Many, many years ago I was able to claim to be a trumpet player. Sadly, I wasn’t super-keen, and when I hurt my shoulder and lived in unheated rented accommodation in cold, windy Leeds, I didn’t need to search deep in my soul for the desire to stop. Several times in the intervening period I’ve felt a bit of an urge to pick it up again, but it’s never been super strong.
One of the reasons why is because the instrument (a cornet) I have at the moment isn’t fab. It feels a bit blocked (although that could easily just be that my lungs are out of condition) and after about 15-20 minutes of playing the valves stop springing up when you release them which makes playing anything which has more than one note in it a bit tricky.
Another reason is that I now live in Brass Band country. I’m surrounded by people who haven’t just taken a 20 year break and who are really super good. This makes me very nervous about trying to find other people to play with. But, if I’m going to take this up again and keep at it (these words will sound very hollow in about a week when I haven’t touched it again, I know) that’s what I should do as once I reached a certain level, swing band and concert band were the things I liked best. And Christmas Carols by a Brass quartet are just awesome. I want to be able to play in this (seriously, go listen to that – it’s my answer to It’s A Wonderful Life, only shorter). But I’d probably need music because I’m old and my memory is pants.
However, this evening I went for that first 20 minutes. I can still remember quite a few of the scales although anything above “top” E is a bit of a challenge and I really can’t get above the top G. More lip resilience is required.
So, what has prompted this new-found enthusiasm?
I may get to play duets without leaving the house.