1. You get irrationally annoyed when non-musical friends cannot identify instruments.
That is very clearly a baritone horn, not a trumpet. Every brass instrument is not a trumpet. How are we even friends??
2. You always find yourself accidentally walking in step with those around you.
When you’re shuffling to get in step, your friends may think you’re trying to be obnoxious but you genuinely can’t help it. After years and years of marching practice, you will never walk out of step with anyone for the rest of your life.
3. You will never forget a single part you ever played.
When you hear a song you once played, no matter how many years ago, that part you spent countless hours practicing will immediately come rushing back to you and you will have an unwavering urge to hum it. If Sleigh Ride is playing within a 100 mile radius, you can be sure I’ll be humming that epic trombone solo with extreme gusto.
4. You often find yourself actually telling “This one time at band camp…” stories, much to the mockery of your friends.
Though typically, your stories are much less x-rated than American Pie. No one finds it quite as exciting that one time at band camp it poured all day and you still had to march for 10 hours and then got a bad cold.
5. For simply no reason, your inner rivalry with singers lives on.
Oh you were in choir in college? I was in band…I don’t know if this is going to work out. I don’t make the rules, sorry…
6. Your life crumbles around you when a song you played in pep band comes on at the bar.
Step one: announce that you can play this song on an instrument. Step two: sing along to your parts as you cry into your beer. Step three: drunk text your band friends that you love and miss them. And repeat.
7. No one seems to understand you quite like fellow band alumni.
Your other friends will never understand your complete and utter heartbreak as everyone posts pictures of this year’s band trip on Facebook while you are sitting in an office, having significantly less fun. What you wouldn’t give to be performing in Disney World again…
8. You try hard to keep up with band drama, no matter how far removed you are.
The clarinet section showed up hungover to a concert? No way! Send pictures. Did that trumpet player and flute player hook up yet? I knew it.
9. When you meet someone who was also in band, you immediately judge each other based on instrumental stereotypes.
You played tuba? I played trombone. Low brass players stick together! I think we can probably be best friends.
10. No matter how much you claimed to hate band camp, long rehearsals, and early call times, you’d do it all again in a heart beat.
Your memories of band are some of your favorites, and you are so grateful you picked up that instrument when you were eight years old. You had no idea back then that you’d gain so much more than the ability to read and play music in your years of band; you would also gain lifelong friendships, memories, and lessons. You want to go hug every band director you’ve ever had, listen to every recording you ever made, and go to one more band party and bask in the communal nerdiness as you hum pep band music together. The nostalgia is overwhelming at times and you often have to refrain from being that overly involved alum, but you know you will be a proud band geek for life.
Originally published here.