Should I challenge the higher up chairs again?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by litia725, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. Cornetist

    Cornetist New Friend

    Dec 4, 2011
    When I was a high-school student back in the Dark Ages, there was a young lady who was playing the third part (first chair-third part) behind about 8 older males. She was REALLY GOOD, but nobody knew it because she did not assert herself. Instead she waited until we all graduated and she could have the first chair - first trumpet spot to herself. I was later in a small band with her and she was really angry that I was there because it was supposed to be "her turn".

    I tell you all this as background for what I am about to say. Work on your sight reading, work on your technique, get an Arban's and work on it. Also work on relaxing, relaxing, relaxing. Challenge your way up -- challenge yourself. But do it in a spirit of friendly competition rather than to prove anything. Life is too short and friends are too few.
  2. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    OK -- here is some sound advice from an OLDER person. I sat 2nd chair in 11th grade, and Connie C. sat the chair below as a sophmore. She wanted to challenge me for some "unknown" reason. So my take on YOUR challenge is to make sure you know the material INSIDE AND OUT -- also, if your band instructor was like mine -- HE will throw in some scales, or even a Chromatic scale, and ask you to play them. That is the story of Connie and Me, way back when. I don't actually KNOW who was the better trumpet player --------------BUT I ACTUALLY FELT VERY BAD for her -- she lost the challenge simply on 3 scales that the band director asked her to do --- I think, an E, an A, and the chromatic scale. All of which I could do, especially the chromatic. MY ADVICE is simple --whether you win, or lose -- BE GRACIOUS about it. I went to Connie, after the challenge --- she felt like a failure --- I offered my assistance in teaching her the scales, and practicing with her, until she got them down pat --- I helped her do this -------------SHE NEVER CHALLENGED me the remainder of the year!!!!!!!!! was she better than I by then??? Probably --- did she, however respect that I would help her --- absolutely!!!!!!!!!! ((by the way in my senior year I changed my embouchure --- and sat that year out))) ------ so we will never KNOW who was better at that moment in time!!!!!!!!!!
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    So Litia,

    It's been about a week since the challenge was scheduled. What was the outcome, and how can we advise further as to your progress and goals?
  4. Haste2

    Haste2 Piano User

    Jun 16, 2010
    Yeah, that reminds me of a fairly solid trumpet player at my high school. When he was in 9th grade (middle school, goes 7th-9th) he was easily the best in the section, but was forced to play a third part (not chair). He claimed it was because the teacher "hated" him.... but I'm sure it was that bad attitude. =p

    I've almost always gotten more-or-less what I deserved chair-wise. However, there was one time I greatly OVER-performed (I'm a monster when I play the Scheherazade, which was what the audition included), and my section leader dropped me from 3rd to 5th chair out of seven players. Interestingly, the section leader also made 2nd chair drop to 6th chair just because he had been in the band so long and wanted to give other players a chance at higher parts....
  5. dangeorges

    dangeorges Pianissimo User

    Oct 20, 2010
    If you "win" the challenge and get first chair, please remember that playing in this position entails much more than just technical expertise.

    As the section leader, you will be expected to lead the section - that means leading by example, being assertive without being arrogant, and making sure that the section plays as a group - blending as needed.

    As the first chair player:

    • You must not screw around.
    • You must not tolerate others not paying attention.
    • You will not gloat over your challenge victory
    • You must be prepared to be challenged at every opportunity.
    • You will do what the director says - even if you don't agree with it.
    • The others will be looking at you to see what you do - and most will be happy they're not playing first chair.
    Be careful what you wish for - as a younger player, you might be better off laying back and gaining experience before you take the leap to lead player. There's lots of pressure there, and because everyone is "under" you, everyone will be trying to unseat you as the lead player.

    I sense you may have a technical ability that lends itself to playing, but you need to gain more confidence, which is why you choked on the challenge. Confidence comes with practice. The more you know your horn, the music, scales, etc., the more confident you will be.

    Let us know how you fared - please!
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012
  6. codyb226

    codyb226 Banned

    Mar 9, 2011
    Florida, US
    Great points! Section leader is not the spot to say that you are better. At my school we have 1st chair and section leader. Usually it is the same person but the year before I came in it was like that. The section leader preferred the 2nd trumpet part even though he could play the 1st part no problem. As the name entails, you are to lead the section.
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    It has now been well over a week from the challenge...:dontknow:

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