I think my views on this topic have changed over time and with age. Because I don't play for a living, I can make the following comments with less difficulty than someone in other circumstances...
In terms of liking what I played and playing what I liked, I have played music I liked at lot at the time, but later came to like less. I have played music I liked a lot at the time I probably won't have any interest in today. If I were performing today, I would be most interested in playing music I played many years ago at a certain point in time, but not so much other kinds of music. I have probably come full circle in my interests and tastes over a period of nearly 45 years.
Today, I would need to be in control of the music selection. That would probably mean organizing and running my own group - or at least hooking up with like minded individuals. Working with other players with whom I share certain common goals, interests, preferences, and tastes. That was the situation in what I consider to be the most successful and rewarding performing situation in which I have been involved in my lifetime. I have had many other experiences; all of which, when looking back from hindsight, were somewhat less rewarding and enjoyable. Not necessarily all negative; in fact, some very good experiences, but often less than that optimum situation.
As in many things, when you are working for someone else, or in a situation that you do not completely control, or you do not have a significant voice or influence, there will be compromises. You will find yourself, as I have had to do, deciding how far to take those compromises before it isn't worth it, should such be the case.
Today I was invited to join a new "classical" brass group that is forming. I said I was flattered, but I'm not wanting to add another thing to do right now. Not even if I dropped another group. And,...that would probably be another case of not liking a lot of the music choices that would be made by others. I've been thinking about this a little more, and while I find satisfaction in playing a piece well, it's still not much fun if I don't get anything else out of it. In addition to liking the music, I think I'd like to play an embedded solo now and then, which doesn't happen when you're playing 2nd parts (except in big bands). I don't really want to play 1st part, but I suppose most music is written/arranged assuming the 1st part players are the only ones who are good enough to handle a solo. A group is not very good if that is true, as you need strong players on all parts. Anyway, just thinking out loud a bit more about the state of ensemble playing.
I think we agree.
I want to have fun and enjoy the experience and the memory. If I don't care for the music for whatever reason, I don't have much fun. I can clearly remember once such situation I got myself into many years ago, and I got out of it in a matter of just a couple months. A big part of that was a pretty big difference in musical tastes, likes, interests, etc. Often in group or band situations, personalities can play a very big role in addition to music.
I have a hard time finding the necessary motivation, and putting in the time, effort, and sacrifice for something I don't really want to do. Or with people I don't enjoy. Again, I can be selective, because I'm my own boss. I can do that. I am quite aware not everyone can do that, however.
Well, I haven't been able to play for a week. Giant fever blister in the center of my lower lip...tried to play at a rehearsal last week and couldn't even get a buzz to happen. Packed up and went home, really frustrating (and a little embarrassing). Tried it again before leaving for brass band rehearsal the next day, and still couldn't hardly play a note, so I had to cancel. It makes you realize how fragile this trumpet playing stuff is. Didn't touch the horn again until last night. We had an OTB rehearsal to audition a new bass player, so I needed to be there. I could play sort of ok, but it wasn't healed yet and the mouthpiece was bloody after about 5 minutes.
Had another rehearsal tonight, and gave it another try. No blood this time, and I could play anything I wanted. The music didn't really matter - I didn't think about whether I liked it or not, I was just having a good time being able to play again and did my best on every note. Like the old song says, "You don't know what you got 'till it's gone", and I think I'll let this be a little lesson to me.
I read the first three pages of this thread ... then cheated and jumped to the end. Honestly, I have always thought that your ( Dale's) schedule seemed really busy. I probably could find some bands to join but I work nights and free time is a premium. I wonder if that has something to do with it. There is a guitar combo that has me sit in and doodle while they play 70's acoustic rock songs ... and yes it's fun but I limited to a few songs .. then sat back down with my wife and had a few beers. You know, life.
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I thought 2.nd chair was the soloist chair.In the big bands I have played in, did I never play lead but allmost all the solos
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I've concluded that I've played far far less than 1% of the songs available worldwide, and less than 5% of those I've the music for, the latter even if it is mostly for vocal/piano/guitar which I've no problem playing on my Bb and F pitched instruments. I've now 3 plastic tubs full of piano music, stacked double in each tub, and that doesn't include the piano books and Hymnals on my shelf. As mostly I play for self enjoyment and share some with close friends and relatives there isn't a whole lot I don't like or I wouldn't have yet played them. I first hum or whistle a song before I decide to play it, and even then there is a NEXT that I haven't played.
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