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Thread started 08/19/19 4:59pm

macaylasdad

Did Prince REALLY play 27 instruments?

I keep hearing that Prince played 27 instruments. He didn't play brass or woodwind instruments...

Can anyone name the 27 he played??

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Reply #1 posted 08/19/19 5:13pm

PennyPurple

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Yes! If not more. And he had no music lessons.

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Reply #2 posted 08/19/19 8:13pm

luv4u

Moderator

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moderator

Lots of threads on this topic. Just use the Google custom search box nod

Edmonton, AB - canada
Mod Goddess of the SNIP & BAN Making Moves - OF4S
Ohh purple joy oh purple bliss oh purple rapture!
REAL MUSIC by REAL MUSICIANS - Prince
"I kind of wish there was a reason for Prince to make the site crash more" ~~ Ben
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Reply #3 posted 08/19/19 9:27pm

PurpleSpirit31
9

In my opinion he didnt!! Yes he played bass, rythym, electric and acoustic guitar, but that is realistically only ONE instrument, albeit different types but only ONE with ONE method of playing yes, he played piano and synths, but yet again, that is only ONE instrument, with only ONE method of playing then he played drums and other percussion instruments which again is only ONE instrument, with ONE method of playing, so, in total its only THREE instruments he played!!

Hell, theres not even 27 instrument groups in a full blown orchestra!!!

The idea that Prince was this multi-talented, multi-faceted multi instrumentalist and heralded as such, if very much overblown out of proportion!!!

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Reply #4 posted 08/19/19 11:42pm

JorisE73

PennyPurple said:

Yes! If not more. And he had no music lessons.


He had plenty of lessons, don't let the WB hype machine fool you.

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Reply #5 posted 08/20/19 8:01am

coldasice

PurpleSpirit319 said:

In my opinion he didnt!! Yes he played bass, rythym, electric and acoustic guitar, but that is realistically only ONE instrument, albeit different types but only ONE with ONE method of playing yes, he played piano and synths, but yet again, that is only ONE instrument, with only ONE method of playing then he played drums and other percussion instruments which again is only ONE instrument, with ONE method of playing, so, in total its only THREE instruments he played!!



Hell, theres not even 27 instrument groups in a full blown orchestra!!!



The idea that Prince was this multi-talented, multi-faceted multi instrumentalist and heralded as such, if very much overblown out of proportion!!!


Bass and Guitar are Not One Instrument.
When they start listing Clavinet and different Keys...thats pretty ridiculous and I agree.
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Reply #6 posted 08/20/19 8:11am

Ugot2shakesumt
hin

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hmm.

Perhaps more like 23

23 instruments in one night stand.

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Reply #7 posted 08/20/19 8:30am

WhisperingDand
elions

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But the For You liner notes already named them.

R-6023931-1446633353-8850.jpeg.jpg

Discogs.com / https://www.discogs.com/P...ster/22011

[Edited 8/20/19 8:31am]

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Reply #8 posted 08/20/19 8:32am

WhisperingDand
elions

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Personally I think his abilities on guitar are a tad overrated, I'm more about them Prince water drums. And I dare you to find me any musican funkier on them woodblocks. His tree bell was better than Hendrix!

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Reply #9 posted 08/20/19 8:36am

Genesia

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WhisperingDandelions said:

Personally I think his abilities on guitar are a tad overrated, I'm more about them Prince water drums. And I dare you to find me any musican funkier on them woodblocks. His tree bell was better than Hendrix!


lol

We don’t mourn artists because we knew them. We mourn them because they helped us know ourselves.
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Reply #10 posted 08/20/19 8:58am

leadline

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Prince could play ANY instrument, but he once said it is a matter of if he could play them well. For example, he could play sax, trumpet, etc, but just never focused on those instruments to get to the point of genius, which he surely could have done. So he let Eric Leeds and others do horns for him, most of the arrangements which he wrote.

Someone as gifted as Prince could literally figure out any instrument, so the 24, 27, whatever amount was always just a marketing gimmick.

Now mastered? I would say 4. Guitar, Paino, Bass, Drums




[Edited 8/20/19 9:01am]

"You always get the dream that you deserve, from what you value the most" -Prince 2013
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Reply #11 posted 08/20/19 10:34am

HuMpThAnG

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Image result for prince dick clark

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Reply #12 posted 08/20/19 10:46am

POOK

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PRINCE PLAY TWENTY SEVEN DIFFERENT GUITAR BASS DRUM KEYBOARD

AND GIRL

P o o |/,
P o o |\
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Reply #13 posted 08/20/19 1:05pm

RodeoSchro

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WhisperingDandelions said:

Personally I think his abilities on guitar are a tad overrated, I'm more about them Prince water drums. And I dare you to find me any musican funkier on them woodblocks. His tree bell was better than Hendrix!



Penicls! Don't forget he played the pencils on "New Position"!

On a serious note, the day Prince died I got lots of sympathy calls and notes from friends. The best one was from a famous rockabilly guitarist. He said the thing that blew him away about Prince was that Prince was the only guy in the world who could make pencils sound funky.

Second Funkiest White Man in America

P&R's Palladin
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Reply #14 posted 08/20/19 1:25pm

BalladofPeterP
arker

As all real Prince fans know he was a master on the spoons! Unless you have heard his original version of the Beautiful Ones featuring his 20 minute spoon solo you simply can't comprehend his genius. I'll go ahead and say: It was easily his best instrument (with cowbell a close second).

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Reply #15 posted 08/20/19 2:58pm

42Kristen

prince

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Reply #16 posted 08/20/19 3:03pm

Missmusicluver
72

luv4u said:

Lots of threads on this topic. Just use the Google custom search box nod

Yes, it seems to get asked often. I know he played alot and played them well. biggrin

Love is God, God is love, girls and boys love God above~
The only Love there is, is the Love We Make~
Prince4Ever
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Reply #17 posted 08/20/19 5:16pm

onlyforaminute

Oh just make this a permanent sticky. I think this is the winner of the question most commonly asked.
Year of Return 2019
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Reply #18 posted 08/20/19 6:48pm

WhisperingDand
elions

avatar

leadline said:


Someone as gifted as Prince could literally figure out any instrument, so the 24, 27, whatever amount was always just a marketing gimmick.

giphy.webp

[Edited 8/20/19 18:48pm]

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Reply #19 posted 08/23/19 10:04pm

GaryMF

avatar

Not all keyboard instruments are the same....... though listing every synth as a different instrument like they did is a bit much.

.

.

But playing organ is a bit differenrt, as is REALLY playing synth....from playing piano.

.

.

I am clasically trained on piano...... I can "fake" organ on a keyboard, but I really dont know how to actually play a B3 and set the stops, play the foot pedals etc. I can play something on it but I don[t "really" know the full gamut of organ techniques.

.

.

I play a rhodes electric piano which requires different technique but its more akin to acoustic guitar vs electric guitar.].

.

Anyone who plays piano CAN play a synth, but Prince relaly took Synths to a whole new level.

.

.

Playing drums is not the same as playing congas/bongos etc..

.

.

I think a realistic list is:

  • Guitar (electric, acoustic). Note: Rhythm vs lead guitar are not instruments, they are styles.
  • Bass (electric). Yes a guitarist can play a pass but Prince mastered it including slapping and popping which most guitar players can;t do
  • Piano/Electric piano/Organ (despite what I wrote above, I don[t think Prince really knew organ like an organist; he just applied his piano skills to it)
  • Synth/other keyboards: he created a whole new sounds based on the synths, and it ws more about how he played and recorded them vs how he programmed them, cuz I think he used a lot of presets
  • Drums
  • Various percussion: congo/bongo/timbale/cowbell, thugh I dont think he was anywhere near a professional percussionist like Sheila
  • Sax?? - Jill Jones has said he played some sax originally on For Love or G Spot I forget which, but he wasnt that great at it. So not sure if that counts.

I never heard of him playing a trumpet or any other wind instrument.

Or classical strings like violin.

Sheila on the other hand, clearly is a virtuoso on all Latin Percussion (conga, bonso, timbales, djembe, etc.)

Drum kit

She now plays guitar in concert (basic chords)

I've seen her play bass (not sure how intricate)

I even saw her play some keyboards in the background but I dont think she would consider herself a keyboard player.

She is clasically trained in violin but when I met her years ago she said she would need to practice to be able to play it again now.

I once saw her take a trumpet in concert and play a little bit of it too btw!

rainbow
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Reply #20 posted 08/24/19 2:28am

paulaiden

No

It was a marketing thing.

He played 4 instruments

Drums
Bass
Guitar
Keys


No one lists different types of synths, organs as different instruments.

The end
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Reply #21 posted 08/24/19 6:04am

OnlyNDaUsa

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In thoes early days they fibes a bit, With his age (he was 19 when "For You" came out they said he was 17. He later fibed about it on American Bandstand. They fibed about his ethnic background, even he said his parents were mixed (In one of the 2 "Dirty Mind" era inerviews in the UK/Europe.)

They also listed multiple types of keybords and drums and guitars as part of the 27...

for example a polymoog is a type of synth... one of many


No one is coming for your abortion: they just want common-sense abortion regulations: background checks, waiting periods, lifetime limits, take a class, and a small tax.
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Reply #22 posted 08/24/19 3:52pm

jdcxc

GaryMF said:

Not all keyboard instruments are the same..... though listing every synth as a different instrument like they did is a bit much.


.


.


But playing organ is a bit differenrt, as is REALLY playing synth....from playing piano.


.


.


I am clasically trained on piano..... I can "fake" organ on a keyboard, but I really dont know how to actually play a B3 and set the stops, play the foot pedals etc. I can play something on it but I don[t "really" know the full gamut of organ techniques.


.


.


I play a rhodes electric piano which requires different technique but its more akin to acoustic guitar vs electric guitar.].


.


Anyone who plays piano CAN play a synth, but Prince relaly took Synths to a whole new level.


.


.


Playing drums is not the same as playing congas/bongos etc..


.


.


I think a realistic list is:



  • Guitar (electric, acoustic). Note: Rhythm vs lead guitar are not instruments, they are styles.

  • Bass (electric). Yes a guitarist can play a pass but Prince mastered it including slapping and popping which most guitar players can;t do

  • Piano/Electric piano/Organ (despite what I wrote above, I don[t think Prince really knew organ like an organist; he just applied his piano skills to it)

  • Synth/other keyboards: he created a whole new sounds based on the synths, and it ws more about how he played and recorded them vs how he programmed them, cuz I think he used a lot of presets

  • Drums

  • Various percussion: congo/bongo/timbale/cowbell, thugh I dont think he was anywhere near a professional percussionist like Sheila

  • Sax?? - Jill Jones has said he played some sax originally on For Love or G Spot I forget which, but he wasnt that great at it. So not sure if that counts.


I never heard of him playing a trumpet or any other wind instrument.



Or classical strings like violin.




Sheila on the other hand, clearly is a virtuoso on all Latin Percussion (conga, bonso, timbales, djembe, etc.)



Drum kit



She now plays guitar in concert (basic chords)



I've seen her play bass (not sure how intricate)



I even saw her play some keyboards in the background but I dont think she would consider herself a keyboard player.



She is clasically trained in violin but when I met her years ago she said she would need to practice to be able to play it again now.



I once saw her take a trumpet in concert and play a little bit of it too btw!



I recall reading that the Sax was his first instrument...the only instrument he received formal lessons for. Any info?
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Reply #23 posted 08/24/19 4:13pm

GaryMF

avatar

jdcxc said:


I recall reading that the Sax was his first instrument...the only instrument he received formal lessons for. Any info?

I never read that it was his first. I always read his first instrument was the piano his father left in the house, and that his first song was picking out the Batman theme song from the 1966 show by ear.

.

.

Then guitar....

.

.

Never heard WHERE he learned sax, just the Jill Jones story about him playing it (not that well) and maybe Eric saying something about his trying but not having mastered the embouchure or something.

rainbow
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Reply #24 posted 08/24/19 10:15pm

WhisperingDand
elions

avatar

GaryMF said:

jdcxc said:


I recall reading that the Sax was his first instrument...the only instrument he received formal lessons for. Any info?

I never read that it was his first. I always read his first instrument was the piano his father left in the house, and that his first song was picking out the Batman theme song from the 1966 show by ear.

.

.

Then guitar....

.

.

Never heard WHERE he learned sax, just the Jill Jones story about him playing it (not that well) and maybe Eric saying something about his trying but not having mastered the embouchure or something.

https://prince.org/msg/7/454403

First interview, Central High, February 1976:

He plays several instruments, such as guitar, bass, all key-boards, and drums. He also sings sometimes, which he picked up recently. He played saxophone in seventh grade but gave it up. He regrets he did. He quit playing sax when school ended one summer. He never had time to practice sax anymore when he went back to school. He does not play in the school band. Why? “I really don’t have time to make the concerts.”

[Edited 8/24/19 22:15pm]

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Reply #25 posted 08/25/19 4:20am

PurpleBlackmon

He played about 9. most of the stuff listed in For You were different types of Synths and I don't consider wind chimes an instrument.

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Reply #26 posted 08/25/19 7:20am

Free2BMe

PurpleSpirit319 said:

In my opinion he didnt!! Yes he played bass, rythym, electric and acoustic guitar, but that is realistically only ONE instrument, albeit different types but only ONE with ONE method of playing yes, he played piano and synths, but yet again, that is only ONE instrument, with only ONE method of playing then he played drums and other percussion instruments which again is only ONE instrument, with ONE method of playing, so, in total its only THREE instruments he played!!



Hell, theres not even 27 instrument groups in a full blown orchestra!!!



The idea that Prince was this multi-talented, multi-faceted multi instrumentalist and heralded as such, if very much overblown out of proportion!!!



According to an interview done by his first manager, the “27 instruments” claim was not true. He said that was a promotional tool they used to promote Prince.
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Reply #27 posted 08/25/19 7:31am

PennyPurple

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Don't forget the Cymbals.

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Reply #28 posted 08/25/19 8:39am

Strive

prince : King Of The Scissors

no yesterday or tomorrow, no better remedy for sorrow
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Reply #29 posted 08/26/19 3:06am

NouveauDance

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It was just marketing. chill pill

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