What do you look for in a band???

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpetguy27, Oct 10, 2014.

  1. trumpetguy27

    trumpetguy27 Mezzo Piano User

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    Well, here's the short answer to your questions... by "title" I'm "just" the lead trumpet BUT the young lady that organized and started the band honestly doesn't have a lot of leadership experience in the jazz/big band field so she has been asking for my advice and input as we try to build this thing up since I play/have played in several big bands over the years.
     
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Come to think of it, I have a pretty simple piece of criteria:

    When it stops being fun, that's when I stop doing it.

    It's always nice to get paid for my efforts, but I've done a lot of playing over the years for other reasons that don't involve money. I mentioned praise band stuff - I do that because it's service to a ministry, which is above and beyond my own personal musical fulfillment. I've stuck around in some pretty dismal praise team situations, simply because it was service to a ministry, and only bowed out when I knew it wasn't going to leave anyone hanging in the lurch.
     
  3. trumpetguy27

    trumpetguy27 Mezzo Piano User

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  4. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

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    Okay, when we want serious answers, maybe I'll chime in.
     
  5. trumpetguy27

    trumpetguy27 Mezzo Piano User

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    Serious answers are always appreciated Solar... but so is a little humor. :)
     
  6. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

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    A few quick thoughts..........

    Know who you want to play for..................

    Do NOT play Maynard, Kubis or Phatt charts unless EVERYONE in the band can play them.

    Have stability in the sections, unless it is a community band, do not switch charts around "So everyone gets a chance to play lead or solos".

    Have people who are committed to rehearsing to get the band where you need it to be.

    THE BASS IS TOO LOUD! THE BASS IS TOO LOUD!! THE BASS IS TOO LOUD!!!

    A good piano is important!

    The drums keep the beat in a big band! He doesn't need 14 drums and you DO NOT NEED "LEAD DRUMS"

    All section members MUST emulate the lead player's style....every section!

    Teach people to listen to the pitch, do not use an electronic tuner, everyone "lips" the pitch. Listen to the piano and play that pitch.

    Try to get transcriptions to play! They are available online. High school stage band charts sound like high school stage band charts (Leeds Stage Band Series are terrible!)

    Don't play charts that are over your head, Don't play "I Can't Get Started" unless everyone in the band can play it! (Especially the lead trumpet!)

    Get people who are committed to rehearsing until the band is where it needs to be.

    Know what you want to play. Our band plays swing and is wildly successful! We play 30s and 40s swing with some 50s Basie/Sinatra.
    We do NOT play Big Band Country Tunes" (No Achy Breaky Hearts or Boot Scootin' Boogie for us)

    More to come.
     
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  7. edfitzvb

    edfitzvb Forte User

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    Can't say it much better than that.
     
  8. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

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    A little more........

    LISTEN to the music you want to play. MOST bands play the tunes TOO FAST!!!!

    MOST drummers cannot swing! Period! Therefore they play the tunes too fast, they cannot swing at the right tempo so they play faster, thinking it sounds better.

    It DOES NOT!!

    Listen to Basie/Sinatra or Billy May, or Nelson Riddle and the tempos they played things like "Fly Me To The Moon"..."Rat Pack" stuff....not nearly as fast as modern bands!

    Play solos in the context of the era you're playing. There is NOTHING worse the some guy playing Be-Bop or doing "Chromatic Searching" on "A String Of Pearls"!

    Traditional big band solos told a story....they had a start, went somewhere and ended. Again, don't Be-Bop big band solos.
     
  9. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Scott, There's an ongoing group of players here that I play with on Wednesday evenings that I'll hesitate calling a band, although we call ourselves The Cleffers. We're open to any ... beginner or pro, the theory being that any player who attends won't be a beginner for long as the pros will help them. There are 6 who are retired military band personnel, but I've got to give a lot of credit to our pianist who is a retired Lawyer and provides us a customized music space in his 4 vehicle garage. Too, IMO his piano playing equals or exceeds the best pianist out there in the world. The attendance varies from about 25 to over 50. Excuse me, but after spending last weekend in the hospital, I did not attend this past Wednesday.

    What has occurred in the past year is that a core of this group has given several concerts at the senior center, and provided music for the Christmas carolling. There are two downsides IMO: 1. Usually 4-6 violins, and 2. 5-10 electric guitars that don't blend their amps with the rest of us.

    Pertinent to trumpets, I've observed only 2 whose instruments are considered professional quality (and neither are mine). We pay $1.00 for each part we receive, with no choice whether it be lead, 2nd or 3rd. The cash in of these parts is only 25 cents per part.

    Too, it is fun, or I wouldn't do it!
     
  10. robrtx

    robrtx Mezzo Forte User

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    Profound words from our resident "Big Band Jedi"!!! :thumbsup:
     

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