theremin virgin!

Posted: 12/26/2005 5:30:56 PM

Joined: 12/26/2005

I was bought a theremin by my boyfriend for xmas and have no idea where to start! Have made a noise, but was wondering if anyone could suggest good books / cds etc etc that would get me going. I am a primary music teacher and have a music degree so some knowledge musically, but none at all technically... any suggestions gratefully recieved!
Posted: 12/26/2005 5:47:43 PM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005


Welcome to the world of the Theremin.

Would be curious to know what Make/Model of Theremin you own.

Would suggest that you listen to some Theremin performances -- there is a wonderful internet radio program called "Spellbound" and you can download recent broadcasts and listen to all different styles and performers.

You can also catch it live on Sunday nights at 11pm Eastern time.

If you go to the "Learn" section there is a link to a free download of Clara Rockmore's "Method for Theremin" so, make sure you print off a copy for your use.

Also, Peter Pringle has a superb DVD that you can order from his website

There are some threads that you may want to read and post questions... check out the "Aerial Fingering" thread, for example.

Best of luck to you on your Theremin journey!

-- Kevin
Posted: 12/26/2005 6:08:00 PM

Joined: 12/26/2005

i'll check this out...
the theremin is one Kees' - made in tasmania!
Posted: 12/26/2005 6:13:10 PM
Jeff S

From: N.E. Ohio

Joined: 2/14/2005

LOL You sure know how to get ones attention!

I was wondering....was the theremin something you expressed interest in before your boyfriend gave you one? Do you have any idea what type(s) of "music" you would like to learn to play?

Good Luck!
Posted: 12/26/2005 6:23:17 PM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

A Kees! Cool. Your boyfriend really likes you! ;)
Posted: 12/26/2005 6:26:01 PM

Joined: 12/26/2005

i only ever heard a british comedian (Bill Bailey) playing a theremin and had no idea what it was, let alone expressing an interest! Better present than socks though! i have no idea what kind of 'music' is possible on a theremin but would love to play something groovy or something the kids at school will recognise!

Posted: 12/26/2005 7:12:41 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Hi Hels,

I got a Kees a couple of months ago. I'm not musically trained at all but I've been documenting my experiments and explorations over in Gordon's Progress in this forum. It's probably just a lot of incoherent rambling, but it might give you some ideas.

Anyway, congratulations. You've come to the right place to find out pretty much anything you could think of asking. As far as I can see they're a lovely bunch of people here, and the breadth of their collective knowledge is impressive!

Merry Christmas.

Posted: 12/27/2005 2:14:47 PM

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

Welcome, hels.

You will undoubtedly hear that the theremin is the hardest instrument to play but don't let that discourage you.

In some ways, it is the easiest. All you have to do is get near it and it will make sound!

I am sure your musical background will be a lot of help to you as you explore the instrument.

As far as the types opf music that can be played, it ranges from spooky science fiction noise to classical pieces.

Staccato notes are a little hard to get but it is possible.

Most important, have fun with it and let us know how you are doing.
Posted: 12/27/2005 4:31:17 PM
Charlie D

From: England

Joined: 2/28/2005

I'm absolutely certain that the theremin is not the most difficult instrument that exists. I have made (comparatively, and in my opinion) much quicker progress on the theremin than I have on any of the other instruments which I study.

Really it seems that you either have a natural 'knack' for the instrument, or you do not. Several people who have tried out my Etherwave Pro could pick out noticeable melodies almost instantly, whilst others were dreadful even after hours of trying in vain.

I wish you the best of luck my friend, but I expect that your attempts will yield either a swift, suprising and deeply pleasing success - or nothing at all. All I can hope is that you enjoy what will inevitably be a long and difficult journey!
Posted: 12/27/2005 6:54:07 PM
Jeff S

From: N.E. Ohio

Joined: 2/14/2005

True...playing the theremin will come naturally to some and not to others, but I don't believe it is so black and white.

It's taken me nearly a year to accomplish what Charlie and others seem to have done in just a few weeks, but I believe it was time well spent. I have much further to go, but I believe with continued persistance it's just a matter of time.

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