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
    I don't know how they want me to play, but I don't want to, truthfully.
  2. patkins

    patkins Forte User

    Nov 22, 2010
    Tuscaloosa, AL.
    Since it is a Protestant Church you can Protest playing!
  3. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    Then don't do it. Playing music should be something you want to do. You may want to get better on the horn before you would feel comfortable playing in church. performing can be very nerve racking if you don't feel ready for it.
  4. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    yes, do a rehearsal, and also (depending on the size of the church) -- when the pews are filled, your sound will change a bit --- so be aware that you may NOT sound exactly as you thought you did in rehearsal. Rehearsals are great --- but your sound will carry, even if it seems a bit duller when the seats are filled. I'm just saying -- don't get too nervous on Sunday if you sound a bit different than you did in rehearsals --- it will be OK!!!!!!!!!!!!
  5. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    C'mon man!!! Man up!!! You have a God given opportunity to use your talent and you're gonna let that slide??? I played Christmas service in a church I had never played in before with no music. My sister-in-law w/o my prior knowledge told the praise leader I would be playing with them. He agreed. It's a good thing I took my horn with me! Anyway, played the whole service AND the special Christmas music. It was awesome!! The pastor was asking his wife who the new family was with the trumpet playing dad!! She said she didn't know! ROFLROFL He said he hadn't met me yet!! He finally found out what was going on and wondered when I was going to return. Find out what the songs are and put something together. It's not like festival. No one knows what you're "supposed" to play. Do it, you'll like it!!
  6. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011
    What I've found is that the fear and trepidation associated with church mass is merely a boogie man. Save & except if you have a really dogmatic authoritarian type laity everyone is on your side.

    Best thing to do? Learn to transpose to C trumpet. I suppose you could just bring a C trumpet too. however most of the time i like to play flugel and with a really deep, mellow mouthpiece. The flugel being in B flat i must transpose.

    Flugel horn "fits" church mass music better than the naked trumpet. In fact I've found that while some of the higher pitched trumpets (like D, E Flat and Picc) have some dandy, beautiful applications these only work well with correctly arranged music. Music arranged for the baroque type trumpet specifically.

    Usually your church music director won't have the time to make these arrangements so always best to find something that will always fit the hymnal. And the Flugel works great for that. In time you'll have a bunch of the stuff memorized. Is good for ear training too.

    In my church we have a very fine pianist who can play any church tune in any key at a moments notice. The only problem with that is that the priests kind of expect him to always pull a rabbit out of his hat and this causes him stress.

    Back to the subject: In no time at all the church will grow to expect you every Sunday. And you will pick up a whole bunch of "Church Hack" licks. Improvisation was first written for baroque music, not jazz. Get this going and then you're flying.

    I wouldn't miss it for the world. Just be careful not to pass gas or fart in church. You'll end up sitting in your own pew...

    PS: be sure you remember to "turn off " your B flat to C transposition when you leave church. In time it can get so good your mind sees a written C (for the D Flat trumpet) and you may play it 1 and 3 valves. Ouch!
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Sunday may have come and gone by the time the original poster reads this.

    Why is playing in church different than playing anywhere else? If you believe in God, he is watching wherever you are, and if not, the "higher instance" in the audience is not significant.

    I have posted it too many times to remember: A brainless note is the beginning of the end. There is nothing unique about a praise band. Like every other opportunity or practice session, every note counts!

    That being said, ANY playing opportunity deserves additional preparation. If they use written parts, get them, practice them. They may be in C, if you can't transpose, write the part out. If they do NOT use sheet music, you need some improvisational skills AND a discussion with the leader to establish expectations. If you can't improvise, you will need to write down some licks during a rehearsal.

    I don't like the discussion about optimal this or that. When we are playing, it is not about US, it is about the audience/congregation of which we are a part. I find it useful to understand from Glory and Power to Humility and Repentance, Heaven to Hell, the good Samaritan to the Tax Collector, Church Council to Janitor.

    It is also useful to get used to sitting around for 20-30 minutes during a sermon and then being awake enough to ace the first entry afterwards.

    If a Hymn has 5 verses, don't play them all. Identify the Glory and Power ones and play those - often the first and last.

    As far as quality of playing goes, there is no scripture that limits the meek (they shall inherit the earth). There is no divine requirement to keep the horn in your case if you aren't "perfect". There is Rowuks rule of no Brainless Notes though.........

    My favorite biblical verse: Let he without sin cast the first double C (or something like that). Octaves are divine. NEVER go for one if you have sinned.............
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  8. Dupac

    Dupac Fortissimo User

    Aug 19, 2008
    Bordeaux, France.
    "My favorite biblical verse: Let he without sin cast the first double C.", wrote Rowuk.
  9. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    That is so true, you can drown out the singing fairly easily without trying. In my experience, there are a lot of trumpet parts written to accompany selected choir pieces, but not necessarily so easy, but they are written in Bb, so there's no transposing. DO your best and honor HIM, most of all.
  10. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Not always a bad thing! :roll:

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