Playing in unison with ameteur singers and staying in tune?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by The Weez, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. The Weez

    The Weez Piano User

    300
    3
    Dec 23, 2008
    Wichita, KS
    In the church band I recently joined they have up to 5 singers, depending on the day. The rest of the band includes keyboard, acoustic guitar, a couple teenagers on electric guitar, a bass, and a drummer. And of course me as the only wind instrument player.

    The singers are frequently out of tune. Not sure if they can't hear themselves on the monitors or what, but I have trouble trying to stay in tune with them since I hear 2 or 3 pitches from them.

    What method should I take to make the best out of this?

    Also, it is worth buying an electronic tuner at all?
     
  2. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    989
    2
    Jan 24, 2005
    Go with the keyboard, if you can hear it. You can't win trying to chase the singers.

    A tuner can be useful in your own practice, but it can't help much in the middle of a rehearsal or performance.
     
  3. The Weez

    The Weez Piano User

    300
    3
    Dec 23, 2008
    Wichita, KS
    I hope the keyboardist last night was a temp fill-in. She didn't seem to know the music at all and really wimped out. I'll have them turn up my monitor so I can hear the other instruments better.

    Also what kills me is that the singers don't sing the music as written. They have learned it wrong, and I'm playing as written and trying to sound right. If the crowd hears 5 singers singing one way and 1 trumpeter playing another, who are they going to think is playing it wrong?
     
  4. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    Age:
    69
    1,465
    127
    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    Do you have a music director? you could talk to them about this. The congregation will probably think the singers are right. can you adjust your part to fit what they sing? If you play intune with the piano you will sound in tune.
     
  5. The Weez

    The Weez Piano User

    300
    3
    Dec 23, 2008
    Wichita, KS
    Ya, I will talk to him. As a new guy I don't want to step on any toes right away, so I'm trying to just play along with their melody.
     
  6. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    989
    2
    Jan 24, 2005
    If they've learned the tune wrong (or copied a recording with a different arrangment), you might just have to go with it for now. Once you're there longer and start preparing new tunes WITH them, you might be able to gently guide them toward learning the new ones correctly!
     
  7. Wlfgng

    Wlfgng Piano User

    Age:
    44
    335
    3
    Aug 15, 2008
    Canada
    I have found this to a "normal" problem with music sung in Church, whether it is a Hymn or Chorus.
     
  8. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    2,156
    15
    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Hi Weez, Stand as close to the keyboard player as possible and listen to the keyboard. You'll drive yourself crazy and it'll make your head hurt if you try to blend with anything that's pitchy. Also, borrow a Zoom H2 (little handheld recorder) and record a practice session and then listen to it together. P.S. Don't be depressed when you listen to it back. I promise, it's a painful process but it will help. Good Luck!!!
     
  9. jason_boddie

    jason_boddie Piano User

    263
    1
    Dec 26, 2008
    Jacksonville, FL
    One thing about singers, and I know because when I quit trumpet, it was because I went on the road as a singer. They/we generally have huge egos and very little theory background. They probably don't know they are not singing the right note/rythm, and good luck trying to point it out. Them being out of tune is another issue. Unless they have formal training that includes theory/ ear training they probably dont have the ear to realize that they are out of tune.

    If you play with and to the keyboard, even if played badly, it is in tune.
     
  10. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    2,156
    15
    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Gosh Jason, If they can't be taught then just try and have fun and be sure to always have Advil on hand.

    Modified MF HORN ST307
    Bach Strad 37
    1953 Martin Committee
    Blessing Flugel
    Blessing ML
     

Share This Page