Advice on instrument change

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Crotchet Burner, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. Crotchet Burner

    Crotchet Burner New Member

    Greetings bandspeople

    I have been playing soprano for a long time now with a couple of bands (4th section). I would like to play Eb Bass with another band. Is this a good idea? Is it possible to play both? I'm in my 60s if that's any help.

    Thanks in anticipation.
  2. 4th Cornet

    4th Cornet Active Member

    Sure. Search for Glyn Williams Grandfather's Clock on YouTube
  3. Crotchet Burner

    Crotchet Burner New Member

    Left this a week or so for replies. Quite a number appear to have 'read' the query but only one reply. I can't believe there's no one out there that has a useful thought on whether this is a possibility. But, thanks to '4th Cornet' for taking the trouble to respond - though I don't quite understand what the reply means!!
  4. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    Give it a go !
    The two embouchures required are so different it's unlikely to make much impact on your playing but if it does then you can make a choice !
  5. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Glyn Williams' 'Granfather's Clock' includes every instrument from soprano down to Eb bass, plus percussion.

    Many players find they can switch quite well between instruments, and my father, whilst primarily a trombonist, frequently played soprano. I'm sure you'll find the move to a bigger mouthpiece easier than if you were going the other way - go for it, and see how it works out.
    Andrew Norman likes this.
  6. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry that you had to bump your thread to get a reply.

    It is certainly possible to play Eb Bass in one Band and Sop in another, lots of people play different instruments in different bands and do so without any apparent difficulty. I'm not sure whether I'm a good enough musician to be able to do that regular or repeated switch but why don't you try? Being in the same key (Eb) will probably help. You are likely to find that you need to build another set of muscles up in your chops to control how they work with the Eb Bass's much larger mouthpiece. Don't expect to build a new set of chops overnight, it will take time, practice and attention. Age isn't really much of an issue in relation to Bass playing: I know of many people in their 60's and beyond who are happily playing BBb's, playing them well and really continuing to make a useful contribution to their band.

    Every instrument in the band is the best in some way. I love playing the Cornet, fantastic sound, but my chops work much better with low brass hence that's what I play - fortunately I love the low brass sound too. The Eb Bass and Sop parts are very different and some different skills are needed. The Bass is typically under-rated by most (other instrument) players who just hear its rhythmic pulse and sustained notes sitting underneath the melody lines of others. What's not understood is that the Bass Sections's work provides a musical foundation on which the sound of the rest of the band is built. It's true that most of the Bass Section's music is simple on paper. However, some bass music does have difficult runs in it, everyone hears when a bass player gets something wrong (so you need to get it right), Basses require a degree of skill to drive and take a lot of air to fill, and they are capable of playing very demanding stuff quite beautifully.

    Bottom line: go for it, in time dig out some of the hardest bass music or solos you can find and then use your existing skills to read it. You'll not be disappointed at what the Eb Bass can do, what you choose to do on the Eb Bass is your choice.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
    Slider1 and Jack E like this.
  7. Blades4Ever

    Blades4Ever Member

    Ask Shaun Crowther about this.

    I believe that weeks before joining Fairey on BBb Bass, he was a Soprano Cornet player!
  8. Now that is is just remarkable. How are you doing with the change Crotchet Burner?
    Jack E likes this.
  9. David Broad

    David Broad Member

    If someone told me they played Sop with one Band and Eb Bass with another I would enquire if they also taught pigs to fly. However I have swapped from Sop to Euphonium part way through a gig successfully but you will have to be some kind of superman to be able to finish a gig on with a decent ff on top G on the sop after playing Eb bass the previous day..... And if you can't get a decent ff on a G you are neither use nor ornament on sop.
  10. David Mann

    David Mann Member

    I did sop in 10 piece once, switching to trom for a trio. I think it's possible to do what you asked but be prepared to put the work in on both.
  11. Blades4Ever

    Blades4Ever Member

    Yes, but you're mad!!!!!!! :)
  12. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    I knew someone who would do this sometimes even during a concert. He wasn't very good and nor was the Band at the time but he enjoyed himself. I'd venture the opinion that it probably serves your band better to stick to one instrument and be as good as you can on that but there do seem to be a few folk who can genuinely swap around and do a fine job on a selection of seats (thinking of a lady in my band who we could do with cloning as she is so talented).
  13. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    He isn't related to Chuck Norris, is he?
  14. mr_tuba

    mr_tuba New Member

    Some can do it, some can't! There's no way I could play a sop but EEb is my first choice in a Brass Band, but I do know some people who get get a decent sound out of both. Try it and see.