Various instruments…

Posted by Jason Steele | Sunday 31 May 2009 4:56 pm

First, an update on the live-action video we filmed Friday. Filming went smoothly, and everything turned out great. I’m not sure if this is going to be a FilmCow.com release or an exclusive video for the upcoming FilmCow DVD, but it turned out SUPER-A-OK-COOL and I think it’s an amusing little short.

Anyway, for today’s blog post I thought I’d show you all my collection of musical instruments. A few years ago I started putting musical sequences into my movies, and that rekindled my love of playing music. Unfortunately I’m actually pretty terrible at playing music so I decided to start collecting a wide variety of instruments to compensate for my complete lack of talent. “Oh look,” people now say, “he has so many instruments, he must be some sort of musical genius.” I reply that yes, I am in fact a musical genius, and I immediately start rockin’ some Marry Had A Little Lamb on the pan flute.

SO. Here are my instruments.

1-harm-harp-kazoo

If you want to make some wacky sounds you NEED a jaw harp and a kazoo. I threw the harmonica into this picture as well because the harmonica is a similar size. It doesn't really deserve to be next to the kazoo and jaw harp. OH! I have an electric kazoo as well, but I forgot to take a picture of it.

This is an ocarina.  Like from Zelda.  I want to get a second ocarina.  Because the fingerings on this one are kind of difficult to remember.  Well, not really, but I'm a complete idiot so... so I want another ocarina.

This is an ocarina. Like from Zelda. I want to get a second ocarina. Because the fingerings on this one are kind of difficult to remember. Well, not really, but I'm a complete idiot so... so I want another ocarina.

On the left is a high quality quena, and on the right is a low-quality flute that was called a quena when I bought it but I don't think it's actually a quena.  It sounds alright though so I keep it around.  For kicks.  For fake-quena kicks.

On the left is a high quality quena, and on the right is a low-quality flute that was called a quena when I bought it but I don't think it's actually a quena. It sounds alright so I keep it around. For kicks. For fake-quena kicks.

This is a pan flute.  I do not think it is a great pan flute, but that is balanced by the fact that I am not a great pan flute player.

This is a pan flute. I do not think it is a great pan flute, but that is balanced by the fact that I am not a great pan flute player.

I am not sure that this is technically a "real" fife.  This is essentially an oddly shaped recorder.  I can actually play it though, so if you ever hear someone walking around outside rockin' some Yankee Doodle on a cheap plastic fife that's probably me.

I am not sure that this is technically a "real" fife. This is essentially an oddly shaped recorder. I can actually play it though, so if you ever hear someone walking around outside rockin' some Yankee Doodle on a cheap plastic fife that's probably me. Or some type of terrible fife demon.

This is an Mbira, or "thumb piano."  For some reason it is tuned to C# Major, which means I can't play it with nearly anything else.

This is an Mbira, or "thumb piano." For some reason it is tuned to C# Major, which means I can't play it with nearly anything else.

These are some cool shakers I got for Christmas last year.  You shake them and they make shaking noises.  Which is about all you can ask of a shaker.

These are some cool shakers I got for Christmas last year. You shake them and they make shaking noises. Which is about all you can ask of a shaker.

This is a washboard, in case I have the urge to play some old-school Dixieland jazz percussion parts.  Which I do.  All the time.  Unfortunately I can't find thimbles big enough for my fingers so playing it is difficult.

This is a washboard, in case I have the urge to play some old-school Dixieland jazz percussion parts. Which I do. All the time. Unfortunately I can't find thimbles big enough for my fingers so playing it is difficult.

This is a Xaphoon, also known as a "pocket sax."  It is the most difficult instrument I have ever tried to play, good god.  It probably doesn't help that it's the only reed instrument I've ever used.

This is a Xaphoon, also known as a "pocket sax." It is the most difficult instrument I have ever tried to play, good god. It probably doesn't help that it's the only reed instrument I've ever used.

I do not remember what this is.  It makes unbelievably annoying sounds when played.  You could make more pleasant sounds hitting various cats with iron mallets.

I do not remember what this is. It makes unbelievably annoying sounds when played. You could make pleasanter sounds hitting various cats with iron mallets.

I gots my own kindergarden percussion section!  WOOOO!

I gots my own kindergarden percussion section! WOOOO!

These are called "talking drums."  The drum pitch changes when you squeeze them.  They are actually really fun to play.  My father plays the talking drum in a Haitian voodoo band.

These are called "talking drums." The drum pitch changes when you squeeze them. They are actually really fun to play. My father plays the talking drum in a Haitian voodoo band.

I've got two tin whistles, because tin whistles are cheap.  I think everyone should have a tin whistle around the house.

I've got two tin whistles, because tin whistles are cheap. I think everyone should have a tin whistle around the house.

I can not describe in words my love for the melodica.  Seriously, go and buy yourself a melodica, you'll see.  It's like a piano... THAT YOU BLOW INTO.  HOLY GOD.

I can not describe in words my love for the melodica. Seriously, go and buy yourself one, you'll see. It's like a piano... THAT YOU BLOW INTO. HOLY GOD.

This is a wood bongo.  I think.  The right half is a different pitch from the left half.

This is a wood bongo. I think. The right half is a different pitch than the left half.

I do not know why I purchased this glockenspiel.  Oh wait yes I do - because it was cheap and is called a "glockenspiel."

I do not know why I purchased this glockenspiel. Oh wait yes I do - because it was cheap and it's called a "glockenspiel."

This is a cheap soprano ukulele.  It sounds pretty decent, but the frets aren't set up perfectly so it never really sounds fully in tune.

This is a cheap soprano ukulele. It sounds decent, but the frets aren't set up perfectly so it's never really fully in tune.

This is a concert ukulele, and is a recent purchase of mine.  This ukulele is amazing, and has actually convinced me to learn how to play it.  Soon I will be a ukulele master, and then I will be loved by all.

This is a concert ukulele, and is a recent purchase of mine. This ukulele is amazing, and has actually convinced me to learn how to play it. Soon I will be a ukulele master, loved by all.

This is a Remo hand drum.  You drum with it.  It makes a big drum-like sound.

This is a Remo hand drum. You drum with it. It makes a big drum-like sound.

This is the electric keyboard I use with my computer, it's an M-Audio Axiom 61.  Most of the songs you hear in my movies was composed using this.

This is the electric keyboard I use with my computer, it's an M-Audio Axiom 61. Most of the songs you hear in my movies were composed using this.

This is an electric bass my dad gave me, it's made by Ibanez.  Physically it is the largest instrument I own, at least until I buy a tuba.  I would love to master the bass and then join a rock band where nobody will ever care about me because I'm the bass player.

This is an electric bass my dad gave me, it's made by Ibanez. Physically it is the largest instrument I own, at least until I buy a tuba. I would love to master the bass and join a rock band, where nobody will ever care about me because I'm the bass player.

This is a cheap acoustic guitar.  I'm thinking about installing a fish tank inside of it.

This is a cheap acoustic guitar. I'm thinking about installing a fish tank inside of it.

Here is my electric guitar, an Agile AL-2000.  I do not know how to play electric guitar, but I figure standing around holding one is good enough.

Here is my electric guitar, an Agile AL-2000. I do not know how to play electric guitar, but I figure standing around holding one is good enough.

This is an EWI4000s.  It's an electronic wind synthesizer.  I'm not sure what to say about this one, other than "it is incredibly strange."  It's one of my favorite instruments to play, even though every noise it makes sounds like it comes from a bad Super-Nintendo game soundtrack.

This is an EWI4000s. It's an electronic wind synthesizer. I'm not sure what to say about this one, other than "it is incredibly strange." It's one of my favorite instruments to play, even though every noise it makes sounds like it's coming from a bad Super-Nintendo game soundtrack.

This is my old cornet, an instrument I started playing back in middle school.  It's one of the few instruments I'm actually decent at.  I do not play this cornet all that much anymore because I got a new one.

This is my old cornet, an instrument I started playing back in middle school. It's one of the few instruments I'm actually decent at. I do not play this particular cornet all that much anymore though, because I got a BRAND NEW ONE.

This is the cornet I got to replace my old one.  It's a Getzen 3850, and it is by far my favorite of the instruments I own.  It's also incredibly pretty.  I would totally make out with this cornet.  And perhaps have.

This is the cornet I got to replace my old one. It's a Getzen 3850, and it is by far my favorite of the instruments I own. It's also incredibly pretty. I would totally make out with this cornet. And perhaps I already have.

Well there you go. Those are my instruments.


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42 Comments

  1. Comment by martymart — May 31, 2009 @ 5:55 pm

    well, mr. jason, thats kinda lunatic. anyway i’d like to have the ibanez: 50 rocks, deal?!?

  2. Comment by Ryan — May 31, 2009 @ 6:37 pm

    i love all your instuments!!! you could be a one man orcastra! i would want to buy the talking drum (more of a drummer than anything else lol)and a slide whistle (they’re pretty cool).

  3. Comment by Samuel Shaver — May 31, 2009 @ 9:05 pm

    Those are some pretty snazzy instruments. I’m learning to play the Ukulele myself!

  4. Comment by Blane — May 31, 2009 @ 10:22 pm

    Dear god

  5. Comment by Moe Lester — May 31, 2009 @ 10:28 pm

    Join my band.
    We’ll rock the yesterday like the day-before was tomorrow.

    ALL NIGHT LONG.

    (keep an eye out for me.)

  6. Comment by Jay Mac — May 31, 2009 @ 11:44 pm

    what happened to your electric violin???

  7. Comment by Jason Steele — June 1, 2009 @ 12:35 am

    I ate it.

    I eat violins.

  8. Comment by Fanatism — June 1, 2009 @ 2:15 am

    The instrument you can’t remember is a Mijwiz.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mijwiz

  9. Comment by Fanatism — June 1, 2009 @ 2:23 am

    also, was the violin stringy?

  10. Comment by Jason Williams — June 1, 2009 @ 4:15 am

    WOW
    Start hiring people or get a bunch of volunteers. Form a huge, really weird band, to play all the instruments above. That would be superawesometacular! Seriously, you could open a museum with all the stuff you have including you instruments lol.
    This is an interesting blog. It seems to be going very well so far.

  11. Comment by Brownie — June 1, 2009 @ 6:57 am

    I have a question about the EWI4000s, because I haven’t actually been able to find an owner of one to ask. How exactly do you produce the sound? Do you just put your lips around it and blow, or is it kind of like a reed instrument?

  12. Comment by Faduki — June 1, 2009 @ 8:18 am

    I want. I really want.

    Pretty cool collection right there Jason. Also looks pretty darn expensive. I would love to have the EWI4000s and the Cornet.

    And the Harmonica. I loooove saying Harmonica.

    Harmoooonica….

  13. Comment by Devils Dog — June 1, 2009 @ 11:15 am

    Where the electric violin? and the xylophone?

    Pretty cool collection, The bass guitar was cool looking

    I also have a cheap ukulele, it only cost me £10

  14. Comment by C Teevens — June 1, 2009 @ 2:17 pm

    What happened to that electric violin you were talking about?

  15. Comment by Asher — June 1, 2009 @ 6:30 pm

    Where is the Irish tin whistle?

  16. Comment by Jason Steele — June 1, 2009 @ 7:55 pm

    Asher – Uh, in the picture with the Irish tin whistles.

  17. Comment by Adept — June 1, 2009 @ 8:20 pm

    So, maybe the Mijwiz sounded so horrible was because you can’t use circular breathing, which is really hard to do. I’ve tried.

  18. Comment by Adam — June 2, 2009 @ 8:35 am

    39 instruments. That’s pretty crazy. Where’s the best place I can find a melodica?

  19. Comment by Christian — June 2, 2009 @ 2:56 pm

    You know, if you just tune whatever other instrument to C# Major, you could play the Mbira with it.

    Also holy christ your acoustic guitar is huge.

  20. Comment by Renegade Division — June 2, 2009 @ 3:48 pm

    Hey that “quena” on the left is not a Quena but a Shakuhachi!
    Original shakuhachis are really costly(and usually run into thousands of dollars), I own one worth $250 myself(from ebay).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakuhachi

  21. Comment by Flippy — June 2, 2009 @ 5:02 pm

    Wow, you must be some kind of musical genius.

  22. Comment by Jason Steele — June 2, 2009 @ 10:40 pm

    Renegade – no, it’s a quena. A shakuhachi has 5 holes including one on the bottom. The quena has 6 holes on top and one on the bottom for a total of 7.

    Also, the shakuhachi is Japanese, whereas the quena is from South America, and it’s from South America that I ordered that quena.

  23. Comment by fall — June 3, 2009 @ 6:31 pm

    sigh… so many instruments… so amazing… that just like you to fill me with burning, smoking envy!!!!!!!! BUT I DON’T WANT TO KILL THE RAIN FOREST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. Comment by Antonio — June 3, 2009 @ 8:24 pm

    Hey man, us bass players need love. Do not deny the bassist his love. :P
    Nice Ibanez, it appears to be a Soundgear. I’m too lazy to find the exact model. Exactly how many of these instruments do you regularly play?

  25. Comment by Jason Steele — June 3, 2009 @ 10:41 pm

    The ones I play on a regular basis would be the cornet, ukulele, keyboard and melodica.

    Although I do play most of them at some point every week or two. Sometimes you’re just in the mood to grab a tin whistle and rock out.

  26. Comment by AishaLove — June 4, 2009 @ 11:01 pm

    Hey seems the hot topic add you did is off their site now. are you ever gonna post it up on your site? or are their legal things?

  27. Comment by SR — June 5, 2009 @ 9:45 pm

    Jason- When is Gods of Olympus going to be released? What type of film is it (anamation, comedy, live-action, historic)? Can’t wait.

  28. Comment by Devils Dog — June 6, 2009 @ 12:44 pm

    it’s an animation, he’s mentioned this in like every post about it

  29. Comment by An Awesome Guy Who Is Not Steve — June 7, 2009 @ 3:59 am

    Is that an Irish Tin Whistle?
    I have one of them too!
    Because I’m Irish!:D

  30. Comment by Devils Dog — June 7, 2009 @ 9:26 am

    i’m irish too, but irish tin whistles suck

    So does the Irish language and irish music (except for Thin Lizzy of course)

  31. Comment by Jason Steele — June 7, 2009 @ 9:56 am

    Devils Dog, Irish Tin Whistles are the lizard god Zargoth’s gift to music.

  32. Comment by Lil-o-K — June 7, 2009 @ 12:49 pm

    dude, the wood bongo is a bass cajon i have one, and some have differnt pitches on each side,

  33. Comment by Pod it's — June 7, 2009 @ 1:08 pm

    It’s good to have lots of instruments on hand because you never know when that need to have several notes of loud guitar in your shakuhachi/moog/bass/cornet piece comes demanding utterance.

    Your Mbira is nice but it’s totally different than mine,
    see: http://pod.ath.cx/kalimba.jpg

    Mine is more of a pentatonic scale and I can’t put the thing down
    once I pick it up. It’s also known as the kalimba. Earth wind
    and fire once had a song where they put it thru a distortion pedal
    and a wah wah, not exactly what the designers had in mind.

  34. Comment by Onegiri — June 8, 2009 @ 12:41 am

    Hey Jason. I remember your talking drum from Eduardo Spatulahands!
    ARRRRRRRGH!!! I have been waiting since easter for gods of olympus!
    Not even your custard was enough to make me happy…
    I am dissapointed…

  35. Comment by Devils Dog — June 8, 2009 @ 12:47 pm

    Tin whistles still suck jason, they sound horrible and they are cheap, crap and boring

    But i prefer it over the Recorder by miles, recorders suck even worse

  36. Comment by Jason Steele — June 8, 2009 @ 2:12 pm

    You have obviously never heard a good Tin Whistle player then, Devils Dog. It can really be a interesting instrument when played correctly. After all, it was a gift from the lizard god Zargoth himself, and it is infused with his lizardy power.

  37. Comment by Captain E — June 8, 2009 @ 4:59 pm

    Wow it’s so weird you post this cause I just came to your website to email you asking about your instruments and current ability to play them… bye bye email conversation with Jason :(

  38. Comment by Fanatism — June 9, 2009 @ 5:39 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRv8gnBMiWM&feature=channel_page <- this is your destiny, Jason. Make it happen.

  39. Comment by McNanner — June 10, 2009 @ 9:50 pm

    WHERE IS YOUR ELECTRIC VIOLIN

  40. Comment by Bailey — June 16, 2009 @ 11:03 am

    WOW! That is a heck of a lot of instruments. Well… I’m 12 and may not know a lot, but I’m pretty sure that was not a glockenspiel. My dad and I made a glockenspiel and it looked more like bars of various sizes henging on a string. You hold the end of the string in one hand and then hit the bars with a rubber mallot. The picture entitled “glockenspiel” is, in fact a set of bells (which I play in my school’s band).

  41. Comment by Antonio — June 17, 2009 @ 10:05 pm

    Actually, can you make a quick recording of the unknown really annoying sounding instrument? I am intrigued. :D

  42. Comment by Scott — June 18, 2009 @ 9:57 pm

    Holy shit! You have a ton of instruments.

    But I disagree with your idea of a bassist. Im a bassist and I fucking play it better than every guitarist I (personally) know. I’m the lead in both of my bands. I can do crazy solos.

    Anyway, I wish you good luck on your violen-eating diet :)

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