In the beginning of the year my military service started (all men in Finland have to go to the army and it lasts from 6 months to a year depending on your training - or there are alternatives for that if your values are against the army or you are just so afraid of guns or something like that).
The year before I had auditioned to a military band but there were like 20 trumpeters auditioning and only less than 10 qualified - and I didn't. And this is why I thought I'm just going to be a basic rifleman. But during the basic training period I figured out that there's another military band that you could join. And of course I went to the auditions. The good thing was, there were not that many people in the auditions (because not many people had heard about the band) - most of them were guitarists. I was the only trumpeter and there was just one bassist besides me in the audition. The auditions didn't go that well but I still got in to the band.
I did enjoy the basic training period - or at least it didn't feel like torture. I do have good memories from it. But the band was something different - it was one of the best experiences of my life! We played a great variety of gigs ranging from jazz to party gigs and from kindergarten and nursing home gigs to military/patriotic music gigs. I mainly played the bass and the trumpet but I also played the guitar on a couple of gigs and percussion on one gig.
We had an amazing band. All the instrumentalists in the band were great. We had two great guitarists, a really good bassist (technically a lot better than me), two awesome drummers, one more jazzy kind of pianist and one classical trained pianist (who learned to play jazz pretty well during the time we were in the band - and he had never played jazz before). There were also two vocalists. My job in the band was really important, even though I may not have been the best technically. But my hearing and notating skills were crucial to the band. And of course the fact that I could play multiple instruments helped the band a lot. And I guess my trumpet playing brought some color to the band's sound.
It was an amazing 9 months that I'll never forget. I learned to play new styles and I also learned what a professional musician's life may look like. I also think my bass playing improved. I learned to play some walking bass and I think all in all more musically. Well, I'm still far from a master but I think my bass playing sounds pretty decent. Oh, and I also learned to play jazz on trumpet (I'm a classically trained trumpeter). My improvisation got a lot better.
After the army I started studying music. Now I'm studying to become a music theory teacher. I already have two groups of kids that I teach. It has been really interesting and I have enjoyed it. My main instrument right now is trumpet but of course I haven't forgotten how to play the bass and the guitar.
Our originals band is still kind of active, even though we have some trouble with finding time to practice - I moved to another city because of the studies. But I still keep on writing some new stuff and jamming with my friend whenever we have time.