re: Multi Discipline Players

> How do you strange multi-instrument players do this?
> What is it like going from one to the other,
> while you are learning?

i like this question.
first a qualification: i'm not a great
multi-instrumentalist. in 
fact, i play the diatonic kind of well, and the
chromatic passably. 
but, i've also been learning guitar and another
instrument the 'cuatro' (look it up, it's from Puerto
Rico), but i 
know very little about playing those. 
still ,i've noticed a couple of things: my playing
short harp and 
chromatic (a diminished chromatic, no less) has yet to
be problem. i 
just don't think of them as similar instruments. i
mean, my brain 
doesn't just forget and think i'm playing a diatonic
when i'm on 
chromatic, or vice-versa (sp?). and it actually helps
in some ways: 
getting good tone is similar on both instruments, so
i'm always 
working on that. bends (in my case) are similar, so
i'm always 
working on that. the rest... i dunno. it's just
different. it's like 
learning spanish and french at the same time: similar,
but different. 
the guitar and cuatro are of course whole other
animals, but i've 
found the guitar helps me most when it comes to harp
playing. for one 
thing, i can always figure out a line i have in my
head on a guitar 
(i suppose it would work on a keyboard too, but i
don't own one) and 
then try it on harp. in some cases, i don't have the
technique to 
reach a missing note and i get frustrated, but at
least i have the 
line worked out. now it's a matter of ironing out the
one more thing: the instruments lend themselves to
different kinds of 
lines. what i mean is, i think of different things to
play on 
different instruments. in part due to layout, or sound
character, or 
whatever, but it just happens. that also helps to keep
the hardest part is not spreading yourself too thin,
or making enough 
time to play all the instruments you want to play. i'd
like to learn 
diatonic, chromatic, cuatro, and percussion, but i
can't do 
percussion now, and i need to know a little guitar, so
that cuts into 
the other things. it's all a juggling act, like
everything else in 

now, what Iron Man Mike does, THAT is voodoo of the
highest order!


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