Gig Range

Discussion in 'Wise Talk!' started by captjack, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. captjack

    captjack New Friend

    Dec 12, 2004
    I was thinking about this over the Christmas holiday, and this hasn't happened to me.

    What would you do if you were booked to play a gig, but upon receiving the music it was well beyond your ability?

    If the only issue at hand was range, would you take it down an octave or follow a similar route that you would follow to the previous question?


  2. BradHarrison

    BradHarrison Pianissimo User

    Oct 31, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    If I wasn't comfortable playing a gig I would turn it down. I would probably explain that it's a little beyong my technical abilities, isn't a style I'm most familiar with, etc. and offer to find a sub. Give a simple reason(keep it short, people don't want excuses and you might want to work for them again) and offer to find a replacement. They may discuss it with you and say if they're concerned or not.

    If the issue is range you have to ask yourself if it's a problem because your range isn't where it should be(i.e. not developed as a player yet, or maybe it's a lead part and you're not a lead player) or if the part was written poorly. If "The Trumpet Shall Sound" is too high for you then you should tell them you're not ready for it but if a choir director wrote a descant for you in the stratosphere at ppp then you should tell him/her that a trumpet doesn't play in the register in that very well at the volume and perhaps it might sound better down the octave.

    If you discuss it with them you may get to keep the gig and be comfortable but if you say nothing and play poorly it reflects much worse on you than if you found someone better suited to the task.
  3. Clarence

    Clarence Mezzo Forte User

    Jun 23, 2005
    san diego
    I agree with brad, let them know quick, they may use ya anyway.
    I,ve done some studio work when one guy knew it was a bit much, however he had a very good tude about him and that made all the differance. ;-)
  4. Siegtrmpt

    Siegtrmpt Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 21, 2005
    Good point. I come across that from time to time when I get called to play "lead" as a guest somewhere. Lead can mean a whole lot of different things depending on the band. Asking about the book or show and their needs is a good way to show concern for their gig and see if you're right for it. If they're looking for a Maynard style, exteme range lead I recommend someone else. If their book goes up to F and requires musical versatility (like 95% of the stuff out there) I take the gig. Even if you don't take the gig the fact that you helped out and recomended someone really qualified stands you in good stead with both the contractor and the person you recommended. The gig goes well and everyone's reputation stays intact.
  5. Youri le god

    Youri le god Pianissimo User

    Jan 23, 2004
    London, UK
    I had that experience recently. I play mainly Big Band and Pop/soul stuff and someone asked me to do a Classical concert on 1st trumpet. I said I don't normally play that kind of stuff (ever) but they were desperate so I agreed. When I turned up the music was full of transposing which is definately not my forte and I had never even heard of the composers let alone the pieces!!! The guy sitting next to me was in his last year in college and sounded great so I asked him if he would swap parts. He was happy and played it far better than I would have done.

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