Do You Play Another Instrument Besides Drums?


I was curious if anyone else here plays another instrument besides drums, which one(s), your proficiency level, etc. Do you play that instrument in a band?

I have always played guitar as well as drums, and play lead guitar in my own band. I always had a guitar(s) and messed around for years, never taking it seriously. About six years ago, I got motivated and really started practicing, put the band together, and haven't looked back. The more you play your second instrument, the better you get. It's taken a lot of dedication and hard work to get to where I am on guitar, but it's happening. I had a full blown panic attack the first time I played a guitar gig, and yes, I clammed, but made it through. I have to practice the day of the gig. No exceptions to that.

I have always played a bit of blues harp as well (I'm no Little Walter), along with Appalachian dulcimer, mandolin, Native American flute, and bass.

Now, I have a pretty good Casio keyboard and stand, so that's the next hurdle.
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Gold Member
I've been dabbling with the Hawaiian nose flute.


My Guitars: Early 60s Stella h929 and Samick stat copy.

My bass: Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar


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Senior Member
I recently picked up the guitar in October, and am looking at getting a bass as well. I don't really play piano but I can play simple stuff on it.


Senior Member
Since I just can't my drum set in the house, I noodle around on guitar in the evenings.

I have a Fender American Telecaster I spend quite a bit of time with when the kids go to bed.


Platinum Member
I think I've answered, like, 6 different threads on this.

I feel the most comfortable on drums, even though I've played guitar for longer (acoustic and electric). I play bass (electric and upright), a little bit of piano/keyboards, clarinet, and I officially played my first paying trumpet gig last month. Also, I play all of the classical percussion family (marimba, timpani, concert bass, crash cymbals, triangle, etc. etc. etc...), as I have my degree in classical percussion. I also play congas, bongos, djembe, cajon, doumbek, and am currently learning tabla.

The more instruments you play, the more perspectives you gain on music, and I feel it makes you a better and more conscientious musician.


Platinum Member
Drum kit is the only instrument I play at a professional level. I also play djembe and doumbek at a high enough level to accompany a belly-dance troupe. I play bass and guitar at an intermediate level, meaning I can hold my own at a jam or something, but I don't consider myself competent enough to gig professionally.

I agree, the more instruments you understand and can play, the better your ensemble playing on your primary instrument.

Popcorn Mogul

Senior Member
I'm about to start learning the piano (one of my dreams). the only problem is I hate/have a mental block against reading music... I've been messing around for a while and really enjoy it so hopefully it works out.


Platinum Member
Electric guitar - that's what I started out with (23 yrs ago). Here's a video (instrumental, orig. stuff).

Acoustic guitar - got the bug some 5 yrs ago (inspired by Andy McKee). Here's a video (instrumental, orig. stuff). El. and ac. guitars can be seen as different instruments depending on the way you play them (fingerpicking vs. using picks) so I'm mentioning them as 'different' instruments. And whoever plays both knows this I guess. I'm using a medium fingernail length on my picking hand, it wouldn't work to have short fingernails the way I'm playing (it might work technically but feels awkward and sounds crap/way less brilliant).

Electric bass: Have been doing so for a long time but with varying focus. Started playing the bass regularly 1 year ago and have been gigging with a small band. 6-string fretted & 5-string fretless. (Bass: fingerpicking only.)

Keyboard: Very briefly, on a cheapo one (don't have that any more). Wouldn't hurt to continue.

Been neglecting all other instruments once I got into drums 3-3.5 yrs ago.
I play classical piano, and passed my Grade 8 exam years before I took up the drums. The largest benefit I found this gave me when starting drumming was that I already had a strong sense of rhythm, and sight-reading is second nature to me. I never had to ask myself "should I learn to read sheet music?" because I've been able to from the start of my time on the drums. I can't imagine how lost I'd feel if I couldn't do that!


Platinum Member
I don't actively play other instruments these days, but over the years I've played a few. I'm most proficient on guitar, and can play around to a half-decent level on bass, piano and trumpet as well.


Platinum Member
I started way back when on trumpet. My folks caught me "playing" a toy trumpet and asked if I'd like to give the real thing a go. I was 8 at the time, and after about 6 months my teacher kindly told me not only did I not have the lips for the trumpet, but no musical skill whatsoever and I should be content with drawing.

In high school I played saxophone (all state selection 4 years in a row), bass, keyboards, and finally picked up drums -- and they're what I've played most the last 25 years. I still play bass out and about, but it's drumming that I get hired for.


Platinum Member
Aside from singing, bass guitar and rhythm(ish) guitar at a decent level, I also do a lot of programming that could be considered an instrument. It certainly takes as much practice and time to produce good results...

Which reminds me, it's about time I randomised that sequencer...


Senior Member
I mentioned it in many threads, but my original instrument is bass guitar. I have played it since I was 16 (I am 50 now). In my college days and for a while afterwards, I played it professionally and then did it as a weekend warrior with bands off and on. There were long stretches where I did not play in a band, but I always practiced it and played along recordings. When I became a drummer about 4 years ago, I quit the band I was playing bass in, so currently I am just messing around with it at home.

I also play a little bit of guitar. It was my first instrument, but I never got good enough at it, so switched to bass. I still fool around with it and play it on my home recordings.

I have a Roland synth and a sound module that I use for home recordings. I am not at any kind of level to play keyboards in a band, but I can play simple piano/organ/synth pad accompaniment parts for my demo songs.

Before I started playing drums, I did a lot of drum programming for my demo songs. No fancy software stuff, just an Alesis D4 drum module and a Roland MC50 sequencer that I have owned since 1990. I took pride in making drum parts that sound "real" and I think it was a good learning experience that helped with my drumming later on.


Platinum Member
as one of the only people I know that play the trumpet. is it difficult?

The mouth thing is what I found to be difficult. When they saw someone has or hasn't "got the lips", they mean that they are or aren't good at working the mouthpiece to get good, rich tone out of the instrument. I didn't have it, obviously. The fingering is simple and the instrument is in B flat, which is not hard to transpose from C.

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I have answered this question in a couple other threads also. I play some guitar in addition to drums. I've played since I was about 19 y.o. because I had a roommate who had an acoustic and I didn't have my drums with me at the time. After I finished school, I divided my time between guitar and drums. Haven't played any gigs with the guitar, but like IDDrummer, I can hold my own at a jam. I can sing OK too if I can hit the notes. My voice has been getting better with age. I have a good blues voice now. Probably because I smoke too much. haha! Kids, don't smoke!

I'd like to get a trombone again. I preferred the trombone in school band class because I thought the slide was cool and I liked the fact that the mouthpiece is bigger. I could also go for a baritone too. I've always liked those.

I have an autoharp too. My dad made it, and it's probably the only thing I own that came from him. I don't play it very much though because it needs tuning and I haven't bothered to get a tuning wrench. But it doesn't take much to play one of those and strum a song. They are very much like the drums in that respect, but to get good at that finger picking and such can take years and years to master.

The one instrument I've always wanted to learn is the hammered dulcimer. I don't know if that will ever happen, but it's certainly an interest of mine to play it someday.