Nervous about learning after 36 years...

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Deelee, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. Deelee

    Deelee New Member

    Since going to see Grimethorpe Colliery Band over the years I feel the need to play brass again. Usual story, played trombone during school and at the college, once I left I took up the piano (only self taught). I am trying to pluck up the courage to go to a local band who have offered to help me.

    My question is to those like me, did you feel the same and how did you overcome the nerves?

    2nd tenor likes this.
  2. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Active Member

    Welcome to the site and hopefully to playing again.

    I didn't have as long an absence as you but it was long enough and I gave up younger than you so maybe the two factors balance out. A particular player from a local band gave me free lessons to both get me restarted and then later to keep my development going - sometimes I play better than him now. Once reasonably competent ( a couple of months in ) I joined a training band and got used to spotty teenagers playing better than me. However, I set that to one side, did a lot of practice and before many months had past people were asking me when would I like to join the main band for some rehearsals. To get that far I had to laugh at my own mistakes, be a little humbled by the fact that kids were better than me and then say 'sod it' 'cause I don't give a dam what people think or say 'cause it's non of their business and I'm going to get better than them, etc.

    Basically 'just do it', take a bit of embarrassment on the chin, get yourself a teacher of some sort (assuming you can, it should make life a lot easier) and practice for say twenty minutes every day. A decent 'student' instrument in good working order helps (a Blessing Scholastic will do but a Yamaha YSL354 would be much better and good for several years/indefinitely), practice helps more and you'd be surprised/shocked at how good your teacher can make what ever instrument you play sound.

    Good luck. 2T.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
    Slider1 likes this.
  3. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Member

    There are plenty of adult learners and "returners" out there - your local band will value you and you will get a lot out of it.
    Enjoy your new band life !
    Good luck
  4. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Active Member

    Coming at this from the other side - I am a brass teacher who has taught a few adults in your type of situation.
    I have found that adult students generally come into their playing with a great deal more enthusiasm than may younger students - they know what they want to achieve and actually want to be there (unlike many younger ones who are only there because of parental pressure). The adult students also tend to take a much more serious attitude to the technical exercises that give longer term benefits - they understand the concept of long-term-gain rather than the short term "fix" that some younger students prefer.
    If a local band has offered help, go for it. Don't worry that there might be someone much younger than you doing better than you, may of us are in the same situation (just take a look at the principal trumpet and trombone of the LSO - younger than the vast majority of us and astonishing players). If you get the chance to take some lessons with a decent teacher I would recommend doing so - they might be able to pick up technical aspects of how to improve which are more difficult to spot in a band situation.
    Above all else - good luck and enjoy :)
    Andrew Norman likes this.
  5. KenIrvin

    KenIrvin Member

    Ten years ago I was in the same position as you, I played a bit at school but had not really done anything for 40+ years. I agree with 2nd Tenor - just do it. I approached my local band who were recruiting and asked if I could join. They provide tuition via a learners group which I joined for a few weeks while I got the feeling in my lips back. Sure I was an old bloke learning with pre teens but it gave me the opportunity to do what I wanted. After a few weeks embarrassment I was invited into the main band practice and played my first concert with them three months later. I was not good but I was welcome and I persevered!
    Today I am an active member of the band organisation and I even help out teaching the youngsters.
    Moral - you are never too old to relearn if you really want to.
    Slider1 likes this.
  6. wkt

    wkt Member

    Go for it. I know quite a few people who stopped playing for years and are now back and getting a lot of enjoyment out of it. Set your own targets. You don't need to be a star, unless that's what you want to be. There are bands for players of all standards, and people enjoying their playing in all of those bands - and audiences who love to hear them. Good luck.
  7. Deelee

    Deelee New Member

    Thank you all for your words of encouragement. I have been in contact with the town's local band. I am going to go this Friday(all being well) to have a go to see how I feel. Still very nervous but nothing good in life is ever easy.
  8. ari01

    ari01 Active Member

    Good luck Deelee... I dare say that most of the band will be so focussed on their own part that they probably won't even be listening to you... you'll be fine...
    KenIrvin likes this.
  9. Slider1

    Slider1 Member

    Good for you.
  10. Deelee

    Deelee New Member

    Well I did it, so pleased with myself. Played loads of wrong notes but I was pleased that I pushed myself. Got to practice lots now.
    They were very supportive and now I feel the need to do better.

    Thank you all for your kind words.
  11. wkt

    wkt Member

    Brilliant. Well done. Enjoy.
    2nd tenor likes this.
  12. Mckenny87sj

    Mckenny87sj New Member

    Good for you my friend
    Mysite: YouTube to MP3 Converter & SoundCloud Downloader
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2016
  13. Deelee

    Deelee New Member

    On my second band practice I felt I did much better than last week. Now practicing lip slurs, lost all feeling....

    Trying my best to improve on my playing week on week and compare myself to other players, as I have a lot of catching up to do.
    wkt likes this.
  14. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Active Member

    Maybe a lot of catching up to do but (IMHO) it's healthier not to compare yourself to others and to never beat yourself up for not being able to do something. Work gently at improving and above all have fun out of your banding.

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