After many unsuccessful eBay bidding attempts, I finally won an early 70s model Olds Ambassador to start my comeback playing adventure. After reading all the "is it too late?" posts and comments about age and comeback playing, I thought an objective journal of my own experience might be useful to one or two folks out there someday.
As background, I am 38 at the time of this post. I played trumpet beginning in 7th grade (1984) through high school and majored in trumpet performance for three years at college before changing directions. So, that was a total of nine years without much of a break. After that, I played little to none at all until now. During my college years, I was first trumpet (1st chair my second and third years) in both marching and concert bands, and I played lead and first trumpet in the jazz band. I also played many small ensembles (chamber music, brass quintets, etc.). My comfortable range at the time I stopped playing was up to a G above high C, although we rarely played above D, even in our little jazz band. I played a silver Bach Strad 37 throughout all those years, after which I stupidly sold it for a pittance because the finish was badly worn. I routinely played every day for at least an hour or more in those days, with additional time for individual practice an average of four times per week for approx. 35-45 mins. each practice session. Practice materials were almost exclusively limited to Arban's method, which was a tome of wonder and amazement for my instructors, who knew of no other or better material for study.
So, with that background, I will begin my playing again in the next few days after I receive the horn in the mail and get it cleaned up and ready, assuming there are no major repairs necessary. My first task (after posting pics of the horn in another thread, of course!) will be to give myself an objective self-assessment of where my skills are after not playing for 17 years. I'll run through some scales, some sight reading, some familiar tunes from Arban's method, and I'll report back with the results. After that, I will try to stick to a fairly regular practice schedule (where possible - my legal practice will force some flexibility), and I'll try to post occasional updates to talk about my progress at regaining some skills and range.
This shouldn't be a long-term endeavor, but I think two or three months of playing should give some indication of what a comeback experience is like under my circumstances. I hope to post several comments about my observations. If no one's interested, feel free to ignore me. I just thought I'd add this for the one person who might be like me 12 years from now, wondering what it would be like for a 38-year-old former player to start playing again.