Should I switch to bass?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Missy_Gracie, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. Missy_Gracie

    Missy_Gracie Member

    I'm just beginning to wonder. I'm 28, and a newish (less than 12 months) player. I'm playing the tenor horn, as that was the logical start, Husbands cornet too small, and his bass too big for me to make a noise let alone a note. So a bit like goldilocks he turned up from band with a tenor horn, which being in Eb like his bass seemed just right. However, of the two local bands we play with one has a full horn section, and in the one I regularly make it to I'm 3rd 2nd horn- way way down in the pecking order. I'm unlikely at my age ever to be good enough to make solo horn, not that I'm fussed for promotion and glory.
    So I come to the question, now I can play my horn a bit, I've had a go on the other halfs bass again. and I can make notes! (granted it makes my eyeballs vibrate) It doesn't sound great, but I guess it could be made to sound ok. Given the general shortage of bass players (ok one of our bands has a full bass section, but the other only has 2 Ebs, one of whom I could give a run for his money, and the second is my other half) should I be borrowing a Bb bass and learning to make low low notes? I'm just thinking there are loads and loads of good tenor horn players out there, and thousands of mediocre ones, and even more like me who are rubbish, therefore would it be easier, and more useful to be a rubbish Bb player than a rubbish horn player? (neither of our bands compete, so it's not like I'm overlooked or anything, we all just play together)
  2. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    Go for it, you'll love it.
    I too was a very mediocre horn player who made the change to EEb Bass (Under duress from Peter Kitson, a fearsome band trainer) when I was 14 and have loved everything about it ever since. I hope playing bass gives you the same tremendous pleasure it's given me. Peter Kitson did me a real favour !

    ~ Mr Wilx
  3. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Depends on if you like the horn or not. 28 is not too late to improve enough to move up the bench to the solo seat. I did it and from a lot older than that.
  4. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    I dropped all the way down from Sop to BBb Bass, where I found my niche. Never say never, but if you are going to drop down, you will find out what your diaphragm is for. I did ;)

    Agree with Rapier, that it is never too late to attain the dizzy heights of Solo Horn, but the bass is a far more superior instruments, and the more the merrier, IMHO :D
  5. Missy_Gracie

    Missy_Gracie Member

    suppose all I can do is try... see i love playing horn, but am rubbish at off-beats, on the other hand our car would really struggle with 2 basses, as would our 1 bed house and our bank balance, as I'd rather play Bb so as not to be cramping my husbands style!
  6. Gazabone

    Gazabone Member

    ..... Not just your diaphragm, same goes for just about every muscle in your thorax! However, the important thing to remember is you're doing it for fun, give it a try, you may never look back. Hold on to the horn for a while, you might want to go back!
  7. Bassboner

    Bassboner New Member

    Have you considered a Baritone?,there is a shortage of those in a lot of areas.I spent a couple of years on one and really enjoyed it!
  8. Missy_Gracie

    Missy_Gracie Member

    No we have plenty in both bands, and the thought of a bari simply doesn't thrill me, we have loads of euphs too, i wouldn't know where to start with a trombone, whereas a bass seems like it might be fun!
  9. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    It really really is !

    ~ Mr Wilx
  10. its_jon

    its_jon Member

    Play whatever you prefer to play.

    Millions of Guitarists have not found a band to play in .... They still play guitar.

    If a band can not accept 4 or 5 horn players its not worthy.

    Of course....Come a contest.... pick your best team.

    If you prefer Bass... Thats great as well ! .... Just make sure you play what you want to play and not what others want you to.
  11. Missy_Gracie

    Missy_Gracie Member

    and I suppose that is really the question- what do I want to play! as I said band are more than happy to have me (infact at the last concert we got in an extra horn to help with the 2nd horn parts, so that we could all play without looking bad- and without the 1st horn spending half his time pointing at the 2nd horn music! now that is a band who want people to feel loved- they went an extra mile to make us confident!) so that isn't an issue, I suppose I'm being slightly alturistic in that I know there seems to be a national lack of bass players, added to the fact that actually if I had started at age 8 I would have probably been handed a cornet to start with, and then at about this stage been moved onto the "appropriate" instrument. As an adult learner it's quite interesting that as part of a proper band, rather than a learner band, it seems to be up to me what I play, and the guidance is minimal (and perhaps the expectation of movement within the band is too)
  12. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    even if you never move off 2nd horn. 2nd Horn is an important part and needs to be heard.

    EEb Bass is one thing, Have you tried to make a note on a BBb. They are very different.

    Personly I would stick to horn a while longer, off beats will come in time. And while some may want to go the dizzy heights of solo horn I repeat. 2nd horn is important to and needs to be heard just as strongly as the solo horn part. Concentrait on making your part strong in the group.
  13. RossAB

    RossAB Member

    I started off playing horn, and I know exactly how you feel with regards to off-beats. I struggled with them for a long time, I just managed to get the hang of them eventually. Best I can advise with that is practice makes perfect, and all that!

    As others have said, every single part is important. If something wasn't supposed to be there, it wouldn't have been written in the first place, so it's just as important to have a strong 2nd horn player as it is a strong solo horn player.

    As for changing instruments, if you feel more comfortable playing a different instrument and you have the opportunity, then go for it! Nothing stopping you from trying it out, and if it doesn't go well, at least you've tried!
  14. YWDBchair

    YWDBchair New Member

    I personally would warn against BBb bass. I went from rep cornet to EEb and that was alright, but when I tried to get a note out of a BBb it was completely different. I'd say if possible try EEb for a while before making the leap to BBb as you'll get your lungs used to needing to use more air which will make the change to BBb a hell of a lot easier.
  15. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    I love the idea of someone within the band really thinking about how they can contribute best... Yours is a non-competing band and playing for the love of it is what banding should be about.
    It may be an idea to get hold of a smaller Bb first - less air needed, easier on the pocket and on space. It won't give you the huge sound that modern BBb players expect but it will fill a useful space in your band.
    If you can a half decent noise out of it your MD will love you.
  16. marc71178

    marc71178 Member

    That's a really good ethic that. There was me thinking a band was a team of players not a group of individuals.
  17. Eb Ben

    Eb Ben New Member

    I'm Missy_Gracie's other half - and I love my EEb bass. On a purely personal basis - I hate playing BBb bass. I find it takes way more air than I am used to, and the pitching takes a while to get used to. Having said that, BBb bass is an important part and I have the utmost respect for all BBb bass players - especially when marching!

    I started playing cornet when I was 9 and made the change to bass when I was 14 on the advice of my teacher. I find the larger mouthpiece much easier than the cornet and I never looked back.

    Maybe the change from horn to bass would be a good thing if you want to - there is certainly a shortage of BBb players in this area - but you rightly point out the constraints of the small house, small car and small bank balance!

    My advice would be try and borrow an instrument for a while and see how you get on - if you can cope with a BBb bass you are braver than me!

    Most of all - enjoy whatever you end up playing. That is what banding is all about.
  18. pbirch

    pbirch Active Member

    Simple answer, no, do not switch to tuba (either of them). Being a new player does not make you a rubbish player, and I think for you it is way too soon to tell, but even if you were a rubbish tenor horn player ( and I am sure you are not) you would still be a rubbish player, only now playing the tuba.
    I would think about investing time and some money in lessons to improve your horn playing, and then you might be able to answer your own question, I wish you the best of luck.
  19. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    totaly agree. Lessons from a tutor would make a lot of difference.
  20. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    Bands ARE a team. But you wouldn't expect your goalie to make a center forward and score goals. Each team member has his / her own part to play and that is their choice as to what part that is. once parts ( instruments ) are established your team work begins. Each part being a balanced part of the whole. If I were forced to play an instrument I did not like just because the band needed one it might work for a while , But I am an Eb Bass Player and would alway resent being put on something else just because no one else was there to fill the void.
    Most Players find a Band that needs their talents on whatever it is they play.

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