Question about accompanying vocalists

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Ocdlaw, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. Buck with a Bach

    Buck with a Bach Fortissimo User

    Dec 29, 2009
    Canton, Ohio
    One vocalist is a problem, a small choir is even worse. Have to cope with that every year. Went to cornet with Wick mouthpieces and are considering using our flufles this year.:roll::dontknow::oops:
  2. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    This thread is disappointing. When I first read the OP's actual request, I started thinking about what kinds of examples I could give him and it occurred to me that I couldn't. So I didn't post anything, hoping also that I could learn from others with more experience or perspective on the subject. I personally am not aware of any gospel/soul tinged contemporary "Christian" music that's recorded with a good example of trumpet in partnership with a soloist. Is there really no one in the forum who can do that?

    p.s. I'm just wondering, OP, if it might be helpful if you found a forum of gospel music or whatever category that fits exactly what you are playing and ask over there. What I've been finding difficult is matching up gospel (for example) singers who I'm familiar with, with an instrumental soloist in duet. I put a name in YouTube's search area but then get legions of hits, but just on that singer. One would have to go through a thousand videos, searching in the dark, for that one video that's useful. Maybe folks like on a gospel, "Christian" music, etc. specific forum might be able to narrow the search more effectively. Or maybe someone on this forum knows how to make a sophisticated search on both singer and trumpet (or for that matter trombone, soprano sax, etc.) so that it comes up with responses that actually address the OP's actual question.
  3. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    The problem is the same for any accompanied soloist, be the latter vocal or instrumental ... church or anywhere.

    I live in an area that is commonly referred to as a "Bible belt". When I turn on the FM radio and spin the dial, mostly all I hear now are four genres, country, bluegrass, gospel, and rap, Fortunately, for me I found one station that plays the classics.

    Quite often I have breakfast with two church organists sitting at our table, and often another sitting elsewhere. Of these three, only one would be a possibility to accompany me ... if we rehearsed extensively. Still another did a fantastic job on piano to accompany one of my trumpet students playing Mozart's Concert Rondo. Not one of these play in a Jackson NC church!

    There is one man, who is an accomplished pianist / guitarist / vocalist who could, but his health is now failing as was cause for him to almost totally lay aside his own professional recording music career. He and his wife now direct 4 funeral homes. Still, occasionally he sponsors other gospel group performances. Twice he has sponsored me, but many times he refers me to sound life TAPS.

    It gets really bad when two ministers hereabout admit they can't read music. Do I dare say, I haven't heard a choir here that can either ... but that's the way it is. Small wonder, vocal music hasn't been in the local school curricula for near 70 years that I know of. That's the reason my wife can't sing.

    On point, the OP may be confronting an alluded prima donna type vocalist and IMO ... I'm gone elsewhere. Without adequate rehearsals, it just isn't doable. Certainly, the skill to play softly is a must criteria for the instrumentalist. Too, if on organ is played also, don't pull the trumpet stop!
    gunshowtickets likes this.
  4. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Part of the issue is that most singers do not want to sing live, so to speak, with a band or a few instruments. They prefer a prerecorded song. It takes time that no one wants to put in to do it right with instruments. My church has had nationally recognizable people come in and sing the same songs we sing on Sunday morning and it falls flat because the congregation is used to it live, and live is better. Live, a band can always do a reprise. A singer can't shuffle back 20 seconds and do it justice. 9+ yrs in a church band and only one solo with an instrument, a sax, and it was okay, but not earth shattering. It takes much more work than a volunteer group can do imo and do it well.
    Judy Jacobs did a duet with Phil Driscoll but I can't find it. Phil also did a duet with Debbie Boone in '83. You may want to investigate some Latino praise sites as that genre isn't scared or intimidated by trumpets.
  5. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    I'm afraid I don't quite understand what you mean (probably my fault). Prerecorded of themselves? Or to sing alongside a prerecorded song? Can you word it differently for me?

  6. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    A contralto and a trumpet?

    ...or did I miss something?
  7. Franklin D

    Franklin D Forte User

    May 23, 2009
    The Netherlands
  8. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    They would rather sing with a tape/cd. The reasoning is what I've already mentioned, practice, practice, practice. They can sing in the car or the house or iPhone, etc.. Getting a group together is way more difficult, but more rewarding imo.
    gunshowtickets likes this.
  9. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Good/Bad??? Her or him?? Both?? :roll:
  10. gunshowtickets

    gunshowtickets Forte User

    Mar 11, 2015
    Tidewater, VA
    All very interesting points. Here are some of the challenges i run across and how I deal with them.
    I accompany an group of 4-6 singers in a large sanctuary, they are mic'd, I am the only non-electronicised instrument. Even then, I have trouble keeping down the dynamics to the point I blend with them. Heck, I can sing louder than the rest of them, even without a big in front of me. Most kids today have no concept of projection or breath support, to the chagrin of the director, which is not going to be solved in a volunteer/practice once a week setting. My job is to practice playing softer, if necessary, and LISTEN to what they're doing. A lot of contemporary music can be colored greatly, now it's your chance to be the color of the sound fabric the composer intended.
    As someone mentioned above, you and the vocalist should complement each other.

    My wife and I also sing with a schola cantorum, which is an auditioned group of above average singers. There are also three scholars (college age) who receive a generous stipend, but are not necessarily music majors. There's always one young soprano who feels the need to be the center of aural attention, though and it greatly affects the overall group's sound. Here's where the listening comes in again: blending is the lost art of sanctuary music.
    The music is not about the performers, not even about stirring emotions, but about raising the spiritual awareness of the congregation. This is the ultimate goal of any sacred music, an aspect I see lost on many contemporary performers, famous and not.

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