Marching Band Woes

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by jazz9, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. jazz9

    jazz9 Piano User

    357
    2
    Dec 5, 2007
    Chilhowie, VA
    Hello everyone. I am a high school senior planning to go to college for trumpet, and I am just having a really hard time. Marching band is killing me, and I have no idea how to deal with it. My chops give out on me in shows. We have a very weak trumpet section in our band, and no one plays if I don't play. It has been rough. I can play the music fine in the bandroom, but when it gets out on the field, it just falls apart. I don't know what to do. I am rolling my feet, even exagerrating, and on my toes backing up. I don't know what's happening, I just know my endurance and overall playing have drastically reduced since marching season started. And I, being section leader, am the one who isn't supposed to have these sorts of problems. Help? Please!
     
  2. Sauer

    Sauer Pianissimo User

    123
    1
    Mar 20, 2007
    Well i don't know if it's just me, but I have a similar problem that i found a remedy to. Only difference, I'm in 10th Grade, Not titled as a section leader but i do more than the section leaders (lazy seniors) and i was the only person actually playing out the first part. So during the practice a few weeks ago i talked to the band director, and he had every trumpet player go around and play the parts. I was the only one who memorized the music and could play it well. So, as punishment, they had to parade block and do laps (conditioning w/ push ups, jumping jacks, etc) for 3 hours because a 10th grader outdid all of the juniors and seniors by just caring. So my point, I would worry about it, at least a little. What i mean is you should care that your section does well but you should also make sure you arent sacraficing tone and your lips to cover for your sections lackadasical habits.
    Talk to your director, he has more power than you.
     
  3. jazz9

    jazz9 Piano User

    357
    2
    Dec 5, 2007
    Chilhowie, VA
    Well, that's good advice. But my section just doesn't care. We have sectional rehearsal, and they just don't listen. And when they do listen and actually play, it's not very good. We tell them to practice, but they always have excuses like volleyball practice or some other reason. It just doesn't happen. I'd just like to figure out how I can play better.


    BTW, good call on beating out those seniors! We weren't allowed to pass the seniors when I was a sophomore, but I sure could blare that second part!
     
  4. Sauer

    Sauer Pianissimo User

    123
    1
    Mar 20, 2007
    Play soft during rehersals, dont blow the lips out ever. as my band director says, just fill the horn with air and make beautiful music, at this point thats all you can do.
     
  5. jazz9

    jazz9 Piano User

    357
    2
    Dec 5, 2007
    Chilhowie, VA
    Yea, that's what I tried. I think something's wrong with my embouchure.
    My director then gets mad at me when I play soft.
     
  6. Sauer

    Sauer Pianissimo User

    123
    1
    Mar 20, 2007
    I don't recommend telling him off, because it wouldn't work (not that you mentioned it) but maybe disrespect your section leaders until they try to get you in trouble, disobey them and see if they do anything about it. If not, try to talk to your director about making you a section leader so you can punish kids for not caring.
     
  7. jazz9

    jazz9 Piano User

    357
    2
    Dec 5, 2007
    Chilhowie, VA
    Well, I am the section leader. Sorry for not making that clear. Our band is just not nearly hard enough on people who don't play and/or learn their music.
     
  8. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    989
    2
    Jan 24, 2005
    If you're ok inside, and dying out on the field, you may be overplaying outside. With no wall and ceiling to bounce your sound back at you, it can feel like you're playing loud, but not hearing yourself at all. Then you start playing even louder, but still don't hear yourself, and play louder yet, and pretty soon you're blowing your brains out like you never would inside. There's no way you can make up for a weak section, so play within your personal limits for sound quality and see if you feel stronger. If the director asks for more, do what you can, but be smart about it. When your giving all you can, and he still asks for more, nod and play the same. If he thinks your giving more, he may just hear it!

    Also, if you overblow and let the sound spread, it'll sound softer, especially from a distance outside. If you always play with your best sound, with a full breath, you'll get the most volume you can get. Obviously, a solid daily routine will help you establish the good fundamentals you need for sustained loud playing...the search feature can point you to lots of info on that...
     
  9. Graham

    Graham Pianissimo User

    174
    2
    Jun 8, 2008
    Melbourne, Australia
    I had a similar problem, playing outside was an issue for me for a while. I made sure I practiced outside EVERY DAY as part of my routine.

    If the rest of the players are weak, it's their own problem. You can't practice FOR them, just let them fail, get caught out, and let them realise that they need to do the work. Sounds harsh, but it's the way the real world works.

    At the end of the day, the only thing that can solve all these problems is dilligent and INTELLIGENT practice by everyone involved.
     
  10. TekTrumpet27

    TekTrumpet27 New Friend

    31
    4
    Sep 19, 2008
    Missouri
    I had that same problem when I was a senior in marching band 3 years ago. Here's what I would do:

    1. Rest- If you can take a weekend off from playing.
    2. Lip slurs- Nothing like some good ol' lip slurs through your whole comfortable range at an MF dynamic to get your chops accustomed to how they should work.
    3 Practice playing soft- Playing softly and quietly gets your chops to come in contact more, which will teach them to play efficiently.
    4. Get a second opinion- meet with some one who knows what they're talking about, and see what they can recomend you do. After all we can't hear or see how you play in this forum.

    P.S. Lip slurs and soft playing aren't very fun, so it's going to require some diligence on your part.
     

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