Are you listening

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by british1, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. british1

    british1 Member

    In a recent post, a memeber stated that she was happy believing that she sounded good and that she didn't have to listen to better players to get better herself. Oh dear !. What a rediculous thing to say.
    Throughout musical history and brass band players are no exception, the very best players have listened to their heros. As a kid I grew up listening to Jim Shepherd, Philip McCann and these days, players like Richard Marshall. Euphonium players would listen to Trevor Groom and David Moore and more recently, players like David Childs. Of course, practicing is one very important element of getting better, but without listening to your peers to find out how they do it and to pick out the bits that suit you, It is impossible to improve and I'm afraid these sort of players are doomed to mediocrity. We all like to develop our own sound and style, but without a benchmark to aim at and an sound to emulate, we may all just as well blow through a piece of gas pipe.
  2. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    I think i've set my benchmark high enough......

    Interesting thread. I guess having a good teacher when you're learning helps too.
  3. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    In a Wessex Master class a couple of years ago I was lucky enough to share my stand with Roger Webster and his then front row of Grimethorpe. (I`m not good but they sat by me as there was not much space left!) Just hearing him play that simple melody Shepherds Song (or shepherds dog as he called it) blew me away. What an incredibly beautiful cornet sound that man has.

    Also last year (Wessex again) the small flugel group with John Lee was inspiring and I have tried to put into practice all his tips. Cheers John (although anyone who takes such a long break from playing has no right to be that flipping good! Life is just not fair.)

    Only fair to mention John Doyle when he was flugel with Black Dyke and he did a Wessex class (I`ve done 3 of them). He was so enthusiastic and fun and another fabulous player.
  4. Alyn James

    Alyn James Member

    If you're thinking about breath support have a listen to Maynard...gloriously vulgar and he sure knew how to breathe!
  5. honey bun

    honey bun Active Member

    Ridiculous indeed. Surely anything you want to achieve in your life and better yourself, you want to get inspiration from others. Like kiddies wanting to be footballers. Ya can't tell me that they've never watched their heroes and want to be like them! Maybe one day they will - maybe they won't. Thats life. Not saying that listening and watching will make you a better player cos everybody's an individual and has their own abilities but if you're not willing or even want to try to improve - well - sounds a bit arrogant to me.

    Mmmmm.....very strange attitude :confused:
  6. samg_drummergurl

    samg_drummergurl New Member

    i think that watching and listening to others, especially those that you admire, can motivate you so much to want to be better, practise more and try new things out.
  7. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    It can work the other way too. I sat in on Owen Farr practising, that made me want to give up. :)
  8. samg_drummergurl

    samg_drummergurl New Member

    ha! that is a very true comment! positive thinking will solve that ;-)
  9. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    It certainly can
  10. british1

    british1 Member

    Having a good teacher is of paramount importance. Not only from a technical point of view, but from an attitude standpoint as well. Quite clearly, anyone who is so engrossed in their own sound that they think they are good enough not to listen to other players, has either been badly tutored or they are simple ignorant or arrogant or both
  11. You are always learning, or you are deteriorating.
  12. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    Very good point
  13. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    Over here in Aus I usually have to make do with listening to recordings of good players.
    A few weeks ago I had the oppertunity to sit in the same Bass section as Dean Morley for a couple of Rehersals. Wow what a couple of nights they were. Always good to compare your sound to that of Good players and try to reproduce those Good sounds.
    Others I have tried to base my own sound on have been Charles Dallenbach and Steve Sykes. the latter only from recordings
  14. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I think it's also important to listen to musicians from other backgrounds, both instrumentalists and vocalists, as we can learn much about phrasing and finding the right shape of the music. Having said that, however much we may model our playing on other people, there should still be room for our own personality to come through.
  15. Zappa

    Zappa Member

    A strange one this ... I haven't read the post in question however, there's two sides to the argument.

    I'm a euph player however, I listen to a variety of musicians & styles of music to inspire me; Mark Knopfler - guitar, Stave Gadd, Dave Weckl - drums, Charlie Parker - sax, wynton & Miles - brass Frank Zappa, Steely Dan etc etc. A real eclectic mix. These are guys at the very top of their craft & a huge inspiration to me. More importantly it develops me as a musician.

    At the end of the day, you listen to people that make you want to get the instrument out in between band rehearsals as deep down we all know (with alot of hard work and personal commitment) we can go as far as our ambition, time and circumstance will allow. Most of us know what exercises we should practice, the principals behind advanced technique and that we should all know our scales... it's just some practice for hours a day at it and some don't.

    Although i work (or used to when i played more regularly) on my sound with long tones, hymns, variations in vibrato etc i wouldn't and have never tried to base my sound on anyone as i'm me. I've always been complemented massively on my sound and believe it comes from a variety of things (as named in exercises above) ... But most of all it's who you are (not to get too deep but the soul!) that creates your sound!

    Listen to whatever music or musician you wish to inspire you that will get the instrument out of the case to practice what you know you should BUT we're all individuals and should have individual sounds ...

    'Don't play the instrument, play the music' Anon
  16. british1

    british1 Member

    Spot on to both the above posts. However I think we've strayed a little from the original post. The person in question said the were good enough not to have to listen to other players to improve and that practice alone would do the job. Well, we all know that is rubbish
    You listen. You pick the bits out that suit you and develop your own sound snd style. I think what shocked me the most about her comment was the terrible attitude. There's one thing that is absolutly certain with people that have that sort of attitude. They will be be poor players all their lives
  17. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Unless, of course, they are one of the 'players' that we listen to. ;)
  18. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    Actually I saw the post and was also quite shocked at the attitude. Not only was it disrespectful but it came over as a bit aggressive and also totally unnecessary considering the thread it is on.
    (And I did a quick profile check on her bands and no Rapier I am guessing not one of "those players"!)
    PS Rapier did you get an MD sorted?
  19. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Nope. No MD, and probably no band soon too, unless one turns up. You'll know, when you see a tenor horn and cornet up for sale. :(

    (Well, for sale after the IBBSS next summer. I've already paid the deposit.)
  20. honey bun

    honey bun Active Member

    Hear hear :clap:

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