How were you introduced to Brass

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Charmed, Dec 18, 2005.


How did you start playing a brass instrument

  1. At school

    61 vote(s)
  2. Family already part of brass bands

    16 vote(s)
  3. Local Junior Brass Band

    21 vote(s)
  4. Other

    19 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    I have often wondered where all the new up and coming brass players are. In my job I work in and visit lots of schools and have found a decline in brass teaching and an increase in all other instruments. I got into brass playing through school. We were informed that if anyone wanted to play a brass instrument then they were to go at a cetrtain time to meet the brass teacher (can't spell Peri......(?)). If you could blow a note then you got to take the instrument home and start having lessons (free) in school. But these days there does not seem to be much of an option in schools for this. My best friend already played the cornet through her family being part of a brass band and that is how I got into brass bands.

    I thought I would start a poll so we could see how we all started playing (for those that do obviously). The results may give ideas on how to encourage a new generation of brass players.

    If one of your choices is 'other' in the poll, it would be good if you could post what that was. Cheers.
  2. imthemaddude

    imthemaddude Active Member

    I started after I saw a lady play a march on the tv show 'Take your pick'. The next day I went to school and asked if I could play the hornet. The teacher said don't you mean the cornet and I said no defo the hornet....not realised how stupid I looked, three weeks later I turned up to my lesson to actually see what a cornet looked like - i wasnt that sure. I took home that night a trumpet in one of the old 50's style suitcases and played it for a while. Then, I decided I didn't like it but my mom has just been out and got me a proper ex-rental cornet. I felt so guity, I couldn't tell her I wanted to quit. 7 years later, i joined my first contesting brass band.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2005
  3. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    Aren't you glad now that your mum bought you the cornet?
  4. flower girl

    flower girl Member

    i actually started brass 2 years ago cos there was a really cute guy who played the cornet and i decided there and then that i wanted to start playing the cornet. 2 years later i'm playing with a 1st section band and am taking my grade 8 :D
  5. yonhee

    yonhee Active Member

    We had a orchestra at my primary school and someone bought in their cornet and I decided I liked it so I joined Red Rose Youths learner group and learnt how to play horn cause they didnt do brass lessons at school.
  6. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    My Dad used to play, we went to a local barbercue and the band he used to play for were playing there was some people in the band who he knew still anyway a very good friend of his came up and said we are starting a junior band / learners class very soon we have a new bandroom as well, does or would Ian like to learn to play well 32 years on i still am.
    Starting on 2nd cornet then moved to2nd Baritone and then 1st Baritone in Junior Band and went to senior school and automaticly went as 1st Baritone as well, moved up in to Senior Band on 2nd Baritone : First contest with Senior Band was the 3RD SECTION NATIONAL FINALS 1977, the result been 1st Prize, 1979 won 2nd Section Midland Area Contest , apart from countless wins with junior band at the same time. This was all with Walsall Metropolitan Band (Now Staffordshire Band)
    Left that particular band, went to Newhall Band to keep interest in and was asked to join Telford Band on Solo Baritone by :Roy Curran this is where i met ROGER THORNE who was Solo Horn at the time.
    Left Telford and joined Newhall on Solo Baritone, Newhall some great times there and particuularly with Conductor David "SUPER" Hutchinson who is present conductor of the band who i am with now "GRESLEY OLD HALL BAND", from Newhall i played for Shirley on Solo Baritone, from Shirley i had a 9 month break from playing all together but still kept in touch with band movement,.
    I recived a phone call from David Hutchinson who was Conductor of Amington Band to go and play 2nd Baritone, from Amington played with Desford"B" Band, had 6 months break till phone call from a old mate from Newhall who said Gresley want 2nd Baritone player the SEAT IS YOURS just turn up.
    Moved up to Solo Baritone 18 months later and for the 3rd time conducted by "DAVID SUPER HUTCHINSON":clap: who in our 1st contest pulled off the best result ever by qualifing for the National Finals in 2003 after NO ONE GAVE US A CAT IN HELLS CHANCE of playing the piece:oops: :biggrin: :woo
  7. gawber

    gawber Active Member

    I started playing at Silkstone Junior School, they received their instruments from Old Silkstone Band. I progressed to Old Silkstone Junior Band and then onto the 'senior' band!

    My husband started playing after he saw a band on TV. His dad's best mate happened to play principal cornet with Old Silkstone, so he took up the cornet.

    We have video footage of our son producing 'sounds' from his dad's cornet at the tender age of 18 months and thoroughly enjoying it! He is now 15 and plays repiano with Dodworth.

    So in our family the influences were:-
  8. lottie4744

    lottie4744 Member

    I started playing because my best mate did at primary school. Thought a cornet was a clarinet. Then went to Wigan ITP band and worked my way up from there :)
  9. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    My Dad was Principal Euph at Besses during the late 50s, 60s and 70s (to 1978 ), and he was Secretary from the early 70s until his death in 1985.

    I first picked his euph up when I was 7 (it was the only way I'd let him and my mum out of the house - it was unusual for them to go out to somewhere that wasn't a Band job!). I joined Besses Boys Band Beginners and worked my wat through there and the Training Band in about 9 months and ended up on 2nd Baritone (the Weltklang (?spelling) that I ended up with was a bit under par considering I'd been playing the "Senoir Band's" old style Sovreign euph up until then!

    Worked my way up to solo euph (around the same time that Mark Wilkinson was Principal Cornet), stayed there for about 12 months then I went to Besses o' th' Barn on 2nd Euph to Graham McEvoy when I was 15.

    Gave up playing for a while, convinced to come out of retirement by a couple of part time pupils (Hayley Moore, now at YBS, and Rebecca Farrington - apparently now retired!) and played with Middleton Band for a bit.

    Ended up going back to Besses in 1994 (I think!) on 2nd Euph again and stayed there until 2000 when I re-retired. I've done the Open and Pontins with Glossop since, and this year's Area with Leyland but still haven't been convinced to play permanently again. I'm still one of the Directors of Besses o' th' Barn Ltd, just like my Dad was before me....strange things, these Bands :D ;)
  10. Crazysop

    Crazysop Member

    My primary school had a band which played in assembly every thursday ( or whatever day it was)I just though t wow!! I want to do that! SO i began on cornet, progressed to trumpet for yers and years. I only fell into banding by accident really , I bumped into someone I knew from my music centre years who invited me to Middleton on cornet. It wasnt too long before i was "promoted" to Sop.
  11. Bryan_sop

    Bryan_sop Active Member

    My doctor said that it would be good for my Asthma to learn a wind instrument and the brass teacher had spaces, I tried a cornet and I haven't looked back or got bored with it!
  12. FlugelD

    FlugelD Member

    I lost a bet! My (horn-playing) mate promised to stop banging on about brass bands if I got less than 60% in 2nd yr (secondary school) music - if I got more, I had to try learning a brass instrument. No way I'd pass, so I agreed... 62%, then O grade and Higher music.

    34 years later, I'm still playing, he isn't. :confused:
  13. Mister 4x4

    Mister 4x4 Member

    My father was a trumpet player. In fact, my mom has a picture of me in a diaper blowing through his horn... which was about as long as I was tall at the time. Even so, I grew up with his influence as they divorced when I was but a year old. But, she reminded me of that when it came time to join a Beginning Band class in Junior High.

    I had intended to play my Grandma's old Clarinet... but it needed too much refurbishment to be playable... so I wound up with one of the school's rental Euphs. It was an Olds 3-valve bent bell model... and I swear it weighed as much as I did... but it was fun from the beginning. And a good thing too... I don't think I would've made a good woodwind player - I hate the squeaks at most inopportune moments. :D

    I played through High School and even during Air Force Basic Training in the Drum & Bugle Corps. And I had considered trying to get a D&B going at both of the CONUS bases I was assigned to, but there was the whole funding issue.

    But then - nothing for almost 19 years... until this past summer when I joined the local Community Band. I guess I made an impression since I was invited to join the Icehouse Brass Band as well.

    I'm having a ball with both groups and can't imagine many better ways to spend my free time.
  14. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    I put down other as I started playing with the Salvation Army and although my parenst were members they were not brass players, maybe you should add Salvation Army as another option?
  15. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    My Dad made me join when i was 7 cos our next door neighbour's daughter was in Lanner band and thought it would be good for me to do.

    We practiced every Saturday morning and I hated it, I hated having some bloke shout at me when I could be playing football with my mates down the park.

    I asked my Dad at one stage if I could give it up and he wouldn't let me, I really hated him for it at the time!

    28 years later and I still thank him every day for not letting me give up!
  16. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Other for me

    I voted other as my reason for taking up a brass instrument was that I wanted to play trombone - just like George Chisom on the Black & White Minstrels (it's a long time ago).

    I was taken along to the village band conductor and told him I wanted to play trombone. After too many years learning piano first then, cornet I eventually ended up playing EEb (because we had no one playing at the time) - never did get to play the trombone though.
  17. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    I had a Lark cornet going rusty under my bed from when I had tried (and dismally failed) to play in the School brass group (I was about 8 when I got the Lark).
    Then my Dad got me involved in Hartshead Brass through a bloke he knew in the pub (Eric Pilcher who owned a local coach firm). I couldn't play a note and totally hated the first few months. My mum and dad had both encouraged me to go but said if I didn't like it I could pack in, however when I said I wanted to stop they wouldn't let me (sound familiar Roy?), so I carried on going and within a couple of years and having finally grasped what they were trying to get me to do I worked my way up to Principal Cornet playing under the then MD Brian Frost.
    Eventually played at Erics funeral when he sadly passed away, I still see his coaches (Tower coaches) flitting about the area tho.

    I too thank my parents daily for not letting me stop going to band (25 years ago!!)
  18. bennem

    bennem Member

    I was lucky in that the secondary school I went to had a specialist music school attached to it so they had a multitude of musical instruments to hand out to kids and loads of music teachers.

    Initially I wanted to play the clarinet but they wouldn't let me/didn't have any so someone suggested the horn. Wow I thought a french horn cool. Turned up and was handed a Tenor Horn boy was I gutted but I worked at it and learned to play brass. Became bored of off beats and asked to change to the trumpet after a couple of years. The cornet came a lot later.......
  19. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    I think our musical education system is a bit different from yours (in the UK). We have special "music schools" that are completely separate from the normal primary/secondary school system. So children that want to learn music, have to do that after school hours (e.g. on wednesday afternoon). (only for the last four years of secondary school, specialist schools for talented musicians exist).
    But the music schools are quite cheap, because the schools are funded by the regional government and city councils. In the first year, children only learn to read music, sing and play the recorder. After the first year, everyone has to choose an instrument.

    So when I was in 3rd grade of primary school, the people from the music school came to our class to "recruit" interested children,a nd I asked my parents if I could join. That was quite a unexpected to them, because I do not come from a "musical family". After one year, I had to choose an instrument. The people from the village band always pay a visit to all 1st year students of the local music school to ask if they are interested in playing a brass instrument. I Had no idea what I wanted to play, so my parents decided it was ok. The band provided me with a cornet, and I've been stuck with it ever since ;)

    As a matter of fact, in my family it went a bit the other way round as normal: after I was playing music for a couple of years, my father also got the music bug and inscribed himself in the music school. He now plays percussion ;)
  20. midwalesman

    midwalesman Member

    As I was walking along minding my own business I was harrangued into a class room in my primary school by a truly musically dedicated teacher who, to be fair, scared the living daylights out of me by saying I had the right attributes to be a violinist, at that point I chanted "run away, run away, run away" (in true Python style). On hearing my teachers impending plans, my parents rushed in with "the Holy handgrenade" and sorted the whole situation out. In conclusion I chose to play the cornet (an old imperial which I have to say was far better than the cornets that now appear) and my music teacher in the end traumatised me by enforcing the learning of a wretched instrument called the "recorder".

    Yes, trauma ladies and gentlemen......trauma,....yes.............where am I? ...... Who are you?? .....What???......."I'm a bander?" ......."oh like a groupie!"...I'm confused!

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