The Trumpet

20 May

The Trumpet

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Full disclosure, I tried to play the trumpet, and I was terrible at it. Like I probably would have been better off working at a roofing company. I was in pretty much every musical group I could be in high school, except for the concert band and the jazz band, because, well, I didn’t play a band instrument. So I, being one of those kinds of people who doesn’t know how to not be busy and wants to be involved in everything, decided that I wanted to try out a band instrument. Lucky for me, I had in my possession an old, beautiful trumpet that once belonged to my late grandfather.

He had been an excellent trumpet player in his time, and actually met my grandmother playing at a dance hall in Scotland. It’s a beautiful story, and enough to inspire me to give the trumpet a shot. So I did. I joined the junior band with high hopes. I’m a very musical person, so what did I have to worry about? I’d pick it up easily, quickly move up to senior band, and have another instrument under my belt in a couple months. How very absolutely incorrect I was about that. I could make the trumpet sound, sure, and I kind of understood how to make the notes, but I had a super weird problem.

Playing the trumpet made my throat hurt. Yeah, I know. Anyone who’s played a horn ever is going what? What the hell were you doing to make that happen? Answer is, I don’t know. And I asked our band teacher about it, and he was kind of a hard ass, but he was a good guy and he’d respect you if you weren’t an idiot, and I’m pretty sure he liked me (still not one hundred percent sure on that), and when I would ask him questions about what I was doing wrong, he laughed and told me that I was thinking more than any horn player ever should.

I would have loved to have kept on playing the trumpet, but the thing is, my main instrument during high school – and this remains true to this day – was my voice. And I’d already had some troubles with my vocal chords, and didn’t want to mess them up anymore. So I decided maybe it wasn’t the best time for me to try my luck with the trumpet, and eventually I stopped playing.

It’s not something I regret, per se, but it’s a shame that I couldn’t follow through with it. I think that I made the right decision (not only because of my voice, but because I was already stupid busy), but I wish I could have done it all and actually become a ballin’ horn player. I love trumpet solos in jazz bands, and they always have cool parts in ensembles. And it would allow me to play in bands, which is something I can’t really do now, with the instruments that I play. Ah well. I still have that trumpet, so maybe one day.

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