Why come back to trumpet?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by FreshBrewed, Mar 24, 2004.

  1. FreshBrewed

    FreshBrewed Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Houston, TX
    I see by reading several posts that there are a lot of comeback players here and on TH. I'm in the middle of my "comeback" but I never really quit playing over the last 20 years. I'll let you know how it turns out in another 20 years.

    I was just wondering why some of you decided to dust off the case and pick up the trumpet again after not playing, in some cases, for 5 or more years. Was it something you heard, someone you talked to, or do you just love making music on a trumpet?
  2. Still Trying

    Still Trying Pianissimo User

    Nov 23, 2003
    Lake Jackson, TX USA
    I never quit playing because I wanted to quit or made a decision to quit. It just so happened that the circumstances of my life resulted in my having quit. Much of those circumstances were the result of forsaking school teaching for a much better paying job. It's extremely difficult to support 5 children on a school teachers salary, even when gigging on the side to help make ends meet. However, a plant job requiring 12 hour shift work for nearly 18 years really makes it difficult to maintain any type of membership in a group built around other players with more conventional jobs. But I never lost my love for playing. And when the opportunity arose for me to start playing again, I took advantage of it.
  3. W Scott

    W Scott Piano User

    Dec 8, 2003
    Carson City, NV.
    Well, I started playing again just to show my daughter how to play. I really didn't think I could do a comeback.....let me explain.

    I had to quit playing at age 18 because in my first semester at college I came down with mononucleosis and severe breathing problems. The problems persisted and eventually, several years later, were diagnosed as atypical asthma.

    I lived in southern california and if you've ever been there you know how smoggy it often is. I tried getting my playing skills back a couple of times but I could only play when it wasn't smoggy.

    Then, my undiagnosed breathing problem (which several docs had said couldn't be asthma because I didn't wheeze) put me in the E.R. one night where a very good pulmonologist was on duty. Over the next month he put me through a series of tests that showed 'atypical asthma'. Bottom line, I couldn't stand smog as my lungs would swell up and fill up with fluid.

    Well, I was ready to start grad school and decided to go for it anyway. After grad school the docs said 'you need to move! And, I wound up finally moving in 1995 to Ohio where the air was clean. Voila! Breathing problems went away. Now, I've always enjoyed music---especially marching bands/military bands. During these years when I couldn't play I continued to play guitar and worked on the violin. I just couldn't play the horn---not enough air.

    Anyway, towards the end of '97 my daughter is about 8 and very curious about daddys horn. Since I could finally breath, I had hauled the old Bundy out of its' case and would play around with it. My wife said 'why don't you find another horn and you can then teach her to play'.. So, I found a beat up looking Conn Director cornet for $25 at a yard sale that oddly enough played very well and the teaching began. After about a year I was doing well enough that I found a retired pro to teach me to do better and studied with him for about a year before ill health forced his retirement.

    I've just kept going since then playing in community bands, studying Arbans' and other instructional books. The daughter is still playing and leaning too.

    The odd thing is that I had another PFT done about three years ago to see what shape the lungs were in. Although I feel fine and I'm not short of breath, the test came back 'moderate to severe lung disease'. But, I have a range from double C (the one above the staff) down to F#, and I can put out plenty of volume with very good sound.

    So, I started out to teach the kidlet how to play and rediscovered how much fun it is to play a horn again---especially in a band. I'm getting ready to take the playing to another level by doing more solo work and finding someone to teach me things such as improv. and music theory.

    That's my comeback story............

  4. rdt1959

    rdt1959 Pianissimo User

    Oct 31, 2003
    I quit playing at age 20 after dropping out of college to get married (big mistake, but that is a post for another forum :lol: ).

    After 24 years, I started playing again for 3 reasons:

    A. I just plain missed the feeling I always had (and still have!) while playing. For me, a good practice session ending with some upbeat tunes is a GREAT stress-buster!

    B. I mentioned to my Dad 2 years ago that I was thinking about playing again, but that I couldn's find an old trumpet that I could afford to practice on. 2 months later, UPS delivered an old student trumpet that Dad received in trade for a clock (he is a retired clock maker, and not so-retired amateur violinist).

    C. My new wife looked at the trumpet, looked at me, and said "When are you going to join the church band?" :lol: She has been very supportive of my come back effort.

    If I were to die today, I would die with only 2 regrets about my life. That I could not get into the military as a young man due to a physical disability, and that I missed out on 24 years of trumpet music!!!!
  5. FreshBrewed

    FreshBrewed Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Houston, TX
    These are great stories guys. The reason I asked this question was to see what the people here are like and what drives them. The discipline needed to come home and practice after working another job all day must be very tough sometimes. I wish you well in your comeback efforts.
  6. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Actually, the discipline needed isn't all that much if you have the right mindset to begin with. I find playing AND practicing to be extremely relaxing. (Something about the breathing and mental concentration required). I think that if you really do enjoy music, the excuse that "I'm too tired" is a cop-out. The only thing that can put people off is that they start to get frustrated with their perception of a lack of progress. And the answer to THAT is found in another thread where the theme is "be patient...progress sometimes seems to stall out but every once in a while there will be a noticeable leap forward".

    I know that I can have a real headache after a stressful day. I'll go to a band rehearsal and when I come out... *voila*... no more headache and I'm ready for a good night's sleep.

    Musicians have a much lower tendency for stress-related diseases AND a lower chance at acquiring Alzheimer's or related diseases as well. That should be enough incentive right there to keep you "honkin".
  7. bgood

    bgood New Friend

    Mar 25, 2004
    Eastern Washington
    why come back to trumpet

    well, I hadn' played trumpet since my college days, except for a wedding or two (not proffessionaly), or my own amusement. About 35 years had flew by but during that time I always was involved in music, singing mostly. I thought I wanted to play guitar, but wasn't dedicated to it, took a year of piano lessons, but that wasn't near enough to be proficient, and finally it sunk in...get back to your trumpet! Three years ago, I bought a used bach strad, committed myself to practice every night for as long as I could endure, and started back. At first I could only play about 15 minutes, and my chops were done. After about 6 months I was up to nearly an hour, and now I can go for 2 or more. But that has been a consistent practice every night of the week. After I got to where I thought I left off in college, I joined several groups around town, and have formed a brass group in church that has been going for over a year now, and life is as good as it gets! Play on!
  8. PJN

    PJN New Friend

    Dec 14, 2003
    Good topic,

    I quit for lots of reasons, most of them unintentional. Paying rent was one of them but I think more honestly I had come to a point in my playing where I played well, but knew in my heart I had missed a lot of foundation. I needed to go back and start over, and I found lots of things in my life that helped me avoid that (in my 22 yr old view) embarrasing, tedious path. Without an honest reworking of my playing, I was going nowhere, while all around me my friends continued to progress.

    Drugs and alcohol had played a huge part in my life up to that point, and would continue to hold me back until I was 35. Talk about starting over to build a new foundation!! Oh the Irony!

    So, about the time I turned 41, I had finally quit smoking as well, and the itch to play had been bugging me for some time. You see through all that BS, music was the one thing I knew I was good at, I just couldn't execute. But I loved to sing, and listen, and everytime I went to a concert, I would get teary eyed at the missed opportunities to play and enjoy music. There were times music was the only good thing happening in my life, and I had been neglecting it for 20 years!

    I also wanted to do something that would help me get involved in my community, and maybe I could share music with kids, the way music had been encouraged in my life.

    So along with all that, I went to a concert where one of my old music buddies was working with kids. That day four years ago this month started me on the comeback trail. I finally figured out what I want to do when I "grow up", and I am having a gas!!

  9. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    PJ, that's as good a reason as any and a lot better than some! Welcome back to music AND healthy living.
  10. dHoff

    dHoff Pianissimo User

    Feb 13, 2004
    Woodstock, NY
    My return

    Great Question:

    17 years after I gave up playing music, I took on a job that is an expression of a dream (and an answer to prayers) I have had for 20 years. On September 11, 2002 (the one year aniversary) I attended a memorial event at a Dojo (martial arts school). At the end of this event, I was asked to speak on behalf of the guests. I had been deeply moved by the event and spoke from my heart.

    As I was leaving, I was approached by a man who told me that he had been inspired by my words and wanted to speak further. We had lunch a week later. It seems this man, a very successfull business man in NY, had started an organization which hired undiscovered performers from the streets and Subways of NYC to play for people in need. He had put on 12 of these events in the past 2 years and loved the idea but did not have the time to make it grow. He asked me to take over and November 1, I did.

    The organization has expanded and is now doing about 200 events per year. We expect to do 1000 in 2005 and to expand nationally. We have even been invited to do events in Africa and Europe.

    I work directly with dozens of musicians and dancers to put on events in Hospitals, Senior Centers, Hospices, Childrens centers of all kinds, etc. We bring the healing power of the arts to people in need. We also focus on supporting the performers with things like Medical Insurance, Discounted CD Duplication and are looking to add Mentoring from competant professionals when the skills are there (any volunteer Mentors in NY out there?).

    One night I brought a singer/Guitar player into a community for brain injured children, I sat with him outside as he wept in his car. Tears of both joy at what a difference he made and sorrow for some of these kids stirred in me a desire to join in the fun.

    A week later I brought a Trumpet and Alto Sax duet into a senior center in Harlem. The two musicians played Jazz renditions of Gospel Tunes with such love and joy, I was insprired. I could not stand back any more. That weekend I began shopping for an instrument and a teacher.

    Within a few days I had found TH and then TM and actually found my teacher here. It has been about 3 months and I have a long way to go. But I can see it coming. I will continue to bring joy and healing through music. But some day I will get to do it by playing.

    And by the way if anyone in NY, NJ or the area wants to get involved in what we do, just PM me. We have plenty of opportunities to serve!


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