I Get So Upset

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpetsplus, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    Why can't we play music without the dots?

    Here is my blog entry

    And here is the text:

    It is the middle of summer. Community bands are playing on the village green. The concert ends with Sousa’s greatest march, Stars and Stripes Forever, which, by act of congress is now the National March of the United States of America.

    Getting down to the bottom of the page…

    The piccolo stands for the famous descant…


    Then, the trumpets stand for the shout chorus…

    Oh dear!

    What is happening?

    Most of the trumpet players are looking and playing down while standing up. It looks terrible.

    I have seen these players fearfully attempting to set up their music sheets so that they can read them not only in their normal sitting position, but also when they stand. When they stand, they are playing the tune, not some weird harmony part!

    This tune is as American as Apple Pie, but so many advanced players feel unable to play it without the dots. Where have we, as teachers and mentors, gone wrong in establishing this situation?

    I get so upset!

    Why can’t we all stand up proudly and play out directly to the audience?
  2. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    hate to say it --- but someone has to --- you know Ivan -- I have read 1,000's of books, but can't do a decent book report on any of them --- and have played some songs hundreds of times --- but seriously I still have trouble remembering the dots in my head.
    I am convinced that not all people can actually remember a whole song with dynamics, the notes, the repeats, etc.
    THAT being said -- some days when I visit my parents - I can watch Jeopardy show on TV, and get virtually all of the answers --- even the obscure ones ---- to the amazement of myself, my Mom and my Dad ---- and other days I can't answer anything!!!!!!!
    we are not all equal in are memorizational abilities --- that is my opinion.
  3. Satchmo Brecker

    Satchmo Brecker Piano User

    Jul 19, 2010
    Huh? Is "playing without the dots" supposed to mean "playing by memory"?
  4. mrsemman

    mrsemman Piano User

    Apr 8, 2010
    I know what you mean. However, most days, I go through a piece and make no mistakes, then try to repeat it, and fumble all over the place. Other days, when I make a mistake, and take the time to correct and practice that part, I would find that I would immediately still make the same mistake.

    Early onset of dementia.
  5. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.
    In answer to Ivan; we all need more practice with finding the proper intervals. I do it all of the time in my playing of gospel hymns and community concert band music. My problem 'sometimes' is that I either get distracted, or, I lose faith in myself and don't wish to 'possibly' make a mistake. The "spots" are there for just such a confidence builder. More practice in ensemble on the subject charts is also a monstrous help, but, most community bands have very limited rehearsal time.

  6. ltg_trumpet

    ltg_trumpet Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 21, 2009
    My biggest tool in becoming one with the tune? Listening. I had to memorize the song "freight train" in a short period of time, and the biggest thing for me in my woodshedding was sitting on youtube, repeating the head over and over again, singing along with each rhythm. When the group learned the tune, it was by ear, not from the real book, and now that I know it, it's not going anywhere! It's a story that we have to get engraved in our souls, each melodic line and all the phrasing within. In order to speak a language, we have to be able to listen to it. That's what I have found in my own little bit of time.
  7. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    Stars and Stripes is something which we trumpet players have known for longer than our current "warm-up" routine. We can play a chromatic warm-up without dots but often not this simple melody.

    My point is not that xxxx trumpet player is bad, but that there is something wrong with the system under which this can happen.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011
  8. amzi

    amzi Forte User

    Feb 18, 2010
    Northern California
    Ivan--the only group involvement I currently have is in a community band. It has become traditional for the trumpet section to not only stand, but also to separate from the rest of the band while playing the shout chorus of "Stars and Stripes". This year we ascended a set of risers behind the band--last year they walked out on front of the stage--NO music! Did it all from memory. This year we did a double trio version of "Bugler's Holiday" also from memory. This is not a young group either, at 60 I'm the second youngest member of the section.
    PS--the piccolo player had to look at her music.
  9. ltg_trumpet

    ltg_trumpet Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 21, 2009
    then perhaps it's just a lack of performance experience. I grew up gigging with momma. She doesn't read, so when I learned a part that she wanted, it was from memory.
  10. vern

    vern Piano User

    Mar 4, 2008
    Playing from memory is often taken for granted (and expected) by string and piano players. I have rarely been asked to memorize a piece....

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