A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, wait no that’s not right, it was about 20 years ago in pre-Celtic tiger Dublin. Hmm thinking about it maybe I was right to start with. Anyway I digress, back to the story I want to tell you all.
I was young, and with all the things that come from being a teenager who has just finished school and having a dream in my mind that I just knew was mine for the taking I set about a career as a musician, composer, arranger, songwriter and really just all round rock god The next few years were to hold stories of success and failure, of immense joy and deep heartfelt anguish. All the usual stuff a teenager goes through and genuinely believes is unique to them.
I loved to play, write and arrange music, I enjoyed it immensely and I believed I was really great at it, just the world hadn’t coped on to my genius, eventually I would cop on.
When I did, I ended up in a job I didn’t really want for a while and slowly I drifted away from all my music interests. First I stopped writing and arranging and eventually I stopped playing. I’m really not sure why, I guess I just got caught up in life and decided I had less and less time for it which I’m now discovering was really stupid.
I’m saying this now as I’ve recently started playing again, bizarrely as a result of studying for exams. At some point about two weeks before my exams were due to start, when I was studying, I started to get distracted by thoughts of playing as I got tired from studying. After a day or two of this I gave in dug out my horn and had a blow for about half an hour and then returned to study refreshed like I’d just started.
Even after that first day I suspected that there was something more up with my playing than just a lack of practice and I’ve discovered that my beautiful twenty year old horn is in need of a major overhaul. In the mean time It’s still playable, just not with any other instruments as the tuning is a little wild in places.
It still allows me to practice my scales, arpeggios, long tones and all the other boring stuff that all instrumentalist must practice to play the tunes that everyone loves. Unfortunately this is only a small part of playing and the most fun part, playing tunes as part of an ensemble, be it a real or virtual, is not possible with my baby, until I can afford the overhaul.
Hopefully it won’t take too long for me to save the funds to get the work done. Thankfully, I have a solution that will keep the itch scratched in the meantime. A few years back, while considerably flusher than I am now, I invested in an EWI, that’s an Electronic Wind Instrument.
At the time I bought it I practised and played it a fair amount but thanks to a less than simple manual and some difficulty setting it up and familiarising myself with it that didn’t really last long. However in the meantime a number of people have come along and published a number of simple how-to’s on you tube, so I now have it set up to my liking and am getting my playing back in shape reasonably rapidly. Who knows what may come of this.
In the meantime, if you’re an EWI player why not leave a comment below about what style and music you like to play and if you are struggling with an EWI take a look at Saxman999’s channel over on youtube or leave a comment below and maybe I’ll be able to help.