What is this "lead" thing?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by VetPsychWars, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    School/Civic Orchestra = 1st chair
    Jazz Orchestra = Lead Trumpet
    Symphony Orchestra = Principle chair
    EBQ Quintet = Trumpet Grunt

    The word of the Lord
     
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  2. tjcombo

    tjcombo Forte User

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    Not sure that "lead" is always first trumpet.

    I remember seeing some big band arrangements about 25 years back where the 2nd trumpet sheets had the flashy solos and "money" notes. I guess the theory is/was that 1st trumpet does the heavy lifting while the 2nd sheet keeps a set of chops fresh for the out-front stuff.

    tj
     
  3. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

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    Every big/swing band I've played in is set up that way. Lead just knows who can do what and when.
     
  4. Lawler Bb

    Lawler Bb Piano User

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    Lead is the 1st chair and 1st trumpet (1st part) book. That person leads the section and often the band, depending on the ensemble. They set the style, dynamics, phrasing, intonation, cutoffs, etc. This also means that the lead plays the highest notes (unless a band or chart has a "Scream" part or chair).

    Lead is not to be confused with the 2nd chair/2nd book/Solo book/Ride book. That chair plays most of the solos in a big band and is generally featured more often than any other trumpet chair/part. The 2nd chair still "plays up to the lead" and follows whatever the lead sets in the above terms.

    The "Scream" part or chair (if a band or chart has one) is often the 3rd chair/book player, but can also be a 5th chair/book in some bands/charts. This player will occasionally play higher notes than the lead for a special effect, but all other times plays lower notes than the lead or 2nd player. Maynard Ferguson was one who played the Scream book in Kenton's band (and possibly other bands). This part also "plays up to the lead" and follows whatever the lead sets in the above terms.

    Lead generally refers to the first book for nearly any commercial-type gig, though you do hear it used to describe "Principal" or 1st chair from time to time.
     
  5. tjcombo

    tjcombo Forte User

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    There you go then - shows how many big/swing bands I've played in. Funny, the crusty old bloke with whom I shared the 1st trumpet spot in the regular band jumped in and grabbed the folder labelled 1st, thinking he'd get the cool parts, but left me with the 2nd folder full of the good bits. Aaah the politics of community bands.

    Disclaimer, I'm probably older and crustier and grumpier these days than the gentleman referred to above.

    tj
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
  6. edfitzvb

    edfitzvb Forte User

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    That is the objective for ALL of us, isn't it?
     
  7. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

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    I guy who was in charge of a band I'm in decided to set things up all "professional like" and said in a condescending way, you're the 2nd trumpet. I said cool and smiled. Puzzled, he asked why I was happy. I said that I would get the majority of the solo work since I was the second. He made me the first!!!
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  8. tjcombo

    tjcombo Forte User

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    You mean to get the good bits to play or to become the oldest bloke in the band? :-)
     
  9. edfitzvb

    edfitzvb Forte User

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    The latter. It beats the alternative
     
  10. JNINWI

    JNINWI Piano User

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    "Scream".....is such a CORNY term for playing in the upper range. I've found a lot of people that use this term are usually not very knowledgable about it but like what they hear.
    Kinda like when someone refers to "Tooting" your horn......Really !!! Tooting ?
     

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