RE: How do I improvise to hymns without a written sheet note.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by tjer52, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. tjer52

    tjer52 New Friend

    Nov 24, 2009
    Thanks everyone for all the good advice. The first sunday went okay but the whole thing was so loud that I can hardly hear myself. The saxophonist, keyboard and the chord were just constantly singing too loud especially in the praise songs. I was hoping that the choir will cease some and give room to instrumentalist to do our thing but that never happened. The worship songs was not as bad because I was able to provide some needed melody tune. Another problem I faced is that the keyboard guy was not able to tell me what key he's playing so I have to some how figure it out which sometimes takes some time.
  2. tjer52

    tjer52 New Friend

    Nov 24, 2009
    This is not going too well. This folks sing way too loud and It's so hard for me to even hear myself. Also trying to find the the key they playing the songs in is another issue since the praise and worship songs are not always rehearsed. Help help is needed.
  3. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    As I perceive such you've got only three choices:

    1. Instantly develop an ear to discern the key and the music, which by what you state you presently can't accomplish.

    2. Take a sabbatical and learn to read and transpose music, which by what you have stated, you won't do.

    3. Give up attempting to play in church for now ... whereas the others may be purposely drowning out your efforts as they believe are not presently adequate and/or unwanted.
  4. PatMurphy

    PatMurphy Pianissimo User

    Aug 9, 2009
    Cherry Hill NJ
    GAD! Voices drowning a trumpet. How many hundred are there.
    Ho wabout, recording them when they are really belting it out and take it home and see what you can do.
    Practice makes perfect
    However as was mentioned, playing by ear and winging it take a leap of faith and fortitude to keep at it until you get the CONFIDENCE to "stand and deliver " what you hear in your head. I learned by playing lots of jam sessions. Have you any in your area. Great way to learn to play is by playing.
  5. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    Actually, considering your other limitations, I consider this an advantage. It means you can fish around and not get caught, LOL.

    - First off, I'd be hard pressed to find a reason for not knowing the keys. Get a list of their repertoire and get together with the keyboard player and write down the keys. Be assertive if you have to.
    - As mentioned above, record everything. First check with the musical staff. They might already have a library of recorded music. Get yourself a Zoom recorder and have wife, child, whoever sit in the front row and record.
    - Actually, I wasn't really kidding about not being heard. This is a perfect opportunity for you to play with a live group and yet not be exposed. Of course, it's not what the musical director had in mind from a listener's perspective out front, but it could be a great way for you to learn well within your comfort zone.
    - And then, of course, as you move on, many of the suggestions already give can be integrated into your playing. Good luck!
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  6. SFPat

    SFPat Pianissimo User

    Sep 20, 2009
    Long time ago when I played in a church band, we also did a lot of improvisation and played many pieces without written music. The piano player would signal the key she was playing in - 1 finger up meant G (1 sharp), 1 finger down for F (1 flat), etc. She would also signal key changes. We then transposed accordingly.
  7. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    I thought one finger up meant, "you're sucking, man. Don't play anymore!"

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