Advice please

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by waynefiler, Jun 20, 2006.

  1. waynefiler

    waynefiler Member

    Ok guys I need a bit of advice,

    I've somewhat been offered the flugal chair of a top section band but unsure whether I should I should go for it.

    I'm a principal cornet of a 3rd section band locally and not had much experience in the dizzying heights of the championship section, i've depped but it's not the same as playing full time. Then there's the factors of the distance to rehearsals and there's the commitment, my job has to take precedence over any gigs.

    If there's any flugists reading this let me know what you think and let me know how you find the position (concerts and contests).

    Regards IOT, HM!!!
  2. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    With regards to moving from cornet to Flugel I have to say it's one of the best things I have done playing wise. The Flugel parts can be challenging but there are also nights and pieces where there isn't a lot for you to do.

    If you want to better yourself then go for the step up in sections. If you have been offered the seat then they must think you are good enough for it. When I was offered the Flugel seat at Marsden my first thought was that maybe it was a too big a step, but I gave it a go and I'm really glad I took it. Also if you can get some lessons from a good Flugel player than that will help you to get to grips with the intrument.

    Away from playing, if you haven't got the time to make every band practice or gig or you can't make time for a lot of private practice you will struggle and will be found out playing wise. You have to be 100% commited to play at that level especially when you are learning a new instrument.

    Good luck!
  3. Di

    Di Active Member

    I'm not a flugel player, but I'll offer my two penneth anyway. :tongue:

    The fact that the band have offered you the position seems to suggest they think that you'll fit the bill and are suitable for the role.

    If you're worried about the commitment required, I'd suggest a frank discussion with the MD of the band where you can tell him what commitment you are able/prepared to give and what they are prepared to accept.

    You've also got to decide on whether you'd be happy leaving your present band and on how you'd fit in and make friends with a new bunch of guys and gals. This part is only something you can decide.

    Good luck in whichever decision you make. :)
  4. waynefiler

    waynefiler Member

    Private practice is not a problem, i'm a military musician and i play all day, lessons shouldn't be a problem either. A friend suggested Jim Shepherd as he's quite close, I know he's not primarilly a flugist, who would you suggest?

    Commitment isn't quite what I made out. Being a military musician I tend to go away for periods of time doing "work Stuff" from a day all the way to 3-4 months., but the times i'm not away, which to be honest isn't all that much, i'm at every rehearsal.

    IOT, HM!!!
  5. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    As ,Di said if you discuss this with the new MD then I think it shouldn't be a problem, especially if you practice and play all day.
    I can't suggest teachers in your area i'm afraid.
  6. johnflugel

    johnflugel Active Member

    I won't try to give you advice on your situation with regards to moving band as I do not know your the bands/people involved. The only thing worth mentioning is if you are serious about pushing yourself and desire to be a better player, then one of the ways of doing that is surrounding yourself with better players.

    As for teachers, it does not necessarily have to be a Flugel player you go to. I have never met him but I hear nothing but praise for Jim Shepherd as a teacher, encourager and musician. If he lives near to you, then bingo!
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2006
  7. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    I took a decision quite some time ago that if I got the opportunity to have a go at a new challenge, I'd do my best to take it up. Otherwise I'll be lying on my death-bed thinking "I wonder what would have happened if.........". OK, a bit melodramatic, but so far (touch wood) it's a philosophy that's worked. Have a go.
  8. vonny

    vonny Member


    This may not help or advise you in anyway but i thought i would contribute my thoughts :)

    Whilst i have been back in brass banding ( 2.5 years ago) i have played in every section of band, that's either being a member or depping. From an early age i learned cornet and i thought that would be 'my' instrument for ever and ever... but about 6 months ago i decided to have a go at tenor horn which i soon adapted to but after a few weeks i decided to go back to playing cornet. I joined a 1st section band and i loved it and my playing techniques improved greatly. However during my final few weeks on the PGCE course i found going to some rehearsal a chore - not because i didn'tenjoy it, but because i was going straight to rehearsal from work and not seeing my children. I have decided now that because of work and family committments i should play with a band local to me whether it be a championship section or 4th section band. I just want to be able to enjoy band, committ to doing my best without any uneccessary pressures.

    I think it is important to look at the situation you are in and then make two lists, one writing down all the reasons why you should join a championship section band on flugel, and the other list all the reasons why you shouldn't join a championship section band on flugel. Sometimes it becomes clearer when stuff is written down rather than just thinking and gaining advice.

    All the best in the decision you make!

    Yvonne x
  9. cookie2

    cookie2 Member

    Hi IOT!

    I did something similar to this a few years ago. Although I have always been primarily a flugelist, I'd been away from banding for a while with Uni and so on, and when I went back it was as principle cornet with a non competing band. When I was given the opportunity to play flugel at Stannington (we're 1st section) I went for it and it's the best move I've ever made. :D

    Personally I love the instrument. Beautiful tone, sometimes part of the horn section, sometimes with the cornets so the challenge of blending in whilst also remaining distinctive(well, I know what I mean!:-? ) You get a nice amount of solo stuff, not too little not too much, but as has been said there may be nights when you don't do a lot.

    In terms of contesting, it very much depends on the test piece. For example, I was BORED during the run up to this year's areas, can't even remember the name of the blooming piece :oops: . But other years I've had a really nice part, e.g. Coventry Variations (is that right? I'm shocking!) And it's worth it.

    If you're playing a lot anyway you'll probably enjoy the challenge of playing for a top section band. So my advice is get flugelling, you'll never go back. :tup
  10. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    You haven't mentioned whether you have played flugel in the past. Is it an instrument that you are going to be comfortable playing with? If you are happy taking the role, go for it! Loads of solo opportunities with composers/arrangers featuring it more and more these days.
  11. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    You don't say how many rehearsals/engagements you actually miss so it's difficut to advise on the commitment side. To be principal cornet of any band is a demanding position and the band you currently play for obviously accepts the commitment you are able to give and/or they have somone who is available to 'slip' into this seat during any absences. When playing in a Championship section band, I have found that the pressure to attend rehearsals and engagements (depending on which band it is) can increase. As the Flugal is a one off instrument, any absences will be more noticeable. After all, it is an individual part. My advice is to make sure that any band you join know exactly what sort of commitment you can give, and I mean the whole band. It's okay for, say an MD to accept the commitment, or the committee, but experience has taught me that the 'disgruntlement' from other players within a band when a position is often empty during the many rehearsals/engagements that can take place, especially at Championship level, can cause bad feelings. And even those that have accepted the level of commitment a person can give, can change their minds when the reality of someone missing regularly is a reality. Also bear in mind that some bands will accept someone that has to miss the odd rehearsals/engagements due to work commitments if they need to fill a vacant position, but, and especially at Championship level, if another player shows interest in your position and they can give more commitment, then you could find yourself without a position altogether.

    That's the negative side :eek: On the positive - the flugal is a lovely instrument (the only instrument I would want to play if not playing my horn). And if you want a new challenge, then I would say go for it!
  12. squirrel

    squirrel Member

    For heaven's sakes man, have you thought this through? You'll have to sit next to the horns!

    Joking aside, I can definitely recommend Jim Shep as a teacher, I went to him for about a year when I was doing my grade 8, and he was excellent. Really really nice bloke as well. :clap:

    I don't know how good your range is on the cornet (I've never played in 3rd section so I don't know how high you're generally expected to play) but be prepared to have to go up into the upper register a lot more in top section flugel playing than in lower sections. I've only very briefly played flugel (and it was nearly 20 years ago!) but I found it quite a bit harder to get up there than on cornet. ... and I can get seriously high on cornet. :cool:

    As people have already said, it's a great instrument, but not all cornet players make good flugel players. The only other thing I can think of is what does the principal cornet player look like, cos you'll be spending a lot of time looking at him/her. Some people are very lucky in that respect ;-) lol
  13. bassmittens

    bassmittens Member

    Depending on the band's layout, some bass players are also unfortunate enough to have a view of the principal cornet too!;)
  14. waynefiler

    waynefiler Member

    I've played flugal in the past I depped for the band in question on flugal and enjoyed it, I've also done big band stuff on flugal just not done that much brass bandwise on it
  15. waynefiler

    waynefiler Member

    I've got a decent range on cornet, I can pedal (I use to compete with a bass trom friend of mine but only won once) and I can comfortably hit Eb's and E's.

    I know that it is slightly more difficult to get high on flug, seriously how high do their parts go? The gig I depped for only went to an A above the stave. Best get my sop mouthpiece out ;)
  16. squirrel

    squirrel Member

    You can expect to go up to B's and C's, I've seen parts with D's on too.
    It's not up there in the gods all the time, just a lot more than for flugel parts in lower sections. If you can comfortably get up to E's on cornet you should be ok, unless you're relying on a shallow mouthpiece to get up there.

    bassmittens, I still class you as lucky, cos you can't see my knobbly knees :)
  17. cookie2

    cookie2 Member

    Yes my dear Squirrel, and others aren't........:tongue:
  18. flugel_fancy

    flugel_fancy Member

    I have recently converted to the "other side" onto flugel from front row. Although I have not contested on flug, only cornet, I am happy with the move. In comparison with the cornet, yes, it is a slightly harder blow. Not in regards to the upper notes but the playing in general. I have been playing cornet for about 10 years and found the change onto Flug quite comfortable and am enjoying every minute of my new seat! Although I am now having to spend at least 4 hours a week looking at the front row. I suppose everything has it's down side! (only Joking guys!)
  19. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - seems that you are 90% there in your decision-making (assuming that you are seriously tempted). A major plus in top banding is the 'ability to swing' ... jazz flugel playing is a great addition to any bander's CV. The 10% is the committment that a dedicated banding instrument such as this brings, and that it doesn't disrupt trumpet/cornet work in the future.
  20. waynefiler

    waynefiler Member

    Just to keep you all up to date, accepted the position, just waiting to hear from the band.
    Thanks for all the advice, what would I do without you guy's?????
    Just got to let my current band know!!! anyone good at resignation letters?????

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