I love when people first begin to play a new instrument. I think that its great to watch their frustration melt away into excitement! Looking back I can remember when I got my first guitar how excited and then frustrated I was. I remember I was 16 years old, and I had had it with piano. I was sick and tired of playing these pieces that were composed long before I was born, by people who I had trouble relating to. Also, I was fed up with being unable to play piano with other people. Its tough to jam on pieces by composers like Beethoven, Telemann, Schumann, Mozart, and (most especially) J.S. Bach. So, I went and bought my first guitar. It was a seagull acoustic guitar, and I Loved it! I brought it home and went on the Internet and learned how to read tablature for guitar, and then printed off the tab for Metallica's Call of Ktulu. Thats when the frustration began. I sat for hours trying to master the intro for this piece, I played until my fingers were blistered and sore. Finally after what seemed like forever, I began to recognize that what I was playing was not just a bunch of awkward notes but that Call of Ktulu was actually coming from my guitar! I was ecstatic! It fueled my musical hunger! I needed more. The internet became a very important resource for me as I blundered along in my little world of a new instrument, and I have learned a lot! The better I got, the more visions of playing giant rock concerts flooded my brain and I was a Legend (in my own mind).
Recently I have gone back to school for music and am taking piano as my principal instrument. I have decided to approach the piano in a different way in hopes that it will produce a different outcome from that of the first attempt. I realize now that for me, it is important for me to learn all of those pieces that I once despised. Also all that technique that I loathed must be mastered in order for me to play piano with a group of other people. But most of all, it is important to have fun and to convey that sentiment to others.
I guess the whole point to this post is this: I think that by learning to play a second instrument I have become a better musician than if I had stuck to just one. Now I realize that this is not the case with everyone, but I think that it was important for me to break away and learn to play the guitar, in order to improve my overall musicianship.
If you play an instrument, what was the first song you ever learned to play?