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
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.
Kids who play
instruments often do better in school than kids who do not! Debbie Ray, an
ex music teacher,
has created a site all about band instruments. Please visit to learn even more.
Great prices, great information.