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Rockin' the Omnichord

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:49 pm
by mohumbhai mania
Put all your Omnichord-related finds here.

Re: Rockin' the Omnichord

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:01 pm
by Hot Jam
This isn't really a find but I will share that I've played (rocked) the Omnichord since 6th grade. Way back in those days, playing the Omnichord and swappin' tall tales by the fireplace was the only way to spend a long, cold winter's eve. :lol:

I currently have an 84 model but I'm in the market for a brown 27 (kind of more difficult to find one that's affordable and in good, clean shape). Not looking to acquire more than two though. I'm not talented enough to take advantage of the synth/midi features the other models have.

To me, there has never been a more soothing sound than that of the Ominchord - not joking. I can actually feel my heart rate decrease when I play it/hear it (although if I were to ever actually, in person, experience a certain Omnichord-playing gentleman rockin' one up close - or even kind of far away - the opposite would definitely be the case :D ).

That ad for the instrument (the one with the naughty word that mockingbird posted) is particularly funny because I also play the zither and autoharp, which is a type of zither and the old-timey, stringed version of the Onmichord (check out the Carter family music for a fine example of the autoharp) - my husband is my only fan (certainly not our cats). Anyway, we wanted to form a band/groupie following and design T-shirts that had a flying autoharp on them, that said: 'Are you ready for Zith?!' We laughed and laughed...and laughed some more. Oh goodness, it doesn't take much sometimes...

When I first realized that Jemaine was actually playing the Ominchord live in the footage from their concerts, my jaw just about dropped down to the floor. That paired with Bret and his DG 20...I mean, I didn't think I could like these guys any more -- they are simply amazing! In my fantasy world, where I would get to meet Jemaine, I really would have a few things I'd like to ask him about the Omnichord, since he would, with his huge collection and vast experience with them, likely have some good guidance/feedback - they can be quirky little things. Ah well, a person can dream, right?... :roll: 8)

Re: Rockin' the Omnichord

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:06 pm
by LauraK
That's great HotJam! "Are you ready for Zith?" :supz: :lol:

I hope you get to meet Jemaine in the not-too-distant-future and ask him plenty of omnichord questions. Be sure to have pics of yours for him to see. :)

In fact...I think you need to post some in this very thread! Maybe a video, too? :eyelashes:

Re: Rockin' the Omnichord

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:23 pm
by bakergirl30
Very cool that you play the omnichord Hot Jam!

I love the t-short idea "Are you ready for Zith?" That's awesome!
Im with Laura .. in that a video would be really cool! :D

I wish I was talented enough to play an instrument.. how does one actually start playing the omnichord?

Re: Rockin' the Omnichord

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:07 pm
by Hot Jam
Hee-hee, thanks for the encouragement and interest LauraK and bakergirl! Well, a video could happen - I could probably post a pic first. I kind of opened myself up to this for sure but in truth, I am very shy/self-concious about certain things (the type of shyness that performing does not overcome). I'd have to pretend that I wasn't being filmed. Here are my friend and myself not on Omnichords but on our guitars a while back, me right after learning this song...If I'd have known his wife was filming, watching this would not be an option. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MuADHbex9s&NR=1

Although now, I don't mind and it's kind of funny (I've gotten better with practice, thank goodness :shock: ). So, anyway, I'll have to think about a good, short song to post. It won't be anything near exciting like watching/hearing one Mr. Jemaine Clement play, this I can promise! :lol:

Lots of time, bakergirl, especially with an instrument like the O-chord, you kind of pick it up and freestyle it. Although there are plenty of holiday and religious-themed songbooks out there. It really is a lovely thing though and is easy to play and actually sound like you're doing something.

There's one song that I made up/play that really is just a lot of repetition but it builds up slowly, adding more and then back to the minimal. Also, I definitely don't and can't sing. So, sitting there just *playing* sometimes feels awkward - not to mention, lame. :| It is super fun to play along with Carol Brown though! :clap:

Re: Rockin' the Omnichord

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:28 am
by LauraK
That vid of you and your friend was pretty awesome, actually! :supz:

I totally get what you mean....when I practice the uke for me alone, I play pretty well. (The little bits that I know so far, that is.) But, as soon as someone else is watching/listening or the camera's rolling: self-consciousness and mistakes roll in.... :worry:

Re: Rockin' the Omnichord

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:38 am
by biscuit
That video of you and your friend was cool! :)

I'd like to hear you rocking the omnichord too, but after seeing you handling that axe I would seriously urge you to get a uke and perhaps join an imaginary orchestra..:worry: :whistle: ...I'm just saying....


Yeah, I'll go now....

Re: Rockin' the Omnichord

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:23 am
by SuzyBatt
Thank you so much for sharing that video Hot Jam! You really must post a video of you playing your Omnichord though. How cool would that be! I'd love to learn how to play. So, how much do you figure a used Omnichord would cost, anyway?

And biscuit, Hot Jam needn't play the uke - we already know ukes and Omnis can make such beautiful music together. :)

Ok, so since this is still in the Jemaine thread, I did come across a few...
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Photos courtesy of our very own Cuse.

Re: Rockin' the Omnichord

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:57 am
by mockingbird
Hot Jam wrote:That ad for the instrument (the one with the naughty word that mockingbird posted) is particularly funny because I also play the zither and autoharp, which is a type of zither and the old-timey, stringed version of the Onmichord (check out the Carter family music for a fine example of the autoharp) - my husband is my only fan (certainly not our cats). Anyway, we wanted to form a band/groupie following and design T-shirts that had a flying autoharp on them, that said: 'Are you ready for Zith?!' We laughed and laughed...and laughed some more. Oh goodness, it doesn't take much sometimes...


Hot Jam, that is fifty kinds of awesome. :lol: "Are you ready for Zith?!" :rolls: Oh my... *wipes tear from eye*

Also, that's funny you should mention that about the autoharp being an old-timey Omnichord because I came across this picture on an Omnichord website last night and I was like, "Huh? That's not an Omnichord, I swear that looks like an autoharp," not realizing the two instruments are related. Duh.

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That *is* an autoharp, is it not? :hrm: Anyway, check out the fingernails on Dolly, there! :shock: She's not playing anything with claws like that, lol.

Re: Rockin' the Omnichord

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:00 am
by bakergirl30
Hot Jam that was so COOL! :supz:
Now I really would like to see you rock out on the Omnichord. But I do understand about feeling self conscious and shy, I would feel the same way. But you really did well playing on that guitar! :rock:

Re: Rockin' the Omnichord

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:06 am
by closet jemainiac
everytime I see an autoharp, I think of Wildwood Flower by the Carter Family...I really liked Reese's version in Walk the Line

Re: Rockin' the Omnichord

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:13 am
by Hot Jam
Thank you, SuzyBatt for posting those great, great pics (although that first one, because of the lighting, always makes me think that Jemaine has odd, short hair dreadlocks or something... :shock: )

Anyway, check ebay or Craigslist, search word: Omnichord. The new version of the Omnichord is the QChord and can be bought new for between $200 - $300. The pricing really depends for used ones. Sometimes you can find one for under $200 US (not long ago, you could get one for under $100!) depending on the model and condition. For some of the higher vintage models, like the 200 or 300, you could be looking at upwards of $800 - $1000 US.

Finally, just to add another tidbit (which people might already know) but the lovely song on the cassette that Jarrod pops in the tape deck, when he and Lily are in his room is produced on the Omnichord (most likely courtesy of Jemaine himself!). I love when he starts to sway ever so slightly and kind of uses it to psych himself up/get in the mood. :lol:

Re: Rockin' the Omnichord

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:15 am
by closet jemainiac
Hot Jam wrote:Thank you, SuzyBatt for posting those great, great pics (although that first one, because of the lighting, always makes me think that Jemaine has odd, short hair dreadlocks or something... :shock: )

Anyway, check ebay or Craigslist, search word: Omnichord. The new version of the Omnichord is the QChord and can be bought new for between $200 - $300. The pricing really depends for used ones. Sometimes you can find one for under $200 US (not long ago, you could get one for under $100!) depending on the model and condition. For some of the higher vintage models, like the 200 or 300, you could be looking at upwards of $800 - $1000 US.

Finally, just to add another tidbit (which people might already know) but the lovely song on the cassette that Jarrod pops in the tape deck, when he and Lily are in his room is produced on the Omnichord (most likely courtesy of Jemaine himself!). I love when he starts to sway ever so slightly and kind of uses it to psych himself up/get in the mood. :lol:


I love that scene!

Re: Rockin' the Omnichord

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:18 am
by mockingbird
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You know, I'm starting to understand why Jemaine has an Omnichord collection... there are some very cool looking ones out there.

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Too bad they're so expensive (to me). And I didn't know that about EvsS, Hot Jam.

Re: Rockin' the Omnichord

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:29 am
by Hot Jam
mockingbird wrote:
Hot Jam wrote:That ad for the instrument (the one with the naughty word that mockingbird posted) is particularly funny because I also play the zither and autoharp, which is a type of zither and the old-timey, stringed version of the Onmichord (check out the Carter family music for a fine example of the autoharp) - my husband is my only fan (certainly not our cats). Anyway, we wanted to form a band/groupie following and design T-shirts that had a flying autoharp on them, that said: 'Are you ready for Zith?!' We laughed and laughed...and laughed some more. Oh goodness, it doesn't take much sometimes...


Hot Jam, that is fifty kinds of awesome. :lol: "Are you ready for Zith?!" :rolls: Oh my... *wipes tear from eye*

Also, that's funny you should mention that about the autoharp being an old-timey Omnichord because I came across this picture on an Omnichord website last night and I was like, "Huh? That's not an Omnichord, I swear that looks like an autoharp," not realizing the two instruments are related. Duh.

Image

That *is* an autoharp, is it not? :hrm: Anyway, check out the fingernails on Dolly, there! :shock: She's not playing anything with claws like that, lol.



Hi mockingbird - Yes, well those t-shirts might still happen! Also yes, the Omnichord is the electronic version of what you see Ms. Parton holding, the autoharp. And no, while she might be somewhat and oddly timeless and magical, she cannot play that with those. :yawinkle:

Hi CJ - Yes, in my humble opinion, Maybelle Carter is the absolute queen of the autoharp and Reese Witherspoon did a good job of portraying it in Walk the Line, I agree. This is the music I grew up with on my grandparent's porch with my Grandpa on the fiddle and my Grandma playing spoons (not joking!) Later in life, I would chime in on guitar. But our time together was too short.

I think it's great that Jemaine was drawn in by the allure of the Omnichord. :D