Shamefully, I now need consolation

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by FlugelFlyer, Aug 12, 2004.

  1. FlugelFlyer

    FlugelFlyer Piano User

    Dec 15, 2003
    Palos Park, IL
    Nope, this isn't about my checkride. I've completed half so far so good.

    However, a neighbor of mine asked the band leader of a locally popular big band if I could play a set. I was taken by suprise by this within a matter of minutes and naturally home, grabbed my horn, and rushed back. I played the set, and though the crowd seemed to like me, the quotes I got from players that night were mostly "Good luck to you," "Stay in good health," and "Good luck in the future." I'm definately not looking for ego stroking here, but I only received one quote of "Nice job" from a player, and even that was lacking in enthusiasm. I somewhat interpolated the message as, "Nice job, now get the he!! off my bandstand." I was told second hand that the leader of the group, a trumpeter, said to my neighbor that I was good but needed lessons from a top pro to get to the next level. Call me paranoid, but does that mean that I've been marked on the proverbial do not call list? Similar experiences, if such exist, are appreciated. Thanks!

    Also, don't be suprised to see this on a few more forums, I'm now that depressed (yes I know, overkill)
  2. FreshBrewed

    FreshBrewed Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Houston, TX

    Don't take one bandleader's opinion as stone. If I would have done that, I would have given up playing a long time ago. You know where you stand as a player and what you need to work should we all. Keep up the work ethic and you will get called back. Take care.
  3. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 27, 2003
    Did you get any audience reactions? That's what really counts. The musicians can be hyper-critical and are likely comparing you to a prior soloist that's much superior (there's always one).

    Perhaps you somehow got in over your head, but if the audience didn't throw up you'll be ok.

    At DCJB, when Tommy Loy passed away, I was really concerned for the guy that filled the jazz chair. He's doing great, but he's not Tommy Loy (a really world class cornet/trumpet player). That was a special circumstance, but the fact that Tommy was in the chair brought out some extra people that wouldn't have been there otherwise.

    I have a comeback player friend that was telling me a year or two ago how much people enjoyed his informal playing at his lake house. Well this year those same people said, "boy, you've really improved!!!" They liked him the year before, but they like him even more this year. So remember, you're trying to please the audience, not your band mates. If you can do both, so much the better, but don't get down on yourself if you played how you wanted and got a decent reaction. You need the experience to get better.

    Good luck,
  4. Uncle Fester

    Uncle Fester New Friend

    Aug 9, 2004
    Belgium, Brussels
    I wouldn't worry too much about it Flugel,

    it takes some guts to just get up there and start playing with a band you don't know. Can't have anything but respect for that.

    I agree with both dcstep and FreshBrewed.

    The audience is most important.

    The lame reactions of the other musicians in the band could be because of any number of things :
    -you might have just imagined the tone was not positive
    -they might be jealous (ever think of that?)
    -they might have been out late drinking the night before and all suffering from hangovers. :lol:
    -there might be a bad atmosphere in the band because of some internal dispute
    A million things like that. There's just no way to know.

    Guess just about any musician has been through something like that at least once.

    Don't worry about it, just keep playing. And more importantly have fun playing.

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    You actually played it right!

    When asked to sit in, you should never turn down the opportunity. Many musicians (especially jazz) will consider it a big insult if you do not sit in.

    You probably earned the band's respect. If you stunk they would say things like "nice job" and "that was pretty good" which is often the equivalent of "oh my, get lost." You have earned some stripes if they wish you luck and if the director takes the time to give a suggestion (like lessons from a pro) you usually have really earned something.

    I would bet they were most impressed by two things that happened:

    1) When asked to sit in, YOU DID.
    2) They gave you [constructive] criticism.

    People don't waste time giving criticism to someone that stinks. They just roll their eyes (happens every time I play jazz, I guess I am a legit player). They took the time for a college student.

    I know it doesn't sound like it, but I think you should walk away from this experience with several positives:

    1) The crowd liked you
    2) The band said something rather than nothing
    3) The director took time to offer criticism that really was praise. You see, he said the only way for you to get any better is to take lessons from a TOP PRO. Wow.
    4) You were asked to sit in and did (honor).

  6. Brian H. Smout

    Brian H. Smout Piano User

    Re Consolation


    You should know that any solo you can walk away from is a good one! :D
    You done good, lad. Keep your chin up - Just don't lead with it. :lol:

  7. W Scott

    W Scott Piano User

    Dec 8, 2003
    Carson City, NV.
    I'd second what every one else said and add 'why don't you look for a seasoned pro'?

    I'm lucky that I know a retired pro level horn player. He's forgotten more stuff than I've ever learned and I'm always picking his brain about something or other. Learning from him has sure helped my playing! It's no crime to admit there are things you don't know, and you shouldn't stop learning 'till the day you die.....
  8. slimshady

    slimshady Pianissimo User

    Nov 24, 2003
    We all play an instrument for a reason...and sometimes the reason can change. I think the best reason to play is for the personal experience of performing. Too often, the thought of what others think will think enters the mind of a performer. It is natural and everyone does it.

    I think the most important thing to realize is that you can never truly know what another person thinks. You can only make an assumption by the way the act and the things they say. But as others have mentioned there are too many variables that effect emotion and thus what one might say to you. It is only important what you think and how you act.

    I've been in so many playing situations and there are times when I have expectations of what other players will think of me. Other times I could care less. I've been yelled at and I've been worshiped. The times I felt the best had less to do with what others told me...and more to do with how I felt about the way I performed.

    How many times have you received compliments when you truly feel your performance stunk? How many times have you played your best and been told otherwise.

    Music is a subjective art. Enjoy the experience. Practice and Play hard. And most of all, do your best to forget what others are thinking.
  9. FlugelFlyer

    FlugelFlyer Piano User

    Dec 15, 2003
    Palos Park, IL
    Thanks for the advice guys. Actually, I know where the shame comes from now:


    Hopefully, it'll mean something if I tell him thanks next week when I see him. I guess I was too in shock to think those two simple words.
  10. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN

    Just reinforcing what has been said, what's important is what people do, not say. If you are asked to play with a new group do it - experience never hurts. It sounds obvious, but get familiar with the music that you might be asked to play. Let me give you an exmaple - a couple years ago I was asked to sit in with a local brass band. Now, I have never been a big fan of marches, but I sat in and did fine. After that I decided a kinda liked the whole deal, so I asked a friend to make copies of their music for me. I put together a book of about 40 classic Sousa, Filmore... marches and played them until I had them down. Now when I am asked to sit in with a brass band I'm totally comfortable.

    In other words, be prepared and your reputation will spread very quickly because a band likes to have someone sub who is prepared and comfortable rather than someone who is trying to show off or outplay someone in the band. Be prepared, humble and available and you'll get more jobs than you know what to do with.


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