Rusty's Many Musical Talents

Drums/Percussion -- It was the snare drum that Rusty was trained on, and percussion in general is what he is best at, and he's been pretty much playing since birth: drumset, marimba, tympani, it doesn't matter as long as it's percussion. And he's claimed to have played every percussion instrument there is. These days, Rusty mostly plays the drum set. He owns a Ludwig concert snare, a couple of egg shakers, a guiro, a bongo drum, castanets, maracas, and a regular-sized and world's smallest tambourine.

Piano/Keyboard -- Technically this could be considered percussion. But some people don't, so here it is. Rusty took lessons for one year in third grade, but he didn't get very far beyond learning some sort of home position (though he did do a recital of the piece "Rainbow Colors"). Any keyboard-playing Rusty does is by ear (though he can read music well enough, which was why he was always the drummer called to play tympani, bells, etc.). He uses the keyboard more than any instrument these days, and--besides drums--it's his favorite. He owns (along with some Casios) a Yamaha PSR-330, a piano (his wife's late grandmother's), and a pianoboard.

Guitar -- Until the Summer of 1995, Rusty never touched a guitar. When 'nikcuS obtained an electric for their album Plugged, Rusty learned that he could play this decently. When he got his own Squier Fender Stratocaster late 1997, he learned to play real chords instead of just strumming what sounded decent. Naturally, Rusty is best at rhythm guitar. He plays lots of his acoustic these days, pretending he's at campfires.

Banjo -- In 2008, Carrie bought Rusty a banjo, who picked it up decently enough to sound pretty, but he can't play The Beverly Hillbillies Theme yet.

Mandolin -- In 2005, Noby bought Rusty a mandolin.  He can play it well enough to play most of "Losing My Religion."

Ukulele -- Inspired mostly by Stephin Merritt and Joe Versus the Volcano, Rusty bought a ukule in 2000 and taught himself cute little chords.

Harmonica -- Rusty's first harmonica was a little Fisher Price model that didn't get much sound, but his first real harmonica was a M. Hohner "Old Standby" bought on a whim the day 'nikcuS recorded Adlibbing in 1992. He was pleasantly surprised to find he could play it. He now has a handful of harmonicas, including his preferred M. Hohner "Golden Melody."

Accordian -- Got a hold of one in 1997.  Pretty much his least favorite instrument to play thanks to the cumbersomeness of it, though he likes how it sounds.

Toy Instruments -- Everyone can play a kazoo. Rusty has a $1.00 Hohner model. He also has a Trophy flutophone and a Trophy jaw harp which took him forever to learn to play. Oh, and a toy piano or two.

Samples -- If the art of sampling is considered an instrument, then put Rusty down for it.

Various Winds -- Rusty never sat down and played (for a long period of time) something like a trombone, saxophone, or flute, but from screwing around with them for a few seconds when someone brings one around, he might could actually do something if he tried.

Various Strings -- Rusty lusts after violins and cellos every time he sees them. However, as these are expensive pieces of equipment, none of Rusty's friends who plays these ever lets him touch them. So, we don't know if this talent exists.

Vocals -- Some people like how Rusty sings, some don't (he does). He's got a range anyway, from dog-ear-hurting high to bassy low. If he has a gift in the vocal area, it's making himself sound like 48 different people.

Copyright (c) Feb 2005 - Dec 2012 by Rusty Spell and Love and Letters Music