playing behind a vocalist

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by songbook, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. songbook

    songbook Piano User

    Apr 25, 2010
    Has anyone played behind a vocalist and might be able to shed some light as to what you do. Aside from no playing too loud, are there some tips we might use. Thanks!
  2. mrsemman

    mrsemman Piano User

    Apr 8, 2010
    What are the other musicians doing? Remember, common sense dictates.
  3. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    I frequently play behind vocalists in churches, and two primary things ot watch for are volume and tempo, so I agree that common sense goes a long way.

    Some soloists take great liberties with tempo, so you really have to be on your toes, particularly with call and response type passages.

    With groups or choirs you sometimes get complaints from different voices (particularly sopranos) if your part matches theirs and they think you're drowning them out. Music Director is the decision-maker, so in those cases ask for guidance.
  4. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    well..playing too loud can be appropriate ..depends on the vocalist you are drowning out..
    seriously.. if the vocalist isn't use to a trumpet or lead instrument I aim the bell away from the vocalist
  5. CalebWayne

    CalebWayne Pianissimo User

    Mar 19, 2010
    I second Dave. I've heard a few that could benefit from a little brass beating....I'm thinking of volunteering to be in the bands of some of the "latest and greatest" "musicians"...
  6. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    If you mean improvising behind a vocalist,keep it simple.Don't over shadow the vocalist,you're there to back him or her and make them sound good and shine,not for you to show off.
  7. reedy

    reedy Piano User

    Jul 31, 2009
    Wiltshire, UK
    I agree with all of these, depending on the music stick some long notes in underneath as a bit of harmony with something else between passages or phrases, when the vocalist stops put something then go back to very simple things, also a mute can work wonders when playing Ballards and church music
  8. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    As usual, Al is right on.
    I've backed up singers and other instrumentalists a few hundred times, including some world-class
    Your "job" is to make their life easier and the whole performance better, not to show off (unless it is called for) whatever skills you have. (Or might THINK you have).
    Over the years, I've known a few so-called trumpet players who never get called back. They were poor musicians. Being a trumpet player should not automatically mean being a less than thoughtful musician.
    R. Tomasek
  9. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    And, if improvising, look for empty spots to fill.
  10. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    THAT is the God's honest truth. You should try and follow, if the singer doesn't forget where they are. Fortunately, our band has individual monitors and any "singing' can be turned down/off. I usually have the sound guy turn lead singer down if it's a wannabe.

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