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The Trombone ForumTeaching & LearningPractice Room(Moderator: blast) The aging trombonist (and how to do it gracefully)
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ddickerson

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« Reply #60 on: Nov 14, 2017, 06:15AM »

In our community band, we go through several minutes of chorale warmups before we start rehearsing. That might not be enough for all, but at least it's a start.
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« Reply #61 on: Nov 14, 2017, 06:22AM »

While there may be a wide spectrum of what, if anything, constitutes a warm-up for us; there certainly is no harm in it.

Mine seems to be fluid; sometimes none needed and sometimes I can't seem to get warmed up until rehearsal is almost done and then I wish it could go on for another hour. Biorhythms?

...Geezer
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« Reply #62 on: Nov 14, 2017, 06:39AM »

My playing time is like a cell phone with limited limits. Do I spend my minutes warming up, or playing?
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« Reply #63 on: Nov 14, 2017, 07:05AM »

My playing time is like a cell phone with limited limits. Do I spend my minutes warming up, or playing?

This gets back to what Bonesmarsh said. If your face time is limited to a fixed number of minutes, aging brass players could very well have limited results. You may or may not be playing enough to reach your former level. Some players have the dedication to put in the time necessary to play at a level they consider to be acceptable.

On the other side of this, some retirees continue to play at a pro level. At our last big band rehearsal, Russ Little (formerly lead of the Boss Brass) did a good read of Urbie's A Very Precious Love. He is 76. There are a number of high Cs, Ds, and a couple of Es in there. Russ is just a naturally talented guy

Other people take up other instruments. If they stay with brass, they move from trumpet to trombone, or trombone to tuba.
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Martin Hubel
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« Reply #64 on: Nov 14, 2017, 07:14AM »

My playing time is like a cell phone with limited limits. Do I spend my minutes warming up, or playing?

Ha! I feel the same about my very highest notes. If your band wants me to play IGSOY, then you best put it up front!   :-0

...Geezer
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« Reply #65 on: Nov 14, 2017, 08:44AM »

I am 63 years old and have the following:
Parkinson's Disease
Diabetic
Macro Degenerative Disease
SKin Cancer Squamous Cell removed this summer

I still actcively play my trombone
I still teach
I golf.
Nothing has changed.

I go about my day as a normal person. I played a recital in August playing among others Spillman COncerto and WIlder Sonata, and Vivaldi Concerto. I refuse to stop.
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« Reply #66 on: Nov 14, 2017, 09:20AM »

Another age-related reason I play less (and play worse for it) is that I have more interests now. Some are musical, others not at all, but I like them and they all take time to pursue if i want to do them well.

When trombone was one of few interests it was possible to spend hours a day practicing.  But now it is just one of many.  I enjoy the other things partly because they are new, whereas trombone is mostly going to be retreading old ground for me.

I did bands and orchestras for years, that scene is not going to change. I'm looking for new things to do.

I identify with much of this. Right now, I'm at rehearsals on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights, with some Friday/Sat rehearsals, and a few Sat/Sun gigs coming up. We live in the suburbs, so there's lots of driving (and time wasted in traffic). I play some guitar, which requires practice, albeit less than trombone. Oh yes, job and family also. I also try to get some exercise here and there. There are only so many hours in the day and, frankly, the dilithium crystals are beginning to run a little low.
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« Reply #67 on: Nov 14, 2017, 09:42AM »

[ frankly, the dilithium crystals are beginning to run a little low.
[/quote]

Captain I'm givin ya everything I've got... :)


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« Reply #68 on: Nov 14, 2017, 10:49AM »

I don't think I can take anymore.
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« Reply #69 on: Nov 14, 2017, 11:51PM »

I am 63 years old and have the following:
Parkinson's Disease
Diabetic
Macro Degenerative Disease
SKin Cancer Squamous Cell removed this summer

I still actcively play my trombone
I still teach
I golf.
Nothing has changed.

I go about my day as a normal person. I played a recital in August playing among others Spillman COncerto and WIlder Sonata, and Vivaldi Concerto. I refuse to stop.

 BRAVO !!!!

Chris Stearn
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« Reply #70 on: Nov 28, 2017, 01:40PM »

Well, here I am still in the gig I won back in 1984.... will be 62 next month.
What's it like now compared to back then ?
Overall..... EASIER.
The physical act of playing is at it's most efficient.... high low, soft loud... still works.
I know most of the rep. Done the standard stuff many times.... it's still fun and gives my brain a workout, but I am more comfortable.
So, you say, there must be downsides.....
Yup.... eyesight is the biggest one.... it's not bad, but not as good as it was, and I have yet to find glasses that I really like.... upside is that I remember music quicker because that makes life easier.
Hearing is okay.... a bit off the top, but I have no issues with a gig playing quarter tones this week.
I do get more tired... not on the gig... travelling.... the back end of last week I played in Inverness Thursday night, drove to Edinburgh Friday morning, did afternoon and evening rehearsals there and morning and afternoon Saturday, then drove back to Inverness for an evening show. Sunday I drove back to Glasgow. The rest of Sunday I was out of it. Tomorrow is Glasgow, Wednesday Edinburgh, Thursday and Friday Huddersfield and Saturday Glasgow, Sunday Edinburgh, Monday Perth, Tuesday Edinburgh, Wednesday Glasgow.... you get the picture.  Driving gets tougher.
I still want to get better on trombone and enjoy practice.
So many people go on about how much harder it gets, so I am quite surprised at the 'business-as-usual' way things are up to now.
Nobody is getting younger.... but it's okay.... honest.

Chris Stearn

Chris, there's an optician about 5 minutes drive from Mick Rath who specialises in glasses for musicians so they can see music and director as required. The business is called Allegro Optical in Meltham. Happy to put you in touch.
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Birdy
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« Reply #71 on: Dec 09, 2017, 04:37AM »

For everyone who has trouble reading music at our ages, (God - those little march sheets!!), I went the specialised glasses route as well, and that helped.  But what really made a difference was getting a 13" tablet!  Reading notes is no problem now, it's amazing how much better I play more easily. 

What I have also done is acknowledged that seeing everything clearly is top priority, so I make a tradeoff and turn pages more often.  I use the tablet in landscape mode so that the page is now 12" wide, and the notes are 40% bigger - MUCH easier to play.
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« Reply #72 on: Dec 09, 2017, 05:41AM »

Chris, there's an optician about 5 minutes drive from Mick Rath who specialises in glasses for musicians so they can see music and director as required. The business is called Allegro Optical in Meltham. Happy to put you in touch.

I have say that the glasses I recently had made work very well. I will probably end up using them. The truth is that I prefer the conductor to be a blur.... it makes them so much easier to follow.
Chris Stearn
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« Reply #73 on: Dec 09, 2017, 06:35AM »

Me too.

I had a pair of music glasses made some time ago.  When I replaced my regular glasses, I could see the music well enough to get by, and I stopped using them. 

This year I had another pair of single vision music glasses made, since I didn't need to get new regular ones.  I can see the music with either pair, BUT the single vision ones have a much wider clear area.  With the bifocals I need to align that one spot, and can only see one page of music, so I'm always pulling sheets out of the binder.  The music glasses let me see both left and right pages and a little bit of a third page. 
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #74 on: Dec 09, 2017, 07:49AM »

Me too.

I had a pair of music glasses made some time ago.  When I replaced my regular glasses, I could see the music well enough to get by, and I stopped using them. 

This year I had another pair of single vision music glasses made, since I didn't need to get new regular ones.  I can see the music with either pair, BUT the single vision ones have a much wider clear area.  With the bifocals I need to align that one spot, and can only see one page of music, so I'm always pulling sheets out of the binder.  The music glasses let me see both left and right pages and a little bit of a third page. 
This is consistent with my experience with glasses as well.  The single vision readers allow me to see a wider angle, the other issue I have is my regular glasses have a small sweet spot vertically for any given distance.  I can definately see more of the page on the stand with the single vision lenses.  I do get by with my regular glasses but the readers adjusted for a 2 ft. focal length do make it easier.

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« Reply #75 on: Dec 10, 2017, 05:43AM »

I'm 58 and can see signs of things not always feeling "right".   While some people talk about losing the high range and dropping to play 2nd part, mine is the opposite direction.   As a bass trombonist I struggle with low and loud, so I am moving up to the 3rd book more often.   

Right now, at this very moment, we are as old as we've ever been and as young as we'll ever be.
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« Reply #76 on: Dec 11, 2017, 01:55PM »

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!
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« Reply #77 on: Dec 11, 2017, 08:14PM »

there is no need to try and age gracefully.

I love that. 
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« Reply #78 on: Dec 12, 2017, 04:18PM »

Me again. I am still playing OK for my age but I have come up against Ageism. I was asked to do Pippen and somebody said "He's quite old you know. The musical director said If he can't do it I'll get someone else. I did the gig and the M.D. was quite surprised. Never ever give up.
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« Reply #79 on: Dec 12, 2017, 06:40PM »

I have say that the glasses I recently had made work very well. I will probably end up using them. The truth is that I prefer the conductor to be a blur.... it makes them so much easier to follow.
Chris Stearn

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