There’s something about musical prodigies that can cause me to waste an entire work day on Youtube. Today is Friday and I stayed up far past my bedtime last night. That means today is one of those days. I have compiled an assortment of videos for your viewing pleasure.
Today’s theme is Flight of the Bumblebee by Rinsky-Korsakov. There’s a point in every musician’s life when they discover that their fingers (or mouth in the case of wind/brass instruments) are able to move at speeds above human comprehension. Once a piece of music is memorized, the fingers are eventually able to play it as if they were autonomous. That is to say, the musician performs the song unconsciously.
I too have experienced the bliss of whizzing through a series of notes at lightning speed (way faster than they’re supposed to be played) and thinking I was invincible. That was before I saw the following videos.
We’ll start at amazing and work our way up to uber-amazing.
That was Flight of the Bumblebee on a good old fashion piano by a guy named Maksim. I estimate about 1% of the world’s population can do or has done this already. I mean, pianos are pretty common, right?
Let’s take it up a notch.
That was Luis Moreno on electric guitar. I estimate about 0.1% of the world’s population can pull that off. I realize guitars are even more common than pianos, but let’s put the amazingness of this in perspective. I played piano for 5 years and was at the point where I could probably play this piece on piano – although not quite as fast as Maksim did it. I’ve been playing guitar for twice as long and there isn’t a chance in heck that I could even attempt to play the first 2 seconds of Moreno’s version.
Hungry for more? It gets even better.
That was David Childs on the euphonium. I estimate about .00001% of the world’s population could achieve what Childs achieves. Why? Because there can’t be more than 30 euphoniums in the entire world. What is a euphonium?
OK, now get ready to step into the big leagues.
That was Jose Feliciano on acoustic/classical guitar. I know what you’re thinking. Let me explain to you why this is better than you think. 2 reasons. First, did you see at the end how he continued playing notes above the highest frets of the guitar? If you don’t know what a fret is, don’t fret. Just watch for the part at the very end where both of his hands are on the base of the guitar and he’s playing the strings above the hole of the guitar. Yeah, that’s impossible. Second – and this one’s gonna convince you if the first one didn’t – Jose Feliciano is blind. BLIND I TELL YOU! That means he makes those huge jumps of 10+ frets at a time using only his mind.
Seriously though, those videos were nothing compared to this next one. Hold on to your butts.
That was Alexander Dmitriev on accordian. Why is that awesome? Because he could whoop anyone at Guitar Hero. It doesn’t need much more explanation than that.
You might as well have just started reading this post right here, because everything you’ve just seen is meaningless compared to this next video.
That’s Greg Pattillo on flute. That’s right, he just beatboxed Flight of the Bumblebee. All my goals and dreams have just been shattered. I am no longer inspired to be the best at anything ever again.
Since I loved that video so much, here’s one last bonus video because I’m feeling very beneficent and magnanimous since it’s Friday. It’s the same guy doing one of my favorite musical suites: Peter and the Wolf. BEATBOX STYLE.