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Author Topic: Older beginning trombonist  (Read 558 times)
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Jstall357
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« on: Oct 12, 2017, 06:34AM »

Good morning. I have recently decided to take up the trombone rather late in life at 42. Could anybody suggest a good course or video that I could acquire that would help me in my endeavors? Any feedback is greatly appreciated.
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Geezerhorn

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« Reply #1 on: Oct 12, 2017, 06:48AM »

Good morning. I have recently decided to take up the trombone rather late in life at 42. Could anybody suggest a good course or video that I could acquire that would help me in my endeavors? Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Lol. You're a puppy! I started at age 63!

I would look for new or used copies of the Rubank system on Amazon or eBay. They are a series of books aimed at the rank beginner. They should go for cheap.

Get yourself a good instructor and follow his guidelines fervently! He may have other systems he likes a lot - like Arbans and a whole host of others when he feels you are ready.

Whenever you put your horn up to your face, try to play the nicest-sounding notes you possibly can. Make that a lifetime habit right from the get-go!

Good luck!

...Geezer
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Nanook

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« Reply #2 on: Oct 12, 2017, 11:14AM »

I'm a returning player as well, started at 61 yo...I wasted almost a year thinking I could teach myself...Wrong. I'm 2 years with an instructor and I'm moving along at a much better clip...He told me to give him 4 years and he'd make a player out of me, and at this point, Lord I hope he's right. I'm a big fan of the 15 minute warm up book from Hip Bone... It's great for working on your Intonation and flexibility, without worrying too much about slide positions and coordination...Good luck and enjoy the process, cause it's a long one for me....

Nanook
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robcat2075

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« Reply #3 on: Oct 12, 2017, 12:12PM »

It is crucial that you discern the difference between the sound you make and what it should sound like.
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Robert Holmén

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Geezerhorn

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« Reply #4 on: Oct 12, 2017, 03:01PM »

I'm a returning player as well, started at 61 yo...I wasted almost a year thinking I could teach myself...Wrong. I'm 2 years with an instructor and I'm moving along at a much better clip...He told me to give him 4 years and he'd make a player out of me, and at this point, Lord I hope he's right. I'm a big fan of the 15 minute warm up book from Hip Bone... It's great for working on your Intonation and flexibility, without worrying too much about slide positions and coordination...Good luck and enjoy the process, cause it's a long one for me....

Nanook

Stick with your warm-up book as an anchor. Every little incremental improvement I make in it translates to a noticeable improvement in my "public" voice!

I never knew the value of a "daily routine" that never varies until I got onto it about 8 months ago. It is indispensable, to the point where if that was all I could do in a given day, that is exactly what I would do.

...Geezer
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« Reply #5 on: Oct 13, 2017, 10:58AM »


Learning trombone is one of those things that really needs some one-on-one instruction
to get you started in the right direction. The self-taught approach will work much better after you learn some fundamentals. If lessons aren't in the budget right now, try to find a trombonist/mentor. Trombonists tend to be very helpful to one another.
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patrickosmith

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« Reply #6 on: Oct 13, 2017, 11:26AM »

I'm curious as to what led you in this direction?

Probably the most important thing to do as a brand new beginner is to establish what is the best embouchure setting and mouthpiece for your face.

The go-to guy is Doug Elliott who is on this forum website. Ask him for a Skype lesson. Do it as soon as you can.
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vegasbound
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« Reply #7 on: Oct 14, 2017, 03:09AM »

Save yourself a lot of anguish and have lessons!
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Max Croot
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« Reply #8 on: Oct 14, 2017, 06:50PM »

Hi. you are never too old. I have an 80 year old pupil. Another oldie I know of moved to a retirement village and loved jazz. There were another couple of old retired musos there who encouraged him to take up trombone and they played at a jazz festival. You are never too old. Go for it. Max.
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« Reply #9 on: Oct 15, 2017, 09:31AM »

I took up the trombone at the age of 66 just over a year ago, I had no experience in playing any brass instruments at all.  I've got a wonderfull tutor who has encouraged me and keeps me in the right direction and has taught me to read music

In my opinion, your never too old to learn
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« Reply #10 on: Oct 18, 2017, 05:40PM »

I'm 48 and just picked up a horn 6 months ago.  Don't have a teacher yet, and love every minute of playing......completely unbounded by anything a teacher would want me to do.  It's just pure fun.  Here is my path.

I recommend the most basic sheet of music in the world.  Works for every instrument.  Unfortunately it is called scales.  You can download them for free off the internet.  (I think that just about every professional player would share how scales are staple to learning to play....especially if you are interested in jazz).

Next you can pick up the beginning Essential Elements book.  When you finish that, graduate to the next Essenital Elements or Rubank.  I think these books are less than $10.
 
Next recommendation is "practice" "practice" "practice".  30+ minutes per day when you chops are fit enough to tolerate it.  I'm up to 60 - 75 minutes a day.

Third is join a community band.  Your ego is gonna make you work harder.....and the Director won't nit pick at you if you screw up...and I am highly experienced in playing the wrong note and having bad timing.   The community band gives you a goal, but also allows you to learn on your own pace.  (If you can't master the passage, don't play it.)

Fourth recommendation is consider hiring a teacher.   You can be pretty sure that the entirety of jazz would have never been invented in guys like W.C Handy and Miles Davis had they had formal training when the started out.  They weren't limited by the knowledge of the past, and they created a new way to put intonation into music...... I haven't gotten to the hiring a teacher yet.....though I am considering one....

........so perhaps a teacher is the fastest way to go, but for me, it isn't about learning as quickly as possible.  It is about enjoying myself.


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VJOFan
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« Reply #11 on: Oct 19, 2017, 08:30AM »

You can be pretty sure that the entirety of jazz would have never been invented in guys like W.C Handy and Miles Davis had they had formal training when the started out.  They weren't limited by the knowledge of the past, and they created a new way to put intonation into music...... I haven't gotten to the hiring a teacher yet.....though I am considering one....


That's just factually wrong information. These two artists may have found their own voice but both (I mean Miles Davis was accepted to Julliard!)were highly trained, Western tradition literate, musicians. There may be examples of players who were spawned but these are not those.

Knowledge only stifles if you don't have enough of it to know what you don't know.
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Bjroosevelt
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« Reply #12 on: Oct 20, 2017, 10:47AM »

That's just factually wrong information. These two artists may have found their own voice but both (I mean Miles Davis was accepted to Julliard!)were highly trained, Western tradition literate, musicians. There may be examples of players who were spawned but these are not those.

That is what I get from going off of memory.  Shouldn't have used Miles as an example..........

If you can find a history on the musical education of W.C. Handy that discusses his formal musical education before he was 'good,' I would be interested in the reference, as the references I have seen are rather inconsistent with ''formal training when he started out."

Interesting story: my son's trombone teacher has a primary instrument called the Tuba.  He is just about the best Tuba player in a 100 mile radius.  Got a music scholarship to college.  Never had a single private lesson until after he got into college....Band class in middle and high school, Community Band during the summers.  That was it.  He did it through practice, and a great audition.  He can do a lot of stuff no one else can, and he learned a ton of it  between 12 and 18 years old when he could practice 6 hours a day.  The guy still loves each and every one of the instruments he plays.

As a world, we like to think of people going though formal training and ending with a great accomplishment.  In life that is generally not the case......

My point still remains.  Practice, and lots of it, is the most important thing.......and I agree that teachers can be helpful in developing skill, but they also risk snuffing out your enjoyment of a hobby..........I don't believe they are the top priority........and I don't agree with the general consensus that teachers are necessarily the right starting point for an adult.   

It is funny, I was in a music shop last month.  A college kid was in there with his teacher.  The student was shopping for a new trumpet.......and they settled in on a horn that sounded great on the teacher, but was clearly the wrong horn for the student.  The horn was obviously holding the student back.  That student is being developed to sound like his teacher, not like the kid should sound.

.......and at 48 years old I am doing my own thing, my own way.......and I enjoy it.  It doesn't really matter to me what others think, or what the 'accepted learning technique is"  Isn't that the point of a hobby?

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BGuttman
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« Reply #13 on: Oct 20, 2017, 11:27AM »

One of the important things about this hobby is that we generally play in groups.  When you do that you need to fit in or they won't accept you.  So you may have developed your own sound on your own, but if you don't sound like a trombone and you want to get into a group they probably won't want you.

Teachers generally train you to get an acceptable sound that matches with others.

Now if all you want is to play in your basement for yourself, have at it.
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Bruce Guttman
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Nanook

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« Reply #14 on: Oct 21, 2017, 08:31AM »

I always enjoy how threads take a different direction....BJ I admire how you stick to your guns...Atta boy. I'm 60 plus returner myself, and I was self teaching for about one year, mainly because I couldn't fine an instructor in my rural area. I would say for me the past two years of formal instruction has been a more efficient use of my time...In golf there is a saying, "only perfect practice makes for prefect play".

Early on I joined a community band, and I was pretty bad, they were ok with it, but I refused to pollute the waters with my play. I just got the green light from my instructor, to give it another go, now I'm pretty nervous....My personal goal is to get good enough to make a little beer money and enjoy playing with others. I have a few more years to go until that goal might be met...Best of luck on the path you choose... 

Nanook   
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« Reply #15 on: Oct 21, 2017, 08:40AM »

I was one of those who thought I could effectively self-teach and to a degree, I was correct. However, after taking professional lessons for about a year, I concede that it is the best and most efficient way to learn.

But it all depends upon your personal goals. If it's a very casual hobby where you just pick up your horn for a community band rehearsal or gig and you can play well enough to pass, all's well. But if you want to see just how much potential in you that can be brought out, then I believe it is imperative to find a good instructor - at least for a while. Perhaps, once a certain proficiency is obtained, self-instruction can work a lot better. Even then, I still believe it is a great idea to maintain a contact with the instructor to have periodic reality checks.

...Geezer
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