Do pro guys have to be "lead" players?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by eisprl, Jul 28, 2006.

  1. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit

    What an attitude!

    Your post is what every aspiring trumpet player should strive to be...a player that CAN play all the parts and WILL play whatever is asked of him. And all with a great professional attitude.

    GREAT POST man!

  2. wilcox96

    wilcox96 Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 31, 2005
    charlotte nc
    One word, bandman....


  3. averagejoe

    averagejoe Pianissimo User

    Oct 13, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    This is the most succinct and poignant answer to the O/P question! Aside from that, the other posts on etiquette and attitude will assist you in getting regular work within your niches.

    Last edited: Aug 13, 2006
  4. tom turner

    tom turner Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Georgia, USA
    Yes, I agree. When I read Pat Harbison's response I thought the same thing.

    Bands that make money and get the bookings today don't include many trumpeters anyway, and those that do rarely carry many. With each additional member there are more expenses, more headaches, less pay, and . . . less bookings . . . since professional players have to eat.

    THAT IS CONTRASTED . . . with the high school "big band." The jobs are free, and band directors like to get as many kids turned on as possible to "jazz," and a big band allows the director to involve lots of kids.

    Heck, a dear friend of mine loads up his band with EIGHT or more trumpets, EIGHT or more trombones, EIGHT or more saxes, plus a big rhythm section. He even recruits budding electric guitar players from the general school population. His passion is EXPOSING THE KIDS . . . AS MANY AS POSSIBLE!

    I like his approach, for a few might catch fire and take it past high school. It also eases the worries of the trumpeters about the big question, "What if I can't cut the lead part when called to do it?"

    Nick's comments about big bands commercially is also right on the mark. No one makes any money playing in a big band . . . unless it is the contracting band leader/player. Many of them can't play worth a lick but can get the gigs. They generally take a huge cut off the top.

    Heck, people would be SHOCKED what Maynard's sidemen make . . . or Tower of Power's sidemen. Chump change. It's called "paying your dues" . . . but later you realize that YOU want and need to make some real money too!!!


    All young budding trumpeters need to prepare themselves to play whatever is needed to be played. There are a zillion guys with trumpets in the world looking to be able to play by hiding in the bowels of a big trumpet section.

    If you were a budding tennis player with a weak backhand, I'd recommend you work on your backhand. If you were a trumpeter with a weak command of soloing, I'd recommend you focus on that weakness. Since your fear is the lead part, find a really musical lead player and take some lessons.

    Lead is NOT about high notes! Lead is about playing more musically, and more accurately, than anyone else! Lead is about NEVER missing a note, and NEVER failing to play a certain phrase different than you did last time. And . . . lead is about having the most wonderful style and interpretation on notes and phrases.

    You'll leave the high school/college big band scene behind when you graduate. After that, you'll start really appreciate playing in the smaller groups . . . because you cut is generally much, much better. When you end up being the ONLY trumpeter, and you can do it all, you WILL work a lot . . .

  5. Liad Bar-EL

    Liad Bar-EL Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Jerusalem, Israel
    From my limited experiences, if you are good then it isn't a matter of who can do the most "tricks" with the horn rather it becomes a matter of politics.

    As to who gets the 2nd & 3rd slots, the lead players want a good back up and they know who will provide that for them. If you want such a slot, as Gerorge Graham use to say to me, go to the performances, get to know the trumpet players, etc, etc and make friends...............especially with the lead player and bring your horn for some after gig jamming to show him what you're worth.

    In other words, make friends and get yourself known.

    Liad Bar-EL
  6. Foxytrpt

    Foxytrpt Pianissimo User

    Sep 11, 2006
    Pro 'GUYS"???:dontknow:
  7. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    Prez (Lester Young) used to call everyone "Lady" :cool:
  8. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Dave you never cease to amaze me!

    This along with everything else you said is great wisdom.

    I'm not a pro; or a lead player. I can play lead but I'm not solid there I have more work to do.

    I'm grateful to play with anyone, anytime, in any section, and on any part.

    For me Dave; your words were spot on!

    Your students stand to gain much more then the music education they are getting if they pay attention to what you have to say!


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