What should I know to play in a church band with a choir?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Vstern, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. Vstern

    Vstern New Friend

    Jul 25, 2010
    It's a protestant church. The choir has about 24 people. The band has a bassist, pianist and drummer. The choir director asked me to play this Sunday, but I don't want to until after at least one rehearsal. There is no rehearsal this week. I have no have experience playing with a choir and band. I know about 8 scales, they're all major.
  2. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    You'll need to be able to read music - at least the hymnal. If the church has Bb music use that, otherwise you'll need to transpose the hymnal from C to Bb.
  3. shooter

    shooter Piano User

    Jan 12, 2007
    Do you know they want you to play by music or is it possible that they will give you the freedom to do your own thing? I've been playing at church for over 20 years now and I haven't read a note yet. I pretty much just improvise by "filling in the gaps".
  4. Chuck Cox

    Chuck Cox Forte User

    Oct 3, 2008
    Cary NC
    Politely tell the Choir Director that you need to rehearse before playing. There are a lot of Sundays left in the year.
  5. cyber_shake

    cyber_shake Mezzo Forte User

    Jun 16, 2006
    The 'Nati
    if you are familiar with the songs, then you can practice playing the melody before hand and think through possible harmonies, riffs, etc. If you don't know them, but are familiar with transposing what you 'see' up a full step, then you will survive and will improve after future rehearsals ... but it you don't transpose or know the songs, I agree with chuck ... otherwise it could be a rough first experience. The Bible tells us to do whatever we do unto the Lord 'in excellence' ... so I don't believe 'winging it' is desirable or scriptural ... but if you feel 'forced' and can't back out for this week, just worship wholeheartedly.
  6. Dave Mickley

    Dave Mickley Forte User

    Nov 11, 2005
    what everyone has said and I might add - take your dynamic markings down one notch - such as if it says f play it mf, mf play it mp and so forth, especially the higher you play. have fun, it always good to give back what talent we have been given.
  7. BustedChops

    BustedChops Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 1, 2011
    Let god tell the horn what to play...if the director doesn't like it blame god.
  8. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    Intonation is something to really watch ... it takes work to play in tune
    Be aware of what notes are naturally sharp or flat on your horn
    Vibratto .... don't over do it ..... if you find yourself playing with alot of it you are probably playing out of tune.
    less is more
    don't aim your bell at the congregation and be mindful of where the microphones are on stage
    Be nice and make friends with the best musician of the group.... My experience is that small churches are notorious for not telling you when you are playing poorly, so you may need to find someone who will be more upfront about the things you will want to improve on.
    codyb226 likes this.
  9. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    Playing in church can be a great experience. But most choir directors have little or no idea how to work with a instrumentalist. You'll need to educate them. I've had to many times. You can tell him you know that he wants things to sound good. These are the things you'll need to make things sound good.

    (1) a rehearsal. esp. with your inexperience a rehearsal is a must. otherwise it could be a train wreak and a bad experience for you.

    (2) You need to tune with the keyboard/piano/organ. if you don't know how to do this ask us.

    (3) music, you'll need the music way before hand. If it's not a Bb trumpet part, you may need to write out your own part. I've had directors give a choir part (not a hymnal) where you had to turn pages every four measures.

    (4) If it's not a BB trumpet part, you'll need to transpose it. I say write it out unless you can sightread and transpose at the same time. If you need help with transpositions, ask us.
  10. patkins

    patkins Forte User

    Nov 22, 2010
    Tuscaloosa, AL.
    I was in the same position. There are two options 1) ask for the songlist and do as veery715 says. 2) you can suggest some songs to the director you do know.

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