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Old 29-03-2006, 10:23   #1
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Musical Instruments on board

This thread is to all the musicians/sailors out there. What instruments do you play while cruising? I play the guitar and my girlfriend plays the harp, and we are trying to imagine how we will maintain our musical proficiency while cruising. I have been looking at different kinds of guitars and thinking about their ability to withstand the elements. How do other musicians solve these problems?
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Old 29-03-2006, 14:21   #2
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I want to know how you are going to get the harp down the companionway
I play a few instruments (not very well anymore). I have found the harmonica to be the best for playing underway. I am tring to learn bagpipe, but I am a horn player, so I have not been picking it up as fast as I would like. I was anchored for a while near a bagpipe player, and really enjoyed hearing them. This would be the real issue of concern. To play proficiently you must practice. How will the rest of the anchorage feel about your playing? I also play trumpet, but just never felt right blowing a tune in the middle of a quiet anchorage. Obviously a guitar can be played inside the cabin, and is not likely to disturb anyone, but some instruments (and players) will bring more pain than pleasure to your neighbors.
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Old 29-03-2006, 14:28   #3
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Hey Kai.

Learn to play keyboards!!!

One with programable capabilites?
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Old 29-03-2006, 14:42   #4
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This topic comes up once in a while. I play guitar. I just blogged about this subject at http://sailingscamper.blogspot.com. I'm keeping a Baby Taylor on board all the time. The boat is heated all year round (Pacific Northwest) and I keep the guitar in an SKB case when I'm not on board. Been doing this for years with this guitar and no problems. I kept a Martin backpacker on board a powerboat for years also and had no problems either.

I have played out a few times in places that I was able to get to by boat. In those cases I use a Rainsong. There's a review of the "Advanced Model" at http://www.halcyon.com/jwms/articles.htm.

A concertina is a traditional shipboard instrument. You can get them pretty cheap and almost anyone can make some kind of music on one. They are "tuned" diatonically like a harmonica.
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Old 29-03-2006, 14:44   #5
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Hey that's a good idea John.

Then I can make tunes like the old sailors did back in the 1700's did!!
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Old 29-03-2006, 15:15   #6
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Wow!!

What a great thread. It's so interesting because I just found a new love for instruments... specifically building them,.

My wife plays the harp as well! I am undecided on what to play. I was thinking about guitar again (played a lot in high school and college before white collar work left me no time to play).

But... instead, I'm building a small flute (pennywhistle) in the key of C, and possibly a small guitar. Have yet to play the pennywhistle, but I'll be building it and learning how to play during the month of May.

The small guitar project will be in between charters this summer. Can't wait! I want to build a few little instruments to play and keep them on board.

Also want to eventually build a hurdy-gurdy!
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Old 29-03-2006, 15:28   #7
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Instrument

An accordian for me 'cause that is what I know how to play. Not very well but who's listening?
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Old 29-03-2006, 15:53   #8
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Sean, let me know how the flute comes out. That interests me. We have a few accordian players living aboard here, but the sound is an aquired taste, and I have not yet aquired it.
Local bumper sticker reads: "Play an accordian, go to jail"
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Old 29-03-2006, 17:30   #9
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Tigerlily,

I read a thread on the L&A discusion board. I am sure you can find it with a search. Some of the info here I got from the site. It seems that the strings rusting is what most sailors are having problems with.

I carry a acustic/electric Springfield Base Guitar, 4 wooden flutes, 3 harmonicas, bongos and a Short scale electric base ( no amps yet). It is a matter of opionon weather I play any of them. The small amount of cruising I have done found lots of musicians cruising and in every port.

I look forward to learning musics from new places.

Live music is always better,

matt
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Old 29-03-2006, 17:43   #10
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Yeah.

I own a Fender Precision Bass guitar. And one of my main concerns was about the strings rusting.

I often wonder lightly coating the strings with a low grade type of oil would prevent it?

Has anybody used that method? Or is there another way?
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Old 29-03-2006, 17:49   #11
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CaptainK once whispered in the wind:

I often wonder lightly coating the strings with a low grade type of oil would prevent it?
This seems like a great idea, Capt K. I don't see any major issues coming from putting a light coat of oil on the strings....

Just think of the the slides and bends!
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Old 29-03-2006, 18:00   #12
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I wouldn't use that much oil, to let it be a problem for the coils!!
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Old 29-03-2006, 18:48   #13
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Here is the answer for strings...

http://www.elixirstrings.com/

I lovethem. They have a light teflon coating that makes them last much longer. They also reduce friction and noise when moving up and down the fretboard.

I plan on taking my Martin six string on the boat when we go. I am having a tough time figuring out the best place to store it. But it has to go with us!
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Old 29-03-2006, 19:19   #14
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Definately worth looking into!!

And on behalf of those who have guitars. Thanks exposure!!
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Old 29-03-2006, 19:25   #15
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Another suggestion for a portable instrument...

The Ukelele! In case you don't think it can be taken seriously, check out one of the masters...

http://www.collegehumor.com/movies/159572/
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