[Dixielandjazz] Easiest instrument - case in point

Don Ingle dingle at baldwin-net.com
Sun Feb 23 08:28:31 PST 2003

I would suggest that maybe the trombone is the easiest to master, based on
the experience of one Randy Reinhardt, a friend I've had the pleasure to
work with a number of times.
When Alan Vache joined the Jim Cullum band, he learned that Jim would have
an opening coming up for trombone. Alan was a long time buddy of Randy and
called him to tell him that if he could master the trombone he might be able
to get the gig.
Randy, as most know, is one of the better cornet/trumpet players around, and
in school had learned to play the basic trombone as most music students are
required to learn some piano, some violin, etc. So Randy woodshedded on
trombone, and a short time later -- just a matter of weeks -- auditioned for
Cullum and got the gig. He worked with Jim for several years on trombone and
also playing second cornet as well as cornet solos on some of the band's
Oliver-styled charts.
I met and heard him play shortly after he'd joined Jim, was blown away at
how fine a player, and hot, he was on trombone.
At the Bix Brithday bash in Libertyville, IL about eight years ago, Randy
was on cornet and I on valve trombone with the Sons of Bix, and on one
number Randy grabbed my valve bone and handed me his cornet  and said you
take the lead on this one (Da Da Strain) and let me use your horn. I have it
on tape and while my trombone chops required a little muscle shuffle going
back to the smaller cornet mouthpiece, Randy ripped off some of the best V
bone this side of Brad Gowens. The lad is truly a wizard in matters of
That it took him just weeks to reach the status of player he had achieved
still amazes me.
Don Ingle
----- Original Message -----
From: "Rob McCallum" <rakmccallum at hotmail.com>
To: "Bob Romans" <cellblk7 at attbi.com>
Cc: "djml" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Saturday, February 22, 2003 11:24 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Easiest instrument

> Hi Bob and everyone,
> Not to be argumentative, but I'd question the question.  If someone came
> to me and asked me what the easiest instrument to learn to play is so they
> could play in a dixieland band, I would ask them what it is they want to
> acheive.  If their goal is simply to play in a dixieland band on the
> weekends because it might be a fun thing to do, I would seriously doubt
> they have enough motivation and/or dedication to really learn to play
> less be worth listening to).  I think most of us are drawn to a particular
> instrument and have a desire to learn to master it so that we can go on
> learn a particular musical language (in this case OKOM).  If someone is
> really serious about learning how to play an instrument (and understands
> that it comes from nothing short of years of hard work), and they don't
> where to start, the only solution is to try different instruments and see
> which one they feel a connection with.  To me, jazz is like a calling.
> If one singles out any one instrument as easier, let's say tenor sax, does
> anyone really think that they're going to sound anything like Coleman
> Hawkins without at least a decade of continual practice and determination?
> Sure there is the occasional "natural" who'll make rapid progress (and
> we hate them!! :-)), but for the other 99% of us, it's a lot of work.
> All the best,
> Rob McCallum
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