Can Dolly Parton really play 12 instruments?

Monday, February 25, 2013
By admin
Appalachian dulcimer
by bill barber

Question by Breebles07: Can Dolly Parton really play 12 instruments?
Apparently she can play guitar, banjo, autoharp, piano, drums, appalachian dulcimer, harmonica, pennywhistle, recorder, fiddle, bass guitar, saxophone. I have seen her play guitar and banjo for real and I have seen clips of her playing autoharp, dulcimer, harmonica, saxophone and piano but it seemed to me like she was just pretending to play them and not actually playing them. I have never seen her play the pennywhistle, recorder, fiddle, bass guitar and drums. Can she really play all of these instruments? If not, which ones can she play for real?

Best answer:

Answer by William Z
Barbara Mandrell is the one that can play 12 instruments, not Dolly

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2 Responses to “Can Dolly Parton really play 12 instruments?”

  1. 1
    CoachT Says:

    Consider this: EVERY single public school music teacher in the United States can play every single band and orchestra instrument. All of them. They had to do it to get their degree and their teaching certificate. It’s just not a big deal amongst musicians.

    With that in mind, how hard is it to imagine that Dolly or Barbara or Miranda or just about any other professional musician who has access to anything they want and the paid time all day to do it, can also play a lot of instruments? Consider then that they also have some of the best players around to show them the tricks-of-trade and pointers while they learn. If they can’t pick those up under those circumstances they’d not be very good musicians at all.

    Now, just about anyone can learn to play mountain dulcimer or autoharp in an afternoon of plinking. Recorder and Penny Whistle are so similar as to be the essentially the same and we teach recorder to 4th graders. I know tons of guitar pickers who also pick banjo and bass, many played sax/trumpet/bone in HS too. None of this is all that unusual amongst musicians. Everyone “plays” harmonica – some better than others.

    I also know without question that Ms. Parton plays melodic autoharp and Appalachian dulcimer very-very well. Those are her roots music.

    Tell me they learned to play the Bach Cello Sonatas on a String Bass and I’ll be impressed. Pushing the chord button on an autoharp and dragging the strings – not so complicated.

  2. 2
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