So your child wants to be in the band? Or maybe you’re just a regular person who wants to pick up a new hobby? Well, either way hopefully this advice will be of some help to you. First of all let me start by saying I have played Brass instruments in middle, high school and in college. I started with Trumpet and then later on moved to the Baritone and Trombone. So most of the advice here will be aimed at a youngster that wants to go this route; however I will try to include the hobby side as well.
Band can lots of fun, but at the same time it is lots of hard work too. The first part of my advice is be ready to practice, practice, practice on your new instrument of choice – and then practice some more. Some basic information on Brass instruments is as follows. First, they require the buzzing of a person’s lips into a mouth piece to make a sound. This vibration is the first key part in playing a brass instrument. Also, the length of the instrument helps control pitch as well. This is done either though the movement of the values like in the Trumpet or, as in a Trombone, by physically moving the slide.
All right, so now that we have a bit of basic background information on how sounds are formed on the Brass family of instruments let me move on to some advice for beginning band students. First of all, like I said before, practice is key. Also, for you students out there, make sure you really want to devote the time to this. If your goals are to go somewhere with this new instrument, then you must be willing to put time into it as needed.
“How much time?” My best guess is be ready to spend just about as much time learning this new instrument as you should be spending on your other homework – or probably more. In other words, at least 10 hours a week (more is better) practicing at home on the low end of things. To the parents, yes, this does mean putting up with a lot of missed notes and the same songs played over and over. If it is just too much you can overcome this problem all together by buying a Mute for your child’s Brass instrument – be it a trumpet, trombone on whatever.
Most Brass instruments have them available to them, which is a good thing, and it won’t be wasted money either since lots of band music with call for the use of one of these down the line. This same trick can apply to the hobbyist too, as the mute can also help build air control in addition to cutting down on the sound volume as you practice. As with any article, this is only the tip of the iceberg, but with time spent with this new Instrument, you will find much joy in the wonderful world of music.