New Member - Getting Back in the Saddle

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by hamandcheese, Nov 1, 2015.

  1. hamandcheese

    hamandcheese New Friend

    Oct 29, 2015
    Hi All! I figured I'd make an intro post since I have a mishmash of questions and am new on the forum.

    First off my background, I'm a 30 year old, non-music professional, who played from elementary school to partway through college. I stopped playing due to lack of facilities and focusing on school and never picked it back up again until now. I'm looking to get back into it because I LOVED playing when I did. I like to think I was decent for the age level and the type of playing I was doing (school band/all county stuff) especially since I could have been more dedicated.

    All that being said, I'm gearing up (figuratively and literally) to start playing again. I just have a few questions so I can make sure I'm starting right and have the tools to be the most successful and have the most fun.

    1. I currently have my old student horn (A lackluster Bach TR300) that I'm certain I outgrew when I was at my peak but didn't know enough then nor have the resources to get a better horn. Given I currently have the means to do so, would it be more worthwhile to get a newer (still used) horn that'll give me more room to grow into or will my current horn be fine? (I've been scouting an Olds Super around the interwebs after doing a little research)
    2. I live in an apartment setting so am thinking about getting a practice mute (actually a yamaha silent brass system) where nearly all of my playing will be done until I get back into shape. Will that be harmful to my learning/playing?
    3. Anyone that has experience starting up after a number of years without playing, was it a "like riding a bike" scenario or was it more like starting from scratch?
    4. Other than my giant pink Arbans, a horn, and a tuner (and aside from a good teacher), are there any other essentials I should be looking for?

    I'm so excited to start playing again. Hopefully this time I'll never stop!

    tldr; Played for ~10 years (elementary school, through part of college). Stopped due to finishing college and working and procrastinating. Starting up again after ~10 years off.
  2. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    Hi hamandcheese,
    Welcome to TM, and great to see you getting back to it.

    1. The TR300 will do you well, just make sure it is in good working order. Although there is Nothing wrong with looking for an Olds Super.
    2, Silent Brass will work, but I have always used just a Harmon mute with the stem removed. That works well, and is cheaper.
    3. I had 25+years off, and was lucky that my chops were still in useable shape, but the technical skills needed a lot of work. Sight reading had dropped off, and I only realised I need music reading glasses when I went to my first rehearsal -
    4. you have all you need - and only advice to you is that once you have a usable range, then get to a local community or church group, and start playing. I still believe that when you play in a band, it forces a discipline, and it makes the journey quicker and more fun.

    If it is not fun, then you will stop again, so keep the fun part happening. Work hard, and play hard!
  3. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    IMO, a well maintained TR300 should be good enough for re-introductions to the trumpet for at least a year. I started up again after 40 plus years off and then erratically while overcoming open heart surgery, COPD and a near full set of dentures, rebuilding and rebuilding again my embouchure. Just to keep peace in the household (wife of 48 years plus) I now utilize old model Yamaha Silent Brass System (YSB) and it has never held me back.

    In college I wore out my old pink (??? it was so soiled when I received it) Arban's and now have a new Platinum Edition as is part of my daily practice regimen. Presently, my primary trumpet is a pre-owned Old Ambassador that Ivan (TrumpetsPlus here on TM) did his wonders too. Certainly, an Old's Super may make playing easier, but it isn't a "Miracle Maker" of the player. An Olds Recording is nice also. Also, I now double on a pre-owned old Conn euphonium. Now at 79 yo, don't expect much more than being able to enjoy something I still can do. I'm presently heavy into hymns and an occasional solo at one or the other local protestant churches ... a particular demand at the local Baptist Church while their Allen organ undergoes repair. They often use the CDs I produce.
  4. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

    Jul 5, 2010
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    K&M 107 Music Stand Black Set - Thomann UK

    Sorry - I wrote about two pages of good advice regarding gear (or the necessity of first figuring out which bit is essential and which bit is optional), had just set down a ream of info. Posted it. then found that I had forgotten the link above. Edited the post. Did not wait long enough, but just shoved the link in anyhow.
    Lost all the good advice.
    Now, too frustrated to write all that bumf again - especially as the others have already given their grain of salt which coincides more or less with mine...
    Any questions - just ask.
  5. J. Jericho

    J. Jericho Fortissimo User

    Mar 16, 2011
    Welcome to TrumpetMaster!

    I had a similar experience at your age. It didn't take too long to get back into it, but it still was a bit of a challenge. All the skills I had built up over the years I had been playing needed time to build back up - more time than I thought it would. It really didn't take too long to get going, though, and I was doing reasonably well until wisdom teeth removal left the right half of my lower lip numb. But that's a story for another time.

    IMO your TR300 will do fine for a little while at least. Get used to playing again, and then, if you find you would like to try other horns, go on a trumpet safari. At least by then you'll have a better idea of what you want in a horn.

    There are several ways of practicing quietly, none of which are satisfactory, all of which will hinder you in some way. The trumpet is not a quiet instrument. You're stuck with your situation for now, so you'll have to make the best of it, but remember: This, too, shall pass.

    A good teacher will be able to help. Finding the right teacher is not as easy as it might seem; some teachers play well but aren't aware that they can't teach, yet they teach anyway, and you suffer the consequences. Good luck finding the right one.

    Now get going! Play your horn!
  6. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    coming back is like riding a bike in a windstorm with a 60 pound back pack that isn't loaded evenly ---- Yeah, you can ride the bike, but your not going to make it look easy ----- and it will take some time to get in condition to ride any distance while you maintain your balance ---- but, I predict you can still ride the bike ROFL ROFL ROFL
  7. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Welcome to TM, hamandcheese!

    Good advice already given. Just be sure to practice every day.
  8. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    Firstly, welcome to Trumpet Master.
    An Olds Super will not necessarily be a better trumpet than the TR300, however if you have grown to dislike the TR300 it will never do well for you.

    I recommend you take carel if all your comeback playing is on a practice mute setup. You will need to make sure you are not blowing your lips apart. And you will need to relearn all the tactile and aural feedback that comes from playing your trumpet as an acoustic trumpet rather than an inanimate synthesizer.
  9. hamandcheese

    hamandcheese New Friend

    Oct 29, 2015
    Wow thanks for all the responses. I'll definitely stick with my current horn for a bit right now then move up if I need to later. That seems to be the consensus. I cant wait to get back into shape and start making music!
  10. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    I'd spend tome time searching out a place to practice unmuted - a local music school with practice rooms, a church, a place at your work, even outside or in your car (people do that!). All the other advice is good, but restricting yourself to a mute is a bad idea. Even sticking your bell into a closet full of clothes is better than playing muted.

    I am lucky in that I live in the country with no close neighbors, but I still pay about $50 for membership in a local private not-for-profit music school and get to use a practice room over my lunch hour. Even though I CAN practice at home, once I get there life has a tendency to take priority over my practice plans, but my workday lunch hour is a regular predictable slot, and routine is crucial for developing one's skills.

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