Eager to get back into it; the beauty of duets!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Eclipsehornplayer, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

    2,378
    5
    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    As some of you might know I’m the lead 3thd section trumpet player in my community band. One of my section mates came to me and asked if I’d help him woodshed some of our pieces and I agreed to help out. We meet for 1 hour prior to our Monday night rehearsals and work on what ever he feels he needs help with.

    First off I’m flattered he came to me looking for help; truth be told I’m still a student of the horn myself. I was only too happy to begin working with him.

    This has produced very good results within the section. By working together to tighten up our parts we have made an impact that the whole band derives a benefit from.

    Much to my dismay for all of this month we’ve been off from the band. No rehearsal; no nothing. With no music to work on I was wondering if my section mate would still want to get together. Sure enough he did and I agreed to continue to work with him.

    We began to do something that Alex and I do every now and then. I pulled out a book of Christmas duets and we started to play those. It was amazing! We both were shocked after about 1 ½ hours of playing duets together we really felt good about our sound and just plain playing together. He then confided in me that in all his years of playing; he had just played his first duet! Wow; this fella is about 20 to 25 years my senior and I’m his first duet partner I was indeed honored.

    Then it dawned on me; I can’t wait until we go back into the band room on Sept 11, 2006. One of many things Alex has taught me is that duets will show weaknesses in a hurry you then can target these and turn them into strengths; they also will help you to play together musically and otherwise. I really feel our section will be very tight with a great sound. We have a 3thd section mate (There are 3 of us total in the 3thd section) but he is not interested in playing outside of the band room. It’s just as well he’s a great player and wonderful person but at nearly 80 he’s got little wind left in him so he’s rarely heard above (p) so the section I’m sure will sound great regardless.

    I’m really looking forward to getting back into the band room and tearing it up. I guess I just thought I’d share that with anyone who cared!
     
  2. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    4,529
    8
    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Way to go, John! I agree with you that duets or even small ensembles are a GREAT way to improve aspects of your playing (intonation, timing, dynamics) that will benefit your larger band experience. In my situation we have a trumpet "choir" (consisting of three trumpets and two cornets) and not all the players are trumpet players! (We have one hornist, and one woodwind specialist who like to try the "dark side"!).

    We usually meet once a week to keep an active "book" going that can be used in different situations... Sept. 10 we'll be playing in the City Hall Foyer as part of our Community Band's 20th anniversary celebration (which will culminate in the spring with a visit by Jens Lindeman). We use a lot of stuff from Eighth Note Publications and Triplo.

    Another way to improve the section's performance is with sectionals! (Go figure!) Get everyone (1st to 4th) together once in a while with their band music to work on various "issues"... believe me when I say that the rest of the band WILL notice! Without the rest of the band there it's much easier to tell who is playing too loud, who is late, who has a fingering issue, where the melody line lies in the section, etc. It's tough, with adult amateurs all having "day jobs" but even 1/2 the section is better than none at all!
     
  3. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Forte User

    Age:
    43
    1,144
    3
    Oct 11, 2004
    Farnham (a place too smal
    Haven't played trumpet ensemble music with Alex since yesterday:D

    Duets are a great way to spend the evening - 3 people, one duet book, one (large!) crate of beer. Two people play a duet, whilst the third has a beer, rotate until all beer/lip is gone:cool:
    This is improved greatly by introducing random transposition into the mix (third person can choose, or pick at random out of a hat) - even more fun after the beer:lol:
     
  4. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    4,529
    8
    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Was Leigh the designated beer drinker?:dontknow:
     
  5. bandman

    bandman Forte User

    Age:
    111
    1,061
    53
    Oct 16, 2004
    Lafayette, LA, USA
    When I was a senior in high school we had a young lady in the section. She was about 1/2 step below Miss America and as sweet as the day was long. She had moved into our band from another school and was not very good, so I offered to play duets with her.

    All the other guys in our section always wondered about the relationship we had!!! We were really close and it showed when we were around each other in public. All it was was duets, great talk, and a great friendship, but it did make people talk!

    This post added nothing to this thread, but it did bring back a great memory for me!
     
  6. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    4,529
    8
    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Oh great... so I post that today and this evening (when we are scheduled to have a rehearsal for the City Hall thing), I get a phone call from one of the guys "I can't make it tonight" (he's just switched companies and jobs so this is legit). :-(

    THEN, within 5 minutes, I get another call from one of the other guys.... "Sorry, had emergency root canal today, can't play tonight. Oh... and I can't make the City Hall thing". (Seems a hunting outfitter that he goes shooting with in the Yukon (!) had a sudden cancellation and has offered him a hunting trip for 25% of regular price). :-o

    Sheesh... what's a guy to do? :dontknow:

    So I called the other two ladies up and said "Let's figure out what we can rearrange for Sept. 10th". They came over, we did a little review of the full scores, moved a note or three and decided that we can handle some of our 5 part pieces with 4 OK; the quartet parts we just won't have a doubler on and the trio parts are... just that... trio.

    We'll make out OK... someone or the other has almost always been missing during rehearsals so we're kind of used to it by now. But imagine... would YOU give up a chance to play in City Hall if someone offered you a big game trip to the Yukon? (Of course not... right? right? uhhhh..... why are you headed North so fast?) :bash:
     
  7. Dave

    Dave Guest

    How noble of you! ; D
     
  8. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

    2,378
    5
    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Actually I'd be inclined to disagree with you.


    As I see it; you've added yet another dimension to what duets can accomplish! I too have gone from just knowing a little bit about the guys in my section to really knowing them.

    I guess it stands to reason that you can't play a duet with someone you really don't get along with.

    Thanks for sharing; you sound like a great band director and any child would be lucky to study under you!

    As for My good buddy Trumpetmike over there across the pond I'm so freakin' envious I'm going to wet myself! [​IMG]

    I must have Alex show me how the English do the duet thing. I like the trio with the beer mix....I imagine it looks a little like this! [​IMG]

    If I ever get the chance to hang with you pink hair wearing beer drinking trumpet players from England I'm warning you; you'll want to fasten your safty belts and hold on till the ride comes to a complete stop! [​IMG]
     
  9. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Forte User

    Age:
    43
    1,144
    3
    Oct 11, 2004
    Farnham (a place too smal
    I hate to admit it it, but the session with Alex was a remarkably beer-free event. We were playing trumpet quintets along with three of my students (hence no beer - according to them, I don't drinkROFL ) - still great fun, but sober:-o

    If you make it to ITG next year, we will have to have a beer or two - we may even play some trumpets (but that isn't compulsory)
     
  10. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

    2,378
    5
    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Very Good!

    I'm hopeful that I'll make it however it will be very difficult for me to do so for many reasons.

    After seeing the pictures from this year and hearing many first hand accounts I really don't want to miss out.

    You sound like a great bunch over there. I'd look forward to playing with you anywhere; anytime beer or not!

    Cheers!
     

Share This Page