Wednesday, February 10, 2010

15 minutes

As I grabbed the old horn I bought used for 600 dollars at age 17, it all came rushing back.

My fingers smell like horn oil...memories...the dirty yellow polish rag shined up my little Bach Stradivarius, and with the iPhone as my metronome (yes, it has that "app" as well), I started belching out old etudes from the biblical verses of trumpet land...Sigmund E. Herring Etudes...perhaps one of the fathers of technical classic trumpet...

And it was like riding a rusty bike. Full of groans, splats, and creaks, but it got down the road, perhaps slower than before, and certainly not with the grace it once rolled. But the nostalgia that came flooding back it was religious. It was like cooking a perfect meal, or that perfect moment after really saying, "I love you" to your wife. It was magic.

I thank my trumpet professor James Ketch, I thank my father for stealing his step-dad's "Olds Coronet" and letting me impersonate Louis Armstrong before ever taking lessons.

To all the times when I ran out of my bedroom crying because dad criticized my playing during our lessons (he was my first teacher), I am thankful I was given the opportunity to come back into this art.

Tommorow...more etudes I guess...the dog woke up once, and went back to sleep. No howling, she didn't even investigate. And my wife said, "It sounded pretty good, a couple of hangups"...

At least I'm legendary to myself.


  1. Hi Matty, it's awesome that you're playing again! Are you planning on playing any jazz?

  2. Jon, thinking of it, just not sure how to start..any thoughts?

  3. Dunno what to do for horns, but one thing that helped me feel more confident on piano was transcribing. Sing and Transcribe some Lester Young from his Count Basie days, or some Satchmo Hot Fives/Sevens. The audio quality for this time period is crap, but man they have some elegant ideas. Plus, Charlie Parker copied all of Lester's licks.