learning to play

Posted: 3/3/2005 2:51:53 PM
Charlie D

From: England

Joined: 2/28/2005

I think it was the timbre of that recording that made it so wonderful- Is she playing an ethervox or an anaolog theremin? I have not heard anything with quite the same tone, and yet most of her other recordings are, as you say, noticeably flat and quite wobbly. It's just testimony to how immensely difficult, and how immensely rewarding the instrument is.

(I am obsessed! I just pray that I have what it takes!)
Posted: 10/28/2005 11:03:27 PM

From: Richmond Hill, Georgia

Joined: 9/18/2005

Maybe I'm foolish, naive, inexperienced or simply too dumb to know any better, but everyone says this instrument is the hardest to play. I don't consider it insurmountable.

And this being said from a person who's never done anything more than whistle a tune, just like the RCA manual used to say.

However, perhaps my 27 years as a skilled morse operator in my other hobby as a ham has somehow helped. Sometimes, under adverse band conditions, the operator must sort out the signals by pitch and read the text. You may have three other signals in your bandpass at different pitches. You just have to focus on that one pitch from the guy at the other end of the radio path that you are listening to.

My main complaint was that I never considered the fingering required for piano, or guitar, or a wind instrument as within my abilities.

However, with a theremin, of course, one can make sound immediately....its just shaping that sound that makes it an absolute bear to learn.

I always felt this would be my instrument if I ever decided to do it, and I did and haven't looked back.

---and its only been three weeks.

And I'm playing tunes, and they are recognizable.

Plus, the most important part is I'm loving it. I may never be good enough to sit or stand before an audience, but making the dog whine when I hit the high notes is plenty fun in itself.

Naive Neophyte Theremin Abuser
Posted: 10/29/2005 5:47:52 PM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

Besides the tips already mentioned, here are a few items that might contribute to your progress:

1) Read the forums here and ask questions. The Thereminworld.com community is a great online source of information and encouragement.

2) Slow, careful practice. You may want to download MIDI files and play along with them because you can change the tempo. Start slowly and really get accustomed to playing a note and adjusting it to pitch. Play songs in "slow motion". Take time to be picky. The speed will come.

3) Practice daily. If you are on a roll -- if you are playing well -- then keep on practicing! If you are having an "off" day, then STOP practicing and listen to Theremin music. (Practicing mistakes over and over is counter-productive.) Pick your favorite music and visualize/imagine yourself playing it beautifully.

Don't let the difficulty of any task discourage you -- including learning to play the Theremin.
Posted: 10/30/2005 8:27:56 AM
Charlie D

From: England

Joined: 2/28/2005

Make LOADS of recordings of yourself, and listen to then a couple of weeks later. Listen to yourself with a fresh mind and a clear head, and you'll hear where your going wrong or what can be done better.

Also, make your theremin sound how *you* want it to sound. Try to imitate the thereminists who you love, and don't use the techniques of those who's playing you do not like. . . . hopefully that makes sense.

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