Sunday, May 05, 2019

Week 18: Experiment with learning a new instrument

This week I picked goal #21 from my 60 until 60 list: Experiment with learning a new instrument.

I actually had very short 'experiments' with three instruments: The ukulele, the guitar, and an old Casio keyboard.  I had a short ukulele lesson from my niece when I was in California earlier this year and this week I got a guitar lesson from my talented friend, Adam.

I really enjoyed both of these lessons, but I soon realized that I have no natural talent for the ukulele or guitar and my fingers were really pretty spastic when trying to play even simple chords. I'd thought maybe since I can play the piano (also a string instrument) that I might be able to pick up ukulele or guitar relatively easily, but I quickly realized that the skills needed are totally different.  While usually I'm not one to quit early, I also realize that I have to prioritize where I'm going to invest my time in learning new skills. I could see that picking up ukulele or guitar would take more practice time than I'm really ready to invest right now.

I remembered that I'd recently gotten my brother, Chris's, old keyboard from my sister, and I'd been wanting to experiment with that. Chris died in 1997 and Michele and I had shared possession of his keyboard, thinking our kids might have fun playing with it. For all these years, it didn't get much use, but it was the perfect solution for my dilemma: I can easily play the keyboard and have it sound like any instrument I want!  I even found an old YouTube video giving me a basic lesson on how to use the Casio 465 ToneBank!

Guitar lesson from 'Q' (AKA Wysh, Adam, and a bunch of other names)

Also tried ukulele with my sister, thanks to a lesson from my niece, Rebecca.
Played with my brother, Chris's, old keyboard (circa 1989?)

What worked well

  • Ukulele video lesson from my sweet niece, Rebecca
  • Guitar lesson from talented friend, Adam ('Q')
  • Practicing ukulele with Michele when I was visiting LA
  • That I could actually play 'Horse with No Name' (sort of) with only 2 chords
  • Having fun with Chris's old keyboard - even though it's so old, it still works and could do some fun things!
  • Finding a YouTube that helped me figure out how to use some of the functions on the keyboard.
  • New admiration for those who play ukulele, guitar, and other stringed instruments. (I'll stick to the easier piano / keyboard.)
Not so good
  • My fingers are not strong/flexible enough.. had a very hard time playing even simple chords
  • Fingernails need to be cut very short to play ukulele or guitar
  • I don't like giving up so quickly, but realize I'm not willing to make the time investment needed


Anonymous said...

A very apropos of nothing quote:

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

--A nom e bus

Anonymous said...

Your loyal blog readers are requesting a video of YOU playing the keyboard.


Michele Hebrank said...

Glad you’re enjoying the keyboard!