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Old 13-11-2017, 10:46   #31
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Re: Choose musical instrument for cruising

We always carry a Martin backpacker guitar and a flute, the guitar get more use these days the flutist went off to university.......
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Old 13-11-2017, 10:53   #32
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Re: Choose musical instrument for cruising

Pennywhistle, aka tin whistle, aka flageolet. Tune it once and you're good. Does not suffer from the humidity-related ailments of reed instruments and string instruments. Comes in many keys, if you're so inclined, but a D whistle and a low-D whistle will suffice for almost anything you might want to play.
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Old 13-11-2017, 11:04   #33
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Re: Choose musical instrument for cruising

I want to add that my Hofner travel guitar was chosen because it cost $99 and I figured if it went bad the bank was still unbroken. But after 4 years it is still in fine shape.
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Old 13-11-2017, 11:37   #34
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Re: Choose musical instrument for cruising

Depending upon your musical choices, an accordion might serve to clear places for docking and anchoring. Depending upon the size of you vessel, a piano can be made a part of a bulkhead, and having one will resonate throughout the area, and may attract whales. A good
(not too good) guitar or a harmonica (or several) serve well, and even a decent low end violin can provide entertainment, but all tend to interfere with duty if on watch. Perhaps all are OK while on a long passage passage, and some are definitely appreciated at the impromptu get-to-gathers which seem to occur in certain locations.
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Old 13-11-2017, 12:04   #35
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Re: Choose musical instrument for cruising

ukulele is taught at my kids school, and they all love it! They are small, inexpensive, and are a delight (the ukes, not my kids, they are a nightmare).

I've also seen little guitars available these days...hardly bigger than a uke, but strung like an acoustic guitar. This would be ideal on the boat. My preference is a "parlor guitar" which is an acoustic guitar which is just a bit smaller than normal.

You can't go wrong with harmonicas. You should get enough for the entire family.

IMHO, one of the best parts of making music is having fun...so don't forget the percussion...tamborines, maracas, cabasas, and guiros.

And if you have very young kids...you can't go wrong with a bunch of kazoos!
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Old 13-11-2017, 12:13   #36
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Re: Choose musical instrument for cruising

My wife and I are full time, long term blue water cruisers. We have a mandolin, acoustic violin, electric violin, battery (and dc powerable) small amp, a full set of inexpensive harmonicas and a moderately sized djembe (drum) aboard our 45’, 12’ beam monohull. We have found scads of musicians playing everything from we have to guitars, ukes, practicellos, full size keyboards (and smaller), accordians and squeezeboxes and drums in almost every anchorage, marina, open mic venues. I have found throughout Mexico/Central America, and now for the last two years in the Caribbean that instruments are largely unaffected by humidity. I do store them in good cases to avoid inadvertent damage while anoard, underway, and importantly while making shore teansits via dinghy. Boats, almost no matter how large, monohulls/cats, etc., are small when somewhen is trying to master a new instrument, so if you’ve never played a fiddle, i’d suggest that learning it at sea or in an anchorage can be trying on boat mate(s) (this is among the reasons why I have both acoustic and a relatively high end electric violin. I can practice/play at will without bugging my wife (unless I plug into the amp). Harmonicas are fun and relatively easy to learn-lots of how to learn MIDIs for learning; like any other instrument, hard to master without lots of practice. Upside for Baby Taylor guitars, mandos, fiddles, harmonicas, concertinas, etc., they’re small, easily stowed, easily toted ashore in a dinghy and adaptable as a musician to lots of musical genres. Cheers
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Old 13-11-2017, 12:15   #37
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Re: Choose musical instrument for cruising

Go the guitar

I have been playing for about 37 years and always take my guitar - one lives on the boat and has done for about 24 of those 37 years. Still going strong. Just get a nice $200 guitar and you are away.

On a tiller steered boat you can play and steer with your foot, or you can finger pick away and be on watch under autopilot. I have had some great thumping strumming sessions singing away when no one can hear as we sail along.

Then sometimes, like at Percy or Keppel island, I can take it ashore. I finger pick quietly around the fire at night. Sometimes someone says - "Do you know ......." and we might have a sing along. But usually I play accompaniment to the crackle of the mesmerising fire. I get to play for some great and not so great voices, but it is all part of the cruising aspect that I like. I get to sing along too, which is hard with a tin whistle, bagpipes, tuba etc.

Guitar is pretty easy to learn and much easier on the ears than tin whistles, etc. I would recommend a nylon string guitar. If room is really tight (and a guitar can be squeezed in lots of spots) then a uke is good fun. Lots of ukestras in Australia. So you can turn up in a town and go and make new friends.

As well as Jake Shimabukuro, have a look at James Hill for fab uke playing. Just saw James in Newcastle on Sunday. He can do an amazing cover of Michael Jackson's Billie Jean. I can't work out how he does it.



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Old 13-11-2017, 12:45   #38
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Re: Choose musical instrument for cruising

Might I suggest the Irish tin Whistle.
6 holes, no valves. 3 minor and 3 major scales.
Can play in D, Em,G,Am, Bm and C with a D whistles.
Inexpensive,resistant to salt air, stow away easily.
Plenty of resources for learning on you tube.
If you buy one, try getting Vinnie Kilduff' Irish tin whistle tutor on Amazon. Then, pick up a Walton "D" brass tin whistle. NOTE: I have no commercial interests in the products.
Have fun!

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Old 13-11-2017, 13:57   #39
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Re: Choose musical instrument for cruising

No brainer, a KAZOO!!
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Old 13-11-2017, 14:03   #40
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Re: Choose musical instrument for cruising

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Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
Hi, Bob,

A concertina is the thing, works like an accordion, but takes up less space than a shoebox, has push buttons for "keys", and lots of sea shanty music for them.

I don't know how hard it might be for someone who is already a musician to learn to play the harmonica. One of our cruising friends carried 3 different ones, keys of C, D, and G. All his shorts had many baggy pockets, and he brought them to beach pot lucks. Lotsa fun.



Ann
i second this suggestion; it's a good choice because, a Concertina ... more commonly known as a "Squeezebox" ... was the mariners traditional choice of musical instrument for singing Sea Chanties what's more, if you learn some of the old traditional chanties, you may well find yourself in high demand to entertain. I love to hear a sailor singing the work songs to a squeezebox on a dock. Something very nostalgic to me.

ps: The modern spelling seems to be "Shanties" but it the original spelling was with a "C" because the work songs were more of a 'chant' than a song. Use whichever spelling you feel comfortable with, either one is correct.
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Old 13-11-2017, 14:04   #41
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Re: Choose musical instrument for cruising

Just about anything other than a piano ought to work. The more important issue is what do you enjoy playing?
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Old 13-11-2017, 14:06   #42
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Re: Choose musical instrument for cruising

Guitar + keyboard (synthesizer actually)
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Old 13-11-2017, 14:51   #43
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Re: Choose musical instrument for cruising

I am a long time accordian player and have always been of the understanding that the metal reeds in an accordian should not be exposed to a marine environment. i now play the piano a bit for my own amusement. In your situation I would take a small keyboard as that's where my music skills lie. Though having unweighted keys would bug me. I have played a saxaphone before but find its a one dimension instrument. Have also tinkered with guitars but never got the bug.
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Old 13-11-2017, 15:09   #44
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Re: Choose musical instrument for cruising

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Originally Posted by martinworswick View Post
How about bagpipes.......
Ideal for entertaining other boat crews in a quiet peaceful anchorage late at night or at dawn.

Your involuntary audiences would remember your performance for the rest of their lives, often reminiscing about it to friends and fellow cruisers.
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Old 13-11-2017, 15:43   #45
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Re: Choose musical instrument for cruising

Yeah - dead easy. If you like to learn by playing along with your faves you'll probably need a (Hohner) Blues Harp (C) and a Hot Metal (D) to start with.
Got a Marine Band too - no idea what key it's in but it aint common in my music collection.
These all live in the glovebox of my car when not on the boat.
Oh, and if you get a neck-hanger then you don't even need to put it down to drive/sail with both hands....
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