Is my band director wrong?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by JHSTrumpet, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. JHSTrumpet

    JHSTrumpet New Friend

    May 21, 2011
    When I play songs, I like to put some sort of emotion into it. I'll make some parts louder, some softer, and I try to get it to sound how I think it should, but I also follow dynamics when they're called for. My band director says it sounds like crap, and I need to stop. I don't hear anything bad, so I don't know what she's hearing. She's a trombone player, and she has hearing problems, so she might not be hearing it right. The lead trombone player does some of what I do, but she doesn't get on to him for it (I think she secretly likes him). Is my band director wrong, or do I need to stop this? You guys probably need to hear a recording to determine if it sounds good or not, but I don't really know how to do all that.
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    The band director is never wrong when expressing their perceptions. Why? It is their band and you are an instrument in their ensemble. They have ultimate (our utimate here on TM) to determine how you, as THEIR instrument performs. They have to consider the mix they want with others in the ensemble. So no, the band director is not wrong.

    Now if you continue to disagree and this up sets you to the point of frustration, it is time to vote with your feet, and find another band with a director the best conforms to your ideals.

    That is why I like small jazz bands, where you have a bit more flexibility to stand out as a performer on YOUR instrument. Remember in an orchestra, you are the conductor's instrument.
    DaTrump likes this.
  3. Bochawa!!!

    Bochawa!!! Forte User

    Nov 4, 2007
    OK. The director is the ears of the band and to a very large degree is responsible for how the band sounds to the audience. She is most likely telling you the truth and it is very unlikely that she would waste her time being petty. It's simply just not worth it. It is not the position of anyone in the band to argue with the director, even if you are playing lead. You do what you are told if you want to be in the band. When you are playing solo or have your own band then you can take all the license you want. That she has not asked you not to come to rehearsals probably speaks more to the fact that she values you as a member. Don't blow it.
  4. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    Do what the director says. Save the interpretation/expression style you're describing for solo and small combo situations, not section playing.
  5. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    wow -- I am a trumpet player first and foremost ---- then after that a very mediocre trombonist. I participate in the community band with the trumpet for concerts, and then outdoors for parades I grab the trombone. I think my conductor is extremely bias, because he always warms up the band in the parade by having me play the F with the trombone and everybody tuning to ME. now personally I think my trombone playing is mediocre at best, and with my poor hearing, I think the sound of the trombone is kind of dull and lackluster ------SO IS MY CONDUCTOR WRONG to use me as the TUNING POINT for the whole band ALL OF THE TIME???? my perspective is -- I really suck at the trombone and am so out of tune that the conductor is taking the WORST player and tuning to him, so everyone sounds good. OR ACCORDING TO A CLARINETISTS, the trombone sounds REALLY GOOD and that is why we tune to you!!!!! -------------------------------------sorry to say, so far, I have never actually just went to the conductor and asked him what the deal is ----------------------------------------GUESS I DONT TALK TO THE CONDUCTOR BECAUSE I DONT WANT TO KNOW THE ANSWER!!!!!
  6. Jfrancis

    Jfrancis Pianissimo User

    Jul 19, 2008
    Hannibal, MO
    Yep...director gets final say. I do understand the frustration and that's why smaller ensembles, and jazz groups are of great musical value. But in a wind ensemble, your primary job is to blend.
  7. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Yep, a conductor/director has the option to interpret the musical score anyway they want to ... even to the extent of ignoring how the composer wrote vis a vie their own mode of "improvisation". Gee, it's nice to come to a time in life that I can play a song the way I like to ... because I now don't have a conductor / director ... and now don't want one again.

    That said, still if it ever comes to pass that I again do have a conductor / director, I surrender the song to them and play it like they want, including mutes (which I don't like) or I leave (unless I'm under contract).

    Oddity, is that I'm currently "jammin" and such is presently so compatible that we work out differences and ENJOY THE OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY WITH EACH OTHER.
  8. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Rule Number One: The conductor is always right.
    Rule Number Two: In the event the conductor is wrong, Refer to Rule Number One.

    If you get the chance (in private) explain to your conductor what you are trying to do, and ask her how she would want it phrased. Phrasing is a learned skill, and there is a fine line between genius and insanity when it comes to phrasing.

    Good Luck!
  9. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Vulgano, Gary, and the others here are absolutely correct.

    This person is your teacher. You are there to learn from her. Approach her with respect, and with the assumption that she is correct.

    And as Vulgano wisely suggested, when you don't understand her guidance, ask her to help you understand.

  10. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA

    so, --- I am thinking the OP is venting, and he doesn't really want to know the answer ------ FOR ME, I like the clarinetists perspective of my trombone playing -- SOUNDS REALLY GOOD!!! ---------------------------------so, if the conductor said -- I SUCKED, wow that might hurt my trombone playing EGO --- but (for my Canadian friends - EYY, I still got the trumpet to fall back on) ROFL ROFL ROFL

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