What's Good About Being a Last-Minute Sub?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Dale Proctor, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. Lawler Bb

    Lawler Bb Piano User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Milwaukee, WI
    The majority of my work is subbing and my experience lines up almost exactly with musicalmason. Luckily, I've only been shorted once (I was hired to play 2nd in a big band, only to have the lead player not show, so I read the lead book instead) where the leader gave me less than he initially promised due to "less of a crowd than they anticipated". I reminded him that I covered his rear end by playing lead instead of 2nd and it flew right past him. Oh well. Once in 10 years isn't bad!

    My methodology is: Show up early, be friendly but don't talk too much, play your butt off (treating it like an audition is excellent advice), be flexible, help with setup and tear-down, and be sure to thank the bandleader for the gig. Many bandleaders appreciate and notice if you're one of the first to show up and last to leave.
  2. amzi

    amzi Forte User

    Feb 18, 2010
    Northern California
    20 years ago I did a lot of subbing--but moved to another area and didn't get involved in the music scene. A few years ago I got involved with the local community band, then last week, out of the blue I was asked to sub with a local orchestra--rehearsal yesterday, performance next week so I have time to work out the rough spots. Nothing particularly difficult, 2nd parts on Beethoven's 3rd and Victory at Sea--man, I had forgotten how many measures of rest you can encounter in orchestral arrangements. Anyway, I don't sight read like I used to (blasted tri-focals) but it was fun, and I'm really glad for a week to work on the music.
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I like subbing, mainly because mistakes are forgiven and I'm able to sight-read well. I'm also adept at matching styles.
  4. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    You may find graduated eye glass lenses more satisfactory for music sight reading or any reading ... I did.
  5. mgcoleman

    mgcoleman Mezzo Forte User

    Jun 22, 2010
  6. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    I have glasses, and then I have music glasses. I went to the optometrist and told him I wanted single-vision glasses that centered the focus at "x" inches (the usual distance I have between a music stand and my eyes, and he examined me and made them. Of course, they have a good focus within about 12" either way, too, so they work great. You can't sight-read well if you can't see the music...
  7. tjcombo

    tjcombo Forte User

    Nov 12, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia
    +1 - money well spent
  8. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    And we all know it's not necessary to see the conductor, either.......just kidding...
  9. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    A lot of these groups don't have a conductor, so in those cases, it doesn't matter. I can look over the glasses and see a conductor reasonably well, and can see them pretty well (just a bit blurry) through the glasses, so it's not a problem even when there is one.
  10. amzi

    amzi Forte User

    Feb 18, 2010
    Northern California
    Tried continuous focus lenses--couldn't use them at all, literally made me nauseous. I had a pair of dedicated computer glasses and they worked pretty well for music, guess I should get another pair. Conductors? Someone actually pays attention to the guy up front waving the stick? :twisted::twisted::twisted:

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