Quintet playing

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Eclipsehornplayer, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. Hags888

    Hags888 Pianissimo User

    Aug 31, 2006
    Corpus Christi, TX
    There is a lot of really great stuff that has been said here already about quintet playing. For me, the biggest thing to remember is that playing in a brass quintet is "chamber music". Chamber music has a totally different concept than most other genres, like band, orchestral, etc.

    The biggest thing I can recommend is "communication" between you and the other 4 members of the group. You need to follow the 1st trumpet player for sure, but at the same time you need to have eye contact with the other 4 members of the group and make music "together". Too often the job of "making music" is left up to the 1st player and communication falls by the wayside. While the 1st player is your guide, you are all soloists in a sense, working together toward a common goal: the piece at hand.

    As for the Bb/C approach...play whatever trumpet your first player is playing. It will help you match better. There are of course exceptions when one part calls for piccolo/Eb and the other doesn't, or one part calls for flugelhorn, etc. But, in general the brand of trumpet makes no difference in my experience. The type of trumpet (Bb, C, Eb, etc) makes more difference than the brand. At one point I was playing a Bb Bach while the other trumpet player in our quintet had a Bb Monette, and we managed to blend perfectly. We approached the quintet trumpet sound in the same way, and despite different "amplifiers" in our hands, we managed to match in sound quality, timbre and intonation. In my experience, I've found that sound concept is partly the instrument, but it's mostly a mental game.

    In any case, quintet playing is my favorite kind of trumpet playing. Good Luck!

  2. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Thanks Scott.... All good advice I'll take it to heart for sure.

    I've never played in a quintet so I'm really excited to have the chance to and I know that the advice I've gotton here will help me a great deal.
  3. Bill Dishman

    Bill Dishman Piano User

    Nov 22, 2003
    Gainesville, Florida
    Maid of the Mist with Quintet

    Just a point of interest....I just happened to be listening to an old recording our quintet did of this piece many years ago in which I did the solo cornet part (on cornet).

    The 2nd part in this particular piece is rather part of the accompaniment so you should consider balancing more with the ensemble for this particular selection as opposed to matching the solo trumpet/cornet. The solo line is supposed to be unto itself with the quartet serving as the accompaniment.

    Very good advice already given above in regards to general quintet playing. Do indeed use these suggestions.

    Bill Dishman
    Gainesville, Florida
  4. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit

    Thanks; I'll most certainly bear your advice in mind when it comes rehersel time. I noticed that my part's dynamics spend a lot of time in the (p) range so I suspected that to be the case. Thanks for filling me in.

  5. Liad Bar-EL

    Liad Bar-EL Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Jerusalem, Israel
    One of the most important point that I can mention is that you need to blend with others to the point of not being heard alone.......that is you are ONE with the group in sound, in style, in volume and in every other aspect of playing. When you have a solo, the part will stand out on its own. You don't have to ham it up or make it louder in order to be heard.

    Playing in a quintet shows the truth of your musicianship. There are no groups of others to hide even for your once sloppy attack on the notes or being out of tune for even one of them. Everything is exposed which makes one more alert of what he is doing with the horn.

    From my personal experience having played first chair in everything, I was put in a quintet for the first time in my life to rehearse for a performance at the Music Camp, Interlochen, Michigan. We started playing (rehearsing). I could hear myself very well but I couldn't hear anybody else. In fact, I couldn't hear the trombone (1st chair of the Phil Orch) over the flute. After the 1st piece, I was embarrassed and shocked at what I had to adjust to and learn.

    You will learn a lot and it will be worth it because you will be better for it and you may experience a greater appreciation of making music.

    It's a great challenge and it comes with a great reward.

    Have fun and good luck,

  6. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    Hey John, when's your first rehearsal, or have you had one yet? Be sure to let us know how it went and what your first impressions are. I think you'll enjoy the challenge of quintet playing, especially after the terror wears off :-) .
  7. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Liad; thanks.. All points noted...


    We are going to have two or three rehearsals before the "real deal" we have not rehearsed it yet as a group. The first cornet part player is the "quintet" leader and he is supposed to let us know fairly soon when our first one is.

    I've been playing the snot out of my part. The first thing that I wanted to work on was technical proficiency. Once I have it tight then I'll go back and work through articulation and dynamics. I feel pretty good about it right now so I can't wait to put it in the group and see if I'm up to the challenges that lye ahead. I'm glad I made this post. The advice I've been given is truly priceless!

    I'll be sure to post what happens next!
  8. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit


    I had the first rehearsal last night. Wow, it was very different from how I thought it might be. As it turns out in this piece I have about 23 measures of solo work! That is to say everyone's still playing except the 1st trumpet who is resting while I play. What a treat! Not bad for a third tumpet section player eh?

    Overall we sounded good. Some fine tuning will be necessary but we now know that we balance well and we now know just what our individual parts do in the emsemble.

    I did play my part in Bb to match the lead player.

    We are going to change some of the dynamics I think; were not sure yet. Some of my solo work is at pp and were thinking that it would be easier to balance the low brass if I brought those parts up to mp maybe. I don't know were going to fine tune it and see what happens.

    Thanks again everyone for your help.

    We got pushed back on our date; we now are performing this piece January 8, 2007

    I must admit to some very mild stage fright. I haven't performed anything approaching a solo in about 25 years!

    Should be fun!!!!! :-)
  9. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Go... Go Johnny... Go Go Go!

    Sounds like your having a good time John.

    Don't forget to record the gig!

  10. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York

    "Dooowwwn in Alabama, down in.." uhh...I don't know, but "Johnny...be good!"

    Have a great time4, John. I'm a little envious 'cause I don't have a quintet...enjoy it and put a recording up if you can. I still haven't figured out how to do that, yet.

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