How to start a brass quintet

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by ccb_22, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. ccb_22

    ccb_22 Pianissimo User

    Jan 12, 2010
    I'm thinking about trying to start a brass quintet, but I've got no idea about how to go about it. I've got a few people in mind, but how to do you start getting gigs, and buying music, and advertising, etc? Any advice would be helpful. Thanks.
  2. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    To get "gigs", you'll probably have to start doing community events for free until you build a rep. Be sure the people you have in mind share your vision and you will have LESS hassles.
  3. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    Getting music is easy, just buy it. Canadian brass has books you can use to get started with about 10 songs in each book.

    Here is the hardest part. Getting people to show up for a rehearsal. I would set a day so it's always scheduled. If someone can't make it, get a sub and still play. It's kind of worthless to play with missing parts. This is where all of the quintets I've played with fall apart. One person can't make it and then a different person and then it kind of doesn't rehearse and then just before a gig and then, no gig.

    I'm not a big fan of playing for free. You can get a web site for about 100.00 per year. Go-Daddy will help you set it up. Business cards are about 25.00. Now you're in business. Call churches, town halls, summer concerts on the green. Shopping malls. Christmas is a good time to start but, it might be too late for this year. Easter isn't too far away.
  4. leftmid7

    leftmid7 Mezzo Piano User

    Sep 21, 2010
    Franklin, TN
    1. go to a garage sale or pawn shop
    2. buy a cheap beater trumpet
    3. pick up an axe
    4. chop it into 5 pieces.

    voila. brass quintet ;)

    but seriously, talk to any area band directors and/or music ministers at churches and leave them your info.
    plain and simple, easiest way because they're the ones that know local needs.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2010
  5. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Dude, that is painfully bad! I still smiled though :D. The more I think about it the funnier it seems :lol:. It's soooo bad I'm rolling on the floor now!!ROFLROFL
  6. kctrumpeteer

    kctrumpeteer Piano User

    Dec 23, 2009
    I got involved in a quintet through church (2 trumpets, 2 trombones, 1 tuba) We used to have someone for french horn, but they aren't around anymore.. It has been great and we have a music director that conducts and takes us through different pieces and helps keep us organized and gets us scheduled to play on certain Sundays for church.

    Gig'ing would be a whole different story and in my case know someone that has a group that they play for money but I don't really think they make much for playing... e.g. I have heard maybe $2-300 to play at church which is why more often than not they use "us" aka Free Brass Quintet versus paying someone else to come in and play.

    I've thought about trying to get into doing something for money for my playing, but right now just enjoy playing for the pure enjoyment... played in a local orchestra, regularly for church and now even in a corporate band that has around 40-50 people in it.

    I would suggest music shops which usually have various brass players/ instructors, churches, local colleges, maybe even a local paper or online resources for your area to find others interested in forming a group.
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Before even thinking about money, you need to have a product. That means you need to rehearse and figure out if you even have a chance to get schedules and playing qualities to line up. Then you polish a program and go to market. There is enough vapor ware out there already!
  8. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

    Jan 9, 2010
    East Yorkshire
    Okay wanna laugh

    I play with a local orchestra, a training orchestra and a quartet wich I have put together, me on trumpet, a beginner cornet, an experienced flautist and an Eb basss for whom this is his first experience of playing with others. We are literally playing carols at the moment and only while sheperds watched is anything like but we have a regular rehearsal night and have great fun The beginer cornet is doing very very well. I'm having to do all our own arangements (good job I enjoy it)

    My point is get the quintet together get music you enjoy and go for it. Don't just think about it. If you have to arrange your own music there are computer programs which I have found a boon, Muscore for one, fair enough it crashes a bit too often but it was a free download and its play back funtion allows you to check harmonines

    Hope this helps, Good Luck

  9. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    Several years ago I played in a quintet, 2 trumpets, horn, trombone and tuba. The main problem we had was to find a night to practice when everyone could come, it was about 1 week in 6.

    We never had any paying gigs, mostly our own simple arrangements from piano books and carols from the Salvation Army Book, playing retirement villages and supported residential homes and were greatly appreciated.

    Regards, Stuart.
  10. andy-rockstar

    andy-rockstar Pianissimo User

    Jan 6, 2009
    Anchorage, AK
    I started playing in a quintet (2 trumpets, french horn, baritone, tuba) a couple months ago. It's a lot of fun when everybody's in the same mindset. The other four have been playing together off and on for a long time, so I get the luxury of being the new guy just trying to fit in.

    All I could recommend is to find folks you get along with, getting plenty of practice time together, and don't concern yourself with paying gigs for a long time. As for music, there's some okay free stuff to be found online, but the Canadian Brass books are really good for starting out. And it really helps to have folks who can really play!

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