Playing in a brass band

Hello All.
I was wondering whether anyone plays in a brass band? I do, and I am finding it challenging to keep playing well (I was diagnosed with PD last month). I was wondering whether anyone else has had this happen, and would either like to find out if you have any tips, or just chat about our experiences.
Kind regards,

I don't know if you are familiar with the name......

Barbara Gracey Thompson MBE

Barbara Thomson’s indomitable struggle against Parkinson’s Disease is a heart warming story, a triumph of the human and musical spirit against the odds.There was a TV doc on BBC back in April I think about this Lady.

If you Google her name you will find out more about Barbara. I believe she has also written a book.

She was awarded the MBE in 1996 for services to music. Due to Parkinson's disease diagnosed in 1997, she retired as an active saxophonist in 2001 with a farewell tour.[5] After a period of working as a composer exclusively, she returned to stage in 2004 to replace the unwell Dick Heckstall-Smith during Colosseum's "Tomorrow's Blues" tour, and in 2005 she performed live with Paraphernalia in their "Never Say Goodbye" tour. Since 2004 she has been permanent member of Colosseum.

Maybe reading about this Lady will spur you on to bigger and greater things.

Hope this helps
All the very best to you

Radz xx
me again the stars have blanked out the christian name of Heckstall-Smith which is the short version of Richard :rolling_eyes:
Thank you Radz,
I will look her up. Up until now, I have felt a bit alone in this regard, and it will be so helpful to see how she has coped.
:grin: Frock
and you might never have heared about it unless you had joined this site ............
Hi to those interested in music! :sunglasses: I have had PD for 10 years and about 2 years ago considered giving up learning the clarinet as I couldn't keep the holes fully covered and invariably made a squeaky noise. Then someone suggested I investigated a Plateau Key Clarinet. It has lids over the holes like a flute and to cut a long story short I managed to track one down on ebay and purchased it - this has given me a new opportunity to continue playing. I have also joined a Band in Colchester which caters for people with special needs - Autism, Downs, PD etc, everyone is given the chance to join in and we regularly play gigs through the summer months. Example of this community - at last week's band practice I went into body lockdown and was unable to play at all. However I followed the music and found the session useful. As we were playing the last piece my Levodopa kicked in and so the conductor asked everyone to stay a few extra minutes to play Jesus Christ Superstar so that I could leave on a high! Brilliant! lovely people!
Oh dear, I have a less happy tale.

For 20 years now I've played in bands, duos and by myself in the pub / club world. But I've lost the ability to do that now. I miss it dearly but I play a bit for my friends at the end of a dinner party.

My problems lies in the essential rhythms of the music. I start ok but after 10 seconds it all goes to pot! Not good for a guitarist and bass player!I was reminded of a test my neurologist did when I was first diagnosed. He made me open and close each hand quickly and after 10 seconds, my right hand (strumming hand) stopped obeying my commands. Not good for a musician.

Yet another PD problem. Isn't this fun!!!!:rolling_eyes:
I am trying to tell you the christian name of HEckstall Smith but the website seems to edit it to asterisks!!!!!!!! So you can guess what it might be......I also have problems continuing to play music; bass guitar, bongos and penny whistle; it's the repetitive movements mainly. It's a difficult bit of life to face losing so I'm stubbornly persevering apart from the bongos which sit idle waiting for me to sadly put them on ebay.. Am considering trading the bass for a mandolin as the small size seems more manageable; my fingers don't workwhen my arm is stretched out!!!! Whole nes way of playing to learn though....old dogs and new tricks etc.... Slow airs easier than fast jigs on the whistle these days! It's all a journey of discovery eh?
Hi Radz, Johnnie, Flossie, Spam95 & Sallymac,
Thanks for your messages. They really made me laugh when I worked out your predicament with writing “the short version of Richard”!
It is good to hear about your experiences...really good to know I am not the only one.
My main problem is my mouth, my embrasure. It works OK for a few bars, then suddenly without warning, goes to custard. Anything fast & repetitive or lovely full long notes seem to be the hardest. Our conductor has been really understanding about it, he even said he hadn’t heard me make any terrible sounds (hmmmm, I think he must have!). Luckily, my most affected hand is my left hand, which just holds the horn. I love to play Jesus Christ Superstar too – the horn section has a brilliant part in that. We play it as the finale at the Carols by Candlelight at Christmas time. Fireworks go off, and we all get so enthused that our ears are ringing at the end!

What is it like, playing the mandolin? I think they sound fantastic!

You’re right, it is a difficult bit of life to face losing, so I’m stubbornly persevering too, while I can.

Hello. Yes I am - I have started again in the last three months playing tenor horn. Hard work but great fun. I have had PD for about 5 years. I have to laugh at myself as there is too much tremolo most of the time so I have to support the instrument a lot with my right hand. A lot of emptying of water too. Early days yet but I am enjoying it very much.

I play tenor horn as well. My right hand shakes and that makes the sound shake. If I could hold and play with my right hand it would be easier. I also play French horn and that is easier because I can rest it on my knee and my left hand is busy pressing keys so doesn’t shake so much. I was diagnosed two months ago and have been taking Madopar. It may be helping a bit, but we’ll see when practice starts again next week. I’ve been trying to find something to support the tenor horn. I thought of a eupho marching harness but the music shop I asked didn’t think it would work. Any suggestions? Music and bands are such a big part of my life.

Sorry. It’s my left hand that shakes.

Hi Frock - your first post on this was nearly nine years ago, but I hope you are still around and active on the forum. What you were saying about your embouchure: ‘works OK for a few bars, then suddenly without warning, goes to custard’ is exactly my experience now.
I’ve been diagnosed one year, and took up the tenor horn because I could no longer hold the trombone high enough to get a decent note out of it. All was going well till recently when the custard arrived. I love the instrument and the new challenge (although I think Nature gave me a trombonist’s lip) so I wonder what happened with you. Best wishes