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

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

  1. Buck with a Bach

    Buck with a Bach Fortissimo User

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    I'm having pretty good luck with my progressives at the moment. Since the cataract surgeries, vision has been excellent. Need the bi's though to read music or print, but distance isn't a problem:oops:
     
  2. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

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    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    Well, at the time I got the phone call I'm going to relate I did not have any big band experience whatsoever. I was a classically-trained trumpet player of average quality, with lots of brass band experience and a few years of symphony orchestra and wind band under my belt...
    Rrrrring rrring, "Hello?" - "You're a trumpet player?" - "Yes?" - "You have a red shirt? - "Yes? - "You're free this afternoon, in two hours' time?" - "Yes?" - "Want any money for it?" - "Yes!" - "OK - be at {venue} in an hour's time, and we'll fix everything." Click. Hm. Was that real, or a hoax? Not too sure, I donned my red shirt, grabbed a selection of hooters and stuff and went there. Turned out to be a quite renowned local big band that had been hired for a big big wedding (300+ guests) to do the afternoon and dinner music and then an evening's dance music; and the lead trumpeter in hospital with broken ribs and concussion after a motorcycle accident that same morning. So they expected me to play lead in a big band for about eight or nine hours... and pay me handsomely for it. It was a nightmare situation, and I made a horrible mess of things, but they kept me on as third trumpet for another four years - until I left Bavaria and relocated to Ireland.
     
  3. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    A man's got to know his limitations...:lol:

    When I get a desperation call, I always ask enough questions (what type of band, what part am I to play, how long is the gig, what do I wear, where is the gig, and the all-important "how much does it pay?", to decide if I'm capable of handling it and to decide if I want to/can do it. I do turn down jobs from time to time (sub or otherwise) if it's over my head and I don't think I can do a good job for them. I have been talked into a few that I initially refused, and have been sorry more times than happy that I said yes.
     
  4. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

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    I have not had much experience of being a sub, probably because I say no most of the time. I think I don't want to over commit, and I like to do what I am comfortable doing. I am the "next in line" when there is a need for a first trumpet (in my community Band), and I don't mind taking it on, but the last minute nature of it is what bugs me. I would prefer to have some notice so I can look over the part and feel better when I am playing a part I practice. I do OK, and the fact that I get asked again is an indication of that, but I don't like the suprise attack kind of notification.
     
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    My glasses are for distance and computer and small enough that I can let them slide down my nose and make it seem like I'm looking at the conductor.
     
  6. kctrumpeteer

    kctrumpeteer Piano User

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    I sub'ed / helped out for a patriotic concert that I managed to get to 1 or 2 practices. (Counting a quick run through before the performance) However I found out after the fact that I was given the 1st trumpet part to play and the other guy that I was paired with brought his piccolo trumpet to hit some of the high parts in one of the marches. The parts were doable without a piccolo but one piece was very difficult to say the least. I don't own a piccolo and that was the first time in my experience where one would have really came in handy.
     
  7. Jolter

    Jolter Piano User

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    Subbing is great! We do a lot of player trading in my town. Most of the good players are in more than one group, so there are usually many connections to pull when someone can't make a gig.
    Recently, my big band took in a sub 2nd player for a gig from another band, and in return I sat in at a rehearsal for his band when he had a gig. It felt a bit like "jumping into the deep end" since they play an entirely different style of big band than I'm used to, and at a higher level. Many of them are music teachers etc. It's very nice for an amateur to be able to learn from (semi-)professional players! I would never take a gig with them unless I was able to rehearse a lot first, though.
     
  8. edfitzvb

    edfitzvb Forte User

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    I get calls from time to time to fill in with R&B bands. Usually there are no charts, just listen to the sax player (or whatever instrument is there) and play a harmony if called for or double it to fatten the sound. It helps that I have been doing it for years and most bands do the standard stuff in the original key. For songs that I have played for years, I no longer think notes since it is now muscle memory. If someone says "We took it down a third," it gets much harder. It gets a little dicey sometimes, but expectations are not THAT high since you are grabbing what you can. Relax? I don't think so...
     

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