Leaving for a few years

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Myshilohmy, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. Myshilohmy

    Myshilohmy Pianissimo User

    Jan 6, 2009
    So I've been thinking about joining the marines, whether combat or the marine band is to be determined (do you have to march if you join the marine band? I suck at marching and would prefer not to). I think I am going to be a music performance major, but I just feel like I should join the marines for a year or two because it would be good for me. I've got some bad habits, would leaving for a while and starting fresh after 2 years help me break these habits? That's not why I would leave, I was just wondering.

    Also I wanted to say I think this forum is great. Most forums I go to (although they are usually full of younger people) are jerks and not helpful or polite at all, and I always get helpful feedback on here. I never get the vibe that someone is saying "If you were as good as me you wouldn't have this problem" or anything like that. Just something I noticed and thought I would put out there.
  2. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    You never know where life will lead you when you make a decision like this, so don't make it lightly. You may take the 2 years off while you're in the marines and then when you get out you might never play trumpet again. On the other hand, once you get out of basic and the schooling, you might start playing again.

    Regarding marching, whether you're in the band or not you'll be marching while you're at basic training, so don't use that as a guide about auditioning to be a Marine Corps musician. And you won't suck at marching after the first day or so, or you'll be marching 24/7 until you get it right, band or not.

    There's no way to know whether taking a 2-year break from trumpet playing will cure you of your bad habits -- you may simply slip back into them because they've become your regular way of playing. The thing to do is to cure yourself of them now through determination and practice. That's also a marine thing -- successful marines know how to keep on working at something until it is right.

    Good luck on your decision to join the marines -- make it for the right reasons. If you decide to join, do so because you want to serve your country, not because it might help you become a better trumpet player maybe, someday, if you're lucky.
  3. Myshilohmy

    Myshilohmy Pianissimo User

    Jan 6, 2009
    I meant I have trouble marching smoothly, so I tend to use pressure while marching because I can't march properly, therefore marching and playing usually makes me tired and very inconsistent.
  4. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    Learning to march smoothly isn't difficult -- use the roll step and not a traditional step. Using the roll step keeps your head from bouncing up and down, so the instrument and head can maintain better contact and you shouldn't need to use extra pressure.
  5. Alex_C

    Alex_C Piano User

    May 30, 2010
    Gilroy, California
    My 2c:

    Join the Army or the Marines and you WILL learn to march. You WILL learn to love marching music. You WILL learn to love bugle calls, and if you can DO 'em, you WILL realize you're a real asset and you WILL learn to love doing bugle calls and of course that means you'll get filtered into bugle and trumpet playing to the top of your desire and ability.

    The military is not like regular life. You learn two things: You CAN and you WILL. If you have a skill or a talent, your superiors won't ignore it or run you down, that's civilian life. Nope, they'll encourage you (as long as it doesn't interfere with your military duties) and they'll push you ahead, encourage you, etc. It's a refreshing break from civilian life where people too often try to be "cool" by running you down if you have a skill or talent.
  6. SCV81

    SCV81 Pianissimo User

    Sep 10, 2010
    Bay Area, Northern Calif.
    In Marine basic training, you'll learn marksmanship and drill (marching) and you'll excel at both
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2010
  7. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Something is not right here.....

    Are you serious?

    You have some bad habits so you want to quit for a year or start fresh?

    You think you can join the marines for a year or two?

    Unless you are joining "The President's Own" the marine corps band, you won't be playing for a long time, or even have time to practice. ( you won't be able to join The President's Own by the way.

    If you quit playing for a few years you'll never get back in shape to go to college as a performance major.

    Have you been talking with a Marine Corps recruiter? Has he promised you that you can get into a band?

    You need to have a serious talk with someone about your options if you join the service and see what that will do to your music ambitions.
  8. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    This will be the biggest decision of your life.
    Joining the Marines is an admirable thing to do.
    It will be dangerous and very hard. Depending on what you do in the service, you might have to kill people. Are you ready to do that?

    Taking two years off is not a way to get better on the trumpet. If you want to get better on the trumpet, take lessons with a good teacher. You can judge how good the teacher is by seeing results combined with how hard you are trying.

    If you audition for a service band and get in, don't worry about marching. They will teach you.

    Be careful about promises made by the recruiter. Some of them will lie to you. Not all but, be careful. You might end up doing three years of something you don't expect.
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The normal course for a military musician is basic training then the military music school at Norfolk, Virginia. After that it is your duty station as a polished and honed military musician for the remainder of your time in service. 2 years normally means that the military picks your duty station. There used to be a 3 year option where you auditioned for a specific band. That is what I did.

    The marines as a solution for some bad habits - hmmm. I think you are missing something there.

    I think the military is a good thing for many. I don't think it is a "solution" and don't think that you will reap the benefits that you think.

    Good luck!
  10. mrsemman

    mrsemman Piano User

    Apr 8, 2010
    Joining the Marines is not like going to the mall. It's a decision that can affect your whole life. If you are serious about joining, the services can enhance your self confidence, increase drive and give you benefits that will last a life time. Make a foolish decision, and the Marines will boot you out, and leave you on hold for a couple of years.

    Choose wisely.

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