
was 5, 7, 14 and 40, when I started…. ok, here some more details:
my mum gave me first lessons on recorder when I was 5. learned to read music these days. still able to play the recorder and made some trials to play whistles (own a nice low D whistle for slow playing tunes…) but don´t play it in public.
started violin lessons with 7 and quit with 13 (my teenage revolution against my dad´s rude tuition style).
got a nice guitar for xmas same year and learned to play by myself. made it never over camp fire sing along strumming but it was ok.
bought a yamaha keyboard many years ago, played and practiced only for myself (under the headphones) and sold it again after a while.
had several trials to restart the violin with no succes since a couple of month after my 40th birthday I fell deeply in love with irish fiddle (met the right people - so: it needs the right place and the right time).
started palying bodhran with 42 but never took it to a session.
now (47) I try to programm a drumcomputer to have good rhythmic foundation while fiddling - does that count as an instrument, too?
I don’t remember how old I was when I started playing music, but it must have been nearly 50 years ago. I played tunes on a cracked toy ukelele with two strings, and on a plastic saxaphone. Before I had those I used water glasses filled to varying heights, or a cigar box with rubber bands stretched across it. My parents decided I deserved something better and got me a guitar when I was ten. But I would rather brag about my kids’ music when they were little.
I still have long hair, too.
Mandolin and Fiddle: 30
Northumbrian and Scottish Smallpipes: 40
Uilleann Pipes: 45
Flute dabbler: 46
Classical Guitar 11-20 (current)
Rope Tensioned Field Drum 18-present
Whistle-around the same as the recorder
voice-all my life, but just now trying to mach pitches 🙂
Guitar’s my main instrument
wooden whistle whit about 7 years
classical flute 10
and tin whistle whit 15
I Am 54 And Learing The Banjo And Having A Great Time.
I Enjoy The Class, And Go To A Session After, I Go To A Session On Monday And Every Second Wednesday. I Have Made New Friends.
piano: 5 or 6
guitar: 9, very briefly
piano accordion: 14, for about 2 years
guitar again: 16
mandolin and whistle: 19
harmonica: 27, for a very brief period after a run in with a circular saw
…The only one of the above that I ‘play’ per se is the mandolin. I’m 31 now, so I’ve a way to go yet with the fiddle… and, no, I’m no ‘halfway there already’ with the mandolin - more like 1/6.
MG: "…and, no, I’m no ‘halfway there already’ with the mandolin - more like 1/6."
I got one of the best compliments on my fife playing last summer, late at night while playing at a Fife and Drum muster jam session. One of the most respected fifers in the area, whom I was playing next to said to me, "Man, you’re 2/3 of the way there." I was touched.
Another respected player told me, after just having played through one of the more challenging, energetic pieces in the repertoire, "Man, you can blow!"
There are are very few circumstances under which most people would find that a compliment. 🙂
I was around 30 when I started to play the concert flute… still trying 🙁 , a bit whistle…
but maybe I just have to start the u-pipes at 40? (in a few months :-o)
recorder - 6, taught by my mum and and at primary school
violin 10 - 17 , classical lessons
acoustic guitar, 13 self-taught
fiddle (folk style 13 onwards, ITM 20 onwards)
electric bass 31 (that was in 1986)
failed at: percussion, mandolin, double bass
I’m not any good because I simply don’t play enough.
I started playing wooden flute when I was 25………doug.
Started playing mandolin when I was 20 and guitar at 16.
I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.
God! There are so many people on this site who are multi instrumentalists.
I started fiddle at 18 and get so frustrated with it still that I cant be bothered learning anything else. If I’m not happy with my fiddle playing whats the point of not being happy with something else as well?
Weeelll I did buy a flute once, but it annoyed me cause I couldnt play any tunes so I gave it away. Patience is not my strong point!
I was 7 when I started singing, 8 when I started playing clarinet, 18 when I started playing recorders, and 27 when I started playing whistle. In the midst of there, I played sax for a short while when I was 16, and bassoon for a short while when I was 22.
I started classical flute at 9, stopped & started again at 20, stopped at 30 & started again at 47.
Started "tinkering" with Irish tunes last year at 48.
Not having such an easy time of it, but I love it.
‘Well, bb, *sometimes* “multi-instrumentalist” means “jack of all, master of none” or “dabbler/dilettante”. With me, it also means “lacking the discipline to stick with one thing and master it”. The only instrument I’m certifiably adequate on is the guitar. My repertoire on any other instrument is tiny and my mastery is narrow.
I’m a sucker for instruments – easily charmed by the siren call.
Can we use the term "very mediocre", or is that redundant?
It’s a good way to describe the multi-instrumentalist’s virtuosity on any particular instrument — unless of course you’re Seamus Egan (and I don’t think he posted on this question) 🙂
Yes, and it would be repeating yourself.
Well, it helps if the instruments complement each other e.g I play fiddle, mandolin, tenor banjo, mandola which are all tuned the same and I started on the guitar which is also a stringed instrument.
However, I’m still mediocre 🙁 but that’s probably more to do with me starting later in life.
silver flute 15
wooden flute 16 <—This is the one I’m best at.
uilleann pipes 16
…I think. I’m not too good at remembering years.
I was a natural, just born with it.
Classical violin, 5-17.
Piano, 17 (for 6 months & quit).
Mountain dulcimer, about 37. (Still only a dabbler, not enough time to practice.)
Harp, 39 (wire) & 42 (nylon).
recorder, 3rd grade
Baritone horn, 4th grade
practice chanter, 11
bass guitar, 16-28
accosutic guitar, 18- present
crappy electric guitar with a floydd rose on it, 16
tenor, soprano, great bass recorders, krumhorns - 18-22
12-string accoustic, 23-present
electric guitar 30-present
12-string electric 31-present
Irish flute - got one one week from today
bb: "God! There are so many people on this site who are multi instrumentalists."
I did mention that, of the many instruments I listed, I only really play one of them.
Fyffer Guy - When I said "1/6 of the way there", I was referring to the fiddle, and how much of a headstart I have by already playing the mandolin. If we’re talking about THERE, well, do we ever get there? The closer we get to THERE, the further away THERE is. If I’m halfway THERE on the mandolin, then I’ve barely crossed the starting line on the fiddle.
A friend of mine went to a fiddle workshop with Martin Hayes. Martin advised the students to the effect of, "When you start learning the fiddle, you ARE a fiddler. Don’t say to yourself, ‘I’m *going* to be a fiddler’." I suppose I could regard myself as a pianist, guitarist, accordionist, whistle player, harmonica player, mandolinist, banjo player (I play other peoples’ sometimes), fiddler and flute player (I have one, on which I can play half a tune before I fall over) - but since I only play one of them to a reasonable standard, that would make me a bad musician. I’d rather be a good mandolin player than a bad multi-instrumentalist.
mountain dulcimer: 18
hammered dulcimer: 18
MG - only makin’ light of it all.
I too never really want to get THERE (of course, nor could I if I wanted to). As my 6th grade band instructor said (and I still use this to this day):
"That was good, but I’ll never say it was perfect. Once you’re at the top, there’s only one way to go from there" (paraphrasing, I’m sure).
Brings to mind "Zeno’s paradox" as well. If there is a "THERE" to get to, one must first get halfway there. Once I’m halfway, to get THERE, I must go half the remaining distance ….
How do music discussions always end up waxing philosophical?
Oh yeah, and just to double check your math, if you started on mandolin, and going over to fiddle, that’s 8 strings over to 4, so you were actually twice the way there —- wait - - you passed it! Turn around and come back! (Sorry, it’s late here, and I’m rambling)
Saw the light at 38 and got a fiddle.
Had brief affair with cheap mandolin at 39 but had an amicable seperation and after counseling moved back in with the fiddle, now doing well to recognise what we need to do to be able to live together.
Piano, age 11 - only had one for 6 months. tinkered with it on rare occasions when the opportunity presented itself since, not enough to even consider saying "I play the piano".
Guitar, age 12. Have played as much as I could ever since.
Percussion-in the womb.
Mom’s spleen has never been the same.
Bodhrán aged 7, harmonica at 10, Piano box when I was 16
I still can’t get over Bridie taking up the fiddle when she was 18. She plays like she’s been at it for much longer!
I’m not *that* young you know Conan🙂
The concertina pinches my leg
And all my children come and beg
For a chance to play. “Can I have a turn?”
Curious fingers are eager to learn,
Although, if you ask them they will say
That, of course, they already know how to play.
violin 5, fiddle 16
Nice distinction Anna. 🙂
i started on the linoleum as soon as i could crawl.
fiddle - 3
bodhrán - 13
uilleann pipes - 16
bones - last week!
70: "Now": iShuffle
I think I’m too old to remember how young I was when I started whatever it was. What was the second question?