Good morning, all. (yes, I know it's twenty past three in the morning, but years of working shifts really messes with your sleep patterns!) I got started playing baritone horn in a rather odd way, at the age of 68! Over the course of last spring, I started noticing how quickly I was getting tired when horse riding (whatever it looks like, the rider isn't just "sitting there while the horse does all the work . . . "). By the end of May, I had to give up altogether. Ten minutes on a lazy stallion, and I damn near fell off him with exhaustion. I was, however, able to keep working as a signalman on the East Lancs Railway (preserved steam line), and working on repairing diesel locos, which helped to keep me occupied . . . until the results of various scans / tests/ you name it showed that I needed a quadruple heart by-pass. So, no more working on the locos, nor working the manual level crossing gates. In sheer desperation, I joined a local band as a learner. A very old and very good friend who I'd met when I lived in Hastings plays with the Sussex Brass. In conversation with him, years ago, we got talking about brass instruments, and he thought I'd get on well with a baritone horn. So, when I joined the local band where I live now, I tried it, LOVED the sound, and was hooked! Frankly, playing that baritone - and the friendship I've had from other band members - has been all that's kept me sane over the 5 months I was waiting for the op; otherwise I'd have been climbing the walls with boredom and frustration! I'm not really cut out for being a couch potato. Needless to say, the aftermath of the operation put a stop to me playing for a while, then I got a major chest infection, which the local hospital failed to sort out, but my excellent GPs did, and I'm now playing better far better than I was able to before - though with a lot of catching up to do. All the same, finally managing to play all the way from bottom G to top G - which I never thought I'd manage - was a blast! My only regret - but a HUGE one - was that I didn't get into it years ago. Think of all the fun of making music, and the friendship in a good band - such a waste! I met the above mentioned friend (and his sister) in 1981, whilst they were playing with Sussex Brass, and lived in Hastings until 1998 - yet never even tried playing a brass instrument. (sigh!) The main reason was that, starting in childhood, I'd tried piano, violin, guitar, and mouth organ, but couldn't get on with any of them, so I just assumed that "I can't play music, and that's it." It never occurred to me that I might just have tried instruments which didn't suit me. So now I'm making up for lost time, thanking my lucky stars for all the years I spent meditating (with it's emphasis on breath control and using your diaphragm), and building up my strength so I can keep playing, get back to working as a signalman, and start riding again. After all, one of my uncles was playing in an Irish wind band till he was in his 80's, and a great uncle was still working a small farm in Ireland into his 90s. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? With best regards to all, Jack E.