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Thread: Should I switch to bass?

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  1. #1
    tMP Friend in Training
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    Should I switch to bass?

    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. #2
    tMP Prime Friend iancwilx's Avatar
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    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
    - Mr Wilx

  3. #3
    tMP Prime Friend Rapier's Avatar
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    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.
    Blow in the little end. Noise comes out the Big end.
    Simples !

    Better to be a Has Been, than a Never Was!

  4. #4
    tMP Prime Friend Laserbeam bass's Avatar
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    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
    Nothing to see

  5. #5
    tMP Friend in Training Gazabone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laserbeam bass View Post
    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
    ..... 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!

  6. #6
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    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!

  7. #7
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    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. #8
    tMP Friend in Training
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    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. #9
    tMP Prime Friend iancwilx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Missy_Gracie View Post
    a bass seems like it might be fun!
    It really really is !

    ~ Mr Wilx
    - Mr Wilx

  10. #10
    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. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by its_jon View Post
    Just make sure you play what you want to play and not what others want you to.
    That's a really good ethic that. There was me thinking a band was a team of players not a group of individuals.

  12. #12
    tMP Friend in Training Eb Ben's Avatar
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    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.
    Eb bass - Catterick Brass


  13. #13
    tMP Master Friend Aussie Tuba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marc71178 View Post
    That's a really good ethic that. There was me thinking a band was a team of players not a group of individuals.
    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.
    Aussie Tuba
    Eb Bass
    Windsor Brass

  14. #14
    tMP Master Friend nethers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marc71178 View Post
    That's a really good ethic that. There was me thinking a band was a team of players not a group of individuals.
    At one point the only band that would have me put me on baritone as they already had 3 decent troms. Pretty soon I was so despondent with it I almost quit playing. Nothing against the barking iron per se, I just love the trombone.

    Luckily, very soon after a lot of other doors opened up and I am now who I am today. 'Team ethic' nearly pushed a player out of the game altogether.
    Marc Nethercot

    Trombone Dalewool Auckland Brass

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by marc71178 View Post
    That's a really good ethic that. There was me thinking a band was a team of players not a group of individuals.
    It is, but it's also something that should be there for us all to enjoy, so the priority should be what you enjoy playing, not necessarily what the band would like you to play.
    Ross Baxter
    2nd Cornet - Penclawdd Brass

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