I have started playing again, trumpet and flugelhorn and have been sitting in with some of the local concert bands.

I would like to play also with a church worship group/band. My local church band doesn’t use those instruments. Any advice

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Hi Iain, which part of the UK are you in? Welcome to WTR BTW.

Hi Tony

I live in the North West, Lancashire.

Thanks for the welcome


I'm in North Oxon - that's a rather long commute. ;-)

Does your church band not use brass because it really doesn't want it or just because it hasn't had anyone willing to step forward and play? It might be worth building some skills in reading standard pitched music (rather than Bb transposed stuff), playing by ear and improvising as those are all likely to be essential if there isn't a brass tradition but I would look to contribute in your church first. If you start playing in a different church, you will probably end up moving to the new congregation.

Like Toni, I'm in Oxfordshire, so too far to encourage you to commute down here!

I have to agree Oxfordshire even with encouragement is too far to commute.

I think the church band doesn’t use brass because they haven’t had anyone to play with them before, and now that you mention it transposing my also be an issue

Thanks for your comments

I'd suggest having a chat with the person or people leading the group then. If they can give you a reasonable amount of advance notice of what songs are likely to come up you could then prepare and deal with the transposition, etc. If there is a regular group practise, perhaps you could come along to one of those events (again, preferably with advance notice of a few things to work on).

Adding brass has its challenges but, like anything, will become easier with experience. If you are also playing with concert bands, that is excellent; it means most of the challenges will be in the area of how to play well in that situation rather than the broader question of how to play well in any group.

I will make sure I have a chat with the group leader. I previously emailed them but I think a face to face chat will be better and if nothing else I could ask if I could come to the band practices, just to listen in if nothing else

Perhaps you should have a word with the music group/worship group leader to see if you could come to one of their practices just to see if you can make it work.  I would always happily have someone come along to see how it goes.


I wouldn't mind a brass player, but i'm a bit further away as well as we are in West Kent! 


It will be important to try to learn to play without music so that you can learn to play by ear.  We used to have a clarinet player (same transposition required i.e sounding down a whole tone) and providing she knew the key we were in and what it would mean for her, she was OK to go.  I have also had to do the same for sax players we have had, often spending a couple of minutes confiming the key of the song, how many sharps/flats for them etc before giving it a go.  And be prepared for the odd bum note.  But we all do something wrong sometime!   

I don’t know about playing by ear …….. I put enough bum notes in when I have the music in front of me  :-)

"And be prepared for the odd bum note."

NONONO--I meant to hit that flattened 5th to add some 'flavor' to the song!!!! ;-}

I used to type top lines into PrintMusic and transpose it for my daughters trumpet Bb and other daughters sax Eb

However, the best sax player we had could transpose in her head.    She could also play from chord sheets and play what you suggested.   i.e. lets have a growl couple of notes on the end of each line of the chorus.


In my current Church there's a trumpet player who also plays a Cajon and other percussion. This really adds to the sound scape and he always has a seat.

I use MuseScore myself but I know what you mean

I was born to hit things, but people say I have as much rhythm as a three legged camel on ice!!!!!!!!!


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