Getting in touch with my musical side

Back in my younger years (when I was a miltownlad) I played the violin and took keyboarding classes. Since that time the only thing musical produced be me are coca cola tunes on my home phone and poor attempts made at DJing before I came. I’d like to start playing an instrument and want to hear what y’all think.

My first thought was to buy a keyboard, get a book and go about teaching myself. Are there any other good “beginner” instruments? There are some others I have in mind, but I thouhgt it might be a good idea to learn how to read music and stuff first using something easy like a piano.

I’d also be interested in a music class of sorts (in Chinese or English). And a recommendation on where to buy some equipment would be nice (new or used).


Wobble board :smiley:

Didjeridu! Just get a piece of PVC pipe, schedule 80, about 48" long and 1.5" diameter. Round off the edges and make a mouthpiece out of beeswax.

You know how to didjeridu, don’t you? You put your lips together and blow. :stuck_out_tongue:

[quote=“MaPoDoFu”]You know how to didjeridu, don’t you? You put your lips together and blow. :P[/quote]Must be a bit more to it than that, and you have to blow out with your mouth while you breath in through your nose. You have to breath in and out at the same time. It’s very tricky, but it can be done.

Serious about buying an instrument, there is a pretty large music equip store on the North East corner of NanKing (NanJing) and Jian Guo. Lot’s to choose from.

whilst on the topic i’d put my vote in for guitar… i started playing guitar 10 years ago… at the time all i heard was “you’ll give it up in a month” or “if you don’t get lessons you’ll never be able to play that thing”… never did go to any lessons, just sat down with a jimi hendrix CD and my guitar… admittedly it took me almost 10 years to get good enough to play hendrix half properly, but it’s easy to get started and encouraging to be able to play along to your favorite music, albeit simplified versions thereof in the beginning… also you don’t have to learn to read traditional sheet music at all if you don’t want to… guitar tablature is kind of like a cheat sheet to reading music… you can learn to read it in an afternoon, and then you can download guitar tabs off the net to learn as much or as little as you like… and the constant improvement gives you impetus to keep it up… if you’re keen check out it’s a really good site for getting started, with loads of info, lessons, forums and advice… 10 years on i still play every day, mostly blues, and i can honestly say deciding to learn the guitar was one of the best and most rewarding decisions i have ever made… so whatever instrument you decide to go with, i hope you find it as rewarding as i have…

I can’t read notes but I play guitar by the ear. I enjoy playing the songs of catchy tunes just to kill time or to evict the creeping loneliness of my younger days in Jakarta.

I love to sing together with friends, my household members, or at the church choir.

I want to learn piano but I can’t spare the time out of my breadwinning schedule.


Get a keyboard, plug it into your computer, get Fl Studio, start downloading songs from FLStudio site, write your own music or play around with other’s, just play around with multi-tracking stuff…
Violin’s great, but if you’re serious, you’ll have to rent out a music room at the closest music store to practice. No problem, really, they go for about NT$60 per hour. Pretty cool, really. The revolution of late has been in sequencing (lining up different melodies on a grid) and amazing signal processing, play it backwards, upside down, faster, slower, reverb, flanger (my favorite) all these effects either come with software (FL Studio’s my fav) or are freely available as plug-ins on the net. Man, I’m telling you, once you get a midi keyboard (I’ve got a Roland) and plug it in and get it up and running, you’ll never look back…

I vote for a traditional Chinese instrument like erhu. My former flatmate´s parents still rave about my Erhu interpretations of famous Abba hits. :sunglasses: Plus, it really shocks the Taiwanese if you can play one of “their” instruments. Social opportunities abound.

I was thinking the same thing. The instrument I had in mind was a pipa but I’m not exactly sure what it is (I just hear it referenced in poems, books and stuff).

Was shopping at 3C today and had a gander at their keyboards. They have some SSSHHHHWWEEEEETT!! Casio’s. They had this one line of Casio’s where the keys would light up to show you what key you needed to hit to play a song. I think I’m already sold on those Casio’s and will pick one up sooner or later. I’m pretty sure piano is something that one can teach oneself (with some good books and a few lessons). I’ll let you know what happens.

The Pipa is associated with women. I would recommend the erhu as well.

As for a keyboard, if you want one that’s really close to a piano, I recommend the Yamaha P-80. I have one, and it sounds and feels like a real piano.

Erhu’s easier to carry, too. Something I wish I’d considered years ago before studying piano and bassoon. Piccolo always seemed like a great option, but any kind of flute makes me pass out, which wasn’t the best thing for those long phrases. :laughing:

[quote=“ironlady”]I vote for a traditional Chinese instrument like erhu. My former flatmate

Hmmm, I wonder if that’s why my flatmate’s parents have never returned to Taiwan since?? :laughing: But it was kind of a fulfilling experience, sort of going full circle in relation to the day I had to explain the grammar of Abba’s “Dancing Queen” lyrics on an English language teaching radio program. “You can dance, you can jive…j-i-v-e…that means…” :unamused:

You can take some classes at APA Music School in Hsimen… They cost $2000 a month for one hour a week. The teacher will be used to teaching in Chinese but I asked and they gave me a teacher who speaks English. I’m studying bass guitar, but you can learn guitar, keyboard or drums too. They also have some dance classes, too, but I don’t recommend them unless you are really in shape… They’re a lot of exercise but you can learn to dance like all the cool Taiwanese kids.

Perhaps you could learn to play musical mice. All it takes is some mice and two mallets.

Pic at … sicalm.jpg

I heard an excellent rendition of “The Bells of St. Mary’s” performed by the world renowned mouse player, the one and only Arthur Ewing (pictured above). Fantastic stuff. You should give it a try.

I’m pretty sure it will be a keyboard. I won’t get it for another month or so though.