This is topic A musical instrument's personality... in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by xxsockeh (Member # 9186) on :
We all know that there are lots of stereotypes out there.
The ones that I find most interesting are the ones that talk about people that have a personality based on their instrument.

I can recall a few...
Clarinet - Snobby
Flute - Girly, Proper
Trombone - Comical

Anyone have any to add to the list? [Cool]
Posted by Teshi (Member # 5024) on :
When I tell people I play the flute people go, "yeah, I thought so. You look like a flautist."

I must be girly and proper.

Ha ha.

Trumpet: The semi-cool guys of the sword-bearing good against evil type.
Tuba: You are either the largest person in the band or the smallest. Medium-sized people rarely play the tuba.
Posted by mr_porteiro_head (Member # 4644) on :
Are you talking about the personality of the instrument itself or the personality of the people that play them?
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
I play cello and piano. And I'm exactly what you'd expect from someone who'd play both. *laugh*

Instruments you have to blow into = lame.
Posted by sarcasticmuppet (Member # 5035) on :
Hey, what's the best way to use an oboe?

--to light a bassoon

as far as personalities go,

Tenor saxes -- nerdy
Alto Saxes -- full of themselves (and I say this as an alto saxophonist)
Posted by Jeesh (Member # 9163) on :
Originally posted by Teshi:
Trumpet: The semi-cool guys of the sword-bearing good against evil type.

[Big Grin] Got me right, only I'm a girl.

Tuba: You are either the largest person in the band or the smallest. Medium-sized people rarely play the tuba.
Posted by Tinros (Member # 8328) on :
percussion: class clowns. Always talking. Always tapping on desks. Relatively annoying.(and I'm a part time percussionist, too [Wink] )
Posted by Kristen (Member # 9200) on :
As an oboist, we were definitely known as quirky and isolated. I've gotten that impression from a few symphonies.

I never really *got* people who played bass clarinet or viola.
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
:raises hand:

Trombonista. Call me comical, I punch you in the throat with my slide. Laugh then.
Posted by mr_porteiro_head (Member # 4644) on :
Scott, you make me laugh. Very comical.

Trumpet players think they are cool.
Posted by Teshi (Member # 5024) on :
I disagree with the comical. I think trombonists take themselves very seriously. They're the politicians, the achievers, the doers and organizers.

They may be funny on the surface but underneath they are quite the serious chap.

EDIT: Trumpet players are semi-cool. They are not the super cool people (who are trombonists or percussionists, depending on the type of cool- if they're in the band at all) but they have cool features.

This may include thinking they are cool.
Posted by mr_porteiro_head (Member # 4644) on :
In my school, more than half of the percussionists were stoners.
Posted by JLM (Member # 7800) on :
How about a perspective from a non-instrument player:
(warning all sterotypes below are negative)

Oboe/bassoon: Intellectual non-conformist
Trumpet: Repressed loudmouths
Trombone: Goofballs or showoffs
Tuba: Non-repressed loudmouths
Flute/piccolo: Girly girls
French horn: Last to sign up for band class
Sax: Secretly underconfident cool-kats
Violin: Snobs/elitists
Viola: Not good enough to play violin
Cello/sting bass: Secretly wants to play bass in a rock band
Xylophone/bells/etc.: Couldn't hack playing a real instument
Precussion: Too cool to play a real instument
Clarinet: Tool cool for flute, not confident enough for the oboe
Piano: Practical
Kazoo: Wants to play an instument but all the bandos freaked them out
Posted by Brinestone (Member # 5755) on :
The french horn players I've known have always been quiet, a bit socially awkward, and brainy.

And how is "Girly girls" negative? [Wink]
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
I play piano, clarinet, flute, piccolo, snare/bass drum (yay, Pipe and Drum Corps), and the bagpipes.

Analyze that. [Razz]

Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
Originally posted by Brinestone:
The french horn players I've known have always been quiet, a bit socially awkward, and brainy.

The French horn player from our band was like that, except not brainy.

Posted by Architraz Warden (Member # 4285) on :
The french horn sections I've know typically would qualify as a cult in most societies. But the above statements are more positive, so we can stick with those.

And trumpets being "repressed loudmouths" would be true if you just removed the word repressed. Trumpet players tend to be humorous and entertaining, but so many of them dance along that line named "conceited".

Note, I've been in bands as both of the above. Less offense is intended than is actually taken, I assure you.
Posted by Brinestone (Member # 5755) on :
pH, I'm pretty sure it means you're really gifted.
Posted by Jeesh (Member # 9163) on :
What about guitar, recorder, or some of those folk instrumments like mouthbows or banjos?

I play trumpet, sadly, I am a loudmouth. [Big Grin]
Posted by solo (Member # 3148) on :
Originally posted by JLM:
How about a perspective from a non-instrument player:
(warning all sterotypes below are negative)

Oboe/bassoon: Intellectual non-conformist
Piano: Practical

I'm not sure how these two are negative stereotypes. Intellectual non-conformists are some of the most interesting people I know and being practical can be very helpful in life.
Posted by rjzeller (Member # 8536) on :
First off, I'm a trumpet player, and I've known enough musicians to have a good idea what they're like. There definitely IS a strong resemblance to a musician's instrument and their personality.

Trumpet -- Egoistic and overconfident. The sports "jock" of the instrumental world. Always trying to one-up each other.
Trombone -- Funny, commical, a little bit outside the norm. Only they just don't realize it. Most likely to be carrying a 30 year old horn in a 50 year old case smothered with stickers of places all over the world -- few of which they've actually visited.
French Horn -- Humble, composed, and reserved. They'd rather be heard playing than speaking. The antithesis of trumpet players. Most are better musicans than they think, smarter than they realize, and quieter than they should be.
Baritone -- Too smart for trombone, too small for Tuba, and far too stable for trumpet or French Horn. Proud enough to still want melody, but not so proud that they have to be heard all the time.
Tuba -- The can't say "no" type. As in, when Mr/Ms band director appraoched at an early age out of a dire need to fill out a section, failed to say, "No, I think I'd rather not play tuba." The trombone player without the accidental commical edge.

You can match up the string players essentially the same way, conversion chart as follows:

Violin -- Trumpet
Viola -- French Horn
Cello -- Trombone
Contrabass -- Baritone/Tuba

Or vocalists:

Soprano -- Trumpet
Also -- French Horn
Tenor -- Trombone
Bass -- Baritone

That leaves woodwinds and percussion.

Flutes -- Trombone
Clarinet and Saxes -- Baritone
Oboe and Bassoon -- French Horn
Bass Clarinet/Contrabassoon/English Horn -- Tuba

Drummers are unique: Impatient, bordering on ADHD. Want to be funy but are usually just annoying. Masters of inconsistency -- can tap 8's on one hand, triples on the other, while marching in four and listening to Metallica; but cannot once look at a young lady (man) without completely losing track of everything.

The jokes really say it all. My favorites?

-Why can't a gorilla play trumpet? Because the gorilla is too sensitive.

-What does a drummer use for birth control? His personality.

-How do you get two saxaphones to play in tune? Shoot one of the saxes.

Posted by Altáriël of Dorthonion (Member # 6473) on :
Violin- graceful and elegant in a youthful way

Viola- graceful and elegant in a more mature kinda way

I've always thought about strings as being "graceful and elegant" in different ways pertaining to age and maturity. Yeah, I'm weird.
Posted by Jeesh (Member # 9163) on :
Wow, I'm a soprano and a Trumpet player.
Posted by Mirrored Shades (Member # 8957) on :
Recorder Players: Wannabe's.
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Aha! Here it is.

I was nine when I started playing the trombone. Let me make it abundantly clear that I had very little choice in the matter- fourth graders rarely do. The band’s overlord was a largish fellow by the name of Mr. Tribble, who also served Leon County Schools as the elementary PE teacher. He assigned the dubious honor of trombone player upon me, and lacking the necessary physical skills to ever have a distant dream of gridiron glory, I accepted. His was a triumph of no small proportion- our school had not seen a trombonist in more than six years. For me, it was either the trombone or the clarinet, and only boys who played with Barbies even touched the clarinet. And so I watched as my parents signed the rent to own papers drawn up by the greasy looking fellow from the music shop in Bryan (he made a point of mentioning the sixty odd miles between his shop and our school). This is the end, I thought. If I was not destined for total social ineptitude by my chubby paunch and clumsy limbs, the trombone would certainly seal my fate.

The trombone is an awkward instrument for anyone, and even moreso for an ungainly 9-year-old. Even the carrying case conspired against me, hooking its flared end on whatever chair or desk or bus seat was convenient, banging into sixth graders with impunity. I learned quickly that to still whatever demon possessed it, I had to hold it upright, almost hugging it against my chest. I fared no better when I unleashed it from its case- pinched fingers were its favorite meal. At times, I felt like I held the length of a terrible brass serpent in my hands, it’s tail end on my lips, its gaping maw stretched out in front of me, waiting for the right moment to turn on me and swallow my head.

Worse than that was the way it sounded. In my hands, the trombone was little more than a oversized, deep voiced slide whistle. The instrument of clowns and drunkards. And there are no clear-cut ways to play a note on the trombone. With a trumpet or baritone, you have nice little keys to depress when you want to play a certain note- the trombone is a marvel of ambiguity. Is third position even with the bell or just past it? Where exactly is fifth position? Alone, I struggled with the trombone’s penchant for vagueness- the only position I was ever really sure of was first position, all the way back against the slide stop, as near to me as I could muster. Seventh position was ‘out there’ somewhere- beyond my stubby arms’ reach anyway, so I just had to pray that I was never required to venture into that territory. Everything in between was guesswork and mystery.

I was one of only three boys in my fourth grade class to be in band. The other two were Michael Danish and Mario Evans. Michael played the clarinet (see above comments), and Mario played the drums. Mario was a black kid who had been held back from moving on to the fifth grade, not because he was stupid, but because he was colossal. He bore proudly the nickname, “Mario the Mountain.” No one would ever dare to call him a band geek, even if he had played the flute and joined the twirlers.

Mostly true.
Posted by Jeesh (Member # 9163) on :
Hmm, I'm getting some interesting stuff. I play trumpet, guitar, mouthbow, and recorder. I'm also a soprano. What are we?
Posted by xxsockeh (Member # 9186) on :
Myself, I'm a trumpet. I have to admit, me and the other trumpets in my grade for band (well, the good ones, at least) kind of fit all of the stereotypes here. Only we aren't cool. We just pretend to be. [ROFL]
Posted by Jeesh (Member # 9163) on :
Hmm, the trumpets I know range from really popular to dweeb to me. [Big Grin]
Posted by Tinros (Member # 8328) on :
I would definitely disagree with the "flute=trombone" stereotype. As a flute player myself, I happen to know that flutes, at least in a high school band section, ALL hit PMS at the SAME TIME. Leading to a HECK of a lot of drama. However, flutes do not play old instruments- flutes stop working. after about 15 years, they pretty much can't be repaired any more. And they definitely don't plaster their cases with stickers. However, high school flutes are notorious for having the most beat-up instruments in the band. And thanks to "American Pie," they are by far the most likely NOT to be perverted. (the perverted goes to the tromboners. Err, trombones.)
Posted by xxsockeh (Member # 9186) on :
Originally posted by Jeesh:
Hmm, the trumpets I know range from really popular to dweeb to me. [Big Grin]

Yeah. We have popular people and extremely freakish people on trumpet.
But the freakish people suck. [ROFL]
Mind you, I'm freakish. But in a different way. I'm a nerd. Geek. Geeknerd. XD
Posted by Orincoro (Member # 8854) on :
How about guitar you ask?

Down right sexy in the hands of an expert [Wink]

But like a squeeling pig in the hands of an "Guit-tard"
Posted by Raia (Member # 4700) on :
Alas, voice = ego. [Frown]

*sigh* It's not ALWAYS true!
Posted by Orincoro (Member # 8854) on :
Sure it is.

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