How did you pick your instrument?
As an attempt to try to create an interesting positive discussion: how did you pick the instrument that you wound up playing?
My story is a bit twisted, but here goes:
I started out as a classical clarinetist. Once I got out of school, and started looking for someplace to play, I rapidly discovered that no one wanted another mediocre clarinetist.
Around that time, a college friend who was into folk dance dragged my wife and me to a folk festival. My wife was hooked by the dancing, but the music grabbed me. But the clarinet is a dreadful instrument for traditional celtic music.
After seeing a demo, I decided to take up the banjo (5 string). I love the sound of it, and there were very few banjo players around, so I thought I’d be able to avoid the “too many clarinetists” syndrome.
The banjo never came naturally. 5-string isn’t really suited to the music (although there are a few people who really make it work well). But more important, I was never really able to wrap my brain around the stringed instrument. I took lessons from wonderful teachers, but wasn’t getting much of anywhere. Finally, some RSI problems convinced me to give up. (Try to play the banjo if you can’t feel with the tip of your left pinky.)
Fortunately, two years ago, I went to a tinwhistle class on a lark, and fell in love with the thing. I’ve been playing obsessively ever since. As a woodwind player, it came very naturally, and it just felt, musically, like coming home.
About a month ago, I decided I needed to add something a bit quieter, so that I wouldn’t keep waking my daughter with my practicing. I also wanted a bit more versatility - more control of volume, and timbre, and the ability to switch keys without switching instruments. So I started learning the flute.
Now allI need to do is come up with the money to buy something better than my Dixon polymer flute…