Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Di B, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. Di B

    Di B Member

    Over the last six months I have ended up having two tutoring sessions.
    The first, mainly for confidence and the second for working on my upper register, sound, stamina and all round euph playing.

    I am not ashamed to admit this!
    I am 35, and last had lessons on euph when I was 15.
    I can also state both were good and did the job, but the lesson I had recently just blew me away - more helpful than I had ever imagined.

    I am surprised that so many people either laugh or thinks it takes guts to go back to lessons.
    They would never do it - and certainly not with someone who would be considered an expert on their instrument!

    Surely if you know you need the assistance and know someone who is willing and able to help you it's a no-brainer?

    So.... has anyone here gone 'back to school' like me? Did it help? Was it general lessons you had, or was it geared to something specific?

    Would be interested to hear peoples opinions where they haven't had lessons for at least five years before going back :)
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2010
  2. gingerdave

    gingerdave Member

    i'd put up a post about private tution very recently (finding a tutor in my area). I've since found one and only yesterday had my first lesson. I'd not had tutoring for 10 years now, 8 of those i'd stopped playing for, and only took up again to join my local brass band. I've also completely changed instrument to tenor horn (from trumpet/cornet), last year, something i've never played before!

    how'd it go?

    Not bad, we talked through my playing history, bands, insturments + grades. Then he talked through a few warm up exercises on mouthpiece, embrouchure, diaphram/breathing, some slurring + then dynamic exercises.

    I'll be going back for another lesson in 3 weeks (first i could), and will either get some 'graded' pieces to practice or run through some of the band pieces that i struggle with.

    i think for an intial lesson that's probably the outcome i could have expected, but hopefully putting a few of those into action + then looking at a piece next time will bring some further aspects to work on
  3. David Mann

    David Mann Member

    I had 2 spells of lessons: one when I was 29, back to basics on note production, and some trombone lessons with Simon Hogg in my late 30s. Both were really useful and improved my playing a lot.
  4. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    I could really do with some tuition to sort my sound out.

    I've regressed a lot over the last year or so and my sound's never really got back to what it was when I was an Eb player.

    I'm 30 and wouldn't think twice about admitting to having lessons. How can trying to improve possibly be a bad thing?
  5. Di B

    Di B Member

    Were either of you scared of having lessons again?
    Did you find you had more specific needs than you did in your younger years?

    Did you keep it secret or tell people? If the latter, how did they react?
  6. gingerdave

    gingerdave Member

    Not really, only in that i might not get on with the guy.
    Perhaps, but then i've become more vocal about expressing them. Intially the practice tips are great, but i'll be needing to focus on sight reading + playing skills which is why i'll be taking some different things next time.

    i was asking to my band members (and on here) i certainly wouldn't feel ashamed about asking for tution, why would I? I've had a long break, changed to a completely new instrument, and am now playing brass band (rather than brass quartet, or concert/jazz band). In fact quite a few of them were having tuition or had in the past.
  7. gingerdave

    gingerdave Member

    Did you keep it secret then? If so why? If not what reaction did you get? If it was a sneer/derogatory i hope you rebuked them!?
  8. Di B

    Di B Member

    I havent kept it secret, but I haven't advertised it either :)
    My view is it is my business :)

    From those I have told reactions have been very different from I wish I could have lessons, good for you and that sounds great to glad it's you not me, that's brave of you and do you think the odd lesson will really help? Some players I respect told me they have also gone for advice when faced with specific solos/test pieces.

    Just thought after having such a great lesson I would highlight the fact that there is no shame asking for help - every player has their weak spots no matter how great they are.
  9. David Mann

    David Mann Member

    I wasn't scared and didn't keep it secret. The first sessions (at 29) were all to do with note production, breath control and sound. The lessons with Simon were more specific in that I'd taught myself how to play trombone and thought it was a good idea to relearn it properly! I don't know why anyone would want to keep it secret. I don't remember any particular reaction from anyone about having lessons, only to how my playing changed.

    Not aimed at you, Di, but lesson takers in general: if you pay for lessons and then don't do what you are asked, you're wasting your money and the tutor's time!
  10. Tubby

    Tubby Member

    Well I go to Les Neish every 6 weeks, mainly because I'm an experienced player. He is a fantastic Tuba player, musician and teacher. He is very honest and doesn't blow hot air up your bum with comments like that was really good even though you know it was rubbish.

    I would encourage anybody to go for lessons if you feel you need them, it's down to personel choice just make sure you get a good tutor.
  11. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    I had lesson some Years ago, I just wished more players had the passion to play better. I hate lazy playing ( just playing from the Band cupboard ) not much room for improvement if the instrument never leaves the Band room hey. Even at 50 I feel room for improvement and from time to time play in a top grade Band at practice for the extra practice and the experience of playing with the Best. Can only improve what I do, certainly cant hurt.
  12. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    It's worth mentioning that it doens't have to be a weekly thing to be effective. I know many great players who take a lesson from time to time, just to be assessed by new ears or for a kick up the bum. I guess whether it needs to be a regular thing or not depends on your own aspirations and attitude towards playing and practise.

    I offer a two-lesson package aimed as a refresher for mature learners and experienced players for anyone who can travel to Auckland. :p

    Well done Di B for bringing the subject up - hope things are well at Enderby, say hi to anyone there who remembers me!
  13. Rambo Chick

    Rambo Chick Member

    Very true - Nethers and I often critique each others playing and give each other lessons or pointers. As so many say, you never stop learning!
  14. Di B

    Di B Member

    Is it me or do all of Enderby's trombone players swan off abroad to hot climates?! lol!

    Not sure if I know you - have helped enderby out years before joining but Tony was always on solo trom :) Will pass on your message to Trev though - he is bound to know you.
  15. yorkie11

    yorkie11 New Member

    Teaching Old Dogs new tricks

    Just get your Arban out any page will do, you can teach yourself. Then go to someone else do the same thing and let them shout at you.
    Get your breathing sorted out, everything should be easy after that
  16. Di B

    Di B Member

    Although I agree breathing is important, an Arban can't teach you how to shape or style pieces. It can't teach you to be confident. It also can't teach you the tricks of the trade. Experience and knowledge can teach you though.

    An appropriate teacher would style a lesson to suit your needs and be encouraging without shouting.

    Assume you are on a wind up though? :)
  17. a_szafranek

    a_szafranek Member

    What ever do you mean by swanning off abroad (**sips Pina Colada, slurp**)!

    I can take responsibility for dragging Marc along from time to time to rehearsals, but because I asked him, I also sat "on top" :))

    On the topic, yes, agree that lessons from time to time are a very good thing as a "check and balance". Until a few years ago, I had periodic lessons with two prominant players / conductors. I felt it was more of a consultative thing and much more two way discussion than it ever was then when I was 9 years old!

    I'm lucky enough to be able to pick the trom up much at all at the moment! If only bands were more global!

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