Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Life

5 Musical Instruments I Wish I Could Play

Some brains seem to be more musically geared than others, but there are several musical instruments I wish my brain would let me play.

If you have the ability to play musical instruments and actually produce nice-sounding music, I envy you.

Not in a bad way: I wouldn’t want to take your talent away from you. I just wish I could share it with you.

Here are five musical instruments I wish I had the talent to play.

1. Piano

When I was in middle school, I actually took piano lessons. I think it was Jack Lemmon who I’d heard would come home from a day on the set, sit down at the piano, and start playing to relieve the day’s stress.

I marvel at people who can sit down at a piano and just play something without music in front of them.

When I took my lessons, I quickly knew the piano and I weren’t meant to be.

Let me explain that. When I looked at sheet music, I could identify the notes on the page. When I sat down at the keyboard, I could hit the proper key when someone gave me a note.

You’d think that would be all that was required. You’d be wrong.

I quickly realized that the process of translating a note on a page to a letter and the letter to a keystroke was something my brain just couldn’t do in a single manuever.

If I hadn’t written the letters next to the note on the sheet music for my recital, I might still be sitting there trying to get through “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” or whatever that final piece was!

2. Violin

The violin, when in the hands of a talented violinist, can produce truly beautiful music. I’d love to be able to play it, but I think I’d run into the same problem trying to translate notes on the page.

Still, I’ve always been a fan of the violin.

3. Drums

If you’ve never watched a drummer, you probably think drums are a piece of cake.

Years ago, I realized how challenging they are. I was photographing a rehearsal of a church worship song and I happened to be shooting from the back of the stage towards the empty audience. I was behind the drum cage and had a full view of the drummer himself.

That’s when I realized the impossible challenge drummers somehow master. Each of his arms were simultaneously hitting a different rhythm pattern. Meanwhile, one of his feet was pressing a foot pedal to give the main bass beat, which was a different rhythm then what his arms were playing.

They all came together to seamlessly form a strong, consistent rhythm, but how you can simultaneously pound out three different parts to construct it is beyond me.

Guitar

The guitar, like the violin, can produce either slow, tranquil music or spirited music.

I’d love to be able to try my hand at the guitar, but when a friend once tried to show me how to play, it didn’t work out all that well. It’s hard to remember all the chords you need to know if you’re playing more than background music for vocals.

And yes, that sheet music thing still comes back to bite me.

5. Trumpet

I remember the soundtrack of the movie Nixon, where there was a piece featuring a very somber but dignified trumpet solo. Then I think of trumpeters like Doc Severinson playing a tune like this:

I’d love to be able to play like that.

If you’ve never tried playing a trumpet, you don’t exactly blow into the mouthpiece like you’d think you would. Instead, you’re sort of blowing a tongue-in raspberry into the mouthpiece. That, at least, is how it was explained to me by someone who’s played trumpet.

I don’t think I could get into that, either, along with having to remember which button combinations produce which notes.

Do you have any musical ability?

Which musical instruments can you play and which do you wish you could?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 27 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.