Friday, 6 May 2005

Sarah asked a question

Over at two red boots about how and what people play musically. Rather than out up a huge comment on her blog I've posted it here.

Interesting how many serious recorder players there are on there - my brother was a great recorder fan, and had a collection of all sizes.

I learnt recorder at school and at home, but it never 'took' for me. Had about 4 piano lessons aged around 8, but again, it never took and the teacher was un-inspirational (could be a key there).

When starting at secondary school aged 11 we were all offered the chance to play brass in the school orchestra. I had a rellie that played french horn professionally, and so wanted to play that. By a quirk of mis-understanding I got the Tuba instead. D'oh. Initially had lessons for 3 years while at school, but after the first couple of exams lost interest in scales, prefering to play music. Played through with the school orchestra until 14, when I changed schools. I also played for the boys brigade in a military band until I was 19.

At 16 I became a Christian, and was heavily influenced by one of the youth leaders who also played guitar. After 9 months struggling with an apalling acoustic I assembled my first solid from bits and progressed quite rapidly. Played lead guitar for the youth group band, doing evangie and worship stuff. Got involved with a band in Croydon and even played at Greenbelt in '81.

Married in Oct '81 and giving up the band was quite painless. We moved churches too, and I plunged straight into the worship team, which is where I am to this day, albeit in a different church. What's really odd is that a few years ago I couldn't sing for toffee. Now I lead worship regularly, and can almost carry a tune sometimes.

As for favourite pieces, there are quite a few. When I played brass, we had an arrangement of 'Ode to Joy' that I really enjoyed. In similar vein, I actually like to listen to Vivaldi's four seasons (to my kid's dismay). By contrast the pieces I've probably had most fun playing was 'Sunshine of your love' with obligatory 25 min guitar solo when I was 19, and more recently 'Alright now' at a wedding gig. Favourite tracks are hard to pin down, but would probably be Cream's 'Crossroads' and Santana's 'Samba Pa Ti'. There are a few worship songs that I really love to play along with too, but as is normal for me, I can't remember what they're called without a song list in front of me.

Music/guitars have been having a bit of a re-surgence for me recently, and I've been trying to learn new stuff and acquiring more guitars. Presently up to 7 (6 solids and an acoustic) with a used Gibson flying V waiting to be collected from the US. I've also begun recording, although not to any particular standard. Go have a listen at 'The Ryhme of the Ancient Mariner' (see links) for examples.

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