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

    Dec 29, 2009
    Canton, Ohio
    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

    Jul 5, 2010
    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

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    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

    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    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

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    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

    Dec 23, 2009
    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

    Apr 1, 2009
    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

    Jun 10, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    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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