a bugging thought...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpet 101, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. trumpet 101

    trumpet 101 Pianissimo User

    Jan 8, 2009
    i was in a regional band clinic yesterday and something has been bugging me, there was thirteen trumpets. the clinician had us arranged to where the first three chairs (my friends and i) were placed throughout the section. to my reason for posting: i kept feeling my playing was lacking when i played with the group, i realy couldnt here myself through the group though, the whole band was well over 100 people. but as soon as we took a break i sounded just fine, my tone was nice by what i think i should sound like at this stage of playing, my articulation was good, everything was good. could it have been me not hearing myself through group alot that i felt that i was lacking or could it have been that i was with lower chairs that werent quite as good? (im not trying to sound cocky or over confident in anyway, im sorry if i come across that way).
  2. Bach219

    Bach219 Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 25, 2008
    It's okay...were trumpet players!:D
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    If I'm understanding you correctly , you were all mixed within the full ensemble. If so, that is a great technique for teaching!

    Suddenly we are forced to listen to what other folk play, even if they are hewers of wood and drawers of water--is it useful, if we choose to learn from it.

    If we aren't willing to learn, then it isn't a great experience.

    What did you learn?
  4. ccb_22

    ccb_22 Pianissimo User

    Jan 12, 2010
    "If so, that is a great technique for teaching!"

    I completely agree. I wonder if everyone was re-grouped in a more traditional arrangement (first trumpets together, beside seconds, and thirds) for the performance. If not, I'd say that was a little strange, but maybe it created effect for the music. I'd like to think you can always trust a conductor to do things based on getting the most (best) music out of the group, but I think it also helps to know *why* things were done a certain way.
  5. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    I think trumpet 101 needs to clarify -- were you the first three chairs, as in you all had 1st Trumpet parts, or were you the first three chairs, as in you had the highest scores but each had a different part? In any event, what we hear when we play in an ensemble is the ensemble sound. If you play your trumpet loud enough so that you can hear yourself clearly, you're playing way too loud for an ensemble.

    You had a terrific learning experience, as Vulgano Brother said. Playing in an ensemble can't be about individual egos at all, but everybody (including the conductor) needs to subjugate their individual ego to the ego of the ensemble taken as a whole. If everybody stops worrying about how they individually sound and work together to make the ensemble sound great, then they're all doing their jobs correctly. If people are so concerned about how they sound individually, they can't be listening for proper blending and intonation with the others in the section and with the other sections in the ensemble.

    An ensemble isn't 100 individuals -- an ensemble is 1 individual which is made up of 100 parts which need to work together to get the best music possible.
  6. R.T. Swing

    R.T. Swing Pianissimo User

    Feb 6, 2007
    I find it much easier to play in tune when playing first, but now I love my second chair as I'm always in the middle of the chord. This is great for my jazz chops, but it can take getting used to.

    My 2cents
  7. trumpet 101

    trumpet 101 Pianissimo User

    Jan 8, 2009
    the first three chairs had first part, i think it was just getting to me that i couldnt keep my playing in check completely because i wasnt realy hearing myself. and now that ive thought about it, i did learn something: how to blend with everyone in my section and not just the ones im used to hearing all the time, i actually got a chance to learn how to adapt and fit my sound into others whose playing was new to me. (by that i mean i play with my two friends around me in band normally, but the seating in the regional band made me adapt to others playing that i wasnt familiar with)
  8. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    Sometimes you can't really hear yourself and have to trust that you're playing just like you always do. I used to really struggle in that situation and my teacher pointed out that I was letting my pitch go really sharp, I guess in a subconcious attempt to hear myself better. Once I was aware of it, I had to get used to how it sounded to be a part of the sound and not riding above it. When you get the hang of it, playing in large ensembles (or unison parts anyway) gets a lot easier.

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