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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Late Beginner- is it too late to be in band? in the General forums; I Started playing trumpet about five months ago with a private teacher. I am renting a Getzen Bb student trumpet ...
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    Oct 2008

    Question Late Beginner- is it too late to be in band?

    I Started playing trumpet about five months ago with a private teacher. I am renting a Getzen Bb student trumpet that seems pretty good, and my teacher says I've got great sound and that I'm progressing quickly. I am a sophomore in high school, and have never played an instrument prior to this except marimba in a marimba band, which really requires no musical knowledge other than how to bang some mallets in time with everyone else. I would really like to be in my high school band, but from what I've heard, most people that are in band were in a band in AT LEAST middle school, and have been playing their instruments for a couple years at least. Considering the fact that I've never been in a band, and am only beginning in learning to read music/playing trumpet, it seems like it may simply be too late for me to join a band. I have talked to band members and they agree that my situation is a tad difficult. Is it too late for me to join band? I'd be joining next year - it's too late for me to switch classes, or else I'd get an F factored into my GPA, which obviously no-one wants - so I'd have time to improve my technical skill. The problem more lies in the experience of playing with a band, and being able to cooperate and play with a group. Plus, my music reading may not be up to scratch by then.
    I REALLY enjoy playing the trumpet - As of right now, I can hit about one note above the staff clearly and regularly, and can occasionally go higher but not with any precision. I have a pretty good tone and tend to be able to find the center of the note fairly well, my problem is mostly in airflow. I haven't really built up strong lungs just yet, despite my avid playing. Also, as a female trumpeter, it's a bit more difficult for me to actually play long sentences without faltering, and I frequently can't play anything that tends to have a faster tempo and more jumbled notes. Also, I'm pretty slow at the reading of the music itself. I would really like to join band, but my situation seems rather difficult.
    p.s. - also, should I invest in a practice mute? I have been driving my parents crazy with my practice, and I hate having to play only when they're not home. I know it muffles the tone a lot, but should I get one as a beginner? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Oct 2008

    Re: Late Beginner- is it too late to be in band?

    It's never too late to start! I think you should do it.Your music reading will improve, trust me. When I was in high school I had several seniors pick up an instrument for the first time. They improved rapidly. I'd go for it if I were you.

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    New Friend MLanghardt's Avatar
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    Re: Late Beginner- is it too late to be in band?

    I think you should absolutely give it a shot. It sounds like you're progressing fast and reading music, like anything else, will get better the more you do it. You may have to work harder than other people in the class and stay after school some days with your director, but your private teacher will help tons. Give it a shot and enjoy playing. It may soon be your favorite class.

    "I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way." - Gustav Mahler

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    Forte User Bear's Avatar
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    Re: Late Beginner- is it too late to be in band?

    It is never too late to learn an Art. Stay with the private teacher if you can. Yes, get a practice mute if that will help you play! About the breath... there are great books out there dealing with this topic. Search and read!

    The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.
    -C. S. Lewis

    Life is about learning; when you stop learning, you die. -Tom Clancy

    And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
    -Revelation 8:6

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    Forte User Trumpet guy's Avatar
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    Re: Late Beginner- is it too late to be in band?

    My band had a person who switched from flute to baritone (for marching band only) and her playing turned out great. With 2 months with the private teacher (once a week during band class), she was able to hold her own and play the part well (among the small number of the baritone section that year).
    Also a private teacher is a great idea. I've also heard a few people on this forum say they'd taught several students who became great players, compared to other band students, just less than 2 years. A good teacher will be able to take you far. I tool private lessons starting 2 years ago and learned 10 times as much as I ever learned from just playing in band the 5 years prior.
    "If you're not improving, you're falling behind." - My Trumpet Teacher, Steve
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    Oct 2008

    Re: Late Beginner- is it too late to be in band?

    If you really love the trumpet then there's no reason not to go for it. And whether you started a few months ago or a few decades ago doesn't mean you'll run out of things to learn...It's an ongoing experience. But I am curious. Why do you think being female has anything to do with your lack of lung power? That's all part of learning and practising and not gender based. Being female, I've never noticed I was doing any worse than any of my male counterparts in high school. Maybe I'm wrong...or just delusional? LOL

    Any other opinions on that one, anybody? (I mean about the gender factor, not my mental health)

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  8. #8
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    Re: Late Beginner- is it too late to be in band?

    I'm an elementary school instrumental music teacher, but I was a high school band director for 15 years. You don't sound much different than a great deal of students I've had over the years. I started quite a few freshmen and sophmores that became band members quickly. It's never too late to start. Keep studying privately and don't be afraid to ask more experienced players for help. Generally your band mates will become like a second family and will be glad to help.
    Your lung capacity will improve as your playing does. Your body will continue to adjust to the trumpet as you progress. There's no male/female thing about it. Good luck and have fun!
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    Re: Late Beginner- is it too late to be in band?

    It is never too late, I was a sophmore in HS when I started, like you never had an instrument or any music training, but I did belong to a drum and bugle corp. and the bug took over . I had bought a Getsen also, and still have it, I took junior band and private lessons for three months, and moved very quickly from beginer book to advanced, I also made first chair, and solo, that first year. It all depends on your passion for the trumpet, and music. I also could not practice when my dad was home, so when ever he was not there the horn came out even if it was only for five I would say go for it and practice all you can, and stay with your private teacher as long as you can.

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    Re: Late Beginner- is it too late to be in band?

    Never too late! Have fun!

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