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It is forever a regret of ours here at Newsstand that we didn’t learn to play a proper instrument. We know our way around a bass or a guitar, having spent some of our more youthful years playing in a variety of pub bands, but we never quite had the determination or patience to figure out the secrets of the violin, viola, cello or double bass (though we reckon we could have a shot at using the double bass without too many problems). These instruments, the kind that may be found in The Strad (we see what you did there, very clever) possess a certain amount of elegance and soul that amplified instruments just can’t quite match. That is why we described them as proper instruments – don’t get us wrong, we have a huge amount of respect for talented musicians whatever they play, but the classical instruments somehow seem more cultured. Pretty much anyone and everyone can pick up an electric guitar, learn about power chords and chuck out a reasonable sounding riff in a day or so – to master something like the violin takes far, far longer. It requires dedication and long hours of practice, but the end results are hugely worth it, particularly from the position of trying to impress someone. Perhaps there is still time to rectify this lack of classical music skills – time to pick up a cheap violin (we don’t have the space for a cello or double bass) and give it a try.