Back after 20 years

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by GER, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. GER

    GER Active Member

    Hi everybody,
    Have returned to playing at the beginning of the year after a 20 year break. Used to play to a high standard (Principal cornet 2nd section and front row championship) .
    Been playing for about 8 weeks now and quite happy with my progress, but obviously a long way to go!
    Have joined 4th section band on Rep, but not sure that's where I want to be.
    Question is has anybody any thoughts/ideas on re-joining bands, is it better to visit several bands to get a 'feel' for the standard expected of you or join a band until you've found your level then decide, or just be happy you are back 'having a blow'
    I suppose it's personal preference really, but interested to know how other 'returners' have got on
  2. Euphonium Lite

    Euphonium Lite Active Member

    Dereham, Norfolk
    I came back to banding after a 10 year gap. TBH the biggest thing for me was re-establishing breathing - could only manage 2-3 bars v early days after coming back, and I've been a Championship level back row cornet player in the past before changing to Euph and getting up to section 1.
    Everyones different but found it easiest for me joining a non-contesting community band for a while and then going on from there. Im now playing 2nd Euph for a 2nd section band after a year of dedicated blowing
    Expect to find things that were second nature a struggle - the older you get, the more so. You may also find it frustrating that you cant play to the level you used to. That's not to say you won't get it all back, but don't expect to be at a high level for a little while. That said the old adage of form is temporary class is permanent is also very relevant and Im sure there will be a lot of bands will want you in their lineup even if theres some things you struggle with
  3. GER

    GER Active Member

    Thanks for your reply, having same problem with breathing and phrasing, sight reading rusty and range just about there but bit squeaky on top register!. Co-ordination needs a lot of work, but after such a long break what can I expect:).
    It's just I'm not sure whether I need to go to a higher section band to be able to learn/refresh the skills around more experienced players, there aren't many seasoned players in this band. I joined because they are the closest to me without looking around and am know thinking that may have been the better option, however interesting to see you have done what I am now doing and it worked out OK for you. Would be really nice to get a few varied opinions and experiences from 'returners'
  4. Slider1

    Slider1 Active Member

    This shouldn't be a problem if you haven't registered with the Band your with at the moment, Is it playing Rep. or the 4th section your not sure of.

    There's no hurry but research your Local and commutable Bands (Brass, Wind, Jazz etc.). There's no problem being in a Brass Band and a non contesting group or groups at the same time, but you have to give one priority.

    Hope all goes well and good luck :)
  5. GER

    GER Active Member

    Thanks for your reply slider,
    I haven't registered with the band, they have no contests on the board for this year. It's neither Rep or 4th section
    I have always given and taken advice readily and just trying to get others peoples experiences on whether it's better to join a band that's got the experienced players, on a lower position or to rely on your past experiences to
    get you back into playing. As I said before I suppose it's personal preference, but just trying to get other people's 'take' on it
    Hope that makes sense :)
    Slider1 likes this.
  6. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    From what you say above it looks like you could play at the highest level again if that's what you really want. Question really is how much effort are you both willing and able to put in to recovering your skills and then supporting your Band?

    If you want to contest again or play more seriously then why not consider joining a third section Band's back row? That's a place to get your skills back and work your way back onto the front bench, from there you could later hop up to some higher level group or you might find yourself content instead.

    IMHO it's wise to visit several bands; get a feel for how you will fit in with the other players and how you will enjoy, or not, the direction(s) of the MD, etc.
    Slider1 likes this.
  7. Repman

    Repman Member

    I came back to cornet 6 months ago after quitting when I left school, never was in brass band, only local schools area wind band, but was grade 6-7 at my best. now playing rep in local community non contesting band. the playing is sometimes challenging, sometimes less so, but very friendly crowd, and only 1 night practice so can fit my home practice in around my young family. finding upper register taking time to come back. I guess as long as you're having fun stay where you are, if it stops being fun, probably time to move on. Welcome back!
  8. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    If you're practicing the right things at home, you'll make the progress you want to.

    Playing with higher standard players can be easier sometimes, even if the music is harder...
    At the same time, your enjoyment is what matters - if you like the people at this band you're playing with and the music/performance is satisfying, that's probably enough for now.
    Euphonium Lite likes this.
  9. GER

    GER Active Member

    Many thanks for your replies, I think the overriding thing that come's out is look at whether or not I'm enjoying myself, suspect I lost sight of that, so thanks everybody for focusing my mind where it should be. Think I'll have a look round, have a 'blow' with a few bands and then make my mind up based on where I enjoy playing most.
    Certainly glad to be back, never realised how much I missed it until I started playing again.
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