Conductor or 'rehearsal leader'?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by tromdude, Jun 3, 2005.

  1. tromdude

    tromdude New Member

    Everyone has an opinion about their conductor, and the more I play with, the more I truly believe that it is not the music or the wagging which makes the best ones stand out - it is their relationship with the band and how they run a rehearsal. It's the reason why commanding or charming people get conducting positions and get decent results. This is the stuff which doesn't seem to get taught.

    It's with this in mind that I found some seemingly useful tips on improving exactly these qualities. Take a look and see if you agree:

    I know he's talking about leading a jazz band, but they are professional, and I love the way he sees the director as the rehearsal leader.

    I've played with a good number of the top league of MDs in banding, and although many are wonderful musicians, there are a good number of charlatans which can't really hear what's going wrong, give lumpy beats, offer no help in improving tuning, have excrutiating taste (obviously in my opinion, but there are a number of pointers on the score...) and offer little more hearing "it's not quite right" and providing social leadership, and don't do badly with contest results etc.

    Anyone with me on this one?
  2. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    This is a common debate and I am suprised someone with more than my 2 brain cells hasnt come up with a mathematical equation for musicianship / social skills / psychology / players = complete musical performance yet
  3. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    Totally right. Some conductors are great musicians, but if they don't interact with the people in the band well, there's a problem of misunderstanding what they want, and also, that nagging, childish, feeling that you're not going to do it because you don't like them. Once a band have a good relationship with their conductor they develop more respect and take on everything that is asked of them. It's not a coincidence that Richard Evans is respected as one of the best conductors about, as well as one of the most interesting people about to listen to.

    I've been lucky, in that most of the conductors I've played under have had great personalities, and that's always meant the bands made excellent progress in rehearsals. The best conductors could take a half empty rehearsal and still make important progress because the players enjoy it and get involved in the music even without a full band, while the one's without a good personality could take a full band at the top of their game, and make them sound like a bunch of beginners, because they get bored and lose interest.

    Another important factor in good conductors is prioritising issues. I've watched conductors who concentrate on one little issue, or a little bit of interpretation when there's a glaring problem with timing or intonation. I always think, that once the big things are sorted, and it's sounding good, is when the little things will make a difference. A band playing out of time with eachother, with the best conductors interpretation in the world, will still sound rubbish. Anyway... tangenting off again. Sorry.
  4. flower girl

    flower girl Member

    i believe that the best conductors are the ones who dont see themselves as being superior to the band, and class themselves as equals and enjoy the company of the band and interact with them.
  5. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    With all my years in Brass Bands i have been conducted by very good band trainiers/conductors who have been conducted by some very good conductors indeed, themselves, these are:ALEX MORTIMER,HOWARD SNELL,STEVE ROBERTS,ALBERT CHAPEL.
    To name just a few BIG NAMES in the Brass Band World
    They have always come across as helping the player or the band understand the music,also if you or the band are struggling with a particular bar they are prepared to help and sort it out for you or give you some advice on how to practise it at home.
    All except for 1 conductor who will remain nameless who could only come out with the following staements
    1Go away and sort the notes out and i will puit it together
    2I have not got time to sort the rythem out sort it out for yourself and then i might stand a chance of putting it together
    3If you think im going to do section practises then think again, do it yourself DONT EXPECT ME TO DO IT it is not MY JOB!!!!

    Our curent conductor is just BRILLIANT:biggrin: he will help you out with anything you cant play/not quite got the correct rhythm and will break it all down for the band:clap: