Pep band: Should I play the upper divided parts or not?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by audwey11, Feb 19, 2016.

  1. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Don't over-think it - this is pep-band, not a concert band concert. Ultimately, for this situation, it doesn't matter that much - sure, make sure the parts are both being covered, but "balanced" is never a word I'd used to describe the sound of a pep band.
     
  2. dangeorges

    dangeorges Pianissimo User

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    I don't think I'm over-thinking. Part of being a musician (including a trumpet player) is playing musically. Pep band, too.
    in the end, the listeners probably won't notice a difference, but why not cultivate good musical habits early on (as a freshman) rather than engrain bad habits?
     
  3. audwey11

    audwey11 Pianissimo User

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    I am going to stop overthinking things and just play the top unless the band director says anything. It will probably help the sound and "balance" the most if I do that!
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
  4. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Again, it's pep band. "Musical" is another word I wouldn't necessarily use to describe it, especially when one is talking about HS pep band. Think about it - some of these kids can barely read the part, much less make it musical - the overall effect of one or two people trying to be musical in that context is going to get buried inside of what it actually is - loud, energetic and raucous. That's what it was when I was doing it in HS.

    I get what you are saying, but when it comes to playing trumpet, it's not all weddings and orchestra. Sometimes the trumpet is played for sheer effect, and that's ok too IMO, and it doesn't inherently lead to bad habits.

    I doubt your band director will even notice either way.

    Again, I ran pep bands this year with the jazz band I am directing. Amid everything else, I was dealing with who was going to be there, who wasn't, who had music, who didn't, what the drummers were doing, whether or not the drummers were holding a steady tempo. Granted, because this was a jazz band playing pep band, I was limited on instruments - we had 5 trumpet players, including me, and that was if they all showed up or could make it. Sometimes I had a kid playing tuba, sometimes I didn't. I don't think I'd have noticed who was playing which part, and I was standing right next to them doubling lead.
     
  5. JDay

    JDay Pianissimo User

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    Interesting discussion!

    Last night my daughters high school boys basketball team had a play-off game. About 20 players (Seniors & Juniors) from the Wind Ensemble were playing at another event so many of the older / stronger players (and all of the 1st part trumpets) were not able to be there. The band director (who is a great guy) thought it would be fun to surprise the band and asked me to get a couple of my buddies from the local big band to come "stand-in" and help out. As was mentioned in earlier posts, he also felt that the 'energy' level is important.

    While I have been asked help the HS band at games from time to time, I am not a lead player in the big band but enjoy supporting the lead players on 3rd or 4th part. I have to admit I couldn't wait to see the reactions from the kids. The upperclassman are good players, but not none of them really can play well with volume and endurance above about a 'G' above the staff for very long. It also does not help that after enough games "Pep Band" becomes more of a chore and the kids kind of start just going through the motions without really caring and/or trying very hard.

    The kids didn't quite know what to think or expect at first. After a few songs, (when the initial shock had worn off) the kids energy level and enthusiasm was the highest I had seen this year. There is just something special about the sheer destructive power of a fully operational pep band trumpet section. Did we make some mistakes? Yes, but we had a lot of fun, and the crowd loved it too.

    So, I agree. Have fun and play what helps the band sound its best. Remember, it's pep band. You are a trumpet player. Take no prisoners!

    p.s. My daughter, now a sophomore, is/was in the same situation you find yourself in. A stronger player than many of the upperclassman, yet expected to "know her place". She is okay with it though. She knows that she is a better player, and she knows that they know it too. Like you she is smart and does what is best for the band. Good job!
     
  6. Dennis78

    Dennis78 Fortissimo User

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    Just blow them away and improv the whole thing. Me and a couple other trumpets did it to our schools fight song and it was cool
     
  7. audwey11

    audwey11 Pianissimo User

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    Methinks my band director would not approve, I might ask though...
     
  8. audwey11

    audwey11 Pianissimo User

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    During the game I played in last night, I played top on all songs, I thought that I sounded pretty good! I probably could've played louder, my friend next to me played about twice as loud, however I didn't want to risk going into blatting territory. That was our last game of the season.
     
  9. seilogramp

    seilogramp Piano User

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    Improv? That would be a little too much. ;-)
     
  10. Greenshield

    Greenshield New Friend

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    And when in doubt, just ask the director what they want. We had a pretty small band when I was still in high school (enough so that we didn't bother with chairs or ratings), but the standing rule was that you played the part that you could hit with good tone.
     

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