Learning to play the recorder at school

DaveBassDaveBass Posts: 3,313Member
edited April 2017 in Totally Not Guitars
Donut and I both started out by learning to play the recorder at school. But "when I were a lad", recorders were still made of wood and had a nice sound to them. I think the modern plastic ones are crap, they do more harm than good, putting kids off music making for life.

My second instrument was the ukulele (which is tuned similarly to the top four strings of a guitar) and then I progressed to guitar, double bass (which is tuned similarly to the bottom four strings of a guitar), and finally bass guitar (which is tuned the same as a double bass).

Somewhere along the way I picked up some very rudimentary keyboard knowledge, but I can't actually play anything. I suppose I ought to learn, maybe have piano lessons.

Oh yes, and I learnt the violin for a bit too when I was a kid, but I've completely forgotten it.

And I also play the blues harp (oh, OK the mouth organ) and the kazoo!

So how did everyone else get started, or is the bass guitar your first instrument?



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    How did i get started?

    Well, I too did the recorder thing - as it was compulsory at our school, as were regular beatings from the hard kids from the estate nearby. Never got any good though, as a blunt refusal to practice put paid to any career i may have had.

    Then, when i was 17, was ****ing around with a mates guitar, and he flogged me his old Strat to play on. So took that to uni with me, learnt to play it a bit, and played in a band for a couple of years. We did alright, played some gigs, made some cash, then split and did the career thing.

    ****ed around in the meantime, buying a Les Paul and Jaguar, and becoming an accountant. Then, the guy who used to sing in our band has started up another, who've got through to the last 32 of XFM's unsigned compy at the mo. He mentioned that they may need a bass player at some point, so i've now bought a Squier Precision, which i play when i'm bored.

    Still, if anyone's in the kingston area and fancies a jam, you can see how much of the above is true. I only play indie stuff though, none of that twiddly metal solo stuff beloved of people who worship guitar heroes.

    Oh, and does anyone know when the new Mansun album is likely to be released - saw them live last year touring the new stuff, and it was awesome...
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    just of note - in the thingy above, i didn't actually swear really, i wrote the equivalent of "weeing" about that begins with "P", but it's censored.

    Fair play, bass/recorder players are sensitive souls after all...
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    Originally posted by DaveBass:
    I think the modern plastic ones are crap, they do more harm than good, putting kids off music making for life.

    hey, I learnt on a plastic recorder!

    Admittedly it didn't get me into playing bass though. We had to do one of those awful class concert thingys for Music in year 9, and someone asked me to play bass for them. I used the school bass, and practiced the bassline at home using my brother's guitar! The guy who asked me said he was impressed with how quickly I picked it up, and suggested I started learning it properly. Took until April last year to buy a bass, partially because some people at school were (and still are) in a band without a bassist.

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    I also did the recorder thing (plastic :( ) in Year 2 or something, played solo in a concert at one point, best in my class!

    A few years went by, and my best friend had been playing the piano for... like, forever. We sometimes talked about it and music, and then we decided we liked brass. As Charlie (my friend) was already good at music, he began learning the trombone. I had a go on it, decided I liked it and started to learn it too. We played in an orchestra together until year 6 and then we both left.

    Unfortunately the brass teacher at my school was an obese, ugly, hairy, unfriendly twat. So I decided to give up the trombone.

    Years more passed until a bit over a year and a half ago, beginning of year 11 or so. I had always liked the bass, and due to my musical past and knowledge of things in the clef, I nagged my parents and was eventually bought a bundle consisting of a Squier P-Bass, Kustom amplifier, lead and plectrum. I wasn't even present for its purchase, just came home after a LAN party one weekend and it was there \:\)

    I loved it right away and taught myself fairly proficiently from the start and never looked back since. Joined a band after 6 months, still together and we are about to go into studio to record our first proper EP this Sunday/monday night. I'll letcha know when its done and I can up some mp3s for you all \:\)

    I will have to revise reading music again now though, something I used to know but have now forgotten... quite bad of me actually \:\(

    Bought my Ibanez EDA900 about 6 months ago now, my Trace Elliot 315SMX bass amp and now I'm rocking away with the Last Orders massive ;\)
  • DaveBassDaveBass Posts: 3,313Member
    Originally posted by Swiss Tony:
    Unfortunately the brass teacher at my school was an obese, ugly, hairy, unfriendly twat. So I decided to give up the trombone.

    LOL, it's funny the things that decide our destiny! I bet if your teacher had been a shapely young female, you'd still be blowing your 'bone!

    One of my music teachers used to play jazz (much disapproved of by the headmaster). His enthusiasm got me interested in it, and he eventually helped me get into the Musicians Union, as a schoolboy (despite plenty of dubious looks from the middle-aged union officials). Which led to my first paid gigs, "depping" for absent bass players...

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    I decided I wanted to play bass in May 2001 because I loved the sound. I didn't care about being the lead man of the band, I could just feel the bas guitar more.

    The instrument has so much more power than guitar, in terms of feel, and the experience of playing. So I bought my first bass (Vintage) and myself a begginers bass book and away I went.

    Self taught, been in three different bands, one crappy punk band, one ska band (also crappy), and the band I am in now (hopefully will stay together).

    Its a new band, and we have two covers done (Can't Stop - RHCP and Times Like These - Foo's), now writing our own stuff.

    Thanks for reading....if you still are.... pat yourself on the back. Andy \:\)
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    Originally posted by Andy Cleaver:
    I decided I wanted to play bass in May 2001 because I loved the sound. I didn't care about being the lead man of the band, I could just feel the bass guitar more.

    I wish that was my reason for starting! \:\) Mine was more 'Ooh look, they need a bassist - why not?' \:D One initial problem though - they found someone else to play bass for them almost as soon as I'd ordered mine. \:\( They got rid of them quite quickly though (she was the guitarist's girlfriend) \:D

    Well, that's about it - the ups and downs of my musical career so far sure make interesting reading huh? :p

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    Started on the violin when I was in yr 2, passed my grade 5 a few years ago but gave up cos of too many other musical commitments. Next came the piano which I started learning in yr 4 and still learn to this day (I'm doing my grade 8 in about 7 weeks).

    In yr 5 I started learning the french horn but gave up after a year's worth of lessons - wasn't really for me.

    Didn't try anything new for a wee while, then right at the end of year 9 I wrote a very cool (or so I thought at the time ;\) sounds a bit naff now, ah well) riff on piano and thought "this'd sound so much better played on a guitar". So I had a little pootle around on my brother's old Squier Strat for about a year, decided it was a Good Thing and bought myself a geetar in the summer of 2001. I also decided to take up drums then, which are great fun.

    Right at the end of last year I was setting up my own home studio and was thinking "well I've got guitars, a drum kit, a piano, a bunch of mics.... what else do I need?... a bass would be nice!" so I acquired a bass about 4 months ago and have been playing along on my recordings (though I wouldn't exactly call myself a "bassist" ;))

    Phew. That was a lot of rambling. Ah well.
    Chris \:\)
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    welll..... played fiddle for 3yrs then on to cornet then tenor horn then baritone, i needed 2 instruments for Standard Grade music and couldnt be arsed to play baritone for it so chose bass & drums, had my bass for a couple of yrs but ive only recently started playing it regularly in a band \:\)

  • HapsterHapster Posts: 16Member
    Keeping the recorder theme going - the first note I ever played was on a ****ty £3 plastic recorder, and I hated music from then until I was 15.

    At the ripe old age of 15, my dad pointed out that all my mates had got guitars in the past year, and I should get a bass and be in their band. Without any further thought I demended a bass for xmas, and the only bass in the local shop - A Rickter P-bass copy - was my gift from santa. It was a hateful instrument that I sold 4 years later to someone I didn't like \:\)

    I have no idea why I stuck at it, I was utterly crap for 4 years and 2 basses and only recently started to actually learn some technique, now I'm 100% better than I was last year, and I anticipate that I'll cringe at the crap I can't play at the moment next year.
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    Why was the recorder made as an instrument that most schools forced upon children? Now a days in a lot of schools it is compulsary until age 6 or something along those lines .

    Andy \:\) :p
  • DaveBassDaveBass Posts: 3,313Member
    I suppose the plastic recorder is about the cheapest possible "real" instrument, i.e. one for which you can learn to read music, play parts, etc. But it's not a "real" instrument in the sense that a violin or clarinet or guitar is. If you see what I mean. \:\)

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    I probably would've kept the trombone in that instance yes... but the main point was the man was a TWAT. He just decided he didn't like me before he'd even heard me open my mouth and he me play, and was just a complete tart towards me until I quit.

    But yes, your point does stand ;\)
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    I remember getting that from my music teacher in year 7 - plus all we seemed to do during music lessons was sing, which didn't really make it the most enjoyable lesson ever, seeing as I'm completely tone deaf! \:\)

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    Started on guitar but I always thought of the bass guitar as a really powerful instrument. I like the way it shakes the floor and besides, its the sexiest instrument.
  • DaveBassDaveBass Posts: 3,313Member
    Originally posted by CortBassMan:
    ...I always thought of the bass guitar as a really powerful instrument. I like the way it shakes the floor...

    I remember sitting in the audience at school with a band of older boys playing Hi Heel Sneakers: "Put on your red dress baby, cos we're going out tonight...". The bass guitar sound seemed to penetrate my body and vibrate my guts! Judging by the amps available in those days (mid 60s) it was probably only about 50 watts max, but it was the loudest, deepest sound I'd ever heard, and I suddenly understood what rock music was meant to be about! Until then I'd only ever heard it played on the radio.

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    Started off playing the trumpet at age 10, played for about three years, packed it in. Didn't play an instrument until late last year. I started listening to reggae and got drawn into the bass end of things. Got my first bass for my birthday, and been playing it for about three months now.

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    I think like almost everyone i started with the plastic recorder, although i swear the damn thing never worked properly from the start \:\)
    That pretty much killed my musical ambitions until i was about 1. begged the rents to let me buy a guitar and amp. It was a yamaha pacifica 112 and a squier 10 amp, both i still have and use.
    Then some friends of mine started band and i was playing guitar for them but never really felt comfortable cos it seemed so small (i'm 6 foot 7). So moved to bass partly cos they needed a bassist and part cos basses are bigger and feel right. Got my first bass for my 18th birthday and am hoping to buy a new one soon.
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    My music teacher at school decided I was the new double bass player 'cos I was tallest in my year, and one thing led to another. That man has been responsible for some very large amounts of money leaving my account bound for various guitar shops over the years.
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    I started a band and the only instrument left was bass which i was planning on playing any way and it all started from there
    Im glad i started playin now it is somat to do
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    I started playin bass mainly coz i really wanted to play in a band of some sort. I was gona play guitar but realised dat too many ppl play guitar and i didnt want to jump on da bandwagon wiv a load of guitar players wiv HUGE egos:P So i just started learnin to play bass.
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    Bass is just the latest in a string of instruments I've picked up, messed around with and dropped (apart from the last bit perhaps).

    Never did much of anything until my teens. Back in the late seventies I saw Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull and immediately wanted to play flute like he did!

    I've now got, on an increasingly crowded and dusty shelf, that old flute, two violins, a brace of acoustic guitars, several blues harps, a concertina, a tuned bodhran and assorted bangy bits and pieces. The bass was something of a departure from the folkie stuff, but has been introduced to some electric folk and blues stuff already!

    I will persevere with the bass. No, really. Watch. Listen even... :p
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    Fortanly recorder was never forced on me. However i did learn to play guitar in year 4 and i hated it and gave up. In year 7 i decided that i would like to play piano so i had a go and got to level 1 but i hated my teacher so i quit. Then with my dislike of music i didn't play anything till again till year 12. This is when i started lisening to rock type music i heard learn to fly and this repetive note in the back ground kept me lisening to it so i went a brought a bass. I now play guitar as well but it not as good as bass.
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    i played the big ass tenor recorder (which is close to bass) so my future was determined. i played saxamaphone for a few years but once again the fat, ugly, balding, perverted middle-aged teacher made me quit. been lovin bass ever since. *sighs gently as hovis theme softly plays* :p
  • AzztozAzztoz Posts: 573Member
    Well, my grandad gave me a keyboard when I was really young, and I always enjoyed messing around on it - sort of taught myself a little bit, and made a few compositions. Then in Year 5 I started saxophone lessons. I played it for two years, but the teacher was a short fat wonam with hairy lips, and I couldn't bear using the same reed as her (yes - she always needed to demonstrate thing on my saxophone! Must have bought countless reeds...). Oh - I also couldn't play it, so I stopped.

    In Year 8 I started keyboard lessons, and had these right through until the end of Year 11. I learned to play drums for 2 years (Years 10 - 11) and still love to play them when I get the chance.

    Anyway, me and a mate had been trying to start a band for *ages*. The plan was I'd play keyboard, he'd sing and we had a drummer. BUT we couldn't find a bassist. So I spent all my birthday money on one (t'was a bit risky - I'd never even touched one before, and never played guitar! I could have hated it!). But I loved it.

    The End \:D

    Originally posted by CortBassMan:
    I always thought of the bass guitar as a really powerful instrument. I like the way it shakes the floor and besides, its the sexiest instrument.

    I totally agree - although I didn't realise that until I started to play it, it's the best feeling ever...
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    WARNING! Rambling post follows:

    Another victim of "plastic recorder syndrome" at school, I very quickly lost interest in playing an instrument and stuck to choral singing. (The bass part naturally! :-) )

    Then, in my final-but-one year, the school band needed a tuba player and I decided to give it a go. At last! An instrument that felt and sounded like it had some power behind it. I picked up the tuba very quickly, and continued with it until I left school and had to give the instrument back.

    I stuck with singing for a while after that, until the amateur dramatics society connected to the church I was attending at the time decided to put on a play. Fancying myself as a bit of a Thespian, I auditioned and got a part. Only hitch was, my character was a bassist!

    I was lent an old P-bass copy (I think it was a Squier) on which I learned to play a few old Nirvana songs that I needed for my part in the play. I enjoyed it so much that I carried on playing in the church worship band. That went on for the best part of a year, until the owner wanted his guitar back.

    I went back to singing, and that was the sum total of my musical activity until last week when I had a dream. It was a particularly good one and I won't bore you with the details, but in it I was playing a bass. It reminded me of how much I missed the instrument, so the next morning I went onto the web and discovered that not only was a bass within my price range (just), but that RG was only a few miles down the road!

    I walked in, spoke to Woz, and walked out again the proud owner of a Peavey Milestone IV and Microbass. The axe had a technical problem so was exchanged a few days later for a DynaBass (with which I am very pleased), so now I just need to re-learn how to play the thing!

    [ 13 June 2003: Message edited by: XV Pilot ]
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    My musical history in so interesting I cannot include it in its full glory in case you all want to become me so here is a quick list.

    > Brought up in a musical family hence started tinkling on piano at 6
    > played recorder in year two for 4 weeks!!!
    > did my grade one on piano. got bored
    > aquired a bass guitar with no strings when i was about year 5
    > started playing drums in year 7-8ish got to grade 6 by the time i was in year 9
    >was in a band with some 18 year olds I knew in year 8(soooo cool when your like 12)
    > someone strung up my bass started messing about.
    > grandfather passed away. bought my bass guitar with money he left me
    > had three bass lessons decided I could teach myself better.
    >now preety damn good and have taught my self 6string (compleately NO LESSONS OR BOOKS) been playin that for about 3 years.
    > and can also play the triangle and kazoo
  • SterlingSterling Posts: 191Member
    Never had to play the recorder back in the day fortunately. I picked up a bass for the first time just over 2 years ago (when I was 15). I loved the sound of the bass, and thats what drew me in.

    I was inspired by players like sting, and Mark King, who I used to listen to on my dads CD's (Mark King = Level 42 Bassist, good slap player).

    I now like the playing of Flea and Stuart Hamm mainly, and have taught my self through use of books.

    I just purchased the "Bass Bible" by Paul Westwood, and its the best Bass instruction book I have used for a long time, its really developing me creativly and musically.

    Thanks for reading my ramble anyway.

  • guytpguytp Posts: 372Member
    I thought I'd have a bit of a ramble too becaus emost of you have and I'm jsut stupidly bored at the moment!

    Like many - the plastic recorder was my first instrument... aged 7 for about 1 year.... then that was it... nothing for a couple of years.

    In the summer of my 9th year of exciting life i remember being at this disco at the apartment complex we were staying at with such amazing songs as All That She Wants by Ace of Bass and No Limits by 2 Unlimited - you remember thge early 90s :) .

    Back in England and I decided I wanted to learn Piano (it was near enough keyboard). My parents agreed and were paying £35/hour for lessons (man that was expensive on retrospect!). I didn't do too amazingly and never really got hugely to grisp with it and stopped after a year. Partly because my musci teacher was an old woman that smelt like a dog and had a hairy face like one. I did learn Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Frere o Jaques and somehting called "Queen Queen Caroline" - who washed her hair in turpentine... I digress.

    So by the age of 10 I'd been put of music.

    When I started my new school aged 13 I went to the music lesson and informed the teacher I was tone deaf. He said he had never met anyone with no music talent. I changed his mind over the course of my time there \:\) I did, however, join the choir aged 14 for my Duke of Edinburgh award... and I sucked. I *LOVE* singing but I have a voice that makes deaf people cringe. My friends made me promise to not sing in my last hosue \:\) Somehow I lasted for a year before nobody seemed to mind me wanting to leave.

    I went to my first concert 2-3 years ago and that was it. The cheesey pop went in the bin and I started to listen to more "real" music even if some of it is somewhat poppy - the point was I could lsiten to it live and it would actually be live. Now I'm about 50 live gigs later \:\)

    The next time I touched an instrument was a drunken night at 5am a year later... my friend gave me his Gibson Les Paul (he's good) and I jsut made it sound bad and gave it back.

    Then about a year ago ... jsut over... I decided I wanted to play bass, investigated it, found this board and realised I was broke. About a week or two ago I actually had a dream about playing bass again so woke up and ordered the DynaBass after 2-3 days of looking at things and here I am.

    Never picked up a bass in my life, and no idea how to... but I'm going down the self-taught route until I can afford a couple of lessons to put me in the right direction. I'd love to "jam" wth some friends heh but anyone I know is sooo much better than me with so many more years of experience \:\)

    One of the main reasons I wanted to play bass was probably Paz Lenchantin (A Perfect Circle and Zwan fame)... there are just a couple of moments in some of her stuff thats truely amazing and really full of passion whcih a lot of bass in the mainstream nu-metal doesn't have... so that made me want to learn and come out with somehting like that myself.

    Sadly Im many years off that and am currently residinign to cheesy nu-metal and nu-punk riffs \:\)
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,658Member, Moderator
    Like Dave, I too started by learning to play the recorder at school, in the days that beginners' models were wooden. I still play the recorder and later picked up the flute.

    Unlike Dave, my second instrument was guitar. Andrew, a musical chap in our class when we were 9, was given the chance to play in the school assembly. To play the Beatles' Hey Jude, which was a chart-topper at the time, he needed help and he lent me his guitar and taught me the chords.

    When I was 12 I bought my first guitar and I this has been core to my life since then.

    In more recent years I picked up the flute which compliements the recorder (similar fingering), started played fretless bass for a local band for 4 years and I play drums in church. A keyboard has for many years been something I just play chords on and a violin helped me develop more accurate hearing for playing the fretless bass.

    I have fretted StingRay5 active bass which I hardly play and so I am looking to upgrade the pickups in my Stagg 4-string fretless bass as it is lovely to play but does not sound too good.
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