Did you branch out after learning a wind instrument?


Senior Member
Last night I assembled the flute. I thought it would be a minute or two, but I ended up playing it for two hours. When I played in a Heart tribute band, I was not Ann, but I did that in addition to guitar and keys. I would make a very poor Ann Wilson. I got to play a critter who didn't even exist. Sweet.

I didn't study the flute. My grandma loved Benny Goodman, so I ended up with the clarinet instead of the saxophone. But then, the sax and flute were easy to branch to because of their similarities. Oboe, bassoon, and then brass were easy to grasp with some simple patterns with the fingers, because they're all aerophones.

Playing a lot of instruments, to me, is not really a mark of any special aptitude. I think it comes down to my ability to mimic the sounds I hear, and the striking similarity between all these wind instruments. Marching band had a lot to do with switching around. Baritone, trombone. Sousa gave INCREDIBLE parts to the clarinets in his marches, but other than that, the high school repertoire really emphasized the brass I switched to, and besides, a bell in ya FACE!

What's your story?


Senior Member
:sad: Why did you have to remind me I had one? Of how many hours I spent? Sampler.

"I've seen the future, brother, it is murder."
Leonard Cohen

José Herring

Senior Member
Clarinet is my main instrument. It was an easy transition to alto and soprano sax. Of course all the clarinet family is easy too, bass, alto, soprano clarinets. Never could make a tenor sax sound good for some reason. I probably just never tried the right combination of reed and mouthpiece.

But, mostly these days since I spend so much time banging things out on a keyboard, my piano chops have improved a lot.


New Member
Alto sax from 5th grade through two years of college. It put me through my first two years before jumping majors from music to art. I had had enough of piano at the time (I know, I know). I picked up guitar late in high school and still use it as my primary now. Drums, piano, bass, voice, all were more or less self-taught over the years. I've recently gotten back into piano working my way into this strange VI world.

Simon Lee

New Member
I was late to the table. I started on piano at 14, bought a sax at 16 didn’t really start playing regular until I was in my 20’s then branched out and bought a Clarinet and flute in my 30’s. Now in my 40’s I’ve started to put a lot more time back into the piano because of the demand to teach it and it’s a great composition tool as you know.
After 45 years at the piano, a few life-altering events pushed me to make a change. I took up the clarinet. Owch! - that hurt... Just the frustration of looking at a note and my fingers not really knowing what to do instantaneously was pure torture... :) But it was worth it. A completely new musical language [so much effort in making a beautiful tone...] and a new world of technical skill, being able to play only one note at a time - it has deepened my musical knowledge and humbles me on a daily basis... Now when I write something for the clarinet I try to make it easy enough for me to play... :)


Senior Member
Closest I got to playing a wind instrument was playing a recorder. You know, Stairway to Heaven. But I think I've mentioned how uncoordinated I am. I could almost play it. :roflmao:

But I do admire those who can play multiple instruments. I'll just stick to singing. It's kind of a wind instrument. ;)


Started out on piano at 10, but took up trumpet in my teens., then dabbled with clarinet when I became a band director in my 20s and I felt I ought to be able to give advice to woodwind players based on more than reading books about their instrument :)

Trumpet is still my main instrument, but I was surprised how easily keyboard came back to me when I started getting into writing music again


Active Member
I've been playing trombone for 40 years, and it's still a work in progress even though I've performed at the highest pro standards over the years in a variety of music styles.

Always something to work on!

I wish I'd spent more time on piano, but I'm a passable enough player for playing 'one-hand' lines in the DAW for any instrument, and can play intermediate-level piano pieces.

But if I'd spent more time on something besides trombone, my trombone playing would suffer! And half of my horn time is just playing excerises and just "staying in shape" stuff. Plus, switching mouthpieces, different horns, etc. all take up a lot of your time to stay focused and ready for pro-level work.

So much to learn and do, so little time!

But, I love it. I kind of feel sorry for people who don't have a musical intrumental passion. I would include the DAW and sample libraries as musical instruments....they need practice too!
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I played tuba in elementary school. Then ... a whole lot nothing. I was paid to chaperone some HS kids to a Christopher Parkening concert while I wan in college - that one event made me a (early) classical listener. Then more nothing. I bought a Korg C3500 while in grad school for chemistry, but, no time. More nothing.

Then, around 2013 I decided to install Arch Linux (which I don't use any more). I found out about Rosegarden, later MuseScore, and had a moment of abject hubris that I neither hope nor expect to surpass in this lifetime. "I have a master degree in chemistry. How hard can composing/making music be?"

Since then, I received advice on the #music-theory irc (my first critique, of my first piece, by mducharme: "... a blather of notes ... but it has potential..."), took a year of theory online from a community college and kept coming back to writing as a hobby. Now I'm checking out some better sounds (VSCO2, Komplete) and have invested in a Samson Graphite 49 and a LinnStrument (though I still have that ancient Korg).

So, I'm progressing from computer nerd to music techie, does that count?