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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trickg, Mar 13, 2006.
I hear ya on that!
Although they do say that even Paradise can become boring after a while.
That's the key right there, isn't it Pat? Tough it out and when you get your chops back and sound good again, you'll want to practice more because it's more enjoyable.
It's really tough. I'm lucky in that I teach band. I play with every class. So I get a lot of long tones, flexibilities, and scales at work. When I get home I can just jam with Band in a Box or work Arbans. It is hard with a family. My wife and daughter think I love the trumpet more than I love them. My wife knew what she was getting when we got married (25 years ago) and basically has been pretty patient. She had lived her whole life in the same house. Then she married me and it was off to Denton, Tx. for 3 years, then to St. Louis, and finally to the Nashville area. But it does bother her that I spend so much time with the horn.
We do what we WANT to do..................
Exactly my point - why don't I want to play trumpet so much anymore? Why have I lost interest? Am I tired of fighting to hang on to the abilities that I have? Am I frustrated with the fact that I'm not as proficient as I used to be? Do I simply enjoy drumming more? Why do I still play trumpet at all? Is it simply because I always have? (Other than the time off I took off when I first got out of the Army.)
I think all of those things are "reasons" to some extent or another that play into why I don't want to play trumpet so much anymore. Playing trumpet is no longer about just making music and having fun - it's about performance. Can I do what I need to do on the gig, and are my chops going to make it to the end of the gig? With drums, performance is one of the furthest things from my mind. When I'm gigging on trumpet, it's right there at the forefront.
I know, when I was good I HAD to practice (parents) I had to play every day (scholarship) and even though I enjoyed playing well I made few choices on my own how much work I put into it. When I graduated I put it down, nobody could believe I didn't play anymore, it had been my whole identity. Maybe that is why I stopped.I made 1st chair as a sophmore and it was all great, but I didn't pick it up for 25 years except to play for a friends wedding.
I now realize I like to play for fun, I play the old solos from dance band and some of my fav. classic stuff but I don't think I want to dedicate 1-3 hours a day right now, I can still hit a high C early in the session and I'm more of a collector I guess. I have great memories of standing in front of hundreds of people and playing "and the angels sing" being scared #$%#less and pulling it off. Those days were great, so are these days of just "messin" around. Ahh the choices we make. The trick is to enjoy it...... however we can.
Look, does it matter if you play trumpet or not? Isn't it about "the music"? One instrument is as good as another (even voice); as long as you are involved in "the music" and enjoying it, I say "pick the instrument of your choice".
I've noticed a lot of older folk (myself included) who, as their careers get established (or start winding down) who take up an instrument and get involved again. I'm reminded of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs whenever I think of the situation. You go to school and get a grounding of some quality or other in music. Then you drop it (music) while you concentrate on the fundamental needs of survival, shelter, income, peer-recognition, etc. As those elements become solidified then the higher "needs" start to become important: you have the time and resources to spend on them.
I really don't think it matters if you dropped music somewhere "in between" (myself I never had an "in between"... I didn't even start until the Middle Ages)... but at least you have an appreciation for music and a DESIRE to take it up as a hobby (however serious a hobby it might be for you) and the ability to make the commitment that is required.
Now, I'm not talking about professional musicians who figured out that they either loved it so much or had so much talent that they could fulfill their more basic needs with music; I think we amateurs can certainly understand and respect their situations and that they never had a "put the horn down for 20 years". But for those of us who get involved (or have continued to be only "lightly" or "sporadically" involved) with music as a hobby or part-time thing, then it really is all about the music. Someone asked me what I'll do when I get to the point (age/condition) that I can't play trumpet (they obviously haven't heard me play). I said "probably take up sax or clarinet". Well, why not? (NO! The Eclipse is NOT for sale any time soon!)
So, if you feel that you're having more fun with percussion for whatever reason, then I'd say "go with it; it's the MUSIC that counts most" (closely followed by the comraderie that goes along with a band or orchestra or choir).
You're right -- Paradise can be boring. Only 2 seasons (summer and rainy) and no "snow days." That's why I like to keep myself engaged/absorbed in music. As the Tower Records motto once said, "No Music, No Life"!
Hey Toots... great points.
Toots - all great points. At this stage, I don't think I would have any problems putting the horn down for an extended period to either stop altogether for a while, or to focus my efforts behind the drum kit. The rub comes with my continued membership and commitment to a band that gigs about 35 dates a year. If I was only gigging volunteer stuff or not at all, no problem. At this point, The New Monopoly is a great second income and when I got my 1099, I was surprised at how much money I made in 2005. Back to the issue of performance, when I was covering the 4th book for a big band, I never worried about my chops so much - even if I wasn't having a stellar night, I never really had problems with range (again, 4th book) or endurance. I have problems with both with the party band because the charts really aren't watered down much at all.
At this point, I just need to get in the practice room, get the chops to the point where I'm going to be ok for the next gig, and take it from there. Most of the time the only major problems I have with this come during longer breaks between gigs. If we are gigging every week, I'm usually pretty good about practicing throughout the week, but when we have long breaks, I tend to take bigger breaks than I should, especially if I really beat myself up on the last gig.
Well, it looks like I'm going to the ITG Confernece this year, so I better get my act in gear so that I don't embarrass myself to those of you who will be there who think I can actually play! If that isn't incentive, I don't know what is!