Hypothetical question about horn section etiquette

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Bwanabass, Apr 20, 2014.

  1. Bwanabass

    Bwanabass Mezzo Piano User

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    For you working players out there, I have a question:

    What do you do if/when you show up to rehearse with a new group to find that the other trumpeters in your section do not possess the same skill level that you do, and it is evident in the performance of the set? What is the etiquette? Do you just shut up and play because you are relatively new or is there a polite way to address it, do a bit of coaching, and possibly raise the overall quality of the performance?

    Thoughts?
     
  2. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

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    If you're paying them, you should be able to require more of them. If not, mumble to yourself under your breath while biting your tongue. Hopefully your skills will inspire them to better themselves (shame them into practicing). Hope it works! :-)
     
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  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Diplomacy and humility are the best virtues to have. As a section player it is our job to make the first player sound good, and this includes adjusting for their out of tune notes and matching their rhythm and note lengths. That's the humility part. Diplomacy comes into play when we can't adjust to their intonation ("I'm sorry, but I can't go any higher to get in tune with your a above the staff.") or if they are inconsistent with their style ("How long do you want me to hold that note?").

    By practicing diplomacy and humility the first player will come to rely on us, and then we can lead from last chair. Mwah-hah-hah-hah-hah!
     
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  4. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Hi Bwanabass,
    Let me see... How can I put this?.... Don't be an "uppity" ass.
    Be nice, be helpful, work together as a team, say every now and then, "Hey we sounded pretty good on that one!!"
    Remember, it's plumbing that we're blowing through, not a 1965 Les Paul Custom with a sunburst finish.
    In short, You're a good person without the horn in your hands. Don't let the simple fact of putting a horn in your hands change your attitude.
    However, if you're holding Kate Upton in your hands (and not on the verge of being arrested for harrassment or beaten to a pulp), then, you can have a small change in attitude.
    Hope this helps
    Dr.Mark
     
  5. Bwanabass

    Bwanabass Mezzo Piano User

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    That's just it- I'm a good guy and certainly wouldn't want to hurt feelings or cause a disruption in the band. I've been playing bass in bands for years, so I know how band relationships can go- the good and the bad. Horn in my hand or not, I'm not out to step on any toes and I certainly don't have any ego going on (God knows that I'm no Miles Davis!). I suppose having Kate Upton on my arm could be a nice way to improve the big picture! I'll post pics if it happens! :D
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2014
  6. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Just noticed that what I said above was geared towards the best of players playing a section part. A lead player, on the other hand, doesn't need humility at all when dealing with the section, just diplomacy. (It is important to reserve some humility for the conductor.) As an example "Let's see if we can tighten the rhythm up" is more diplomatic than "That sucked!"
     
  7. Bwanabass

    Bwanabass Mezzo Piano User

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    I probably should have mentioned that I am going to be playing lead/1st trumpet. It's not a big band where I would be fulfilling the traditional role of a lead player in that setting- it's funk/rock band with a horn section. I still have a lot of work to do in learning the sets, so that's my focus right now. Plus, there is always a period of time during which familiarity and chemistry develop. Thanks for the input so far! I am very excited about the gig and just want to make it as great as possible.
     
  8. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

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    Usually, if the others have a different skill level, I have to work harder to play as well as they do. Good for my playing!
     
  9. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    Let's see ---- life was bettef for me in community band before a guest conductor came and challenged us trumpet players to the High G at the end of one song. I sat for 3 years at 3rd trumpet just playing the notes and music like the conductor wants -- that's what a band does - works together. ((Then 1 day after that guest conductors challenge I had to try for a high G after practice)) - yup I missed it several times only having a high F. Now, lead people like you Bwanabass pick on me --- asking "where is that high G?" "I didn't hear it" --- you see, I should have continued to "do what I was supposed to do at 3rd trumpet - support and gel with the band" -
     
  10. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    No offense Bwanabass - but some of us just can't keep up - but we often do our best - so encourage others to do their best, to pay attention to the conductor - to all work together as one
     

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