Comeback Players

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trmpt_plyr, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. trmpt_plyr

    trmpt_plyr Pianissimo User

    Jun 12, 2009
    What is a comeback player? Are Comeback players basically people who have enough money, don't need to work anymore, and spend their time playing the trumpet again which they haven't done since highschool? What is the point of being a comeback player? Can a comeback player become a virtuoso?
  2. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    From the Comeback Trumpeters Guide:

    " [FONT=Arial,Helvetica]What is a Comeback Player (CP)?[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica]A CP is a person who once started playing the trumpet, then for some reasons put the trumpet away in the closet. Then, maybe years later, he or she decided to take up playing again. It can also be a person who have been playing all the time and are having troubles. What he or she want(s), is to "come back" to a better and easier way of playing the instrument." :dontknow:[/FONT]
  3. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    I can speak for one faction of the comeback player's group - those that are still working. I work full time and plan to do so for as long as possible as I love my job (management consulting) and since it is not physically strenuous, there is really no age limit. In the meantime, I practice mornings or evenings (sometimes in a closet full of clothes). I have joined a community symphonic band which has over 120 members - 12 in the trumpet section alone. I have also auditioned for a symphony orchestra which is mostly amateurs - a few pros in it - but is conducted and managed by two brothers here in Southern California who are incredible talents (there are 6 concert choirs that are also part of the group).

    To answer your question about why I do this, it is because when my 11-year old grandson mentioned that he wanted to take band in middle school this year and play trumpet, I had this sudden flash of deja vu and reflected on the fun times I had playing for many years before the demands of family and work displaced that activity. I dug out my old trumpet, started building my chops again, and rekindled that love of playing and being part of a group that makes music for the enjoyment of others.

    I am not a professional musician - in fact, not even a very good musician - but I like to play in the group, I like the camaraderie, I like the challenge and feeling of accomplishment, I like having a common activity with my grandchildren (4 of them are now playing trumpet). I like polishing my growing "collection" (with apologies to true collectors) of 31 trumpets and cornets.

    Will I become a virtuoso? I doubt it. If a few friends or family come to the concert on veteran's day that the band is putting on, that is as high a level of performance as I can hope for. There are some that can become very good players. Many of the players in the band are comeback players and some are really good but likely none of us will ever make a commercial CD.

    It is too bad that I waited 30 years to pick this up again but it is better now than waiting another 10 years. I look at my friends who play golf a lot and while I see the sense of sociality that they derive from that, I also see that they create pleasure for no one but themselves (please - no flames from the duffs here!) while the music that a trumpet makes can create pleasure for many (as long as I don't hit any clams while I am playing - and I am still working on that part).

    It's the thrill of playing a tricky Arban Etude correctly for the first time after many tries; it's the electricity of being able to clearly and cleanly hit a high 'C' in a piece without needing to stand on a chair to do it; it's the soul-stirring feeling that comes from playing a ballad in a way that invokes feelings of brotherhood for others. That's why a comeback player does it.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009
    oldenick likes this.
  4. ChaseFan

    ChaseFan Banned

    Mar 25, 2008
    Retired people have lots of money and don't need to work anymore?

    "What is the point of being a come-back player?"

    There is no reason for playing trumpet if you are never going to be a virtuoso?

    Something you need to picture in your mind:
    A retired person who is trying to get by on a small Social Security check of only $800 per month, who spends what little discretionary money he has to buy the best cheap trumpet he can find, who plays that trumpet as well as an amateur can, simply because he loves playing the trumpet, who couldn't afford to own a trumpet for the previous 30 years because of the financial hardships of providing for his family.

    That is my dad, a come-back player.

    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009
  5. heulwen

    heulwen New Friend

    Apr 20, 2009
    Ipswich, UK
    Because you find enjoyment in playing. I'm a comeback player purely because I love music and I missed playing my trumpet.

    There are a variety of different reasons that people return to the trumpet but I know that not everyone who does is retired or no longer working. I certainly don't have enough money and I work full time - but I bring my trumpet to work with me every other day and practice in my lunch breaks (much to my colleagues amusement).

    If you have a talent, why let it go to waste?:D
  6. oljackboy

    oljackboy Pianissimo User

    Feb 26, 2009
    Falls Church, Virginia
    I took 26 years off to raise my kids and put them through the colleges of their choice. I began playing again because I have a terrible jones to play jazz. I still work during the day (7am-5pm), but I'm working 3-5 nights a week plus a few Saturday weddings a month playing trumpet and flugelhorn. I'm not exactly sure that "virtuoso" is a term that applies to jazz players, but in the language of the guys I know and play with, I'm certainly not a monster. Will I ever become one? Dunno. I'm working on it.
  7. wlopicka

    wlopicka Pianissimo User

    Jan 6, 2005
    Help me out here....

    Top Ten reasons to become a Comeback Player vs take up golf.

    10. You don't need to wear sun screen in a practice room.
    9. After a bad practice, I've never heard of somebody throwing their trumpet in a lake.
    8. A membership of Trumpet
  8. Jack C.

    Jack C. New Friend

    Aug 20, 2009
    North-Central Illinois
    Response posted twice in error. Please see below.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009
  9. Jack C.

    Jack C. New Friend

    Aug 20, 2009
    North-Central Illinois
    I am, also, a come-back player. I started playing trumpet in high school many years ago. Trumpet and voice performance have always been my avocation or hobby. Seven years ago I experienced several small strokes which left me with some weakness on the right side of my body. It became much more challenging to play trumpet for the, sometimes, long Symphonietta rehearsals and concerts. My stamina began to decline. Fatigue and pain were common occurrences. I could only play two sets of the usual three for the Classic Jazz band that I so enjoyed and that soon became only one set. A few months later I had to have two brain surgeries to relieve increasing pressures in my brain. I put my horns away fearing the worst and left behind what had always been an important part of my life.

    Seven years later I am now fully retired. What to do with my time? I have had other hobbies but none of them bring the full satisfaction of trumpet performance. Trumpet playing has always been therapy for me. No matter how bad a day may have been, I knew I could practice for awhile and be reasonable certain that I would feel better. It was miraculous how the stress could be shed and my attitude improved by, simply, spending forty-five minutes to an hour or two playing trumpet. I suppose, I should not have been so surprised.

    So a few months ago I got my horns out and, with some anxiety, tried to play a few Schlossberg exercise. I was surprised that I could play them with a little difficulty. My new come-back strategy is working very well. Two, or sometimes three, practice sessions per day, (being careful not to become too fatigued), working to increase practice time and thus stamina, and revisiting all of the basics of good horn playing, all together have all added to my success. Notes and materials from an Arnold Jacobs, Masterclass, I attended in the 1980s, have been most helpful for me given my age and physical issues. Also, the Flow Studies exercises I learned from Vincent Chicowitz were rediscovered on a handout from his Master Class at Northwestern University, again, in the 1980s. These materials have been a great finds in my old files. The Flow Studies are a regular part of every warm-up session as they had been for many years before every concert and gig. (Note: The “Flow Studies” exercises can be found by searching the internet using his name Chicowitz and the term “Flow Studies”.

    I look forward to the day I will, once again, be playing in a Symphony Orchestra. After all, Adolph (Bud) Herseth was eighty years old when he retired as Principal Trumpet with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. I am no Adolph Herseth, but I know that he and Arnold Jacobs played until they could no longer do so. I plan to do the same. So maybe I have a few more years of trumpet fun and enjoyment ahead.

    Best regards,
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2009
  10. Glennx

    Glennx Pianissimo User

    Aug 16, 2009
    I majored in music in university (education) and played in every university and outside ensemble on bass and tenor trombone and electric bass from trombone quartet to orchestra to big bands to pit show orchestras playing Broadway stuff; taught high school music for almost 10 years; arranged, conducted and was a copyist to boot. After marriage and some administrative jobs, had no more time to practice. And it sounded just awful when I did pick up a horn from time to time! :-(

    But it's in the blood, and I got back into it this past summer with a nice little used cornet because I missed being personally musically creative - and being able to express that creative energy. The local community band is now within reach, and if I can make the guys on 1st sound (and the band) better by contributing some in-tune playing with dynamics and phrasing from the 3rd chair, so much the better. ;-)

    I just turned 54 and more than ever I appreciate the superb training I received at school. I figure I've got another 10 years left, maybe more, and what better hobby than playing with like-minded people and giving something back to the community?

    A final thought: when I taught music briefly in New Zealand ten years ago, I was dumfounded by the insanity of the demands of the NZ national music curriculum (apologies here to any NZ friends on TM) and the lack of instrument instruction & band time within the classroom; everyone was expected to play something, but they had to get it on their own through itinerant teachers and not at school expense - a very different model from the one in North America. But what made the greatest impression was the degree to which music was integrated into the general community: almost everyone played or sang something! That little town of 6,000 had its own volunteer community choir and its own brass band; local volunteer music societies put on public performances just for sheer enjoyment...with everyone welcome to contribute or just sit back and enjoy. What a vibrant cultural life...with none of it directly supported through the formal education system! Perhaps like England used to be (or still is - I wouldn't know).

    So...the point I'm trying to make is that instead of viewing us musical alumni as 'comeback wannabees', it might be better to ponder that a healthy community ought to be one which has an exciting cultural life, with music played and shared by everyone at all levels, right alongside the other arts.

    Sure, it'd be nice to reach the Holy Grail of Trumpet Playing at whatever age, and a journey of a 1,000 miles (notes?) begins with the first step...but after that what matters most is that you're on the road and moving forward, regardless of where you find yourself on that road.

    I'm completely awed and humbled by the sheer talent and dedication on TM - but I'm glad to be here. :thumbsup:

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