Nervous tenor horn player.

Heskyhorn

New Member
Hi I am a retired science teacher who took up the tenor horn 5 years ago and loving it mostly. I belong to a band near the High Peak but like many bands it has shrunk. I often get lost during practice and hence very frustrated. I have an excellent tutor outside of the band and my wife complains I practice too much. Currently I am working to extend my range down and up. I sing in a church choir in Buxton so reading music isn't too bad unless its too fast or too many semi quavers. I look forward to making contact with other tenor horn players.
 

2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
Welcome to tmp and good for you in taking up brass, may you have many happy years of playing - folk still playing in their eighties is not unusual and I think something to aim for. Brass playing is, I’m told, good for you too; because of the mental exercise, the use of lung power and social contact.

Getting lost in music is not unusual for many of us, it certainly happens to me from time to time. When you put the music up on the stand have a good look at it to find the repeats and, if the piece has them, the sign and the coda. Sometimes it’s best to just play a note or two here and there and follow the music rather than attempt to play it all and get lost in the process. Be careful how you count rests, it’s easy to slip up … don’t ask me how I know.

Some Bands have shrunk in size and others thrive. Some smaller Bands can still play well in small groups, we had a great time playing quintet (five part) music during the lockdown. When later allowed we had more players, the result was quite full sounding and you have a buddy or two to help you through your own part.

Too much practice, perhaps it’s possible. I can easily loose an hour playing tunes for fun; Brass Wind publications do some winning books. 🙂
 
Last edited:

Jack E

Well-Known Member
Good evening, @Heskyhorn - and welcome aboard!

Even though I've been playing for much longer, I'm still playing in a training band. On a couple of occasions, with previous bands, I've felt I was being pressurised into going up into the main band; but when I tried it, I felt stressed out the eyeballs, got hopelessly muddled with complex bars, and regarded every rehearsal as an ordeal - and where's the pleasure in that?
This is an extract from a piece I was asked to play - please note, as a 2nd baritone!

Music Extract.jpg

Yeah, right . . . :rolleyes:

One thing I've found helpful - and may work for you - is that I bought some basic music notation software (it's called Crescendo). When I get something that I just can't make any sense of, I transcribe it into Crescendo and use the playback facility. It has its limitations; it can't manage tied notes and slurs, but plays them as separate notes. I dare say a more expensive software, such as Muse, could do it better, but it still gives me an idea. The other tip I was given was to "just play the first note of each bar" - which works sometimes, but is little help in the first bar, shown above!

A lot of my working life was in extremely stressful jobs (mostly down to idiot bosses), and topped off with some severe hassle in my personal life over the last 20 years before I retired - according to the cardiac rehab staff, the combination of that was the direct cause of my three heart attacks and a quad by-pass. You can, I'm sure, appreciate why I regard high-stress situations in the same way I'd regard a spitting cobra - keep away!

So I'm content to plug away as 2nd baritone in the training band. I dare say if I'd started playing brass in even my 40s, rather than at 68, I'd have been far more ambitious. As it is, all I want now is to enjoy making music, in the company of friends - and not get into what feels like a musical boot-camp! And if the music I make is simple stuff, I don't care - I'm perfectly happy to work on playing simple stuff to the best of my ability, rather than struggling to play music which is stretching me to my limit and beyond.

With best regards,
Jack
 

Heskyhorn

New Member
Good evening, @Heskyhorn - and welcome aboard!

Even though I've been playing for much longer, I'm still playing in a training band. On a couple of occasions, with previous bands, I've felt I was being pressurised into going up into the main band; but when I tried it, I felt stressed out the eyeballs, got hopelessly muddled with complex bars, and regarded every rehearsal as an ordeal - and where's the pleasure in that?
This is an extract from a piece I was asked to play - please note, as a 2nd baritone!

View attachment 5395
Yeah, right . . . :rolleyes:

One thing I've found helpful - and may work for you - is that I bought some basic music notation software (it's called Crescendo). When I get something that I just can't make any sense of, I transcribe it into Crescendo and use the playback facility. It has its limitations; it can't manage tied notes and slurs, but plays them as separate notes. I dare say a more expensive software, such as Muse, could do it better, but it still gives me an idea. The other tip I was given was to "just play the first note of each bar" - which works sometimes, but is little help in the first bar, shown above!

A lot of my working life was in extremely stressful jobs (mostly down to idiot bosses), and topped off with some severe hassle in my personal life over the last 20 years before I retired - according to the cardiac rehab staff, the combination of that was the direct cause of my three heart attacks and a quad by-pass. You can, I'm sure, appreciate why I regard high-stress situations in the same way I'd regard a spitting cobra - keep away!

So I'm content to plug away as 2nd baritone in the training band. I dare say if I'd started playing brass in even my 40s, rather than at 68, I'd have been far more ambitious. As it is, all I want now is to enjoy making music, in the company of friends - and not get into what feels like a musical boot-camp! And if the music I make is simple stuff, I don't care - I'm perfectly happy to work on playing simple stuff to the best of my ability, rather than struggling to play music which is stretching me to my limit and beyond.

With best regards,
Jack
Hi Jack,
Thanks for the ideas. I am no longer in the training band which is very small. I struggle in the main band, everyone tries to be really helpful and they are very friendly. I use a package called Musescore which is free (it does slurs and tied notes, its a bit like Sibelius but so much cheaper.
The band is trying to adapt to the level that is more inclusive.
I have found a tutor who seems to be able to pick just the right subject for a session and boosts my confidence no end.
I certainly know how it feels to be stressed in rehearsals!
Hopefully bump into you sometime. Cheers Mark
 

Heskyhorn

New Member
Good evening, @Heskyhorn - and welcome aboard!

Even though I've been playing for much longer, I'm still playing in a training band. On a couple of occasions, with previous bands, I've felt I was being pressurised into going up into the main band; but when I tried it, I felt stressed out the eyeballs, got hopelessly muddled with complex bars, and regarded every rehearsal as an ordeal - and where's the pleasure in that?
This is an extract from a piece I was asked to play - please note, as a 2nd baritone!

View attachment 5395
Yeah, right . . . :rolleyes:

One thing I've found helpful - and may work for you - is that I bought some basic music notation software (it's called Crescendo). When I get something that I just can't make any sense of, I transcribe it into Crescendo and use the playback facility. It has its limitations; it can't manage tied notes and slurs, but plays them as separate notes. I dare say a more expensive software, such as Muse, could do it better, but it still gives me an idea. The other tip I was given was to "just play the first note of each bar" - which works sometimes, but is little help in the first bar, shown above!

A lot of my working life was in extremely stressful jobs (mostly down to idiot bosses), and topped off with some severe hassle in my personal life over the last 20 years before I retired - according to the cardiac rehab staff, the combination of that was the direct cause of my three heart attacks and a quad by-pass. You can, I'm sure, appreciate why I regard high-stress situations in the same way I'd regard a spitting cobra - keep away!

So I'm content to plug away as 2nd baritone in the training band. I dare say if I'd started playing brass in even my 40s, rather than at 68, I'd have been far more ambitious. As it is, all I want now is to enjoy making music, in the company of friends - and not get into what feels like a musical boot-camp! And if the music I make is simple stuff, I don't care - I'm perfectly happy to work on playing simple stuff to the best of my ability, rather than struggling to play music which is stretching me to my limit and beyond.

With best regards,
Jack
 

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