When things are hot, they are hot; when they are not, they are not

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by SteveRicks, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Have you ever noticed how different two performances can be? Sometimes everything clicks. Sometimes it doesn't.

    Our community has a subset of the band that is sort of like a jazz band. We played last night at the Legends golf resort -part of the Robert Tent Jones Golf Trail (one of the top 10 golf trails in the world is here in good old Alabama-so come visit us if you golf). ANyway, we were set up outside on a porch playing into a ballroom. A thunderstorm had just finished, the air was cool and saturated. Boy, did we sound good. Intonation right on, tight, etc. Considering our skills, a fabulous job.

    Today we are out in a park at an outdoor arts festival. First, the schedule got thrown off so we are standing around for over an hour in the sun waiting on someyouth ballet group to finish. A quick setup on an outdoor stage, wind at 15 MPG, pollen, bees, and music blowing around nicely, and the sun beating down, bright, and right in the eyes. It was the worse performance I can remember. Intonation was all over the place, playing was very loose, and I have never heard so many clams. Over the course of an hour, I know I must have had at least 10 clams. And, some of them weren't just missing the note -I was actually pushing the wrong valve down (kept thinking to myslef, why am I missing so may key signatures notes.) I was on second. The lead guy was muffing rhythms, and cracking notes. It was likethe brass players couldn't get their lips to buzz. On several charts, nothing came out on the downbeat -and it wasn't just me. Even the director finally said, "guys we are missing first measure of each chart badly." Afterward I went up to a sax player sitting in front of me to apoloze for the mistakes and she started by apologizing for all her wrong notes. Sure glad it was a small audience.

    Yeah, I know, that is what separates the pros from the boys.Were we ever boys. Guess the point of the post is that it is amazing how a few "being off" can really snowball to others.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2012
  2. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    That's never happened to me! :roll::roll::roll: Just kidding. Since I play 2 services every Sunday, I know EXACTLY how you feel! Sound is good 1st service. 2nd, I can't hear the singer or piano or drums or myself in my monitor. Singer sings the same song differently the 2nd time :stars::stars:!! Notes that rolled easily, well... (although much less frequently than in the past, something about practice?). Last week the drummer and the piano and the singer were all off. The guy next to me just put his horn down (I guess so everyone would know it wasn't him!). :oops:
  3. larry tscharner

    larry tscharner Forte User

    Apr 30, 2010
    dubuque iowa
    Makes me appreciate a great performance...wether its mine or someone elses. You can tell how its going even without listening by reading the faces of the players durring rests. Serious concentration or a faint smile, good....looking around and fidgeting, bad. You cant enjoy the highs without the contrasting lows. Wish I could weed them out also but it just isnt so for almost every player. And the ones that tell you they never play below their "abilities" are lying to you big time. If you dont know this by now...where ya been buddy?

    Its funny how one, or a few little details can start a chain reaction of desaster. The better the musician, the easier they can shake off a rocky start and go on to a reputible performance. I keep reminding myself that I have ice water in my veins and that always reminds me that I just need to stop worring about the notes already out there and look ahead to the ones still comming up. As in every piece of wood in Gods great creation, there are nuances that make it beautiful...thus consider every piece of music as a natural work with nuances. Only computer generated music (if there really is such a thing) is perfect technically, all other has soul. Best wishes.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2012
  4. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    That is all true. Lot's of factors involved here. I think if there are conditions affecting one, they're affecting all most likely. Low pressure (barometric) can cause everyone's senses to be duller, intonation can be affected, unknown forces in the atmosphere, as you stated in your post, sun in everyone's eyes, slight wind, schedule changes, affected all. Good playing is contagious, bad playing is too. Everyone is distracted when the first one starts the ball rolling. Which way the ball rolls is the important question.
  5. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Hey, Big Dub. I like your quote of Jack Pirone. I took his advice today. Ha. Actually, my playing was no worse than others. Everyone seemed to be having trouble. I'm usually pretty good at handling crises and can recover from a few mistakes. Not today. After thinking about it, they had us set up totally different from normal, wide spread with drum on lft, then bones, then trumpets. Couldn't even hear the drums. Anyway, it was interesting how everyone seemed to be off.
  6. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    It's kind of a domino effect, one thing leads to another, and too many things can add up to failure if you can't put it out of your head. I guess the quote you're talking about made an impact on me as a young HS player, because he wanted you to be assertive, and sure of yourself so even if you were making a mistake, it sounded like you meant it, and if you played timidly even if right, it didn't sound like it!
  7. patkins

    patkins Forte User

    Nov 22, 2010
    Tuscaloosa, AL.
    We are all always on a learning curve as to what works and what doesn't work. Your observations of the different placement of drums should be remembered. Also, the delay in playing with your instruments possibly getting greater warmer than room temperature, or core body temperature will throw off intonation. I don't like playing with a cold trumpet, nor a hot trumpet. It needs to be my core body temperature. At least that is what I notice and/or speculate. Outdoors is always a challenge. This is a good post because it reminds us of our need to observe everything and be prepared for anything. Thanks for the post. Excellent topic!
  8. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010

    THAT is exactly why it's good to be in a larger band. You can hide when the going gets squirrely. When you're up on stage by yourself, and a huge CLAM occurs ....... "Nowhere to run to, Baby ... Nowhere to hide." :lol:

    Even in a perfectly relaxed space, where nothing bad is happening, not rushed or on the clock .... I have good and bad takes constantly when recording. That's one of the reasons recording is less stressful than performing .... The stage has no REWIND BUTTON.

    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The pros have those days too - just not as often. Part of the reason is that a pro contract has a start and finish TIME not just a couple of hours after...whenever. There is generally a professional team that handles PA,stands and chairs that comes in hours before the musicians. It is simply planning and can work even for non pro organizations.

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