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Dd wants to learn an unusual instrument

(49 Posts)
Dancergirl Tue 27-Sep-16 13:47:12

What would you recommend? She is 9.5, Year 5. She's learnt piano in the past and passed Grade 1.

She was talking about the double bass but I don't think she is old enough for that! Plus she has no experience with violin which I imagine you need to learn first...?

MissPattie Tue 27-Sep-16 13:48:21

No you don't have to learn the violin first.

It's more dependent on how big she is

MissPattie Tue 27-Sep-16 13:48:40

Also... How big your car is

Dancergirl Tue 27-Sep-16 13:49:38

grin We have a big car so that's not a problem!

Wafflenose Tue 27-Sep-16 14:11:45

Go for it!

Alternatively... bassoon, trombone, tuba or harp! They are unusual for good reason though - they are all large and expensive!

CryingShame Tue 27-Sep-16 14:14:59

Having had a friend at school who played the double bass, the instrument tended to stay at school and she stayed after school to practise there, rather than taking it home. Could your school facilitate that?

Lancelottie Tue 27-Sep-16 14:16:52

Our secondary school had 4 bassoonists at the last count. And tubas are not just big, they're bloody heavy. Go for the double bass (you can get half-sizes).

Dancergirl Tue 27-Sep-16 15:29:58

Thank you! I am amused by the idea of a half size double that a single bass? grin

everywhichway Tue 27-Sep-16 15:37:54


Lancelottie Tue 27-Sep-16 15:41:00

grin I guess so!

Sunnydawn Tue 27-Sep-16 15:43:55

DS is 9 years old and learning the double bass. The junior size is manageable - I just have to lower the back seat of our car. You have to carry a stool around too.

It's great fun.

Sunnydawn Tue 27-Sep-16 15:45:05

Oh, and he plays the piano but has never touched a violin. Do you have a decent local music school where she could try it out?

BertrandRussell Tue 27-Sep-16 15:48:30

Bassoon or oboe.

Or viola?

Or a serpent. I've always wanted to play the serpent.

AmeliaJack Tue 27-Sep-16 15:49:25


SheepyFun Tue 27-Sep-16 15:52:34

My parents insisted on us learning instruments we could take places ourselves (and yes, my lucky brother did walk to school carrying his bassoon!). It's definitely a consideration for us when DD is older, though your lifestyle might be rather different. Which leaves oboe, viola, church organ (you don't take them with you!), french horn (if she's strong!), triangle...

Waitingfordolly Tue 27-Sep-16 15:55:08

I was going to say harp too. I played the oboe, which was unusual-ish. I loved it but it's not very versatile to play different types of music. I guess whether she's interested mainly in orchestral music or other types too will influence the decision.

SpaceDinosaur Tue 27-Sep-16 15:55:44

She has grade 1 piano.
Is she still learning or has she "quit"?
Piano lends itself very well to tuned percussion. What about a marimba? Xylophone, gloc? Timpani?
Or untuned? Fancy a drum kit?
Harp? (Basically a finger plucked piano!!!)
^^ I play all of the above grin

Also, do you play anything OP? If so, apologies if I'm preaching to the choir.
There's a reason some instruments are more widely learnt than others. They provide a great foundation which can be transferred to other instruments within the same "family"
Clarinet is a wonderful foundation into the oboe, cor anglais, sax or even the soprano sax (that's VERY unusual)
Violin is a nice gateway to the cello. Trumpet to the euphonium?!!
Most musicians who play something "unusual" or cool play a "normal" instrument first and foremost.

It's really reliant on what teachers you have near to you.


ExitPursuedBySpartacus Tue 27-Sep-16 16:00:29

Comb and paper?

LooseSeal Tue 27-Sep-16 16:04:33

One of my nephews plays euphonium. It's turned out to be a great choice because it's unusual he's managed to get places in a couple of youth orchestras which he probably wouldn't have done with a more usual instrument.

Pythonesque Tue 27-Sep-16 16:12:37

She's a great age for taking up any number of less common instruments. If she can get some "taster" sessions somewhere that would probably help her enormously, narrow her choice down towards something that will really catch her interest and thus motivate her long term. Good luck!

Balletgirlmum Tue 27-Sep-16 20:37:11

Oboe or cor anglais.

lapsedorienteerer Tue 27-Sep-16 20:50:08

Bagpipes of course grin. I suggest this with 'a pince f salt) as DS played this for 3-4 years (age 9-13).......and has now given up

NeverEverAnythingEver Tue 27-Sep-16 20:55:26

The sousaphone?

The alpine horn?

How big is your car again?


emwithme Tue 27-Sep-16 21:13:48

I played the double bass for a couple of years they emptied a store room at school for renovations and found one and it was fabulous, except moving it around school (from music block to hall for concerts/performances etc) or from school to home was a total PITA.

I always wanted to play the french horn. Or the bassoon. Or the cor anglais. What am I saying "or"...I very much mean "and". I would play EVERYTHING if I was given the chance except the violin

I am contemplating teaching myself the clarinet (I can play all the recorders and the flute)

Marmighty Tue 27-Sep-16 21:17:39

Viola. It's a lovely instrument and always in demand. I've been able to play in great orchestras and ensembles at a much higher standard than me just because they always need violas. And you sit right in the middle of the orchestra so hear all the other instruments around you. It's also not too big to cart around.

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