I started this at 36 (37 now). I love it. I have a teacher of course but want to do more than my exercises and daily trumpet routines. I answered an ad on Craiglist from a drummer that wanted to hold a jam session. I told him that I wasn't very good and would probably sit most tunes out. He replied back no problem. He posted another ad that said he found a horn player and all skill levels were welcome. That ad ended up with a reply back from a keyboardist and two bass players. Long story short we all brought our fake books and had a good time. They played a few tunes in their B flat so I could just work in my C scale. Then they branched out a little and were very encouraging feeding me the key we were in or what notes on my rig would be good improv starting points. They were very encouraging and I got an invite back. Another ad was posted and we've added some wind and string players as well. We've almost got a mini big band going on. Everyone was asked to work on 2 or 3 songs. So this weeks song list: Satin Doll Blue Bossa Killer Joe Well You Needn’t, F How High The Moon, G Watermelon Man, F Mercy Mercy Mercy, Bflat Freddie Freeloader April In Paris Las Vegas Tango I told my teacher and he was very encouraging. He had me work on Satin Doll and Killer Joe (an octave lower) during the end of my last lesson. I thought Satin Doll was going to be too much for me but he had me break it down measure by measure and I'm ready to blow come Friday. I picked Freddie Freeloader after hearing it last session because it's easy enough for me to work on. Oh I also posted my own ad which said I was looking for a Jazz/Swing/Big Band mentor. No one replied directly to it but the folks that read that ad replied to the drummer's ad. I don't look at things as me being late to the game but right on time. If I'd picked up the trumpet at any other period in my life I wouldn't have had the discipline or drive to stick with it. In any case you've got to start somewhere. Where you're at is where you're at. Stay on the look out for jams that are novice friendly and good mentors. Keep up your regular practice routine and I'm sure you'll do just fine.