I Get So Upset

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

  1. mineo50

    mineo50 Pianissimo User

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    Barstow, CA
    A funny thing about the dots Ivan, is that I have almost always needed them.
    The only exception to this is when I have had to learn a song "by ear". I played with a Mexican dance band for about a year in the early 1980's. They had no written music. I learned the lead trumpet parts by recording the trombone player playing the parts during rehearsal and then sitting down for litterally hours repeatedly playing each part piece by piece until I had them down pat.
    That being said, I played with a German polka band for over 10 years and still couldn't/can't play the Beer Barrell Polka through with out the music in front of me.
    I feel there is just a difference in the way people remember things. The onus does not belong with the schools or instructors. I am not sure that you can even teach this in school. That is of course unless you are Professor Harold Hill and use the "Think System.":-)

    Jim
     
  2. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

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    I played last week in a community band concert and I swear that some of the players are completely DEAF. They cannot tell if they are in tune or not. It is very difficult to play in a section with people like that.

    We plays the SSB (Nat'l Anthem) and the conductor wanted the high C... So I played it, but so did two other guys and I swear they were playing B-Naturals. It was BAD.

    The second time through I just stayed on the G. Not worth fighting them.

    There really is a huge variance in the abilities of community band players.
     
  3. ChopsGone

    ChopsGone Forte User

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    Maybe it's a sign of changing times, but when I was in school, we played so many Sousa (and Fillmore, etc.) marches so often that they were all committed to memory. In fact, we were required to memorize every tune for every halftime show - lyres were permitted only in practice. Even 50+ years out of high school band, I can remember every note of "Stars and Stripes Forever", "Semper Fidelis", "Washington Post", "Barnum & Bailey's Favorite", "Entry of the Gladiators", "The Thunderer", "Liberty Bell", etc., and I can still play every one of them without music. Some of the lesser stuff has faded a bit in my memory, but not much of the Sousa.
     
  4. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

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    love those trills in Thunderer! They sound great when you get both tones clear in the trill and then when the whole section is doing it.

    When we played it last week it sounded like "pttttththth daht daht, pttttththth daht daht"
     
  5. Brad-K

    Brad-K Piano User

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    Jun 18, 2011
    Of course you can teach memorization in school. And of course the onus belongs on the instructors. And there is little difference from person to person on the technique of memorization.

    It's about muscle memory. I am a singer. I don't train to remember notes or lyrics, I train my body to be in the habit of performing a sequence of muscle/body events/movements.

    Way back in the day, when I was in school band, from the very beginning, we were taught, and expected by our instructors to memorize the material (for marching, at least). To show up to a parade competition with lyres on our horns was a disgrace, and a major points deduction. Other bands would even mock bands that didn't have their music memorized.

    To this day, I can STILL for the most part play the Notre Dame fight song...very poorly, but upon making my comeback, I could almost play it before I could even play lesson 1 in my method book.

    Memorization is a skill which MUST be trained, along with sight-reading, scales, and all the other skills a musician must exercise (along with improvisation). In fact, this thread reminds me, that I should be memorizing my method book lessons before moving on...and that I do NOT have them mastered until I do so.

    I'd even go so far as to say that playing by memory can improve one's playing overall. If one can master a tune enough to play by memory, then one can all the more concentrate on the quality of the actual performance.
    You're not just reproducing what is on the paper, but REALLY PLAYING the music. ...And then, even if you do go back to the sheet, how much more mastery have you over the piece?
     
  6. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

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    A little off your topic but related to standing and playing. One thing I think it is important for band directors to do is teach their students how to play standing. Growing up in jazz bands, we were always taught to have our stands at about a 45 degree angle so you read down and the horn projected out -not into a stand. I realize that today many more places mic the trumpets, but where to put the stand is something everyone needs to learn. A few years ago my son made an honor band and theTroy jazz band was to play at the end of the day. We hung around acouple of extra hours just to hear them (after the HS concert). You couldn't hear the trumpet section. It was in a steep concert hall. The guys were good players, but apparently they weren't used to standing and the sound went right into the stand. Very disappointing. The "knock yourself out of the seat" sound was gone.
     
  7. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    Some of this may be the sudden change from the sitting to the standing position - I play in a Stage Band (Big Band) and the trumpets stand - always - and we heavilly rehearse any movement. I also play in a Concert Band and the trumpets sit - always.

    Now because I was never required to memorise music, and partially because as a comeback player I've had to re-teach myself to read music, I find I've 'struggled' to read, identify, form embouchure, select valves (yes, not as bad as it sounds) and to get all the "ducks in a row" to make the note (and for a while, this was every note) - my crutch is the written music.

    It's only been reasonably recently that I have discovered that I can actually hear the rest of the band, and where I sit in the music - strangely some of that came from singing the piece with the rest of the section and changing volumes (mostly more loudly) until I heard (in BOTH ears) where I belonged. I had to be shown how to tune - specifically what exactly to listen for (the beats) and how loud to play to get it (louder until you hear the sound of the section in BOTH ears) - once I got to those realisations, nearly everything fell into place, including my timing.

    Don't get me wrong here - I'm a maestro in the practice room ROFL.
     
  8. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    What, make mistakes... What's it like?
     
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Jim, you obviously did not have enough beer! Sometimes getting into the character of the song really helps. And when it comes to beer, this really really really helps (one more really would be overkill and then we begin to feel the limits on the return).
     
  10. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    Absolutely wonderful amzi. Good for you and the other players.

    I have just returned home from playing a village green concert - my wife told me that I was the only one not looking down to the music; and, yes, the piccolo players put their stands up too.
     

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