Bluffing it!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Bloomin Untidy Musician, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. Bloomin Untidy Musician

    Bloomin Untidy Musician Piano User

    Jan 14, 2008
    How important is being able to bluff within the professional world?

    Quite often when i am playing fast runs, i will sensitively change the odd accidental to make it easier, but still keeping the effect. Are you a bluffer like me ? What types of bluffing tricks do you employ? Have you ever been caught out by conductor? Is bluffing ethical? Do bluffers "make it"?


  2. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    You can't bluff in the pro world. You won't be hired back. You will be caught at it.
  3. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    The olny time I've ever bluffed would be during a rehearsal where I'm sight-reading something difficult. I think there's an expectation that the next time we play the same difficult passage/piece I will have it down and won't have to bluff through it anymore. I think there's definitely an expectation that there's no bluffing during a performance.

    I know my own limitations so for example I won't sub a musical like West Side Story (for a high school or college show) without seeing the book at least a day or so in advance and either hearing or sitting in a rehearsal so I'm aware of the cuts. There are TONS of guys who could just plop in on the day of the show and do it, but I'm not one of them.

    As Bob said I don't think "bluffers" make it very far. I think they would eventually bite off more than they can chew and end up really sucking on a job, thus ruining (or earning) a reputation as unpredictable.

    But I'm just a hack, so I could be wrong...
  4. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    Bluffing is ok only on the first read through. After that, you should able to play as written. Practice, sightreading... close to being things of the past! HA. If you are thrust in a spot where you can't play something, leave it out and hope to the Lord that someone doubles/covers it. Your rep will be on the line.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2009
  5. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    +1 to that!
  6. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    I am uncomfortable faking the part too.

    If I can't play it "right" the first time I make sure I practice the heck out of it at home
    to get it down before the next practice or performance.

    Now, there are times when "wood shedding" is just not possible.
    In those cases I'd rather skip the difficult passage than fumble my way through it and
    sound horrible.
  7. Phil Kersh

    Phil Kersh Pianissimo User

    Feb 28, 2008
    Provo, Utah
    There's just that expectation that if you're there to play, you're there to do it right. Sight reading is a practiced skill that I fear many non-full time musicians get away from. However, sitting down and working out the kinks and runs is a necessary part of playing-especially if you want to keep your good reputation.

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