Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 48

Thread: multi-instrumentalists: how do you manage your time?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    371

    Default multi-instrumentalists: how do you manage your time?

    I know many of you play multiple instruments. I am now up to a mando, upright bass, occasional guitar and now an electric bass. With limited time how to you break it up?

  2. #2

    Default Re: multi-instrumentalists: how do you manage your time?

    I don’t, I am entirely ruled by my passions, and I have no control over what I will do next.

  3. The Following 13 Users Say Thank You to OldSausage For This Useful Post:

    + Show/Hide list of the thanked


  4. #3
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    1,157

    Default Re: multi-instrumentalists: how do you manage your time?

    Poorly.
    Actually, I try to play my fiddle and mandolin every day. Usually fiddle in the late morning for 40 minutes, which is all my old body can handle, and mandolin in the afternoon and evening from 45 to 90 minutes. However, I'm not a person who loves schedules, so that's a rough guide for me. My prin (tamburiza), poor thing, usually sits neglected till I'm in the mood for something different.

    I don't know how old you are, but some of us answering are retired, so our systems might not be applicable to your situation.
    Last edited by Ranald; Jan-15-2022 at 9:49pm.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  5. The following members say thank you to Ranald for this post:


  6. #4
    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Forest Grove, Oregon
    Posts
    2,160

    Default Re: multi-instrumentalists: how do you manage your time?

    50% on 8 string acoustic Mando, 50% 5 string electric. The guitars and banjo are quite lonely now.
    Not all the clams are at the beach

    Arrow Jazzbo
    Arrow G
    Clark 2 point
    Gibson F5L
    Ratliff CountryBoy A
    00-21 (voiced by Eldon Stutzman)

  7. The following members say thank you to Bill McCall for this post:


  8. #5
    bon vivant jaycat's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Boston, Mass.
    Posts
    2,629

    Default Re: multi-instrumentalists: how do you manage your time?

    I do what I feel like doing. It might be playing mando, it might be playing bass or guitar. Or reading, or some songwriting. Or it might be watching TV, or playing internet scrabble, or staring out the window. Or napping.

    This is the beauty of the thing called "retirement."
    "The paths of experimentation twist and turn through mountains of miscalculations, and often lose themselves in error and darkness!"
    --Leslie Daniel, "The Brain That Wouldn't Die."

    Some tunes: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa1...SV2qtug/videos

  9. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to jaycat For This Useful Post:


  10. #6
    Playing on the porch
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    A Hilltop in Central Texas
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: multi-instrumentalists: how do you manage your time?

    I play my mandolin in the morning, and I play my mandolin at night. And, I've convinced myself that I'll get to my violin soon, real soon.
    ---
    2021 Ellis F5 Special #564 mandolin
    1928 Roth (Amati) violin
    2017 Eastman MD515 mandolin
    1907 Foltz (Strad) violin

  11. #7
    Registered User Marcus CA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    No. California
    Posts
    1,091

    Default Re: multi-instrumentalists: how do you manage your time?

    Quote Originally Posted by OldSausage View Post
    I donít, I am entirely ruled by my passions, and I have no control over what I will do next.
    Quote Originally Posted by jaycat View Post
    I do what I feel like doing.
    Me, too! I want to be playing the instrument that I want to be playing. I don't want to be playing one instrument while wishing to be playing a different one. BTW, I'm up to mandolin, octave mandolin, cittern, dulcimer, and hammer dulcimer. No matter which one I decide to play, I have fun, and I can improve. So, I always win!

    To cross-pollinate, I'll sometimes play a tune that I know really well on a different instrument. I find that I can get a better understanding of both the tune and the instrument by doing that.
    still trying to turn dreams into memories

  12. The following members say thank you to Marcus CA for this post:


  13. #8
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    2,435

    Default Re: multi-instrumentalists: how do you manage your time?

    The guitar is for when I'm playing solo, leading the group & singing, or I need to be very clear in my musical theory communication.

    The mandolin is for when too many guitar players show up.

    The upright bass is the one that makes me 100x more money than the other two combined (and I get to gig with horn players; try that on the mandolin!)....


    My favorite thing about being a skilled multi instrumentalist is that I'm able to look at the group as a whole to see what would compliment things the most and then add the range that the music needs, instead of charging through with a one option personal agenda.....

  14. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to j. condino For This Useful Post:


  15. #9

    Default Re: multi-instrumentalists: how do you manage your time?

    I just tell my wife - it's all really just training for a gig.
    Randal Scott

  16. #10
    Registered User Dave Hicks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Hoosierlandia
    Posts
    489

    Default Re: multi-instrumentalists: how do you manage your time?

    Whim. Now and then I invent a need for a recording project that needs multiple instruments.

    But I'm starting lap steel lessons tomorrow , so that's the one on my mind currently.

    D.H.

  17. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Guildford + Falmouth England
    Posts
    811

    Default Re: multi-instrumentalists: how do you manage your time?

    Very badly. Fiddle, mandolin, guitar, nyckelharpa, recorder, bagpipes - depends what the focus is at the moment. Usually sessions keep my fiddling going, that may happen soon again with mandolin fiddle tunes if I swap between them.

  18. #12
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Augusta, Maine, USA
    Posts
    1,333

    Default Re: multi-instrumentalists: how do you manage your time?

    I don't. I just play whatever I feel like playing.

    But I don't often play instruments that are in thier cases. They have to be handy to get handled.
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

  19. The following members say thank you to Charlie Bernstein for this post:


  20. #13

    Default Re: multi-instrumentalists: how do you manage your time?

    concentrating on violin which fortunately has the same tuning as the mando and the nui , on a good day I get to the nui or mando rarely do I get all three in one day.

  21. #14
    Worlds ok-ist mando playr Zach Wilson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Auburn, Washington
    Posts
    1,307

    Default Re: multi-instrumentalists: how do you manage your time?

    At church I'm scheduled for different instruments (bass, electric, acoustic, mandolin) every week so I focus on my parts leading up to it.

    In my coffee house band years ago I switched between Mandolin and Guitar. My guitar parts were easily enough and I neglected the practice time.

    One Christmas concert I played Mandolin, Acoustic, Electric, Bass and Glockenspiel. I just set up everything in a room and practiced the set.

    To keep fresh on everything is challenging. I haven't been playing bass much and it showed when I was asked to play on a friends Praise recording last year. I had to practice my butt off

  22. The following members say thank you to Zach Wilson for this post:


  23. #15
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    North CA
    Posts
    4,619

    Default Re: multi-instrumentalists: how do you manage your time?

    I just play what I feel like at any time...sometimes I'm more interested in mandolin, other times guitar and bass, other times Greek bouzouki, baglama saz, balalaika, tenor banjo, lap steel...there's only a pattern when I have a gig on a specific instrument...and I haven't done many gigs lately.

  24. #16
    Registered User Cary Fagan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    1,104

    Default Re: multi-instrumentalists: how do you manage your time?

    For this reason I stopped playing clawhammer banjo. It took too much time away from mandolin. And now recently I've started to play some banjo again. It seems one can't keep away...
    Cary Fagan

  25. #17
    🎶 Play Pretty 🎶 Greg Connor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: multi-instrumentalists: how do you manage your time?

    I have started leaving instruments out around the house. For example, I leave a mandolin next to my chair in the living room, a guitar next to my desk in the office, an electric guitar (with amp and pedals) in the music room and a milk crate of Irish Whistles on the shelf by the window.

    The thing I don’t leave out is the remote control for the TV.

  26. #18
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Key West
    Posts
    14,122
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: multi-instrumentalists: how do you manage your time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cary Fagan View Post
    For this reason I stopped playing clawhammer banjo. It took too much time away from mandolin.
    YAY!!!
    And now recently I've started to play some banjo again. It seems one can't keep away...
    Looks like I spoke too soon.

    Oh, that's fine, I think. There's room in the world for everything, I guess. Poison ivy, mosquitoes, banjo ... They're all here for some reason, even if that reason hasn't been discovered yet ...

    I play mandolin more than anything else, more than everything else. That includes harmonica, steel tenor guitar, and bass. There was a band in which I (and a few others) played kazoo a lot; that was fun. Currently back in the seasonal country-Cajun-bluegrass band, I play harmonica on a few songs that veer near the blues area: "Singing The Blues," "Baby Blue Eyes," Folsom Prison," maybe a couple of others. They're all in A except the last, in E, and I'm playing cross harp in D or A. I figured out how to play the riffs in "Folsom Prison" years ago, and the rest of the time I'm improvising, so I don't put a lot of practice into it. Same with the mandolin, truth be told. I really don't practice much, and now and then I'll run some of the songs I'm working up for a recording project, and sometimes noodle around a bit or run scales some. I should be playing more, but I've got other interests.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

    Blues Mando Social Group
    Gibson Mandolins Social Group
    North Florida Mandolin Players Social Group

    Finders Keepers, my duo with the astoundingly talented and versatile Patti Rothberg. Our EP should be released any day now, we hope ...

  27. #19
    working musician Jim Bevan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Limache, Chile
    Posts
    768

    Default Re: multi-instrumentalists: how do you manage your time?

    I don't "manage" my time, meaning that I don't divide up my daily/weekly practising patterns into any organized instrument-specific routine.

    I practise the instrument that I'll be playing on the next gig, and pretty much ignore the rest (unless someone wants to jam).

  28. The following members say thank you to Jim Bevan for this post:


  29. #20
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    3,350

    Default Re: multi-instrumentalists: how do you manage your time?

    I don't have a strict practice regimen. For me, its not just mandolin, fiddle or guitar - it's which mandolin (F4? F5? Resonator? Banjolin?). Or maybe mandola, octave mandolin or mandocello? Guitar - which guitar (HD-28? Cedar topped OM? Resonator? 12 string? Archtop?...) which fiddle (5 string viola? My grandpa's sweet old violin? Octave viola? Hardanger?).

    I recently went from 12 hour to 10 hour workdays so I have more free time. I also don't watch TV. On my days off I get up early and play quietly which is usually fingerstyle guitar. When I'm home alone I'll play fiddle.

    When I get home from work my wife and I spend time together, usually cooking, eating and cleaning up dinner. Then she'll watch the news while I go play in my music room.

    On my days off I spend time on fun stuff like laundry, home projects/maintenance, yard work, nice long walk with the dogs, etc. but with 30 minutes to an hour of playing music between each of these. If I'm sitting at the computer paying bills or doing taxes all have my ukulele to noodle on while I wait for files to open, save, update or print.

    I have all the instruments hanging on the wall of my heated, insulated and humidity controlled basement music room. Just seeing them all there, ready for action and close at hand makes it more likely I'll just grab one and play whenever I have a spare 10 to 30 minutes.

    That's more effective for me than a marathon 4 to 5 hour practice session.

  30. #21
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Augusta, Maine, USA
    Posts
    1,333

    Default Re: multi-instrumentalists: how do you manage your time?

    Quote Originally Posted by GMorgan View Post
    I play my mandolin in the morning, and I play my mandolin at night. And, I've convinced myself that I'll get to my violin soon, real soon.
    Well, Dave, now you know. Most of us don't fuss much about it. So you don't have to, either!

    I put a lot more thought into figuring out what material I want to work on. Songs I know well, to keep them up to speed? Easy songs that want perfecting? Hard songs I haven't nailed yet? Writing something new? Learning a new cover song?

    Decision, decisions!
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

  31. #22
    Registered User Marcus CA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    No. California
    Posts
    1,091

    Default Re: multi-instrumentalists: how do you manage your time?

    Quote Originally Posted by j. condino View Post
    . The upright bass is the one that makes me 100x more money than the other two combined (and I get to gig with horn players; try that on the mandolin!)....


    still trying to turn dreams into memories

  32. #23

    Default Re: multi-instrumentalists: how do you manage your time?

    Great topic! Looking forward to hearing input from others.

    My new strategy (trying for the first time now) is to focus on learning a given song on both mandolin and guitar, with the goal of recording them together on my Zoom H4N. However long it takes for each instrument, will determine the time allocation.

    It may not be optimal, but at least it will ensure some time spent on each and, hopefully, give me a sense of some accomplishment and tangible progress.

  33. #24
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    1,590

    Default Re: multi-instrumentalists: how do you manage your time?

    Spend almost all my time on mandolin. Will play OM or guitar if a show is coming up that needs that instead.

    Haven't touched the uke's in about 4 years and recently gave away most of my spare uke strings and tune books. Same with either accordion. And it's also why I haven't been serious about purchasing a nyckelharpa. Just know I won't give it the time needed to get bad, let alone good.
    2000 Brentrup Model 23, Peter Coombe #248, Strad-O-Lin, Northfield F5SA, Gibson A Jr., Eastman MDO-305
    http://ericplatt.weebly.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/LauluAika/
    https://www.lauluaika.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/Longtine-Am...14404553312723

  34. #25

    Default Re: multi-instrumentalists: how do you manage your time?

    I play guitar, bass, mando, banjo.

    For almost ten years, it was mando virtually exclusively, because thats where i fit with my musical friends and bands.plus, its easy to tote. And i had a certain zeal about learning to play it.

    I too play what strikes my fancy.
    But,
    I make a point to play each at least 2-3xs weekly, for muscle memory and being able to switch instruments easily, if only for 20-45 minutes per session. Im retired so, i have time.

    When i was starting mando and later, banjo and bass, i immersed for over a year to think within the instruments parameters, get fluidity, not need to ‘transpose’ mentally. But i continued to play others while immersed. A new instrument is so exciting. But, You can get rusty on others if you let them sit too long, or, not long at all..

    That being said, i go weeks primarily focused on one instrument. Banjo is huge fun. (In fact, as much fun as my first electric guitar. And, its such a hoot to explore and learn). Bass too. Different ways of thinking musically, imho.

    Right now, im back into guitar, my first and primary.

    Much of this is affected by IF im playing with others (already have a mando player…ill play banjo…etc) and singing.
    As of the past 2 years….mostly banjo, until recently.

  35. The following members say thank you to stevedenver for this post:


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •