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Trumpet Discussion Discuss A teenage Boy's ego in the General forums; I am not male. Perhaps it is my gender, but I do not understand it. I do play trumpet, but ...
  1. #1
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    Feb 2010

    A teenage Boy's ego

    I am not male. Perhaps it is my gender, but I do not understand it. I do play trumpet, but mostly play horn because I am the only person in town who will play horn in our community orchestra, but trumpet players are usually found. This time of year we are practicing Handel's Messiah. This last rehearsal I managed to talk a neighbor into coming and playing trumpet. He was perfectly happy playing second. A teenage boy came and attempted to play first. The results were not good. In fact, in sounded awful. The teenage boy could not hit the high notes 90% of the time. I told the guy that a professional would be playing the first part when he came to town. (He works on a cruise ship.) The teenager replied that he couldn't have some professional take his first part away from him. He hasn't played second since 7th grade. If you can't play the first part, why not play second? Besides, once our seasonal professional shows up, there is no need (in fact, it would sound bad) to have both the professional and the teenager playing the first part. It would be better to just play second. Then, after rehearsal, the teenager asked my husband, who was conducting, if he could try out for the solo in "The trumpet shall sound". He can't even play "For unto us a child is given"! He said he'd get his parents to buy him a piccolo trumpet so he could play the solo. We've had high school trumpet players play the solo before even they, being better, still had difficulties playing the solo- even with a piccolo trumpet. I, myself would happily play second if a decent horn player ever happened to show up.

    My husband says that next week he will have a talk with teenager. He claims that if a man tells him to play second, then it will be received better than having a woman tell him. What do you think? I'm just aghast at teenage mentality.
    Last edited by christineka; 11-03-2010 at 05:57 PM.
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  2. #2
    Utimate User Dale Proctor's Avatar
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    Re: A teenage Boy's ego

    Tell him you you need him on third part....

    I think he really just needs to be sent home, and you can do it as well as anyone.
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  3. #3
    Mezzo Piano User leftmid7's Avatar
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    Re: A teenage Boy's ego

    I even ran into this in college. I was a junior playing lead in the big band and a freshman came in that wanted to play all the high stuff. He would play really loud and high but clam all the time. I made the suggestion why didn't he learn to play it 'right' instead of worrying about just playing high. He said in a frat boy, smug voice, 'Give me something faster and higher and I'll do it' as if he were already playing it fine and needed something harder.

    Fast foward 8 years and I had heard through the grapevine his last two years he had become a 'monster' and sat lead and blah, blah, blah. My friend was getting married and I had been playing more guitar than trumpet then so I was fine playing the 2nd part.

    We get there, and he clammed and chipped his way through the pieces with a god-awful unfocused tone I could not believe. Evidently the whole 'becoming a monster' thing was that he had increased his range even more and could hold some screamer long tones...but his overall playing was crap. Yet there was this whole attitude thing to go with it.

    I don't get it, but I bet Freud would tell us there's this whole phallic thing with horn players with how high you can play being equated with, well, you know...sorry you had to deal with it, too, Christine.

  4. #4
    Mezzo Forte User kcmt01's Avatar
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    Re: A teenage Boy's ego

    I don't mind working with a prima donna as long as they're as talented as they think they are. In this case it would be good for the boy to feed him some humble pie. If I were the conductor I would have both the boy and the pro try out for the first part and the solo. Record both of them, and play them back for him. Award those parts to the best player. No argument, no discussion allowed.
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  5. #5
    Forte User Al Innella's Avatar
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    Re: A teenage Boy's ego

    This sounds like a huge ego piled on to a heap of immaturity. He has a lot of growing up to do.

  6. #6
    Utimate User tedh1951's Avatar
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    Re: A teenage Boy's ego

    We've just had a young bloke in a similar situation - his playing is fine but for a number of valid reasons, he couldn't turn out to some of the gigs. He turned up for rehearsal and was politely told to play third so that the rest of us could shuffle up a chair and be ready for performances. He doesn't seem to want to play third, although his musical contribution there is appreciated by the section. We have two third chair players (well they're trumpet players really) and if this young fella chooses not to return to rehearsal, then there is a loss to the band - but not an insumountable one. Have you considered that you don't NEED his lack of community spirit at all. Your gender should not be an issue.

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    Fortissimo User SteveRicks's Avatar
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    Re: A teenage Boy's ego

    My suggestion would always be polite (which it appears you are doing), but have your husband (the conductor, right?) hand him the second folder upon his arrival and tell him that this is what he is assigning him to play skillfully. It shouldn't be a big deal. Most band students are used to listening to the conductor and rarely challenge them. Players don't get to make the decision of which part to play (well, if Maynard shows up we might let him pick lead) and trumpet players know that.

    I realize that a few groups may let whoever shows up sit where they like at first. but after the first rehearsal or soi the director usually then assigns parts.
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  8. #8
    Utimate User kingtrumpet's Avatar
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    Re: A teenage Boy's ego

    Quote Originally Posted by christineka View Post
    I am not male. Perhaps it is my gender, but I do not understand it. .........

    My husband says that next week he will have a talk with teenager. He claims that if a man tells him to play second, then it will be received better than having a woman tell him. What do you think? I'm just aghast at teenage mentality.
    No - sister it is not your gender. I was young once and when you are a teenager -- you think the world is yours, your ego will make you (this teenager) believe he can actually play good. Hitting high notes when you are a teenager is a "macho" sign that you outdid someone ---- but when you become 45 (like me) -- hitting the notes is no longer sufficient -- I need to be able to play them, musically, confidently -- and not just the high notes -- I want everything from Double High C to the low F#, and I want it to sound good.
    I got a gig (just a song or two in a variety show on Jan. 29th) --- so I recorded parts of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" in all 3 octaves --- I sent that in the mail today, to my friend (a woman) for her unbiased opinion -- if it is anywhere near musical, and acceptable, --- I personally thing it is --- but I am not about to unvail that music before it's time.

    In my opinion -- the (teenager) needs to practice "everything", show some respect to other musicians, and most of all develop Maturity -- but sister that won't happen overnight --- in my opinion.

  9. #9
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    Re: A teenage Boy's ego

    Were I then capable, I would play any part assigned by the musical director. Back in the beginning near 3/4 of a century ago, I was told by my director that 1st part (lead) players come and go (let go???) but those that can play anything and any part are the real support of the band/orchestra. I started playing in the high school band when I was in 8th grade, not on trumpet, but on French horn which I never liked except for its sound (in lieu thereof, I played a mellophone in F later).

  10. #10
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    Re: A teenage Boy's ego

    Many times it has to do with what their parents tell them.

    His mother probably really likes the way he plays, and tells him he is the most best-est of them all, and that the conductor has it out for him and the conductor is helping his friends and relatives out by letting them play those parts...

    Or some such non-sense.

    And if she were the conductor she would probably have him playing first part, I gather that is the way those sort of things work.

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