Were there additional musicians in your family? Tell us!

m.clover

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Two of my older brothers; both great pianists, one of whom is now a music professor. Although my parents didn't play any instruments music was always playing in out house. Classical, Big band, 50s rock n roll, doo-wop it never stopped. We had an RCA Victrola. When my father bought a Magnavox Hi Fi for Christmas we just about **** ourselves. I traded in my piano music for drums when I saw that little guy from Liverpool on the black oyster pearl set. Never had more fun than playing music with my friends. What a gift.
 

Rich K.

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Grandfather on my dad's side was a percussionist in vaudeville and taught at a music store in NYC. Dad played drums in the Catskills until going into the army for WW2. First cousin on my dad's side was a NYC club date drummer in the '60s and '70s. Did mostly bar mitzvahs and weddings. Never owned a floor tom.
 

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pwc1141

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My grandmother on my mother's side was a pianist and organist for silent movies and one son (my uncle) was a well known jazz drummer on the local scene in the UK. I am the only one in my immediate family that showed any interest in playing music and as far as I know, no cousins play any instrument. One nephew plays drums and guitar in Australia from what I have heard but I have not seen him since he was a baby.
 

fpatton

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I come from a pretty musical family. My Mom is a piano teacher and former church organist, and my Dad played the saxophone in high school and college. In my childhood, he was always taking up new instruments: classical guitar, oboe, flute, violin. He was also a pretty good recorder player, and we’ve spent a lot of time playing classical recorder ensemble music as a family. My sister plays piano. I’ve been a church choir director and have been learning guitar recently. I’ve never gotten beyond noodling on the piano, but I was a music major my freshman year in college (jazz drums and percussion), so have a bit of classical and jazz theory in me.
 

backtodrum

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I am the only musician in my family on both sides as far as I know. My dad played a little bit of harmonica that he learned in world war II. Other than that there was no one that even played guitar or anything else.
 

RettaW75

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My dad was considered a musical prodigy when he was little. He played the accordion, and the violin in the symphony orchestra when he was 12. He also has perfect pitch. It's quite sick LOL.
My younger brother also has some musical talent and he taught himself the piano and perhaps he also has perfect pitch because he could pretty much play any song by ear.
I don't share those talents but I can play some songs by ear on bass or guitar.
 

Cauldronics

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I have three brothers and two sisters that are musical geniuses. The real deal. Different tastes each. If we weren't sleeping or at school we were playing and practicing together as a single unit. Our common denominator was improv jazz. We'd Q & A each other to death. We called it "Cutting Heads" All became masters at their instruments, except me, of course. Back then 7/8 time was killing me. Today it's like farting a rainbow. Easy as breathing. The trumpet, sax, piano. bass, vocals and drums (me) were covered. All of us born within ten year's time. My bricklayer dad's bestfriend was a local Latin Big Band leader he grew up with. Lalo, like my dad never had a day of formal education. Their school was the street making a living as kids. Lalo was a born musical enigma. God's musical angel. As we got older each one of us would sit next to the band member (Lalo's angels) of our chosen (I was drafted to the drums) instrument during rehearsals and performances. It was Lalo and his angels or the street. He was the grandfather we never had. Superb! There we learned to ride the groove. Processing your performance, reading and leading off your bandmate's emotions on their instruments. Teaching your ears to see they would say. Don't need your eyes to do that. My sisters were the best and fastest at that game. They were the most showcased. They had more solo time than the rest of the band combined. They were still in junior high school! They taught the rest of us till we got it down at home. They pretty much took leadership of this sibling group. This went on past high school for all of us. We were part of a 27 member band. Over time we learned over 200 charts by memory by the age of 12. All my siblings were great sight readers. My sisters were deadly! They got it right the first time. It took me three times at least. Let's say the pianist couldn't make the gig. My sister would take her place. A trumpeter was too hung over, by brother would take that spot even if it was First Trumpet. That's how it went. Most of these cats were old enough to be our grandfathers! And they were. We were truly blessed. All were made guys in the Big Band era who'd made their bones for years playing with Mel Torme, The Brat Pack, Tony Bennett, Jackie Gleason, Lawrence Welk, Benny Goodman, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, Merv Griffin, Glen Miller, the Dorseys, Gary Moore and a host of others. Our educators mentored our musicianship. They were seriously made guys. It was a musical education no school could ever dream of teaching. Theory and performance at the same time. The band had the best gigs. Every Saturday one of the five wealthiest business families would have a formal party. Ever see the film "Sabrina"? The party presented in the movie was ghetto compared to the ones we gigged at. Those folks had their own stages, sound systems, dance floors and could easily seat 500 invited guests in their back yards. We played those gigs every week for two decades. When any of us filled in it was an easy 300 dollars cash for a two-hour set, one hour break and closing with an hour set. If everybody showed, we kids still got a hundred just for being there in case one of those dudes fell over, LOL!. The band, 'Desert Cloud' got to play a handful of times at the Dunes, Las Vegas. We weren't 21 so we didn't get to play. My mom was arrested while we were in Vegas. As kids we were given the wisdom that took a lifetime for those cats to gain. They gifted that to a bunch of snot-brained kids. I thank those old dudes for giving us some of their life. They took us in when our parents weren't up to the job. They knew hard times too. None of our beautiful mentors are alive today. My trumpeter brother (only one to marry) no longer plays, arthritis. We say marriage gave it to him. He was a bricklayer too. My saxophonist brother passed a decade ago. My bassist brother no longer plays because my mother guaranteed him dialysis from her drug and booze addiction while pregnant with him. Both my sisters continue to play the piano and sing, they never married and still live together. I missed out on much when Uncle Sam got hold of me and my job right after. My sisters played on. Their musical venom is still mighty potent. My sisters always won "Cutting Heads". Any one on them would give Liberace a run for his money with one hand! They'd punk out Yanni in a heartbeat! I told them to audition to take his job. They still hold a crowd performing at the VA. Both are volunteers. Both lost their sight over a decade ago. I keep a drum set right next to their pianos at their house for when I visit. Their yacht-sized Custom-made Yamaha pianos share the same serial number in their huge acoustically-treated basement. They sit face to face just like "Cutting Heads". I've been known to spend the whole day watching and listening to them "Cutting Heads". I had to make Lucy my roadie when she got kicked out of the house. Just one of those pianos is about 200 grand! More than my house on an acre! I've retired after 34 years and 57 nations in a government job. The band and my siblings are my greatest musical influences. It is my siblings' musical feats that brought me back to who I was before my forced enrolment to Uncle Sam's School of Dancing with the Enemy. There I had no problem picking up 7/8 time on the trigger. There's absolutely no drug like playing with your siblings. There's no drug like "Cutting Heads" either. Not even combat! Drum till I die!
I can’t tell if you’re more Rick Beato or Bowery Boy, but that was an adventurous read.
 

Dillasdonuts

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My late uncle, Johnny Ford, played banjo from the 50s- early-80s. I had some of his albums transferred and put them up on Bandcamp. Apparently, my maternal grandfather played in a band and that's how he met my grandmother.

I have a distant cousin who plays drums in a band called Real Talk. Prior to that, he was in a group called the Red Summer Sun. I did the design for the Red Summer Sun EP.

My brother plays piano in his church. I don't jam with my brother as our music styles are as wildly different as our beliefs. As far as I know, my brother hasn't really recorded any music.

According to my 5th cousin, Jenepher, we have an ancestor who played the marching snare during wartime.

My drumming skills are not noteworthy at this time.
 

Old Drummer

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Not really in the family I grew up in, but yes in the tiny family of two that I made myself.

My parents were not musical at all. One brother fooled around a little with guitar while another did the same with piano and drums, although neither were gigging musicians. Very late in life this second brother picked up guitar and started getting together with others to jam, so he might almost be a musician now. Both are huge record collectors though.

To my astonishment, my daughter took to cello and really soared on the instrument. I wasn't expecting this and didn't initially encourage it, just figured she'd get some musical exposure in the school orchestra before moving on. Boy was I wrong. She found her voice in the cello and proceeded to knock out a conservatory degree on scholarship topped off by a masters in cello performance. She's genuinely good. She also plays piano wonderfully.

Though as far as I know, she really only plays classical music. I remember her getting at least one gig to record something with a pop/rock band, and she may have picked up a few more gigs like this, but in the main she plays orchestral and chamber music. Also, making a living freelancing as a classical musician in New York isn't easy. It's too competitive. She did better when she lived in Chicago and North Carolina. She therefore eased into arts administration, at least as a day job, although the pandemic has messed that up too. Who knows what she'll do after covid abates.

But there's one real musician in my family. It's my kid.
 

Pat A Flafla

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All sorts of respectable musicians, but I found out 20 years into my music career that I was the *2nd* drummer. There was another dude drumming in parades in the late 1800s... in the very city where I work.
 

Cauldronics

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I was adopted at birth into a family where literally no one played a musical instrument on either side of the family. I ended up being very passionate about drums and music generally and they never understood it.

In the last few years I've found both sides of my biological family. Sure enough, there are loads of singers and musicians on both sides, along with a couple clergy (I'm also a clergy person). DNA is wild.
Funny how most people don’t appear to read one of the more interesting, humanizing threads on DFO in a long while. It seems like they reply with theirs and move on.

The DNA connection in your story is fascinating to me. The whole thread is full of great ones.
 

cruddola

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Everyone in my immediate family. My mother, father and sister were all accomplished pianists and my little brother played pretty good guitar.
My maternal uncle, no blood relation obviously, was a trumpet player, which inspired me to take up cornet in school. Played that thing for 7 or eight years until a few guys in the neighborhood and I decided if we were in a band girls would like us.
I chose drums.
I was drafted to play drums!
 

cruddola

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Ah man, my brother and I both played piano, cello, and tenor sax. Was glad to finish all of those since it was all suzuki method and very structured and only playing classical music. Got super boring doing that.

Neither of our parents played anything, but apparently my grandpa, great grandpa, etc. in iran were carpenters and made all different types of wooden instruments and played all of them.

I asked my dad if there was any way we can play any of them, and apparently in iran back in the day they were cool with multiple wives. Well rightfully so - my great grandma wasn't a fan of that. When she found out my great grandpa had another wife and family, she took all of his Life's work of instruments and other woodworking stuff, put them all on the front lawn, poured gasoline over them, and lit it on fire. Old dude died of a heart attack on the spot when he came home and saw that. Long story short fellas, no more handmade instruments exist. That, and don't start another family behind your wives back.....at least of you got no morals and a heart condition.
Back in my college experience, every Persian classmate was mighty talented. They represented about a quarter of the international students then. Be it technological or the arts, they were tops in attitude to learning and discipline. The Arab students were all about partying then. Persians were 100% business. My Pharmacy-student brother would sit in on music classes the next building over. He played the Sopranino, Soprano and Alto and Tenor saxophones and the piccolo/flute. He always said the music teachers were always perplexed at the extreme high level of Iranian students in the College of Music. Every one could easily teach above any professor in that college. They were all virtually unteachable!
 

blueshadow

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Yeah mostly on my Dad's side. My Grandfather played a little fiddle and guitar when he was younger, but I don't remember that, in later years he had one of those Genie organs that they always had at the malls for sale. He loved it but wasn't all that great. In fact after his heart attack he asked the doctor if he could play his organ when he got home....doctor said yes....my grandmother said "wow, you couldn't play it before your heart attack!" :)

My Dad has always played guitar and sang. His cousin played fiddle and I found out from a bass player friend of mine that he had an audition for George Jones back in the 60's, the bassist played fro Jones and new my second cousin and got him the audition. Jones was in one of his moods and he blew the audition.

My sister played clarinet in high school. Her husband is a drummer and is the main reason I started playing. He was really good to me lending me his Ludwigs and got me started. My mom can play the radio but that's about it :)
 

cruddola

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I was in A School in the service and they had "duty skeds" that we had to fill. I asked around and if you played in the military band, you didn't have to stand duty.
I jumped at it.
I didn't read percussion music. But, I convinced them I had been behind the kit long enough to be able to play the bass drum. Sure enough, after an audition, they trusted my ear and I was able to mesh into the band without any issues. I didn't have sheet music cards like the rest of them. I just had the names of the songs on a single card and played what felt right in the moment. They gave me an award for my contribution. It was actually a lot of fun.
I played a few gigs in the five or six months I was there.
Excellent trade-off. A few gigs on the bass drum and I stood ZERO mids. Awesome!!!
Dude, you're a friggin' God! I got drafted right outta college. I got drafted by my siblings into playing the drums. Uncle Sam made into a Corpsman after boot. Then sent Greenside 8404 to the 2nd Marines/24th MAU. Eventually got pulled outta there because I knew enough corrupt Arabic, Farsi and Dari to get assigned to a medic-less UN peacekeeping unit in Eastern Africa. I was disposable! There I drum-battled it out on a beat-up Premiere drum set against the bad-guys' Djembes when we weren't pressed into pulling triggers on them! I learned to master their rhythm on the M-60.
 

Downbeat

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I was adopted at birth into a family where literally no one played a musical instrument on either side of the family. I ended up being very passionate about drums and music generally and they never understood it.

In the last few years I've found both sides of my biological family. Sure enough, there are loads of singers and musicians on both sides, along with a couple clergy (I'm also a clergy person). DNA is wild.
Similar story, adopted at birth, recently found biological family full of musicians. My adopted family is musician-less.
 


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