Saturday, 30 January 2016

Instruments of Tortuous Delight


I seem to be being drawn towards musical participations of various sorts, some more likely than others.  I’m not the musician I once was, due to lack of practice, in turn due to a combination of physical difficulty (my right arm doesn’t strum very well any more, and certainly can’t fingerpick), distraction (so much else going on in my life), and indolence.  I have five guitars – I had a picture of them all, but can’t find it and certainly lack the energy to recreate it – only two of which (the acoustic and, inevitably, my beloved Telecaster) I ever pick up nowadays.  Shame, really.

So I’ve gathered together all the other musical instruments I possess (with one exception, a mouth organ which I suspect is lurking inside one of the guitar cases).  Here they are.



Half of them, as you’ll see, are percussion.   The others are my old school recorder (which I can still tootle a bit); a mandolin that belonged to Viv, who never played it  (it needs restoration, really – the lack of tuning pegs, which doesn’t really show in the picture, makes it, erm, untunable); a duck, given to me as a birthday present by my brother: it took me ages to realise that you had to put your fingers on some holes and blow into its backside, whereupon it would emit up to, ooh, at least a pentatonic scale; and some little bells, which fall on the boundary but which I’ll count as not percussion, because you can do things with them other than shake and bang.  (I realise I’m on, ah, shaky ground here, categorically.)

I love percussion.  I have a great sense of rhythm, which sometimes even makes its way down the ever-lengthening neural pathways to my hands and feet.  I could have been a drummer, if I’d had the energy. 


My best ever percussion instrument was a Fiat 850 van we used to hire when Bessie, our Transit, was on one of her frequent rest cures.  But that’s another story. 

13 comments :

  1. You can't collect up five guitars and take a picture of them? Tut, tut. Have you not got one of these modern-fangled telephonic devices that can also take pictures?

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  2. I can play an alto (I think) recorder, which is a bit less shrill than the descant one. I've not blown into a duck's backside yet, but I rule nothing out.

    I have rhythm too. And music. Etc...

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    1. Who could ask for anything more?

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  3. It's the gathering up, or at least was last night. I know roughly where they are, but getting them out of their cases, stacking them up etc. etc., all for no one to notice? Naah.
    Plus, of course, I'd have to restring and tune them, otherwise I'd feel ashamed, innit?

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  4. Honestly, we can't hear their janglyness on the internet. The world is full of selfies now. Train your guitaaars to take their own selfies.

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  5. Funny how musicians take the piss out of drummers, but secretly wish they were one. Right up until the point where they realise that setting up is a bit more than plugging it in and turning it on.

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  6. Just re read my previous post. Sounds a bit arsey, which wasn't my intention. I really just wanted t.......Oh, what the hell. I'm a drummer (ex), what did you expect?

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    1. I don't believe there are any ex-drummers alive, Sir B. Ensnared by domesticity, maybe. Or crashing out. Or maybe just don't get a kick out of it any more. Anyway, I'm not putting on a high hat.

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    2. Another good point. There are times when I think about getting another kit (Mrs B needn't know), then I remember why I packed it in.

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  7. It was the usual Monday a.m. walk to work. I was stopped at a crosswalk. Everyone looked glum. That is, except for one pedestrian playing a harmonica. I don't know how he did this but he appeared to be smiling while playing. He definitely cheered all of the pedestrians up.

    Maybe Zoe needs to incude a jam session at the blog party.

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  8. Duck my arse (advisable).
    Ocarina, more like. Reinvented by an Italian, Guiseppe Donati of Budrio, in 1853, 12000 years on from the original.

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