Thursday, November 20, 2008

Since I'm already on the music topic

So I like music. A lot.

People often assume I play music after realizing how much time I spend listening and reading about it.

The depressing thing is I don't. Not currently at least.

I began playing trumpet in fourth grade. Being the tomboy I was, I wanted to break norms that girls only played flute. I was that obnoxious prepubescent feminist. I feel a bit nauseated myself looking back on it too.

But, regardless, I really liked trumpet. In middle school, I was competitive about it and was one of the first chairs. For those who have never played in concert bands, typically instrument sections are split up relative to skill: first, second and third. The firsts have it the hardest, typically having solos and higher notes. Second and third parts compliment the first part, with notes in lower octaves to bring harmony to the overall sound.

Even more intensive, I took private lessons and I even went to overnight band camp. Get your loser coughs out now.

I continued in high school, but I didn't really care as much. It was fun, but I was not nearly as set on being a first trumpet. I started playing just for the fun of it. I even got to do jazz band senior year, making the most of it and even showcasing my love of vintage dresses at performances.

I brought my horn with me to Syracuse, but I've honestly played maybe 20 notes on the thing since I first got here four years ago. I miss it. I want to pick it up again, but I don't even know where to start. My sheet-music reading is rusty and my lips aren't in tip-top strength.

I passed up the opportunity to be in a ska band (Skip16) junior year of high school, and I really regret it. I feel like the only real opportunity to play in college would be in a jazz/funk/ska band. Had I played with Skip16, I would have already battles the jitters and first-time anxieties.

I've always loved bass guitar, so I gave it a swing over the summer. I really liked the challenge of learning something new and being able to create music, making compositions I've longed to hear other bands play.

I borrowed my friend Jimmy's sister's bass and amp and I taught myself some of the basics and how to read tabs. I can bang out a few covers and a standard Bb blues line, but I really want to get into it and maybe even be good enough/have enough of an understanding to play in a band and improvise.

So music players out there, any tips?


Yofred Moik said...

tips? get a recording software such as GarageBand or Audacity (free to download) and start documenting your own music. I used to do this often in high school. When I came to college i stopped paying guitar. Im not sure why. perhaps it was the lack of time or having the convenience of playing with other people.

I actually have a lot of my old songs on my computer. I've only shown a few people here at college but I'm thinking of making them public.

ps i was first violin in hs

Catherine said...

Ok, Yofred, not to be creepy, but you playing first violin just made me love you so much more.

Also, Paige, I played clarinet also in rebellion of the feminine flock of flutists. I was terrible. It is hard to play music when you have no rhythm. And I was never really down with 6/8 time.

Fun post. If you continue playing you must document every step of it on heeeere.

Paul said...

Catherine, I take offense at your alliteration-filled jab.

Also, Paige -- do not fret about explaining your competitive history in band and your attendance at [overnight] band camp. I went to drum major camp for 2 years. And I would practice for HOURS before chair or orchestra auditions.

You needn't worry about being the only one out there; glad to hear I wasn't the only loser.

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