I CAN'T believe I stooped that low

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by eisprl, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. eisprl

    eisprl Mezzo Piano User

    Sep 26, 2004
    Halifax, NS CANADA
    Hello everyone,

    So I am in this band rehearsal for a band I haven't played in for a long time. Since I have been gone, there has been this new high school kid who thinks that high playing is everything and that he wants to be just like Maynard. I try and tell him that high playing isn't everything and that there are much more things to worry about than just that. He hears me, but I don't think it quite sinks in. (He falls off every phrase - even in legit stuff and tries to take everything up)


    So he was playing 2nd or 3rd (I can't remember) and at the end of this piece he tried to sqeal off this high G. (fortunatley, he took the last few measures off so that he can prepare himself). I knew what it was he was thinking of doing so I kept playing to the end of the piece and picked off a double B above his (weak) G.

    I do not normally let people like that get to me. But it's just so hard not to show up "show off's". I am feeling really bad about doing it but somehow (at the time) I felt it needed to be done.

    I thought I'd just post this to tell everyone that I am paying for it and I really could have hurt myself. (The first double B I ever played in performance) I am proud that I hit it, but in doing so, and for the given reasons, it was certainly not worth it. (I am now feeling a stiffness in the back of my neck) :-?

    I just hate show off's who don't really have much to show off on and doing what I did was not the right thing to do as a section leader.

    Cheers to all
  2. cmcdougall

    cmcdougall Piano User

    Feb 3, 2005
    Eric, man it was just a rehearsal, i wouldnt sweat it, i always add little things to the music we are playing during the rehearsals like turns or something unless it is a very ryhtmically strict piece, but i guess i can do that because in my band i play solo 1st part and everyone else is 2nd 3rd or 4th, it was just a rehearsal man, no sweat.
  3. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    Don't feel bad about that Eric, good for you. I find it funny that a lot of people have to take a few measures/beats off to prepare for a "high" note. People like that get to me too. Play what's on the page. Unless your the LEAD, they get a few special privledges every now and then, lol. But even then, the LEAD player had better be able to play down the page better than anyoe in the band, even sightreading. If the other guys int he section pull crap like that in my section and can't back it up, I throw the book at them (very nicely of course) and let them play lead. After hackin it up and everyone int he band yellin at them, they get the hint. It's only happened once in my section and now we all get along and know our jobs. Just a thought. There is A LOT more to playin' trumpet and being a musician than high notes... and that's sayin' a lot since I'm a high note guy... grrrr
  4. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Eric, I wouldn't feel too bad about serving the kid a piece of humble pie. It sounds like he needed it.

    I did that once when I was volunteering at a high school working with the jazz band. The band was playing "Brass Machine", the lower version of Mark Taylor's "Scream Machine", which is still pretty high, and has a lead line that goes up to a D, with an optional double G.

    Well, the "lead" trumpet player, a kid who centered all of his playing around the few high notes that he was able to hit, kept going for the double G - even when he was hitting it, it was just that, "hitting" and it didn't sound that great. When I first met him, he was playing on some Jet Tone mouthpiece and he later went to a "bigger" mouthpiece, a Schilke 6A4a. I don't have a problem with small mouthpieces. They certainly have their place, but his embouchure wasn't developed near enough to use it. He was using them in the effort to pop those high notes and his sound was thin and airy the rest of the time.

    But back to the story, as was my practice, I was playing with them in the section that day and my chops were feeling really good. Everything was just working. Toward the end of the tune, approaching that line with the optional G, I could tell that he was going to go for it again, and since he had yet to hit it in that rehearsal, I figured he'd probably miss it again. So, I jumped in and just screamed a G that you could part your hair with....and held it about a half beat longer than was necessary. :D

    It really pissed him off, but I pulled him aside later and told him that high notes were fine and dandy, but he should probably focus on some of the other aspects of his playing. I also told him that the D in the line was fine and to lay off of the G unless he knew he had it in the bag, which in reality was never. In my opinion, it's better to nail the D than to go for the G and miss.

    I liked the kid - he had A LOT of potential - but I never could get him to work on some of the chops fundamentals that would have tremendously helped the upper register playing he was so desparately wanting.
  5. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004

    Nicely tell the kid to stop doing that. I used to do the same thing when I was younger and got told off ( and rightly so) by the trombone and tuba section.

    It's a lesson in courtesy, Eric. You have an opportunity to teach this kid something and if you do it man to man, in a nice way you'll be able to help him out.

  6. pops

    pops Pianissimo User

    Mar 17, 2004
    He takes a few measures off to change embouchures or at very least embouchure set.

    They need to take a breath to accomplish a register change. It is a chance to complete the embouchure shift. Thousands of people do this without knowing that it is a shift.

    This limits your overall playing. Why can they play some lead charts well and others don't come out right? Some songs don't have breaks in the places needed for the embouchure shift to take place. They change registers too often or too fast.

    This works both ways a low setting not hitting the top notes and a high setting not allowing the lower notes to sound.

    It is difficult if not impossible to become really accomplished as a player until this problem is corrected and 1 embouchure and 1 embouchure set is used to play everything.
  7. trumpetpimp

    trumpetpimp Piano User

    Dec 6, 2003
    Mildly related anecdote...

    I was in grade 13(yes, five years of high school in Ontario, not anymore though, they phased it out, but I digress) getting ready on the night of the final concert. There was this kid in grade 9 that was a real ankle-biter, always trying to impress me by insulting me and trying to play better than me. It would have been cute if it wasn't so aggravating. Needless to say I was playing pretty well(best in the school) for 5 years on the horn and he wasn't much to write home about it(mind you, that wouldn't have been an issue if he wasn't a jerk).

    So he comes up to me explaining for no particular reason that just a few weeks ago he decided to learn how to play high and it really wasn't that hard. "Yeah, so, it only took me two weeks to learn how to play super C. It's not that hard." "Oh?" says I. "Super C? Like the C that's an octave above high C?"

    "Yeah, I'll play it for you!" He starts at third space C and procedes to struggle a major scale up to second ledger line C. Not bad for a young player but again, he needed to be put in his place and happily my chops were feeling good so...

    "That's super C?" I ask. He explained, "Yeah, I learned how to to that in two weeks."

    "No, no, no," says I. "This isn't super C." *plays a high C big as a house* "THIS is super C". *plays a high C big as a house and then glisses up to a sweet, clear double C*. It was loud but it was impressive nonetheless. It made my night.

    The kid: :?:
    Me: :bleah:

    Ah...it's a beautiful thing.
  8. Trumpetyoda

    Trumpetyoda New Friend

    Feb 26, 2005
    You go dude.

    You did the right thing. I would have put water in his horn before he played so it would backfire.


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