FMD: Played an instrument

I think we've talked about this before, but yesterday's guitar conversation got me thinking a little more about what other instruments people played, wished they could play, etc.

I played trumpet all through high school. I actually recently picked it up again (not to learn, just, literally, picked it up and played it for like 3 minutes). It is amazing how my fingers still knew which positions to go to - muscle memory after all these years. At the same time, my embouchure was completely atrophied, and was only strong enough to barely squeak out the range of a single scale.

How about you? What did you play? What would you like to play? When was the last time you picked up an instrument you used to play?

21 thoughts on “FMD: Played an instrument”

  1. I started learning the guitar in college. I also finished learning in college. I don't know where that guitar is now.

    1. I did that with the bassoon. I lasted all of about 3 weeks.

      At least I was just renting the instrument. I still have the reed somewhere.

  2. Besides Damn the Torpedoes, I've not been a Tom Petty album guy, more of singles guy. Also I haven't dug into a lot of 4-disc reissues where the original album is remastered and some demos are included, and then perhaps a live album from the era. It's great for completists but unless an album was really muddy or poorly mixed, the remasters don't do much for me (this applies to all re-issues, not just Petty).

    I do have to say however, that the recent Tom Petty Wildflowers reissue is pretty damn cool. Sure the original songs are remastered and there's a live album, if you're into that stuff, but what is really cool is there are 15 "home recordings" of Wildflower songs. It's just not Petty and a guitar as there is other instruments playing, but very stripped down and intimate. Well worth a listen to the home recordings.

    1. My brother and his wife recently moved from their 4 bedroom house into a townhouse and were looking to get rid of a bunch of their records and CDs. Along with a few pieces of vinyl I grabbed their CDs of Wildflowers and Echo. I hadn’t heard either of them before, and was surprised how much I liked them both. Especially Echo. That is an underrated entry in his catalogue, imo.

      1. Yeah, I really like Wildflowers. I had only really been a singles Petty guy as well and was surprised how much I liked it when I give it a focused listen last year. I should check that set out.

      2. Wildflowers is an all time great, and that sounds weird coming from an old punk rocker. There is so much to like about that album.

        1. It never did a bunch for me, but man the home recordings are blowing me away. Must be my Covid-influenced delirium..

  3. I played the French horn through college. I could probably hardly make a sound on it now. I still play the piano, not as well as I'd like, but as well as I can given the little time I have to practice. I hope to learn the guitar after I retire, but we'll see.

  4. Still play the trombone, although haven't touched it since last December, and I can't see it happening this December. We had a brass ensemble a while back that played every couple months, and I miss that. My technique is much better than it was in HS, but then again in HS my family could not afford to buy an F-attachment instrument.

  5. I wish I could play a Hammond or Wurlitzer organ. I love the sound of those instruments.

    I played trumpet for a while in high school. Dabbled in piano in grade school.

  6. I played the cornet, and do not have the muscle memory anymore. And the last time I tried my embouchure was garbage as well.

  7. Got the new Bruce and the E Street Band’s Letter to You. Listened to it twice already today. Best thing he’s done in decades. His voice sounds old in a couple of places, but that only makes the rest of it more amazing that he sounds so invigorated for a 73 year old dude. And the E-Streeters are in fine form. Would highly recommend to fans.

    1. The album cover art is dreadful, though. Can’t believe somebody didn’t try steering him in a different direction.

  8. I played euphonium through college. I had a year of trumpet before that - still own the horn. Had the trumpet cleaned up in the last year and promptly played it two times.

    I haven’t played the euphonium at all since college. I’ve never owned one as I always had a school horn. I daydream that if I come into abundant spending money I’ll pick one up and get the chops back. (Community bands aren’t super motivating, but a community brass ensemble/choir would be.) That does seem kind of silly though. I should definitely kick my habit of filling free time with leisure, rather than creative, before spending the dough.

  9. There's a lot of brass players up in here.

    I played violin from 4th grade up through the first year in college. I tried playing it a year or so ago, and I managed to forget just about everything.

    Plus I shattered my left ring finger in grad school, requiring surgery and pins and everything. Even with physical therapy, I still can't bend it all the way down, so that would be an impediment to actually playing very well.

  10. I took piano lessons for 4 years in elementary school and learned to read music but didn't develop much skill otherwise. Flute from 6th grade through my sophomore year of college. I like the idea of playing it regularly but only very rarely do it.

    The jalapeno just started learning trumpet and knows five notes but can't consistently produce the right tone. I've found that getting out my flute and having him try to match my sound is more helpful than just shutting him in a room for 20 minutes to practice.

  11. We share a driveway with our neighbors. She teaches flute, and her father recently moved in with them - he was a piano teacher/conductor for many years.

    Two weeks ago I heard them playing flute/piano in their living room - he is quite good for an 85+ year old. Made me think that keeping actively musically is probably good for the brain.

    So, I dug out my clarinet (haven't played for probably 25 years) and decided I'm going to do 15 minutes a day. It was really awkward for the first couple of days (lots of squeaking), and my wrists were really sore at first. But now it's part of my daily checklist.

Comments are closed.