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Last couple of weeks I've been fighting against a strong impulse to start playing cello. I guess I've been playing piano now for long enough to feel it's becoming boring. Or maybe is the necessity of playing something that has a more direct contact with the strings. Anyway taking cello now would be an awful idea, and fortunately i think I'm over it. But it has been a really agitated couple of weeks with this cello caprice. Probably from time to time you can not avoid having some curiosity for trying new things. Does it happen to more people?

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A friend of mine (and long time Piano Forums member) took up the cello a few years ago and loves it.
Piano is still his first love, but cello is certainly his second.

I've wanted to learn violin all my life. I even picked up a used violin a couple of years ago.
Tried to teach myself, not so much.

One of these days I will find a violin teacher and get serious about it.

I have friends who play 4 or 5 different instruments, all well.


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I played the cello in jr high and high school and for the last couple of years have felt a strong desire to play it again. I’m just trying to suppress the urge until I retire— not enough time now to do it justice, and I know I wouldn’t be happy with sounding like a sick cow 🐄


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"The need..."? No.

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If the first instrument isn't a piano, probably need the second to be piano. Otherwise would like a guitar as a second. It can play chords like a piano and it's sort of portable. In my younger days my parents wouldn't go for a guitar because it's rather big to carry around. When I bought a portable 88 keyboard that is 90lbs / 40kg, I carried it home on public transport.

Right now any instrument that makes a nice sound like an oboe would be nice than thinking about the weight of the instrument.

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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
. . .
Right now any instrument that makes a nice sound like an oboe would be nice than thinking about the weight of the instrument.

The oboe makes a "nice sound" only _after_ you've mastered it.<g> Until that happens, it goes between duck and crow.

My answer to the OP's question is:

. . . "Absolutely not -- but there are exceptions . . ."

That's why my closet has drums, my bookshelf has harmonicas, there's two synths (one out, one closeted), a shakuhachi hanging up . . .

I spent a term in high-school orchestra playing cello. My conclusion was:

. . . "This is _really hard_."

The keyboard is a great mediator, between me and a set of strings, or (for harmonica), between me and a set of reeds.


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During undergrad I had to take an instrument pedagogy class, one for strings and percussion and one for winds, where we had to learn to play a short piece on a number of instruments. I fell in love with the horn. The teacher told me then that I would find it very rewarding to take it up. It was my last semester and it was too late to take another minor instrument; mine had been voice. But I'd still love to learn to play the horn, and I might go for it at some point. If only mastering the piano was not so life-consuming:(

Last edited by Ainar; 07/02/21 01:15 PM.

"Love has to be the starting point- love of music. It is one of my firmest convictions that love always produces some knowledge, while knowledge only rarely produces something similar to love."
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Ubu, yes! I’ve had the urge, need to pick up a second, third, fourth instrument since I started piano, and I went ahead and did it! I can’t be happier for doing so.

I now play sax regularly, learning with a teacher weekly, and when things are allowed to open up again, I’ll be playing with others in an adult concert band. Love it tremendously. Oh, and I forgot to mention “doubling” where woodwind instrumentalists pick up another instrument to become a more versatile player. I might double on the clarinet, still thinking about it. It shouldn’t be too big of a stretch since I played it in elementary school and my teacher’s also a clarinetist.

I then started taking lessons with a teacher for classical guitar. This didn’t go so well so I quit for now. I simply didn’t enjoy it as much.

I then started to learn violin casually, with an online course, no in-person teacher. This went extremely well until my life got too busy. I intend to restart the violin very soon because life is starting to get back to normal. I will very likely get a teacher after I complete Suzuki book 1 with the online course.

As for cello, I really want to learn it too but I’m pretty sure time will be an issue. I think practicing 3 instruments seriously is already a stretch. A fourth instrument might be just to much for my schedule. But I still want to do it! LOL

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 07/02/21 02:12 PM.

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Ubu, why would trying a new instrument out be a horrible idea!? You could always rent a cello and take a couple lessons and see if you enjoy it. If you do, it would’ve been a great idea! If you don’t, just return the rental.

Just a warning though…piano might end up NOT being your favourite. I must say, I don’t know which of my instruments is my favourite at the moment but violin and even sax is more “intimate” for me, able to evoke more emotions in me but in different ways.

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 07/02/21 02:25 PM.

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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Ubu, why would trying a new instrument out be a horrible idea!?

In my circumstances because of 2 main reasons: no time. As Ainar said, piano is so life consuming. There's no single day that i practice all i shuold. There's always something i must skip just because day has no more hours.

And also because of risk of injuries. My forum name could be WeakLeftWrist. I played guitar for many years with poor technique and my wrist suffered lot of tendonitis. Now i must be very careful with it. Picking up cello or any instrument of the family would be musical suicide for me, unlees I'm capable of playing it in some heterodox way, Iike playing the cello as a laptop guitar. But even if that is possible, my lack of time gives me no hope.

Cello is a wonderful instrument, but i must keep it away from me.

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I love every instrument (if played well), but piano is so difficult that it aborbs me and my time completely, so: no need to, but I'm very jealous of those who can divide their talents (and time) between different instruments.


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Originally Posted by Ubu
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Ubu, why would trying a new instrument out be a horrible idea!?

In my circumstances because of 2 main reasons: no time. As Ainar said, piano is so life consuming. There's no single day that i practice all i shuold. There's always something i must skip just because day has no more hours.

And also because of risk of injuries. My forum name could be WeakLeftWrist. I played guitar for many years with poor technique and my wrist suffered lot of tendonitis. Now i must be very careful with it. Picking up cello or any instrument of the family would be musical suicide for me, unlees I'm capable of playing it in some heterodox way, Iike playing the cello as a laptop guitar. But even if that is possible, my lack of time gives me no hope.

Cello is a wonderful instrument, but i must keep it away from me.

I see. Only you can decided if you can or not. smile


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Need? No. Want? Yes. If I had the time, I'd learn how to play the guitar. Other than liking guitar, learning music in terms of chords rather than simply where to put your fingers based on notes written on a staff would really add to my musical knowledge.


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Bass was my first instrument, guitar my second (and the first I took seriously), piano is my third and I'm taking it even more seriously than I took guitar oh...ten years ago (which was fairly serious).

I do occasionally get a desire to learn a wind instrument, if only because I also compose music and frankly I don't understand transpositional instruments *shrug*...Like, why isn't concert pitch just concert pitch? I feel it's a concept I will never fully grasp until I take learning a flute or clarinet semi-seriously for half a year or so.

Learning guitar is a lifehack, though. Once you learn guitar, you can play mandolin, ukelele, banjo, whatever...All those fretted string instruments. It's a bit like cheating. Not really fair. It's not like a pianist can say to people "I also play the rhodes and the organ and the synthesizer" because people will probably just say "uh, yeah, duh?"


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Originally Posted by Emery Wang
Need? No. Want? Yes. If I had the time, I'd learn how to play the guitar. Other than liking guitar, learning music in terms of chords rather than simply where to put your fingers based on notes written on a staff would really add to my musical knowledge.
Not to derail the topic, but piano is far and away the best instrument for learning music "in terms of chords." I bet if you just had a few solid music theory lessons and really absorbed that knowledge you would view all of the music you play a lot differently. Guitar isn't as good at that. In fact, I will sometimes teach music theory concepts to my guitar students using a piano. There's a reason why when you learn music theory it is *always* taught on a keyboard.

Last edited by CodySean; 07/02/21 10:27 PM.

My youtube channel where I discuss theory, performance, cover some tunes, etc.
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I’ve never found the piano to be boring but I have kicked around the idea of learning to play the violin. Two things have deterred me from trying. First, the piano takes up all my musical time so another instrument would eat into that. Second, I’d want to immediately be able to play Massenet’s Meditation from Thais, Saint-Saens’ Havanaise and one of the great concertos…immediately and beautifully. I once picked up a bow and managed to create a horrible screeching sound. That ended any thought of learning the violin.


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I have found it advisable to learn about other instruments, but not necessarily to play them. Since I inherited a band, learning about the instruments has been worthwhile. A friend of mine makes violins and violas, so I have learned about them. I had a friend who played steel drums, so I learned some about them, and the band has a couple of kettledrums, and there are other percussion instruments that I know a little about. I am not a big fan of gamelan, but I have run into them, and one of my other customers has another Indonesian percussion instrument that she says is not as brash. Someone asked me to try to tune a cimbalom just before the pandemic hit, and I found it confusing because the tuning pins turn in the opposite direction to a piano. I have enough familiarity with harps to know how the pedals work on the concert harps, and the levers on the others, and why the strings are different colors. My wife has taken me to concerts with Armenian instruments, and with bagpipes from various areas of Europe. I have learned interesting things about the mandolin from Mike Marshall, and the harmonica from Toots Thielemans.

I have learned more than most people about music, which has convinced me that although I do a lot with music, I was never cut out to be a musician. So there has been plenty of learning, but not a lot of playing, sadly.


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Piano is an unique instrument. You press the keys without learning any technique and get a nice sound. Other instruments you need a bit of practice to get the ideal sound. Winds & Horns you need to control your breathing. String instruments you need to control the bow. People who took up violin playing including myself would sound like you're trying to slaughter a chicken in the beginning. Eventually we get proficient enough to make a nice sound. People get into various instruments because they heard recordings or performances and liked the sound.

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Originally Posted by Ubu
Last couple of weeks I've been fighting against a strong impulse to start playing cello. I guess I've been playing piano now for long enough to feel it's becoming boring. Or maybe is the necessity of playing something that has a more direct contact with the strings. Anyway taking cello now would be an awful idea, and fortunately i think I'm over it. But it has been a really agitated couple of weeks with this cello caprice. Probably from time to time you can not avoid having some curiosity for trying new things. Does it happen to more people?

Yes, but not right now! When I was fifteen, I had guitar lessons (extremely bad and uninspiring ones) for about a year, and I remember my hurting fingertips and how eventually I got calluses on them, losing sensitivity. I would never want that to happen again, so all string instruments are a no-no for me. I have considered the French horn, but I am not sure how I would enjoy blowing air into an instrument. Percussion? Maybe. But wouldn't it be ... well... boring? No melody at all?

But if I was young, strong and with a lot of time on my hands, it certainly would be fun to learn the French horn and the drums, besides piano.


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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by Ubu
Last couple of weeks I've been fighting against a strong impulse to start playing cello. I guess I've been playing piano now for long enough to feel it's becoming boring. Or maybe is the necessity of playing something that has a more direct contact with the strings. Anyway taking cello now would be an awful idea, and fortunately i think I'm over it. But it has been a really agitated couple of weeks with this cello caprice. Probably from time to time you can not avoid having some curiosity for trying new things. Does it happen to more people?

Yes, but not right now! When I was fifteen, I had guitar lessons (extremely bad and uninspiring ones) for about a year, and I remember my hurting fingertips and how eventually I got calluses on them, losing sensitivity. I would never want that to happen again, so all string instruments are a no-no for me. I have considered the French horn, but I am not sure how I would enjoy blowing air into an instrument. Percussion? Maybe. But wouldn't it be ... well... boring? No melody at all?

But if I was young, strong and with a lot of time on my hands, it certainly would be fun to learn the French horn and the drums, besides piano.
the calluses are a badge of honor, you should have embraced them! When I started playing more lead stuff and bending and sliding like crazy, those calluses were an absolute necessity. Same with playing most open chords on an acoustic...


My youtube channel where I discuss theory, performance, cover some tunes, etc.
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