How fast can an average theremin player play?

Posted: 11/10/2016 10:23:04 AM

Joined: 11/10/2016

Hello everyone. Before I buy a theremin and start playing, I was wondering how fast an average theremin player could play.

I know thereminists tend to play rather slowly compared to most other instruments just because of how hard it is to find notes. I was looking for an estimate so that I could figure out what songs it would be possible to play after I have some experience.

Let's say you had to play quarter notes of different pitches with no rests. How fast do you think the average theremin player could go before they'd have trouble keeping up?


Posted: 11/11/2016 6:14:12 AM

From: Florida

Joined: 8/27/2016

I'm probably sub-average; I'm 65 years old and come from a woodwind background in middle/high school band (six years), oh god 50 years ago; don't perform, just enjoyed playing (flute != copd ). I started Theremin in August 2016. I now (November 2016) can play simple 7th grade band music and many popular melodies by ear.

Of course I still sound pretty bad :)   It's good to have an understanding wife of many years!

Posted: 11/13/2016 9:20:57 PM

From: Oak Harbor, WA

Joined: 12/26/2013

It's a fun question to me because the first thing I thought of was Gandolf the Grey. "A Wizard arrives precisely when he means to." LOL! 

I play songs in the Pop realm of life. Classical is great and all. But Metallica, Imagine Dragons, Led Zepplin, Fleetwood Mac. Yeah, the Theremin is an instrument which is precise on Ballads and allows a lot of room for improv on 'fast' songs. However, there's a lot of songs which are fun to play no matter the speed.

I began practicing "The Swan" for months and became good at it. Then I jumped to "Nothing Else Matters." Wow, what a difference in 'playing.' Even if I want to do things like Solo-off in the heavy rock part. Ya'know? There's moments to make the instrument a voice and then an added layer of colour to a song. 

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