Hi Everyone

Jue

New Member
Hi Everyone
I just wanted to say hello. I am coming up to retirement (20 months to go), and I am thinking of taking up music for pleasure....maybe join a band if I become good enough.
when at school from the age of 10 to 15 I played a tenor horn and enjoyed this, so thinking this is where I want to go. Any advice about a ‘starter’ instrument would be very gratefully received.
Happy new year :)

Thank you

Jue :)
 

Jack E

Well-Known Member
Hallo, Jue - and welcome to the Mouthpiece :)
So you're coming up to retirement, and thinking of starting with brass again? If you browse through these forums, you'll find a shedload of people who played in the past, stopped playing for decades, and then got going again - and who are having a whale of a time!

In my case, having tried a bunch of other instruments in the past (and made all of them sound as though they were being played by a poorly designed machine), by my mid 20s I'd decided that, much as I loved music, I did not have the ability to play anything. Three years after I retired, I went to see a brass band playing locally, and during the performance, the MD announced that if anyone was inclined to having a go, the band would lend them an instrument, and provide them with a music lesson once a week. Being bored out of my brains by then, I decided to give it a go, on the basis of 'What have I got to lose?' The sickening thing is that, nearly 40 years ago, two good friends played in a brass band, and if I'd expressed the slightest interest in having a go, they'd have given me all the help and encouragement I needed (come to that, both of them still are doing that!). Unfortunately, by then, I 'knew' I couldn't play anything more than a referee's whistle, so I didn't bother . . . rats, rats, RATS!! :mad:

Years before, my old brass-playing friend, in an idle conversation about French horns, had looked at my face, and said "I doubt you could ever achieve the embouchure to play a French horn - I think you'd be better suited to baritone." So, when I turned up at the band for my first lesson and was asked if I had a particular instrument in mind, that was what I asked to try. Once I got my first something like decent note out of it, I was sold on the baritone!

Based on the posts of a number of people who have had the same sort of layoff as you, I would offer the following suggestions.
Your bone structure and the muscles in your face will have changed considerably since you were 15, so you may find that the tenor horn mouthpiece no longer matches you, and you may find it far more comfortable and enjoyable to play something else. This is the huge advantage of joining a band with a training section for learners; they will have a stock of loan instruments that you can try out to see what works for you, and it won't cost you a penny. I can't think of anything worse than spending a lot of cash on an instrument, only to find that you can't play it, and that you should have bought something else. Even if you've bought a good quality instrument, which will hold a reasonable trade-in value, you will still lose a lot. The other advantage of joining a learner's section in a band is that once you are up to speed on the simple stuff, you'll be able to play in a group, have a lot of fun, and make a lot of new friends.

If, at this stage, you'd prefer not to join a band, but have private lessons, then I'd suggest that you rent an instrument from one of the many firms which provide this service. One I have dealt with myself is Brass Hire UK - though there are many others which do the same. The advantage of hiring is that, if you try one instrument, find it's not for you, and want to try another one, they will take your instrument back and send you another type (with the rental rate adjusted accordingly) - which is a far cheaper option that buying the 'wrong' instrument, and then having to trade in for another one. All of the rental companies I've seen also give you the option of buying the instrument if you decide it does suit you, and allowing you a certain number of months rental against the buying price. The terms do vary from one company to another, so it's worth doing a search on the 'net.

Re. private lessons; based on my own experience, and the advice I've had from some accomplished players, I'd say that even if you decided to join a band, it's still well worth having private lessons - even if you can only afford them once a fortnight, or even once a month, they will pay off. In fact, the solo horn player who I discussed it with said that she could tell just by listening to players in her band which players had had private tuition and which had not.

I'm sure that other members on here will give you the benefit of their advice and experience, but I hope this helps.

With best regards,
Jack
PS - and a Happy New Year!
 

Jue

New Member
Hi Jack
Wow thank you so much for the welcome, and your reply.
You have made some brilliant suggestions. I had been looking at the possibility of private lessons and I definitely think I will go down that route, as well as you tube and books for practice. That’s definitely made my mind up for this.
As far as I can see there aren’t any bands with a training section close enough for me to use unfortunately, but I will have another look to make sure I haven’t missed one. I like that idea especially having the opportunity of being with others and group playing.
I had no idea that instrument rental was a thing.... I will definitely have a look at that as I don’t want to end up with the wrong instrument.... so this could be a great solution for me...
thank you again.

Jue :)
 

Jack E

Well-Known Member
You're very welcome, Jue - and let us know how you get on.

With best regards,
Jack
 
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