Wind vs. String

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by negative57, Aug 7, 2001.

  1. negative57

    negative57 Guest

    Aug 5, 2001
    Monroeville, PA USA
    ok well, i know you all play bass. but does anyone play any wind instruments. i play trumpet my self, but out of the people that do play wind instuments too, do you think it is hard. alot or a little? i am asking this because there is the kid in my school who thinks he is a musical genius, but he can only play bass, upright, cello, viola, violin, etc. being that I am also a brass player and think wind instruments are much harder. though this also might be because i am a member in a nationaly aclaimed marching marching band (hehe). but any way, what do you think?

    ps. i am not trying to offend any bass players just asking a question
  2. ASR

    ASR Guest

    Apr 2, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    I don't know if there is an instrument that is harder to play for everyone. Some might find bass very easy to play, but piano hard. Someone else may find the piano simple, but can not get the hang of a bass at all.

    Personally, I play trombone and trumpet also, and I think that trombone is a bit harder to play. I'm better at it because I have been playing it since I was 12, but it was harder to learn.

    On a side note, I was also in a nationally acclaimed marching band. We won state 3 years in a row. Have fun doing that!
  3. ldiezman

    ldiezman Guest

    Jul 11, 2001
    i played trumpet for 7 years.. made all-state band and what not.. but i knew it wasn't for me. I also played violing for 5 years.
  4. i've played saxophone for 7 years, after this last year of high school i'm gonna sell it for a better bass.
  5. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    I've tried to pick up a wind instrument-its a basic one-the fife-i can get tone just not do it without feeling light headed. I'm the bassist for the Lafayette Jefferson Marching Bronchos-watch us on the HollyWood Christmas Parade. :D
  6. Certain wind instruments are hard, like the clarinet, for example. Definitely the hardest to get a nice tone out of, and people can practice for years to get a really beautiful tone.

    But in saying that, the same goes for instuments like the violin, viola, etc. And this kid you know might be a musical genius. My friend Kirk, is a musical genius, and he specialises in percussion.
  7. RAM

    RAM Guest

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Good question!

    I played Clarinet for about 5 years before switching to bass. They're in such different worlds that it's hard to say.

    I wasn't really interested in the music I played as a clarinetist and wasn't musically aware of how the clarinet really fit into certain situations. With the bass, I've been playing over 18 years and only now do I have some idea of what instruments can and should do.

    The clarinet is very tough on the mouth, for sure. It takes certain muscles in the mouth to be able to get the reed to vibrate correctly. On top of that, you've still got the tongue working to form note lengths and articulations, as well as both hands working to create the notes themselves. On bass...some people can actually sing while playing. Try singing while playing the clarinet:D
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Why try to turn everything into a competitive sport! For me the thing about music is that it isn't about winners and losers and who is the best - if you go to a gig and enjoy it, everybody's happy - nobody lost! If you're in a band and everybody's doing their job,who cares which is the hardest to play?
  9. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    There are certain things about wind instruments, IMO, that make them more difficult to learn than strings. First is that most people start later on winds (have to wait for that second set of teeth!), so there's five or six years wasted that one could have traded for learning a string instrument. Second is embochure development and breath support, which requires a lot of *paced* practice. Unlike string players, wind players simply can't practice for 10 hours at a time, so it takes more time to get good. Third, improvisation is a little harder on winds, as there is no easy way to visualize harmonies and intervals on a wind instrument. One can't readly rely on fingering patterns; thus, the only way to improvise well is to learn all scales and arpeggios in all keys.

    These are, of course, generalizations which apply to a determination of which instruments more easily allow a player to achieve a minimum level of proficiency. Once that level has been reached and surpassed, there's enough room to be amazed by a person's virtuosity, regardless of whatever instrument they're playing. Harmonica's "easy"; "Rhapsody in Blue" on harmonica is pretty amazing, IMO (Larry Adler RIP).
  10. I play trumpet too, some respects that trumpet is harder. With scales you have to learn differnt fingering for each note. when on bass its the same on any note. The trumpet is also more physical to play to get different notes, you have to adjust the amount of air and your lips to change the pitch.
  11. I played Clarinet for 11 years, and never had a clue what I was doing until the last two years, when I started doubling on bass. Clarinet is a harder instrument to think on, for me, because there's no visuals--no patterns. I did toward the end get a lovely sound, I felt.

    Being in constant control of all nuances of the sound is a really powerful thing. With electric bass, you give up a lot of that. My bowing technique never got very good. But I don't think even bowed, a string instrument could be more expressive than a woodwind.
  12. Ditto on what Christopher and 2bit said...I play trumpet too and it's rough on your mouth. You have to constantly play just to keep in shape. The same isn't really true of bass. That was one of the things i was looking forward to when I started bass, is that it takes a lot longer to get tired, and that's only in your hands. It's harder to enjoy playing trumpet when you're constantly winded and your lips feel numb. :)
  13. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    I played trumpet since I was 10. At 18 I started on bass - no frets.
    It's about the same thing - to me. Equally hard to learn, as there are more fingering to the trumpet, but more need for theory on the bass guitar. Intonation is crusial to a trumeter, as most of it is in the lips. That is why the fretless came handy, you can intonate every tone yourself, not confined to the frets that are in the wrong position (as they are set in wood). You need to practice both at least 15 minutes a day, or you loose a lot. Both intruments demand physical abilities. Etc, etc.
    Actually, I think every monophonic instrument demands about the same. I've tried violin, trombone, saophone, clarinet, oboe, flute (didn't do very well on either, especially not the flute) and it all comes down to the same things.
  14. BassMan2000


    Sep 27, 2000
    Obeos the hardest to stay in tune
  15. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    And you have to make your own reeds.
  16. I'm not quite sure I understand what you're trying to say...

    I've always thought that an oboe stays in tune pretty well, but is difficult to tune - that is why an orchestra will tune to the oboe - that is, unless the piece involves a piano (or harpsichord or organ) in which case the orchestra will tune to that.

    - Wil
  17. A Rock

    A Rock Guest

    Mar 18, 2001
    New Haven, CT
    and what marching band would this be??
    i too was part of a nationally aclaimed marching band.

    i played the alto sax for 9 yrs and i must say that i learned the bass much more faster but it is harder than the sax for me cuz im not as experienced with the bass. i sold my sax for a 1300 dollar amp rig...woohoo!
  18. Sofa King

    Sofa King Guest

    Aug 20, 2000
    Rowlett, TX
    I play flute, years ago I would have said playing flute was harder than bass, but since then I've gotten really good so playing it is really natural to me. Bass is harder to play than flute for me, but I'm not exaclty a great bass player ;) If I had played bass for five years and flute for only about a year, I would probably say flute is harder. Once I get good at bass I'll tell you which is harder to play ;)
  19. I only play a wind instrument after a particularly spicy meal:D