There are many things different about a concert hall, but maybe part of the problem is that we consider the practice room NOT to be real life.
Basically every time we pick up the horn, we have an audience - even if we are the only one listening. That type of "seriousness" prepares us for the stage.
The biggest difference is the room. We are creatures of habit and our ears sort sonic events by distance. In a practice room, the first reflections of sound coming to our ears are very short, with a lot more overtone content. In the concert hall, overtones are filtered out by the air density and we get a MUCH different sound much later. We can only prepare for that by practicing in big rooms with decent acoustics.
As far as "the guy in front of me blocking my view of the conductor", we are trumpet players and are sitting on the transmission side of the instrument. We can cut down just about anything on the receiving side during rehearsals.
In any case, the deciding factor is also practicing enough with the ensembles, or being independent enough to get away without.
Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
DANGER! DANGER! DANGER! DANGER! DANGER! DANGER! DANGER! DANGER!
Oops! Rant coming!
There are far too many trumpeters that play as if they are "independent from the ensemble!" When playing section with such types, I mob them every time, and make them suck! (I know how to play with, and against.)
The goal is to learn ensemble playing. If we can't play with others, if we can't mind meld, tune with, match articulations and style--if we can't listen, if we don't even try, then we might as well stay home and pleasure ourselves in the practice room!
For me, independence from the ensemble (and I'm pretty sure this is what rowuk was meaning) comes into play only when the ensemble and conductor are hopelessly lost. (This happens most often in operettas when the singers get out of control and the conductor trys to follow them and the strings plod on oblivious to both and the trumpets have rests. In such a case a properly timed trumpet entrance [without a cue] will suck the ensemble back together again. This is still ensemble playing.
For me, the ensemble also includes the audience and the room. To be independent from all that is around us means missing out what music is all about.
"A tool good enough to be so used and not too good"C.S. Lewis That Hideous Strength
I played a show once where it was all H S kids on stage and the orchestra was hired.
We already had a ton of cuts written in and subs coming in and out of the pit each night.
one night the kids just started skipping all over the place. The conductor was giving us measure numbers to jump to and the whole thing stayed together. It was really amazing how everybody adjusted so fast.
Back on topic:
We are constantly told from the time we start to warm up properly.
Don't play when your tired.
Get enough rest.
time your practice, half an hour on and the same resting and then play again.
I think we need to spend some time on how to make it through when we are tired.
How to play the gig when you can't warm up.
What to do when the quiet solo starts and it's just you and the flute and the clarinet, the flute is sharp to you and the clarinet is flat.
I never had a teacher work with me on this type of thing.
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