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The Trombone ForumTeaching & LearningPractice Room(Moderator: blast) The aging trombonist (and how to do it gracefully)
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Location: Toronto area
Joined: Sep 7, 2009
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« Reply #80 on: Dec 13, 2017, 07:49AM »

I'm six months short of eighty and as I reported earlier in this topic, I gave up playing first trombone in some Big Swing Bands at the beginning of this year. I hope I managed the stepping down gracefully because it really peed me off. However, I have decided that practicing by myself at home is not a fun way to carry on with my playing. I just miss that knowledge that I will eventually have an audience to entertain. So, next year I plan to return to the local community band and play maybe 2nd with the Concert Band, because those parts are far less demanding, but they do have some nice music and regular concerts to play.

In addition, I have now found myself a nice little band to play with at a Swing Club, mainly for old folks, which is connected with our local music shop. One also gets to meet other musicians who are handling their age-related playing restrictions very well. The club's policy of getting people to: "Come along and sing or play your instrument. All welcome" guarantees a good attendance.

I am also going to reform my old Traditional Jazz band and find some venues for playing.

After watching Paul McCartney, who is presently touring Australia, I am coming to the conclusion that there is no need to try and age gracefully. I will just continue to entertain but will not try to play beyond my present lip capabilities. This is what the press said about Paul: "And he gallivanted around the stage with more finesse than any 75-year-old ought to be able to muster, like a living, breathing, dancing advertisement for vegetarianism." Yeah, I like that! Good!

This is all true. You don't need to play lead to play well. The idea of sitting home practising and playing the occasional duet or trio might be self-satisfying for some. For me, I need to perform to be happy.

I'm also looking to play more jazz in the years ahead.

Martin Hubel
Yamaha 891Z & 830 Xeno bass (both played regularly) , '74 Bach 42B, Yamaha 322 bass
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