When did you know you want to play professionally?

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Elow
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When did you know you want to play professionally?

Post by Elow » Mon Aug 24, 2020 8:29 pm

This topic is for a smaller audience but hopefully i get a good amount of replies. Anyways, i’m wanting to know what made you want to play professionally? I’m not really sure what i want to do, because i like working in a shop like i am now, but i also would enjoy playing just as much. I think this would help give me an idea. Thanks
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Burgerbob
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Re: When did you know you want to play professionally?

Post by Burgerbob » Mon Aug 24, 2020 8:35 pm

Sometime in college, I think. The Army Field Band came and played a concert and a lucky few players got to sit in with the ensemble. I got to play bass trombone on some short, silly Sousa march.

That experience was transcendental. I could not play out of tune, out of time, or out of style- the ensemble was so tight, so in agreement on everything that it was the best I had ever played up until that point. And it was purely because of the musicians around me.

That's when I realized I needed to do that for a living. When you realize the ceiling on performance is so much higher than you had ever even thought possible.

To be clear, before this point I wanted to play professionally. But I didn't need to in the same way.
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Re: When did you know you want to play professionally?

Post by BrianJohnston » Mon Aug 24, 2020 8:42 pm

8th grade, after doing my first music educators association, and playing with a group WAYYY better than my grade school band. Afterwards I immediately went to my band director and asked: "What else can I do like that?" He gave me a list of what I could do in high school and the rest was history.
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PhilTrombone
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Re: When did you know you want to play professionally?

Post by PhilTrombone » Tue Aug 25, 2020 7:53 am

In high school, after doing several part-time and after-school jobs, I could identify a bunch of stuff I did NOT want to be doing.

I had been playing the trombone (terribly) in school band, to avoid taking Music Appreciation :shuffle:
I started playing in a rock band with some HS buddies, having a blast doing that, and they told me we had a "gig" the next weekend at a church dance. I did not know what a "gig" was.

We played the dance, had a great time. Then the parish priest walked up to me and put $25 bucks into my hand. I was shocked to find out a "gig" meant money, and that I could get paid for doing something I enjoyed.

This experience pointed me in the direction of being a professional trombonist. :bassclef:
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dershem
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Re: When did you know you want to play professionally?

Post by dershem » Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:15 pm

By the time i was 11, I knew. That was the year that Mic became part of our extended family, and the year I discovered what was possible. Got to go to my first Tower of Power concert and hang out backstage when I was 13, and by then I was set that I was going to do that.
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Re: When did you know you want to play professionally?

Post by Bonedisorder » Mon Oct 11, 2021 10:00 am

Even as a young musician I never thought about the possibility of doing anything else.
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Re: When did you know you want to play professionally?

Post by CalgaryTbone » Mon Oct 11, 2021 3:20 pm

High school. The summer before that, I was at a music camp and had such a good time that I found I wanted to play more and to actually practice. I found a teacher during my first year of high school, started buying records, and playing in lots of groups. I was lucky enough to get asked to play in some ensembles with players that were mostly better than me (often older). I listened and copied, and between the instruction I got in lessons, the playing that I was hearing in those better ensembles, and the things I figured out in my own practicing I progressed and set my sights on playing professionally. I spent my senior year of high school practicing - i didn't have a huge load of classes, and had a couple of teachers that would sometimes excuse me from class, since I had pretty good grades. I pretty much lived in the wing of the school where the music courses were held in the practice rooms "shedding".

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Re: When did you know you want to play professionally?

Post by blast » Mon Oct 11, 2021 4:01 pm

13/14....just seemed better than a day job. I was right. 😁😁
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Doug Elliott
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Re: When did you know you want to play professionally?

Post by Doug Elliott » Mon Oct 11, 2021 6:30 pm

I think I knew by the time I was 6 or 7, before I played anything. Just going to concerts and seeing bands on TV convinced me that's what I wanted to do.
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Re: When did you know you want to play professionally?

Post by WilliamLang » Mon Oct 11, 2021 7:04 pm

i knew in 7th grade, but it was a choice. i had an idea that whatever i decided to do, i could do with enough hard work and dedication. then i thought about what would feel rewarding when i was 70, 80 years or older. to me the fact that you could still work on making a simple phrase sound musical no matter how old you were and the infinite challenge of music making sealed the deal.
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Doug Elliott
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Re: When did you know you want to play professionally?

Post by Doug Elliott » Mon Oct 11, 2021 7:25 pm

Come on, nobody thinks about being 70 or 80 when you're in 7th grade.....
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Re: When did you know you want to play professionally?

Post by Posaunus » Mon Oct 11, 2021 7:54 pm

When I was in 7th grade it was impossible for me to imagine what it would be like when I was 30!
The next year I started playing trombone. Loved it. (Still do.) Then I discovered in high school how much I enjoyed science. This offered me the possibility of a comfortable career. I joined the musician's union at age 15, and worked my way through college playing. Then settled on the comfortable (and rewarding) career - but I never left music behind. Now (in my 70s) the career is over, and I play gigs for pittances with some wonderful musicians (and a few not so wonderful). And I couldn't be happier!
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Re: When did you know you want to play professionally?

Post by ithinknot » Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:48 am

Doug Elliott wrote:
Mon Oct 11, 2021 7:25 pm
Come on, nobody thinks about being 70 or 80 when you're in 7th grade.....
Well, if you have to repeat grades...


(Not tbn, but) by the time I could have thought I 'wanted to', it was already just something I did. Around 12/13 I was accompanying all my school's choirs, playing for other students' exams for actual money... other local stuff, church organ followed. My trombone teacher gave me some of my first serious money gigs; his sideline was MDing musical theater, and he got me playing keyboards in the pit several times a year. Read music at university only because it made the most sense while holding a full time (choral foundation, 7 services/week) organ scholarship. Probably would have read biochem otherwise. Discovered that I enjoyed the academic side for its own sake once I was there and doing it, but that hadn't been my motivation for applying. Drifted sideways from the church/choral world into historical performance and other early keyboard-related activities, but just didn't stop.

The gigs got better, but the teenage sense of, 'oh, it's fun that someone wanted to give me money to do this' stays the same.

I'm planning to grow up and get a real job around 70 or 80.
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Re: When did you know you want to play professionally?

Post by LeTromboniste » Tue Oct 12, 2021 3:02 am

I think by my second year of playing, so grade 8, I knew I wanted to "be a musician", which at the time was a bit of a vague concept (the only musicians I knew personally were my music teachers). It didn't feel really like a choice, more like a calling. From there it got narrower and narrower for a while, from "musician" to "performing trombonist" to "orchestral trombonist" by the time I was 18-19. Then I discovered I loved conducting, and choices became part of the equation again, so it started widening again through my years in college to include orchestra conducting, then early music, and all sorts of music-related activities that aren't necessarily playing.
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harrisonreed
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Re: When did you know you want to play professionally?

Post by harrisonreed » Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:14 am

After I realized it was my job. Not even kidding -- I took the audition as a dare.
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Re: When did you know you want to play professionally?

Post by afugate » Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:23 pm

harrisonreed wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:14 am
After I realized it was my job. Not even kidding -- I took the audition as a dare.
Why am I not surprised? :lol:
(And I truly mean this in the nicest possible way. :good: )

--Andy in OKC
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flotrb
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Re: When did you know you want to play professionally?

Post by flotrb » Wed Oct 13, 2021 8:17 am

George Roberts.jpg
George Roberts.jpg (93.69 KiB) Viewed 339 times
In1959, at 15yrs. old, I first heard George Roberts on Billy May's Big Fat Brass: "Solving the Riddle". His lead-in to measure 17 absolutely left me speechless! It goes without saying, that the rest of the charts sealed the deal. After 60+ years of playing bass trombone, I still have vivid memories of that first hearing.
Доверяй, но проверяй
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Elow
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Re: When did you know you want to play professionally?

Post by Elow » Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:12 pm

Is that a holton? Throat looks pretty big like my minick
Posaunus
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Re: When did you know you want to play professionally?

Post by Posaunus » Wed Oct 13, 2021 2:40 pm

flotrb wrote:
Wed Oct 13, 2021 8:17 am
In1959, at 15yrs. old, I first heard George Roberts on Billy May's Big Fat Brass: "Solving the Riddle". His lead-in to measure 17 absolutely left me speechless! It goes without saying, that the rest of the charts sealed the deal. After 60+ years of playing bass trombone, I still have vivid memories of that first hearing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fV7VUXMBj4
Kbiggs
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Re: When did you know you want to play professionally?

Post by Kbiggs » Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:30 am

I knew I wanted to play professionally when I was quite young, about 14 years old when I heard LSO played John Williams’ score to Star Wars.

A more important question: When did I adopt and implement the mind-set and discipline to practice and act like a professional? Much, much later… when (I believe) it was too late to actually become a professional musician.
I have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.
—Mark Twain (attributed)
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Re: When did you know you want to play professionally?

Post by afugate » Fri Oct 15, 2021 6:39 pm

Kbiggs wrote:
Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:30 am
A more important question: When did I adopt and implement the mind-set and discipline to practice and act like a professional? Much, much later… when (I believe) it was too late to actually become a professional musician.
What a great observation. (Sadly, I'm in the same boat.)
--Andy in OKC
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