Wargamerette #1 chooses an instrument for orchestra.

My older daughter has entered the 6th grade this year and signed up for orchestra. She has been adamant for two years that she wanted to play the violin. Her teacher, however, would not let the kids choose an instrument until they tried out all 4 choices (Violin, viola, cello, and bass).

Well, I get home Friday and discover she’s chosen to play…

the bass.

My goodness, it’s bigger than she is! (Of course, this fits in well with her older brother who two years ago decided to play the tuba in band.)

So any bass players/orchestra teachers out there with advice for parents of an aspiring bassist?

ETA: Wargamerette #2 keeps claiming she’s going to play the flute in 3 years, but she also pretends to play the harp. A lot. I can just see it - 3 kids, all playing the giant instrument family.

I’ve only played the bass guitar, not the upright, but have known several players of them. After your child has played the Bass for a couple of years, don’t accept any offers to play “mercy”. Her left hand will destroy you. Try not to make her take the instrument on public transport. If that’s inevitable, I advise geting a hard case for it. They’re kind of fragile.

Make sure she knows that she can play other things besides classical with it. I abandoned my orchestra instrument because I thought I couldn’t play other forms of music with it. Now I know better, but don’t have it to fiddle with.

Thanks for the heads up on ‘Mercy’. Fortunately we live close by the school, so days when she has to take the bass back in we can drive her instead of putting her on the bus.

Scabpicker raises a good point - the bass is the only string instrument which is always welcome in a non-classical setting. Upright bass also has a heck of a lot of jazz to play with. In either setting, good bass players are a) rare, and b) sought after. She will never be short of offers for gigs.

Ditto tuba, really, but replace the jazz options with brass/marching band. Playing a less-popular instrument has real advantages!

And the fun begins. My son chose his instrument for band last week. The trombone. The boy is in 6th grade and about 4’6". (We grow them short in the Woodhouse manor.) I’m thinking it’s going to be fun to watch him throw the slide out and try and bring it back somehow for those notes.

My oldest chose her instrument in sixth grade as well: the clarinet. Then in eight grade (right after the clarinet got paid off) she chose the bassoon. That one we choose to rent from the school, which is good because this year she’s thinking the xylophone is the fun instrument to play.

My advice to all young band parents: rent to own.

My son picked the trombone, too. He’s in his second year of band. He was a little short when he started with it but he’s grown about six inches in the last year.

He played at his first middle-school football game last week. I’m not a sports fan, and over the last several years I’ve been quietly congratulating myself because neither of my kids are interested in ball sports, and therefore I haven’t had to spend any time at ball games or practices. How could I forget that the band goes to all the games!