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So I'm a career audio engineer, but started as a player. I played Trombone in junior high and high school, and honestly liked it quite a bit until I picked up the guitar, which kinda stuck. Recently I've been missing my brass (kinda considering picking up the trumpet as well), but I haven't played since I graduated high school in 08' and i just rebuilt the live room in my studio so I'm not in a position to pay thousands of bucks for an instrument. Recently I've found 2 possible solutions. 


A UK-based company called pInstruments makes a plastic-ish material instrument called the pBone, they retail about $200 USD. These are the same general size of your typical tenor trombone, but way lighter and not brass. Another company called Nuvo makes instruments from a similar plastic-ish material known as the jHorn. It's a smaller version of the euphonium, and comes with the C tubes so it can be tuned to concert tuning and Bb. These retail for around  $130 USD. I've looked up videos and heard demos of each, and I'm impressed by both of them. I can read music no problem, it's just the decision between the instruments.


I called my guy at Sweetwater (I live in Columbia City Indiana, one city away from their HQ) and he said they have pBones in stock currently and I could come down and get one today. He also told me that Sweetwater sells the jHorn too, but they're on backorder waiting to get more in stock. HOWEVER, apparently Walmart has started selling jHorns recently and I have a store credit. The store by my house told me my horn could be here by Monday. 


How should I play this? Pay more money for the thing that's more familiar (that I can get NOW,) or wait a few days for the cheaper option that is a bit more interesting but completely new for me? Either way they're both relatively inexpensive ways to get back into playing wind/brass instruments. 

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I used to play the trumpet. Played it to semi-pro level for best part of 20 years, then put it away and left it in its case for ten years. Took it out last year to think about selling it, and gave it a blow.  Couldn't play a damn thing. :D Back in its case it went. I have an EWI which I can play (relatively badly), and I bought Audio Modeling trumpets and sax virtual instruments. They, along with the EWI, play with as much expression as the real thing, and I'm having a ball without needing to have the muscles in my face.


Anyway, that's just an aside. I don't know you, so I have no idea how much of a challenge this will be for you, but I know for me, the lip part would be a huge challenge, where as the finger part came back instantly (I use standard brass fingerings with the EWI). If you're not familiar with valve combinations and need to learn them, then its going to add a level of frustration to trying to get back into it. 



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I can’t add much on the specifics of brass instrumentation, but I do identify with playing an instrument for years only to return to a very different and unfamiliar experience. For me it was the violin. I played aged 7 until age 16. I was pretty good, practicing several hours every day for much of that time. I then fell in love with several instruments, sold my violins when I was broke, and didn’t play the violin again until a little over 20 years had passed. I bought an electric violin, full of enthusiasm. I got the instrument set up, lifted the instrument and… I could swear a cat was being tortured. It was awful. Weirdly my left hand remembered scales, a few tunes etc, but had forgotten tremolo, but worse my bowing technique had evaporated.


It took ages to come back. True I didn’t dedicate the kind of hours I once had, and I still haven’t recovered anywhere near the proficiency level or the sweet tone I could once produce.


Still, I do enjoy getting it out and playing… even if no one else enjoys the experience!

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It's funny, since I joined this site, I've already found two instances of people who have a problem of "excessive austerity". I used to think it only happened to me.


I used to think of a guitar, my main instrument, the way one would think of a stapler, "why would I want to have two? It would be wasteful, this one gets the job done!"


That's one extreme. The other one is those bastards in YouTube videos who show off their garages completely full of gear. Or something like Joe Bonamassa, which is downright pathological (I saw a documentary and his house looks like a warehouse).


There's a middle ground, I'm sure each of those two instruments will have different properties and texture, and as a guy who deals in music, and has his own studio, it isn't too bad having them both around, if they give you joy and push you to pursue your music making. Maybe the better question would be "which one to purchase... first".


(This is a bit of a philosophical answer, coming from a vocalist/guitarist/pianist; maybe you were rather looking for someone more brass-savy who could tell you "don't buy the pBone, my cousin has one and sucks!"... Just my 2c... )

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