Roll Call - 2012

Posted: 3/6/2012 2:45:13 PM

Joined: 3/6/2012

Hello Everyone, Im brand new to the board and just wanted to say Hi. I have had a cheap theremin for years (the kind with a single knob and one antenna. Used to play in  experimental band call "Lunch With Beardo" that I did a bunch of odd mostly electronic sounds. Now I just finally bought a Eaterwave and Im loving it. I always thought I had a Theremin but after getting my Moog it is like night and day. I now know I used to have a toy and now I have a instument. Now next step is getting some effect pedels to play with for it. I sing in a Hardcore / Thrash band and we are planning on starting to use the Theremin in breakdown parts (first hardcore band to use a Theremin?). Anyways just wanted to say hi. And I am open to suggestions on pedals that might work well with the eatherwave.  

Posted: 3/6/2012 3:51:05 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Welcome to Theremin World, Eric the Ill.

I think you might find this thread interesting...

Posted: 3/6/2012 4:33:26 PM

From: Florianópolis, Brazil

Joined: 2/1/2012

Hi... I'm Guilherme, brazilian, dentist and newbie on theremin... What brought me here? I really like handcrafting (eletronics/ woodcraft / ...) and I was looking for new theremin schematics to start building it... I discovered theremin trough Pixies (I guess), they have this song "Velouria"... Very cool!  I Hope to exchange information on building and modifying theremins!!

Posted: 3/15/2012 10:06:56 PM

From: Germany

Joined: 3/15/2012

Hi there,

 I've been familiar with the sound of the theremin; but only a couple of months ago, I  watched the Tim Burton film about Ed Wood and finally saw the instrument in the documentary, was totally faszinated for the rest of the day and then forgot about it again … until it started to haunt my subconcious. 

Weeks later, I caught myself at moving my hands in a strange way while singing along a musical recording. At the time, I did not realize, that I was mimicking a thereminist and went along with it for a while. 

Then about a month ago, my brother was talking to me about spooky sounds and I finally remembered the theremin (even if I had forgotten about its name).

So, during the last three weeks, I did little more than watching hours of videos of thereminists playing and the tutorials by Thomas Grillo and Kip Rosser, taking care of my sick and now deceased cat and reading through this and a few other sites dedicated to the theremin.


Even though I have no musical education at all, it already became a certainty that I will get a theremin as soon as I can afford one – it's not, that I never wanted to play an instrument, but none of those whose “voice” appealed to me could make me feel comfortable wth the way they are played. With the theremin it is the other way round: I fell in love with the way it is played and later discovered that one could do more than produce scary sounds.

 I don't have any illusions on ever playing professionally or in front of an audience, just for the fun and a means to be creative and relax – just like singing when noone else could possibly be listening. But I still want to learn techniques and to play as accurately as I am able to.


I've been trying to figure out which theremin to buy and digested all I could find on the matter.

For a while, I stood between the B3 pro and the Etherwave plus. But after listening to a lot of different players on both instruments, observing their play and reading a lot about both instruments characteristics; I think, I'll go for the Etherwave plus. (Now, I'm wondering if I should get it directly whith Thierry Frenkel's upgrade – there are also some financial advantages in that option on the long run.)


After watching Kip Rosser's tutorials, I'm already doing some “dry runs” whenever possible (ping-pong ball, rythm knocking under the table, basic pitch-hand forms and vibrato applied to those forms) to get used to some general movements.

I also try to separate pitch and volume in songs and move either the volume or the pitch hand accordingly (which is really hard when you never really conciously listened to music). My husband warned me, that, like that, I might get used to movements that turn out to be totally wrong, once I get to a real theremin – what do the experts here think?

If “dry runs” are OK as a preparation, what else can I work on (except a good stand and a steady arm)?


<.<" This turned out to be longer than I intendet … so, let me round it up: Hello everyone! ^.^ 

 – I forgot … I was going to play with headphones and laptop-recording only. Or do you think that playing “aloud” is different enough to be crucial for the lerning process?

Posted: 3/16/2012 5:19:38 PM

From: Nashville, TN, USA

Joined: 12/22/2011

Hi Valryne....Welcome to Theremin World!

I have never had the opportunity to play the Burns B3 pro, so I can't say much about it...It has a pretty nice tone from the one demo video I've seen with Thomas Grillo.  I have an Etherwave Plus that I modified by adding the ESPE01, and I would totally recommend that if you buy an EW plus, that you buy it already modified with the ESPE01, since you live in Europe and have the advantage of getting an instrument modified and pre-tweaked by the people who created the module in the first place...I live here in the barren wastelands of the southern US, so I didn't have that option. I really love the tonal improvement and extended range of the instrument since having had it modified.

In regard to whether to buy a practice amp, I would recommend that you do..(and  TW member Coalport, who happens to be one of the best players in the world has also recommended this...but he's not a shy person, and will let you know what he thinks himself, if you ask him..)

My argument is that if you get a good instrument, with a decent practice amp, you are more likely to stick with it and improve as a player....and, in the event that you decide to give it up, you will be more likely to be able to sell your rig to someone else...

Good luck!  I hope you stick with it...

Posted: 3/17/2012 11:36:51 AM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

Valryne, sorry to hear about kitty! 

Watching tutorials from two or more different thereminists can be confusing if they play with different techniques. Kip Rosser and Thomas Grillo do not play the same way, and for a beginner it is very important to have a consistent and specific method of approach. The biggest mistake theremin newbies make is to believe that they can take in everything everybody does and sort it all out for themselves as they progress. No one would do this with a traditional instrument but they do it with the theremin all the time. It is part of the reason why theremin playing in general is so ridiculously bad.

Make sure you really enjoy the music of the thereminist whose method you decide to follow because, like it or not, that's what you will end up sounding like.

Unless you have a headphone setup for your theremin that can give you studio quality stereo sound and offer you the possibility of adding a reference tone (to keep you on pitch) and/or some kind of accompaniment to play along with, then you are better off getting yourself a small speaker/amp.

Welcome to the wonderful world of the theremin and good luck with your theremin projects.

Posted: 3/17/2012 2:36:34 PM

From: In between the Pitch and Volume hand ~ New England

Joined: 12/17/2010

I totally agree with Coalport. I follow the knuckle extension method. Sometimes I do finger extension, due a very stubborn carpal tunnel problem, i need to vary my position a little bit to make it fit to my own physiology. I got several lessons from Thomas Grillo and I have Coalport's (and thomas) DVD on how to play the theremin. I am not trying to knock anyone's playing, but make sure you stick to one that will work in the long run. Just looking on YT, you'll see (as Coalport pointed out), there are ridiculous videos on people performing the theremin, and it's a sad reality because since there are no really "formal" way to learn the theremin, people make up their own way ( like fist/close hand playing ) and will most likely never advance or will stop playing after a couple of months...

I've been playing for almost a year now and I think I am doing well for the little amount of time I've been playing, thanks to great teachers! :)

Posted: 3/17/2012 8:57:29 PM

From: Germany

Joined: 3/15/2012

@ mollydad, coalport & Amethyste : Tank you for the tips.


Until I can afford a theremin, I wanted to have a close look at tho methods used by my favorite thereminists and copy their movements in the videos, so that I might find out which method feels natural to me and with which I have the most acurrate control over my hand's and fingers' position. Thus I hope to be able to start to systematically practise with the most comfortable method right away. 

 I did not yet have time to dig into te technical aspects of theremin–amp–etc. , but I will use the next months to get a bit more educated on that field. (I definately don't have the money to play around with different equipment and I don't want to have to upgrade after a few weeks either.)


As for the headphones – that's what I'll be using most of the time, because I know myself. I suppose it will be just like singing … if there is the chance, that someone might hear me, I get tense, can't concentrate any more, miss every note (even if I know the song by heart) and get frustrated. I'd like to avoid that frustration at the beginning, because I'd really like to learn to play the theremin and know that it will take time until I feel safe enough to let someone hear me playing. (When I had to learn the flute at primary school, all of a sudden, my fingers started missing the holes and doing anything but playing the note I wanted – left alone, I never had those problems – thus, I was labeled tone-deaf, lazy and totally untalented and unsuited for music … )

But I'll be sure to get an amp and speaker as well and practise aloud whenever possible.  

Posted: 3/17/2012 9:51:52 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Hi Valryne.

Re: headphones, may I direct your attention to this thread.


Posted: 3/18/2012 1:41:46 AM

From: Flying with the Phoenix

Joined: 3/9/2011

Welcome Valryne:

You have just started one of the most excellent adventures of your life. If you are like the majority of”newbie’s", you might end up with what ever amp and speaker you can scrounge up. I think in a lot of cases the availability of cash could be a big factor. I have borrowed/used several amps and found out (with very little cost) for me, was a small microphone tube pre amp run to a small home stereo amplifier then to a speaker. For my Burns B3 pro the pre amp "warmed" up the voice a lot. I have only been playing for about a year, but IMO a higher dollar set up did not improve my method or ability to play better. Don't get me wrong, if you intend on going pro and have the money, locate a good teacher and go by his/her recommendations on equipment. But if you are going to play mainly for your personal enjoyment, investing a lot of money on equipment may turn out to be a waste. Just get started with a good head set and lose yourself in the "Ether"----once truly lost, you will never return, no mater how "good" or "bad" others may judge you. If you can't satisfy yourself you will never achieve any goal you have for the Theremin. You will soon discover that the Theremin is not "just" an instrument, but much much more.

Have a Blessed day --- Dana


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