Being told off by a tuba...

Discussion in 'Jazz / Commercial' started by bigaggietrumpet, Dec 5, 2004.

  1. bigaggietrumpet

    bigaggietrumpet Mezzo Forte User

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    Jan 23, 2004
    Nazareth, PA
    My friends, I have a sad, sad story for you.

    Had a basketball band gig tonight. I usually play first trumpet, except for maybe 1 piece which is just because the director ran out of music and I wasn't there when he passed it out. A lot of times, I really get into it, start feeling the music, and I'll take stuff up an octave, or just really high, you know, having fun with it. Director doesn't mind a bit, and none of the other trumpets seem to care.

    Anyway, we just got done playing a clip of a chart, and as soon as we finished, one of our sousaphones made a remark about if I was going to play high, I should do it for the whole piece, or not do it at all. This did 2 things. First, it sent me into a dimension of anger that I seldom reach. I take a lot of pride in trying to make something sound better, or be musical, and I think I know a bit about how to play lead trumpet. It also seems to imply that I was showboating, which I was earnestly trying to avoid. He's lucky he's walking home.

    Second, it made me wonder if maybe he had a point. This is my sin. Forgive me. But I really am trying to not seem like I'm just out there for myself. So I talked with the other trumpets playing first part. And they called the tuba guy a few names I won't repeat, and told me that as long as I was able to hit the pitches without sounding like I was on rollerskates, they really didn't care.

    So basically, I plan to carry on business as usual, maybe email the director and make sure I'm not stepping on someone's toes, and if tuba boy opens his mouth, I'm going to actually respond instead of just sit there and take it like I did this time. Or is there something else I should do?
     
  2. Bear

    Bear Forte User

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    Apr 30, 2004
    USA
    I know what you can do. Hand him your horn/music and tell him to do it better! I also play lead in the bball band here at Tech and one of our low brass guys said the same thing to me. So I told him to do it and handed him my horn. He couldn't do it and was all mad, he handed me his horn and told me to play his stuff... lol, I did, better than him! Haven't had a problem since.

    I do see where he is comin' from though. The thing that irks me about some lead cats is that they are the "one note wonder" types. They wait till the end of a piece or a certain chord ya know? Unless the composition strignetly calls for that, I dunno, not in my taste. I personally like to hear the soarin' lead lines, not a note here and there.

    Then again, maybe he's just jealous... We ARE trumpet players ya know! 8) :lol:
     
  3. bigaggietrumpet

    bigaggietrumpet Mezzo Forte User

    801
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    Jan 23, 2004
    Nazareth, PA
    Wait a minute...are you at TEXAS Tech?

    I guess I can clarify a little bit. The chart we had just played was "That's The Way I Like It". The spot in question is a section in the middle where we have whole notes right around F on top of the staff, and near the end, we have a triplet that goes up to a Bb right above that F. Well, the mood hit me, and I took that whole section up an octave, even the Bb. Then, on the last note, I hit the higher octave G (how is that one officially referred to, anyway?) trying to make that big chord/jazz/pep sound. Apparently he didn't like it. Even the student director (director is currently in Tennessee with half of our band at a Volleyball tournament), who's pretty stingy with complements, told me we sounded great, high notes and all. So I guess I'm just being a little panicky.
     
  4. trumpetpimp

    trumpetpimp Piano User

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    Dec 6, 2003
    Toronto
    I love to take stuff up when I can. It's mostly for jokes though. But, you have to choose your moments. You don't want to upset anyone. Besides, the composer probably wrote the note on the page for a reason, and nothing sounds worse than a trumpet player going for a note that isn't required and missing it. :-)

    However, you sound like you're making wise musical decisions and the tubist hasn't learned that when trumpet players want glory they go up and when tuba players want glory....they go down! I love pedal notes and I'm always looking for more from the tubas and bass bones. But they can over do it too. Taking stuff down the octave for basses all the time can get as tiring and when we take too much stuff up the octave.

    I wouldn't worry too much about your tuba buddy. If he knew what he was talking about and actually respected you as a musician he would have told you in a more respectful way(or not said anything at all, he sounds bitter).
     
  5. Bear

    Bear Forte User

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    Apr 30, 2004
    USA
    Yup bigaggietrumpet, I'm in your neck of the woods, TX Tech up in Lubbock. I think I know the chart you're referrin' too. I wouldn't worry about the tuba player at all. I do agree with trumpetpimp about composers notating certain voicings to get a certain effect.... but then I think about all the crappy "arrangements" we have for bball band and I think that serisouly can't be the case, lol.

    Bear
     
  6. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

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    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!

    I can just picture it .... "Tuba, you take it up the sideline... cornet, we want you to follow the play but be prepared to defend "just in case" the tuba loses it. We'll let the bone block their clarinet and have the horn squeeze their flute out of the play. When it opens up I want the cornet to come around the right, fake out the percussion with a short syncopation, take a pass from the tuba, dribble a quick trill on F and give it a slam-dunk double C. The crowd will love it.

    Gosh... an arrangement for Bball band! :D
     
  7. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    I'd have told the tuba player to go get stuffed. If he had any real chops, he wouldn't be playing tuba. ;)

    Seriously, telling you to take the whole thing up or not at all, that's a pretty stupid comment and if he listened to any big band at all he would know that.

    Next time make sure that you are standing like, right behind him and do it right at the back of his head. :twisted:

    Actually, just continue doing what you are doing. As long as you are hitting the part up and octave and it's in good taste, why bother with what a tuba player thinks.
     
  8. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

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    Nov 2, 2003
    Just tell him you are sorry that your excitement is getting in the way of his enjoyment of the extremely musically fulfilling life of playing in basketball band.

    Normally I would say keep the ego in check, but if it is basketball band and you have the chops to burn…go for it!
     
  9. Bear

    Bear Forte User

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    Apr 30, 2004
    USA
    I can just picture it .... "Tuba, you take it up the sideline... cornet, we want you to follow the play but be prepared to defend "just in case" the tuba loses it. We'll let the bone block their clarinet and have the horn squeeze their flute out of the play. When it opens up I want the cornet to come around the right, fake out the percussion with a short syncopation, take a pass from the tuba, dribble a quick trill on F and give it a slam-dunk double C. The crowd will love it.

    Gosh... an arrangement for Bball band! :D[/quote]

    Awesome!!! I think it's a winner... you forgot to give the clarinets all the hemliolas to fake out the pic tuning!!

    Bear
     
  10. bigaggietrumpet

    bigaggietrumpet Mezzo Forte User

    801
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    Jan 23, 2004
    Nazareth, PA
    Forget the clarinets, they aren't even in the band. It's almost a DCI setup- Sousas, 'bones, baritones, mellophones, saxes, a drum set, and of course, the awesome trumpets 8)
     

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