Trombone Personal Column

I’ve been playing the trombone ever since I got it in the fifth-grade, and it’s been one hell of a trip ever since then. From performing in concert bands to jazz ensembles to MICCA to festivals, I’ve done a lot in that time that’s made me proud as a musician. That and the drama department’s’ programs together are in large part who I am: They are John Buday.


But why? Why did I choose to become a musician in the first place and why pick the trombone?


Not to toot my own horn, but, you see, I had a message to send: Poking people in the back with a trombone slide is a recipe for funny. Need to ask a friend about a note? Poke them with your slide. Want to get someone to move their stand? Poke them with your slide. Want a girl to pay attention to you? Poke her with your slide.
Little fifth-grade me flocked to the trombone in large part because I thought that would be a fun joke to pull on my friends, and it was for the few times I actually did it. However, I knew in the back of my head that it would get annoying after awhile, so I didn’t try to make a habit out of it. That intent was a substantial reason for why I picked up the trombone over an instrument like the guitar.
Speaking of the guitar, despite not choosing it, it is still one of my favorite instruments to listen to. The problem I had in fifth-grade was I didn’t think I’d be able to play it due to a crippling weakness: I suck at Guitar Hero. That’s what fifth-grade me concluded after trying to learn it a grand total of one time at my uncle and aunt’s house. I didn’t know how anybody could possibly pay attention to the notes they had to play on the screen and their finger positions on the buttons at the same time.


It was a foreign concept to me, and so my natural work around, God bless my beautiful pre-adolescent mind, was to see both at the same time. That’s what brought me to the trombone: While looking at my music, I could also see the slide in front of me as I moved it to play the different notes.


Basically, I didn’t have many good reasons to start my life as a musician, but that didn’t end up mattering in the end. I quickly found great reasons to keep playing it as I went along. Despite the difficulties of playing a new instrument, I’ve continued to stick with the trombone for roughly seven years now, and all because I enjoy the music I play and the company of the people I work with. What better reasons are there?


If you are interested in a particular instrument, for whatever reason, give it a trial run. You may quickly find that you don’t want to put it down. I had very few good reasons for picking up the trombone, but I quickly found all the right reasons to keep it.