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Re: Re: Ukulele Loop Dreams was looping on npr

On 7/22/64 11:59 AM, thetoyroom@charter.net wrote:
> it really freaked me out at first, because i've learned too many 
> instruments at such a rudimentary level (the 'jack of all trades, 
> master of none' trick), and learning ANOTHER instrument/tuning was 
> daunting. 
I know what you mean, Rich,  because I'm the poster child for 'jack of 
all trades, master of none'.

I always was triggered by that phrase because my father used it with me 
when I a quit playing clarinet
(already a top chair in our little school band) and started playing 
drumset instead ("Ha, Dad!   I've played
that one for 45 years now")   but after having played dozens of 
instruments over the last 20 years of my life
I have a different perspective:

There are, of course,  great rewards for devoting one's life to a single 
instrument and I love many people
I know and admire who have done that.   For me, however,  constantly 
learning how to play new instruments
and new instrument paradigms (brass, woodwinds, strings plucked, strings 
bowed, et. al.) helps me to
think of music first and technique second.     When you keep taking on 
new instruments, especially when they
have radically different technical requirements and approaches,  you 
also get better and better at learning
new things.   I had a woman at a bar the other evening say,  "wow, you 
can make music out of anything" after
I started jamming with the juke box on my beer bottle."     Ha,  it 
stroked my fragile ego and made my night
but honestly,  it's been my goal to do just that.

As a producer, for years,  I was continually frustrated by musicians who 
had incredible facility with their instruments
but didn't seem to be able to exit their dominant paradigm when it came 
to creativity.

Playing other instruments, especially ones with a radically different 
approach, can really free one of the confines
of thinking one way when playing, I believe.   With a few years under my 
belt since I started playing brass instruments
I had a completely fresh approach when I started playing four string 
fretted instruments this year.   I'm so much more
aware of harmonics now than before I attempted to play trumpet, whose 
whole nature is based on harmonics.

When I hear a fantastic rendition of Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra,  I 
, of course, am really glad that the French Horn
players in the Chicago Symphony put years and years of discipline into 
their axes and I'm greatly relieved that I
am not the one sitting in their chairs with my horrible chops on that 
instrument so I'm not putting down
really sitting down and disciplining oneself to master an instrument.

I do, think, however,  that Jose Gonzalez's innovative and very, very 
simple approach to the guitar


is just as valid, artistically as Andre Segovia's despite the fact that 
Seqovia  plays rings around Jose, technically.
Personally,  I listen to a lot of Gonzalez and not much of Segovia but , 
of course, that proves nothing.

So,  I'd say,  good on you for taking on the ukulele, Rich.    Now,  I'd 
suggest you bend your mind and completely
retune the little fucker to really throw yourself back into kindegarten 
in a really unsettling and, hopefully, creative way.

with respect,   Rick