Q&A with Caleb Beik on playing over 20 instruments


Saumya Somasi

What instruments do you play?

(I play) 23 or 24 (instruments). My main instruments, or the ones I play more than anything are piano, guitar, bass guitar, drumset, and then I play mallet instruments, string base, violin, clarinet to name a few.

What was your inspiration for learning all of those instruments?

Beik, far right, plays the keyboard during an outdoor performance in his band, Indy Gorgeous Club. The band recently won the Nickel Plate Arts’ Emerging Artist of the Year award. (Submitted Photo: Caleb Beik)

I’ve been playing music since I was three years old. I started taking classical piano lessons but I’ve started drifting away from that to more rock, jazz, pop kind of stuff. I started taking (drum) lessons at School of Rock when I was about nine. They encouraged me to take a few more instruments so I learned a lot of instruments there and then went to string instruments and wind instruments.

What is your favorite thing about learning these instruments?

Being able to play shows is just the best feeling ever. I don’t really know how to explain it. There are just some shows where you know everything is going super well and the crowd’s super into it and everyone is having a good time. It’s a great feeling knowing you’re giving that feeling. Honestly the best part is just communicating with the other musicians.

Has playing music had any effect on your mental health or organization?

It’s honestly had a positive effect on my mental health. In terms of performance at school, it definitely helps with my memory and taking up information. I’ve had to memorize five to six hours of music for a gig in two days, so trying to pick up a certain unit for a test is a lot easier for me and comes a lot faster.

Beik, fourth from the left, plays for his friends at the School of Rock. Besides music lessons, Beik said he dedicates around three to four hours a day to practicing his instruments. “I spend most of my time in the music room,” he said. (Submitted Photo: Caleb Beik)

What has the major challenge with learning the instruments been?

It depends on the instrument. With every instrument it’s a whole different technique. It’s almost like learning a different language. Although it is the same overall format (with) how the notes, scales and theory behind it works, it’s all different (when it comes to) how the instrument as a whole operates. So with every instrument it takes a lot of time to get used to the new way of playing.