learning to improvise

I did it! I got out my trumpet, dusted off the case and played, for the first time in years. It felt amazing. My daughter did not quite feel the same way, and came wandering in to my room with a very perplexed expression on her face

“what are you doing?”

“Playing my trumpet of course!”

“Why? Its so loud! You will disturb the neighbors!”

So, I put the mute in, which I just realized does not quite have the same meaning as mute does these days. The look of expectation, and then disappointment when the mute did not actually mute the sound completely was hilarious! Anyway it was slightly quieter, and gave that cool jazz sound, which is what I was aiming for, so I was happy. Keona on the other hand, just stomped off back to her room.

Perhaps that is partly why I have not played in so long! It is hard to play quietly, and when the kids were little I was probably trying not to make too much noise! Now, I do not care anymore, I want to play.

I decided that my aim should be learning to improvise, as that is something I never learned, and have always regretted. I love listening to jazz musicians jamming together, going with the flow, playing with the rhythm and chords. I was classically trained, and relied much too much on reading the music, even though initially, before taking classes, I used to play by ear.

Now, I find myself needing to completely retrain my brain.Not so easy at age 46! I found some videos online, and listened and played, and listened some more. I found Wynton Marsalis, my former idol and just wallowed in listening to him play for a while. He is so inspiring. I have a very long way to go before I am anywhere near that good, but at least I was still able to play, and follow along with the music.

My “lip” or embouchure is out of practice, and soon tired, so I could not play for too long. I could feel a familiar tingling in my lip that brought back good memories, of the days where I would play until my lips were so swollen. I looked like a freak,back then and my friends would mock me, I hated it, but now found comfort in the familiarity of it.

I put the trumpet carefully back in its case, and lay down on my bed to dream of when I was younger. Images floated through of  playing concerts all over Europe, and of the first year of living in Bali, where I caused quite a sensation by being the trumpet playing white girl in an otherwise all Balinese Reggae band..”Welcome to my paradise,where the skies are blue and the sun shines so bright!”



4 thoughts on “learning to improvise

  1. GO YOU!!. woo hoo!!
    Now you have me thinking i should do the same….
    yes I have a trumpet, a cornet and a pocket cornet collecting dust in my closet…

    and to heck with the neighbors!!

    Thank you for the idea… I am so glad I stopped by today…

    Kind Regards and tooting along..- K

    Liked by 1 person

  2. At only 48 you are still a child of tender years and your brain will absorb the new information speedily. Next thing you know progressive jazz, with a trumpet in the lead, will be echoing around your pocket of the world.


  3. 46!! Not 48 don’t age me even more! Thank you for the vote of confidence, I believe it is possible, and remember I put a great deal of effort in to it when I was young, I just need to find that determination again


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