Playing A Variety of Instruments
At first when trying to learn an instrument- whatever it might be, it can be difficult enough. When you want tot learn more than one instrument, there can be a couple or more ways to go about it. Personally I stayed with one instrument-in a way two of the same variety- for 27 years. For me I chose electric guitar and then went on to Classical guitar for around seven or eight years. Later on I picked up the Cello and practiced that for about 3 years. I also dabbled in Piano a wonderfully challenging instrument.
When I first was playing guitar, I thought that it would be a sin to play other instruments though I am not sure why. It was only when I went to the Cello that my understanding seemed to be bigger and it ironically may have helped me be a better guitar player. So, if you have mastered an instrument or are very good, don’t be afraid to experiment with another instrument. It can be really an interesting experience and can make you better, I believe, at your first instrument.
The Piano I think is one of the best of a secondary instrument or your first as well. Learning to coordinate both hands when they are playing completely different things will definitely challenge you as will reading music for Piano where you are working with both Bass and Treble clefts. Also because the piano is usually in tune, it is good for your musical ears to hear the correct pitch and intervals which will help with songwriting for sure and get you to recognize notes, intervals and chords more easily.
Like I was saying, when I had the though of plying more than one instrument, I though I would be betraying my first instrument. However, it seemed to be there was none of that feeling when I began to do so. What my Cello practice had been doing did not take a thing away from the guitar. It also helped expand my musical understanding as each instrument is set a different way with the notes of each string. For instance the guitar is E-A-D-G-B-E from lowest to heights note and the Cello is C-G-D-A so you learn to play some things with the difference in string intervals in mind and it can expand your mind set for notes in music.
The next phase in learning more than one instrument is actually being good at each one. Of course you will be better at the one that you have been playing first and the longest most of the time. But, if you want to master each instrument you play, wether it it be two or three or even more, there is a lot of work to be done. It is like climbing shill in a way or working out with different machines and weights. It i very possible but it most likely will be hard with some difficulty. Though, to be at a level where you have become proficient at more than one instrument is very very gratifying.
If you have not yet made it to a level of being a professional, sticking to only one instrument can be difficult. There are some professionals who are professional at more than one instrument. There are advantages to playing more than one instrument from the standpoint of being a real composer. The composer must know what all the instruments sound like and how they work in an orchestra. Meanwhile the Record Producer has a big advantage if he or she knows how more than instrument functions, if not a multitude of instruments besides the technical knowledge of a studio environment. The way different instruments play and sound can have an effect on the songwriting process where at one part one instrument may sound fine whereas at another part of the song it will call for a completely different instrument even though the notes are pretty much the same.
Playing multiple instruments can have an effect on how you see and hear music. It can also change decisions you would make for your own music also. You have to keep it up though and keep on top of it so that you won’t fall behind in any of your instrument choices, a little bit (of practice) goes a long way. It would be good for some musicians out there to add another instrument into their arsenal. It just might take you to new places you have never been.