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Beyond the Brass

by mheetu


How about you set your little musician up with an instrument that's cooler than usual? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Types of Instruments

String: Like the name says, the string section consists of instruments with strings, like guitars, violins, and ukuleles. It is debatable whether or not the piano is a string instrument, because it is played with mallets that hit strings, but you press the keys to make the music. Those who don't agree with the piano being a string instrument usually say it is a percussion instrument. Also, string instruments are not the best idea for hoofed neopets.

Brass: Brass instruments are instruments like trumpets, tubas, saxophones, and trombones. They are usually made of metal like brass. They are also referred to as the horn section. Brass instruments are played by blowing into them in some form.

Woodwinds: Woodwinds are clarinets, recorders, oboes, and the like. Even bagpipes are woodwinds! They are played by blowing into them, like brass instruments. To make different notes, you can blow harder or softer, and press keys (buttons) on the instrument. Again, unless you are very skilled, not the best idea for hoofed pets.

Percussion: I call this section "the section that people throw instruments into that aren't strings, brass, or woodwinds." Percussion includes pianos (debatably), glockenspiels, drums, cymbals, bells, xylophones, and maracas. Actually, pretty much every instrument you can think of that isn't String, Brass or Woodwind.

Now, we'll move onto the music makers themselves!

Zither: The Zither is a string instrument, perfect for a string group. It has 7 strings. Each string is a different note; the longer the string, the lower the note. Some zithers have a guitar-like set of five more strings (A, D, G, G, C) to play a melody on with your thumb. I have never actually tried one, but they seem to have a good reputation. A zither can be yours for a market price of around 1,500 NP. A pretty good price for such a cool instrument!

Holiday Horn: For the brass section is the Holiday Horn. To play, blow hard and press the valves for different notes. If you have trouble, you can just watch the Jazzmosis Grarrl blow his heart out. The Holiday Horn is just like other horns, but you get much more pretty sounds from it and it is decorated in pretty holiday colors. It's a difficult instrument to learn, but once you do the sounds you can make are awesome! It can be yours for a price of about 7,000 NP!

Piccolo: The Piccolo is a high-pitched woodwind; you may have heard of it. It is pretty small, which is great when you don't want to haul around an upright bass to concerts! To play, blow into the hole at an angle. Like the flute, it sticks out to the side when you're playing it. Press the keys to make different notes. But if you like, you can press the keys just for fun. The piccolo's base is made of wood, with metal keys and a metal blowhole. Be careful not to blow too hard, or you will get an unpleasant screeching sound out of it. Lucky for you, it comes with a small price tag of 2,400 NP.

Castanets: The Castanets, although not well known, are a very easy instrument to play. Castanets are a percussion instrument. They are simply a pair of concave (bowl-shaped) shells tied together with a string. They can be wooden, metal, or almost anything else. Usually, the musician plays two pairs, one in each hand/paw. Each pair of castanets makes a slightly different pitch, so you never know what sound you'll get! They are incredibly cheap, at a market price of only 250 NP! Selket Castanets are the same price, but they feature beautiful Selket patterns. Sadly, in order to play these you need opposable thumbs.

Steel Pan: This is my personal favorite instrument ever! The Steel Pan (also known as the Steel Drum) is a very festive-sounding, island-ish instrument. Being a drum, it is a percussion instrument. They are made of steel, who would've guessed? To play it, hit the little bubbles (which are different notes) with mallets. The Steel Pans available are the original (which happens to be a Tenor Pan, the highest pitched Steel Pan) and the very cool Seasonal Steel Drums (a set of 3 Cello Pans), in festive colors. This is a very cool instrument, which I happen to play. The traditional Steel Pan can be yours for the super-low price of about 300 NP, but getting the Seasonal Steel Drums will cost you around 15,000 NP.

Hopefully that gave you some cool ideas! But there are also some instruments that are sort of normal, plus a little twist. Those are the theme instruments. Here are just a few:

Fire Guitar: The fire guitar is just that: a guitar on fire. I must admit that this is not the best idea for snow or ice-colored pets. Just a warning. In fact, unless you have a high tolerance for heat, it's not a very safe instrument at all. But it is a cool (erm, hot) string instrument! Some Other Fire Instruments: Fire Drum, Fire Bass, Fire Violin, Fire Saxophone, Fire Trumpet, Fire Tambourine, Fire Triangle, Fire Accordion, Fire Xylophone.

Snow Clarinet: The snow clarinet is not the best idea for fire pets. It is debatable if the snow instruments make any noise other than you blowing into them. This woodwind is a simple hard-packed snow shape with coal for the keys. Some Other Snow Instruments: Snow Saxophone, Snow Drum, Snow Trumpet.

Faerie Saxophone: This brass instrument makes a heavenly sound. It is lighter and easier to play than normal instruments, like all faerie music-makers. The wings could be a spot of bother, though; just don't let go, or it will fly away. Some Other Faerie Instruments: Air Faerie Guitar, Earth Faerie Recorder, Faerie Accordion, Light Faerie Harp.

Candy Cane Harp: A Candy Cane Harp is part of Holiday-Themed Instruments. It is rumored that the strings are made of licorice! Try not to eat it. It sounds as sweet as it tastes... not that I'd know what it tastes like... please ignore the huge bite mark out of it. Some Other Holiday Instruments: Christmas Tree Guitar, Heart Drums, Holiday Horn, Valentine Guitar, Valentine Kazoo, Valentine Piano.

I think that's plenty of instruments to get you started on! I guess there's just one thing left to say: Happy music-making!

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