Search for Tonnet and you won’t find much information on it, but if you try “Recorder” you might find some information or you may have played one in elementry. When I was in early elementry music class, we played on Tonnets and our accompaniment was either a pedal organ or auto harp. Ah the good ole days! Actually I never liked the sound of the auto harp but it was a cool device and I thought the pedal organ was pretty cool. My Father is a Hot Rodder, hotrods have pedals, therefore, an organ with pedals couldn’t be all that bad! In the 5th grade at Robert E Lee Elementary in Edinburg. I was in some sort of beginner orchestra thing. I don’t even remember where it was that we played at, but I played Cello for that period of time. I do remember it was a beast to lug around! Especially for a 5th grader. But at the time it was pretty cool, and the bows had Mother of Pearl inlays, that was really cool to look at!
The next year I was in Junior High at Edinburg North Junior High. Under the direction of Mr Rodriguez and Susan Swindle Edmonson. My trombone teacher was Ciro Trevino. That was my start, playing an Olds Trombone. I was there for 3 years, then moved to up to Edinburg High School my freshman year at the school on Freddie Gonzalez. I think we marched a few times on the freshman games, but most of my time was spent envying the upperclassmen in the Marching band and Stage band. Sophomore year I finally got to march under the direction of Pat McNallen.
My Junior year we moved to the new High School on Canton and spent our first year practice marching in the teachers parking lot since we didn’t have a practice field. I think this was my first year in the Jazz Band (or Stage Band as we called it back then). I also think this was the time that I started sitting in 1st chair, although through out my junior and senior year I think I was battling Ricky Flores for 1st chair. I think I ended in the seat more often. I was 1st chair in stage band and play a few small solos. My senior year we played “La Suerte de Los Tontos” and I played the trombone solo at Pigskin, but I *think* I remember fluffing it up. Unfortunately I don’t think I ever touched the trombone again after graduation.
Over the next 28 years I had a several stints at trying to learn the guitar and bass, but never really took it serious. Once I started running sound for the church, I did try to focus on the bass and was able to get the basics down, but then let it slide again and never improved beyond that.
As a listener to music, I have always enjoyed Big Band style Jazz, some Classical as well as your usual rock or heavy metal. I did find that mainstream metal was fairly boring musically and ended up listening more to bands like Megadeth, Spock’s Beard, and Dream Theater. I like listening to music that is technical difficult, but still melodic, yet sometimes even “strange”.
Late in 2011 I heard about a new plastic trombone that was being sold call the Pbone, and it was priced at $149! I figured it couldn’t hurt to try and start playing again, especially at that price. So I put one on my Amazon wishlist and my wife got it for my for Christmas. I started out slow, playing long tones and slurs. Slowly getting my chops in shape. I can’t remember how good I used to be, but I am hoping to surpass that. My years of smoking has left my lung capacity way down from when I played in school, but I am working around that. A few months in my Father In Law loaned me a Silver King 606 Student Trombone that he had for lessons. I started playing it more than the Pbone, and improved even more. I still have the Pbone around, it is great for throwing it in the truck and heading up to the church to practice and not have to worry about it getting dinged up. And it sounds close enough to a real trombone, so nothing is lost there.
My range has come back and my tone is getting better. I did try to get lined up for some private lessons over the summer, but that never panned out, I will keep pursuing that and hopefully can get something going soon. Lately I have playing with the church band when I am not mixing them, and I am really enjoying that. I probably take it to seriously and can be too hard on myself for not sounding good or missing a note, but that is how I am. Next up I am hoping to get a Getzen 725. It is a dual bore horn with a open wrap F-attachment. I’ve been doing a lot of research and finally settled on the 725. And it’s reasonably priced, maybe I can get that before the end of the year.
Only God knows what he has planned for my musical future, but I will continue to play with the church band and maybe the town band someday. I would really like to get in a “big band” or a Jazz band, but I don’t think I will have to time for something like that, but it would be fun,