Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

17

The theremin is played by moving your hands near or far from two antennas (one for pitch, one for dynamics). On ondes Martenot, one can play either with a keyboard or by moving a ring along a ribbon. A washtub bass has you play with the tension you put on the string to change the pitch. Accordions, especially when equipped with buttons, have various ...


12

Well, I think the harmonica is a good one. The arrangement of notes is somewhat linear, but some notes are blown, others are drawn, and only drawn notes can be 'bent'. You need to practice producing single notes, not just blowing chords the whole time. You can experiment with different grips, and mouth shapes... they're affordable and very portable!


10

I own a musical saw. I have found it very difficult to get started, and gave up before being able to play a simple tune with any kind of fluency. The first challenge is to coax a clean note out of the saw. You must bend the saw into an 'S' shape, and bow at the resonant position. If you bow in the wrong place, you'll get an ugly scrape. If you bow in just ...


9

I think you're too quick to dismiss the trombone. Although the slide is almost the definition of "linear", the relationship between slide positions and pitches is not quite as straightforward as it appears. The trombone is a great fit for your second criterion: intonation is very much something you have to think about. First you have to commit the slide ...


8

The ocarina is a nice example. The fingering patterns are fairly straightforward (not entirely what you'd expect, but you can easily memorize it after playing for 15 minutes). However, the blowing technique is way more difficult than one would expect it to be. If you blow a bit too hard, your note will sound too high. If you blow too quietly, your note will ...


8

I can't recognize, how a trumpet matches the "less known" criterion, but I would definitely add bassoon to the list; the irregularity may be seen in this fingering table. The fingering alone is (as with all woodwinds) not sufficient but additional embouchure variations are necessary, which depend on the instrument itself, even if some generic trends apply ...


7

I'd recommend a reed instrument (Clarinet, Sax) to round-out your knowledge of woodwinds. While the keys may appear at first to be the same as the flute, they are not. Also, the register break on the Clarinet does not jump an octave like with the flute, but an octave+fifth. You appear to be associating linearity with easy and non-linearity with difficult. ...


6

There are of course plenty of strange electronic instrument that are played completely unlike anything mechanical. More than the Theremin and ondes Martenot, the Monotron matches your quest for something with a non-obvious geometric layout: while there is a standard keyboard depicted on its ribbon controller and you can, with a stylus, play it much like a ...


5

In practice there is little difference between using an octave clef and a normal clef for these "octave-transposing" instruments. An instrumentalist playing these instruments need not even think about the fact that the music sounds in a different octave to that written; although, of course, players and composers/arrangers should know that the sounding pitch ...


4

Consider the Swanee Whistle, otherwise known as the Lotus Flute. I'm afraid it is linear, but maybe logarithmic would be a more accurate term, even though it has a cylindrical bore. It certainly fulfills the second criterion, as it relies totally on the player's ear for accurate intonation. Mine's an Ab model.


4

How about various types of concertinas? Here's a link to some fingering charts. And here's just one example of the fingering charts on that page (I hope the page owner won't mind me putting it here…!)


4

A fretless bass (double bass/fretless electric) can be quite a challenge to the ear. You have to be super-accurate with where you place the string on the neck, so as not to get an awfully-oput-of-tune sound. I personally love the sound of a fretless bass, but trying to play one such that it's reliably in tune is a bit of a challenge. OK for the studio (for ...


4

First, the short version of my answer: The ocarina, the fretless banjo, and the cross-tuned fiddle. Only the ocarina is always non-linear, but if you want, you can easily make a string instrument non-linear. Fretless string instruments all require the player to know where the notes are by muscle memory and the sound of the note, so that you are primarily ...


3

Easy to learn to make noise with, difficult to learn to play well. Perhaps this is why there aren't that many sawists... The NYC Musical Saw Festival has workshops included in the festival's price of $10. Probably the best deal www.MusicalSawFestival.org Private lessons available also. The type of saw you get also can greatly help speed up the learning ...


3

It really is just a big guitar. The band had some success with a YouTube video of themselves performing the song "Red Hands" in which all 5 of them played one normal-sized guitar. Later they put the same song on YouTube, this time performed on the big guitar. Video In the YouTube description, they write: We found this MASSIVE guitar at a pawn ...


3

It sounds like a mouth harp, which is sometimes colloquially referred to as a jew's harp (although it has nothing to do with Jews). Here is an article on the instrument fron Wikipedia.


2

Vocals are traditionally screamed. Combination vocals started to emerge in the 2000s or so. Clean vocals usually appear in the chorus or the bridge, but any combination can come up. In terms of guitar, heavy riffs are pretty big. The most common tunings are Drop D, Drop C, and Drop C#. Some bands use Drop G or F#. Double bass drumming is very ...


1

My preference is the recorder, which I have played seriously for 20 years. But there are several things to consider: What is your musical taste? Modern stuff fits the Ukelele; renaissance and baroque music fits the recorder. How social do you want to be? Check for recorder consorts and Ukelele orchestras in your local area. Recorder is easy to learn, but ...


1

I'm not sure if it's considered microtonal and (probably is) exotic, but you can try at least to experiment with a jewish harp. I play guitars, ukulele, harmonicas, a little of keyboard and started playing recorder, and none of these resemble jewish harp in terms of playing. It's quite easy to figure out how to play (takes maybe 5 minutes) but really hard to ...


1

You are quite correct that a trumpet is out of tune when more than one valve is depressed. This is unavoidable, as the mathematics just don't add up. For instance, valve 1 is the correct length to lower the open note by two semitones; valve 3 is the correct length to lower the open note by three semitones. But if valve 1 is already down, then adding valve 3 ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible