Difficulties playing in certain conditions

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by 2nd man down, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    We played outside in Holmfirth yesterday (Last of the Summer Wine country) and it was rather warm to say the least.

    Where's the difficulty in that I hear you ask??

    Sweat mixed with sun cream pouring in to your eyes, that's where...MY GOD that stings!!! :(

    A job like that every week and I'll be back down to 10 stone in no time.

    Anybody any other issues with playing outside?
  2. Pythagoras

    Pythagoras Active Member

    Only the stupid plastic chairs you get at most outside venues. Chairs with arms don't work for Bflat bass players!
  3. Di

    Di Active Member

    OO ooh, yea, chairs. Those folding chairs, terrible for the back. :(

    And pieces involving page turns with no rests and unpegging and repegging required.
  4. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Chairs, both inside and outside, are a nightmare for bass players. When playing BBb I always like to hold it upright, resting on my knee, but in order to do that the chair needs to be a reasonable height, and preferably with a straight back. The worst one we did was actually indoors, where the stage sloped slightly downwards from back to front, and the chair sloped back - was unable to rest on the back of the chair for the whole of the concert!

    Two biggest problems when playing outside: sunshine and gusts of wind. When at the back of the band, you're not only contending with direct sunlight but also the reflection from the instruments around you, and when you couple that with needing to position your stand carefully due to your spectacles is can be quite difficult.

    Wind can normally be dealt with using pegs and/or wind irons, but I recall one bandstand programme where I was on my own on bass and had a page turn to cope with - ended up holding the copy with one hand and the bass with the other until I had the chance to secure it properly.
  5. Big Twigge

    Big Twigge Active Member

    When it's so stuffy that you get fat lips and they don't work properly and you're so hot that you're not sure that if you go for the top notes you'll get them without ending up passed out on the floor!

    Other than that, I have no problems ;)
  6. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    RAIN!!! ..... any instrument except cornets, troms & flugel! :frown:

    .... oh, and a small word for potholes that can cause distress when sightreading on the march!
  7. Big Twigge

    Big Twigge Active Member

    I forgot all about carnival....
    Chips on the floor (very slippy), drunken people throwing chips, and playing in the dark to name but a few!
  8. meandmycornet

    meandmycornet Active Member

    wobbly chairs! nothing more annoying for the persons sat either side of me! I personally love it! I can wobble in time to the music! I also really hate in when people forget pegs and nick mine (I have 6 you see) and then I end up with 3 pegs and flappy music!
  9. Sam Atherton

    Sam Atherton Member

    Fields that are so soggy and muddy that the chairs sink. Start playing at normal height, by the time you're done you're practically sat on the floor!
  10. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    ... playing inside a huge Marquee, in sweltering heat, having ran out of your bottle of water, whilst helping out and deputising for a band :eek:, in a contest, also not playing your usual instrument... and when going to play the little Sop Solo in "Superman" - nothing comes out the end cos you're so dry...:redface::redface:

    *tries to hide*

    Sorry Celenyn (was many years ago now though !!)
  11. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Playing in Singapore (33 degrees, 85% humidity) we found that top registers disappeared almost entirely on all instruments, but that basses could pedal almost anything into oblivion with very little effort.

    Only problem was, it was so hot the water tended to evaporate from instrument valves and left sludgy valve-oil gunk in it's place. Trombones had it even worse, with slide cream turning to something approximating the consistency of mayonnaise. (Yuck) Such was the slowing of valve and slide response, semiquavers were a definite no-no, (which was awkward when rehearsing harmony music and st magnus!!!!) unless we topped up with oil and water after every piece!

    We even tried playing in the swimming pool at the orchard parade to help! (Photos on the website! See link below)
  12. The Cornet King

    The Cornet King Active Member

    Playing outside when its scorching has too many difficulties...loads of sweat, stamina that disappears after the first piece and a complete lack (as Andy has just said) of a top register.

    Plus you stick to the chairs and end up with a wet bottom and soaking wet shirt! :(

    Only good thing is getting a half decent British tan.
  13. Sam Atherton

    Sam Atherton Member

    But only on half of your face, one hand and one of your legs, because you don't move for two hours! Not to mention the strange patterns caused by the sun reflecting off your instrument...
  14. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    At the other end of the scale a few years ago I played in a band at armistice where a player had to be treated for mild hypothermia it was so cold. Also that day I remeber valves freezing between pieces. And myself nearly going ar*e over t*t with an Eb bass when I slipped on ice during the march.
  15. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    I must have a sick mind...;)
  16. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    Just like Darth Maul :)
  17. NeilW

    NeilW Member

    Flying ants! Played one evening when they were about, swarming all around the lights of the bandstand!

    Marching, 2 things: tram lines, and police horses (in front of the tMp band last 2004!)

  18. sterlingsop

    sterlingsop Member

    When we were in France for the French Open this year we had to rehearse in a vineyard because our drivers couldn't take us to the rehearsal venue. It was a beautiful setting, the sun was going down, the scenery was gorgeous.....sigh what memories!

    But, and it's a big but, we didn't have enough chairs for all the band so the back row cornets were perched on top of a wall, and most of the band had to sit on garden chairs that sloped backwards. And that's not all.....we were ankle deep in vine-stubble which housed a multitude of munching midgies. Talk about scratching the night away!! To top it off, there were crickets chirping away too - completely out of time with the music and extremely off-putting when it came to counting!

    It got so bad the rehearsal was abandoned in the end!!!
  19. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    I suffered big time with that at the Brass in Bloom contest on Sunday.

    Other problems apart from sunburn and dehydration and feelings of lethargy: -

    The shear amount of light reflected off a white sheet of paper (should have worn sunglasses I suppose)

    Those marquee/gazebo things they put you in - often chained together and with a low roof. The Bass end sound gets muffled and the front of the band who are almost outside are too brash in comparison.
    At Carlton Brass we really pride ouselves on the rich full balanced sound we make and it was commented on by a few spectators at Sundays contest that it just wasn't there as usual. Never mind we still won :biggrin: :biggrin:

    And talking about gazebos it would be nice if organisers realised a band of 25+ members, instruments and percussion do not fit under a piece of canvas the size of a postage stamp :mad:
  20. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Last year the tent was only used when it persisted it down - the first bands up to Strata played outside the tent. Clearly as the forecast was good why did they put all the bands under cover? - OK it was hot but I'm sure there were plenty other bands out an about playing in the open for more than the 25minutes you had to play.

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