Posted by Steve K on June 28, 2003 at 07:27:05:
In Reply to: Tips for 30 year comeback posted by Jonathan Schwartz on June 27, 2003 at 21:16:18:
This sounds familiar. I came back two years ago after a 21-year layoff.
My advice is to buy a tuba. I was afraid that if I rented or borrowed a tuba, I would not have the same urgency to get my chops in shape as if I had spent $4k or so on my own horn. If you borrow or rent, you may not have the same motivation because of the reduced investment.
Go to a music store that has a large selection of tubas and play a bunch of them with your own mouthpiece. Then buy the tuba from that music store. (I made the mistake of going mail order from three states away. Although I got great service from the mail order place, and got a good tuba at a good price, I still have trouble squeezing my tuba in for service at the local large music store. They take care of their own customers, first.)
I now have two tubas and one sousaphone. I am playing in two bands, one a semi-pro brass band and one a volunteer symphonic band. I also play for churches, community theater, and just about any place else someone wants me to play. I am nowhere near pro quality, and my chops aren't even anywhere near where they used to be (probably a combination of age and lack of practice time), but I am having so much fun.