Out of Brass Band?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Dale Proctor, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. Tarh331_Dad

    Tarh331_Dad Piano User

    Jan 14, 2014
    I don't know how old you guys are, but trust me, it's only going to accelerate into complete Idiocracy and musical tone deafness [if not outright deafness] as the current teens and 20-something kids start to dominate things.

    Right now you're probably playing that John Williams fare for post-Boomers, born circa 1975-1985 [currently 30-something Middle Class concert goers], who can vaguely remember those tunes from their childhood.

    And even the Boomers have crap for taste in music [how many times can you play "Eleanor Rigby" without losing your lunch?], but the kids nowadays listen solely to Gangsta Rap involving "twerking" soft-core porn actresses, like Miley Cyrus.

    [And stay tuned for the "oops" hard-core porn Miley Cyrus video - her iPhone will get "hacked" and the intimate wedding night video will be "stolen" and uploaded to pirate websites, just as soon as she can no longer go Platinum on a regular basis, and she needs to reinvigorate her career with a large dose of celebrity heroin.]

    Fear for the future of the Human Race.

    You simply cannot misunderestimate how bad things are going to become.
  2. amzi

    amzi Forte User

    Feb 18, 2010
    Northern California
    Dale--I feel your pain and agree with your course of action. Early this summer I bailed on the big band I had been part of. A bad situation all the way around, and way too much Sinatra (our singer is a Frank sound-a-like). So, after enduring bad arrangements, bad rehearsals, and a complete lack of direction I pulled the plug for good. The reason I gave was simple--it just wasn't any fun. Life is too short to dread going to rehearsal. So, something better will come along, it did for me.
  3. gunshowtickets

    gunshowtickets Forte User

    Mar 11, 2015
    Tidewater, VA
    When I was in high school/college, it was "Layla". How many time do these drunkards have to hear the same songs? Remembering your misspent youths? Reliving your "glory days"? What was even worse were the morans who would order the sheet music just to play the piano "solo" at the end.
    Then along came Springsteen lovers...
    Nowadays, people clamour for that Jimmy Buffet slop.

    Crap, in 20 years, they're going to want to hear band arrangement of *gulp* One Direction, or worse, Justin Beaver.
  4. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    Have any of you left a band or ensemble because they tended to spoil or kill what would otherwise be good music (even if there were some brilliant players)?

  5. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    Rich, I know what you mean about the "less experienced" players being too loud. Many times this is accompanied by playing out of tune, too. I've been in the same position of needing to play louder than I should, just to be heard. Now, this wasn't in the brass band, as all the musicians in that group are very good players. I've also nursed a bruised lip from time to time, from playing way too much. That's not worth it, either. I play mainly for fun and enjoyment, so I'm becoming more selective with what I become involved in. If it's a paying gig, then that's different. I do whatever is necessary to provide the best performance I'm capable of, whether I enjoy the music I'm playing or not. That's more like work, and the pay is the reward. Of course, if you enjoy the music, the gig, and the band you're with too, then that's just icing on the cake.

    The brass band frustration has been building for a few years now. Less and less "real" music being programmed, stagnant audience attendance at the concerts, no advertising, little interest in trying to achieve more of a traditional brass band sound, and the list goes on. I was a founding member of the group back in 2001 and had high hopes for what it could become. Instead, it plays the repertoire of a community band, but without the woodwinds.
  6. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    Yes. I left a band years ago because of the poor musicianship of most of the players and their lack of commitment to improving.
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I couldn't disagree more. Every artistic institution goes through phases, regardless if they are the Berlin Philarmonic or some small school band. There are times when everything fits and even the musically critical are having a great time. Then there are the times that the organisation can only survive with outside life support. The problems were exactly the same 10, 20, 50, 100 years ago. We are still here, a lot of bands still are too!

    Very often, those based in tradition have a different, less tolerant view. This "if only they", or in staying with what has worked in the past only represents a part of all of the attitudes in a band. Maybe it is good for a band when some of the older, more accomplished players leave every once in a while. The "worthy" goals in a community organisation are not only musical.

    Just view the changes as a cycle - in us, and in the group. It is not the end of the world. If the band quality drops too much, other cyclical things happen. Was my leaving the band a loss? Most certainly. Did it take them long to replace me? No. Am I playing less? No! Am I having more fun? Yes!

  8. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    I hear you (figuratively) -- but I suppose I was thinking of some more accomplished bands/ensembles which were mostly good, but slightly off enough that you'd not want to hear them on a CD. e.g. the solo trumpeter slightly strangles the trumpet calls in Das Rheingold, or the flutes don't quite blend/flow properly at the start of The Moldau, just thinking of some hypothetical (but typical) examples.

    Or those bands where your family/friends tell you how great the show was, but you know better.

  9. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    I've seldom been in, or led, bands that didn't cycle, as Rowuk mentions. However, in my case tolerance for the personally intolerable only lasts so long. If I am really dedicated to the group, itself, I have good staying power. But I've been in bands where there was little hope that the leadership's programming "tastes" was going to change, or that his rehearsal techniques were going to improve. After a certain point, I have to ask myself, "why am I here?" When I can't answer that anymore, when I don't get as much out of it as I put into it, it's time to move onto something more productive and satisfying.
    bumblebee likes this.
  10. Rapier

    Rapier Forte User

    Jul 18, 2011
    Best thing I ever did was give up Brass Bands. I too got tired of playing the same selections and poor arrangements of popular music. The name Baernarts in the top corner of the music filled me with dread. So I quit the band, bought a trumpet and joined a good concert band. Took a few weeks to realise they played the same music choices as the brass band. Gave that up too. Joined an Orchestra and now play more traditional music, but the networking opened up more playing opportunities. Asked to help out a Big Band. Invited to play in theatre pit band. Pit band is my new favourite. Intense periods of rehearsal and performing, Sweeney Todd at the moment. Rubbish trumpet parts, but good show and I get paid! Then a couple of months off then another 3 week show.

    Got a call a few weeks back to help out the Brass Band on a job. Went along, played and realised why I'd given up in the first place. Same dross.

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