Does your conductor use his stick?!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by sugarandspice, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. sugarandspice

    sugarandspice Active Member

    I Seem to have spent the entire weekend with my band, and we ended up having a lenghtly dicussion as to who uses a baton when conducting. Our Conductor doesn't anymore (the main reason behind it being that he lost his!) and we figured there must be other conductors out there that just use there hands.

    So what does yours do?!
  2. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Conductors of both the bands I'm curently playing in use a baton.

    When I conduct, I do not. I find that visibility doesn't suffer in a a group as small as a brass band (unless the lighting is really bad or the setup is not standard). And I think I can be much more expressive when I'm not concerned with holding onto the stick. Might also be that I learned most of my conducting from my father, who never used a baton.
  3. The other son

    The other son Member

    <insert amusing phallus oriented annecdote here>

    In all seriousness, practically all the conductors that have conducted bands I've been in have used their batons almost all the time.

    Obviously when someone's clapping a rhythm or something, then there'd be a slight difficulty in holding it.
  4. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    I don't really know, don't tend to watch the conductor!!
  5. The other son

    The other son Member

    ...have you ever tried playing Bb bass?
  6. Chris Hicks

    Chris Hicks Member

    Ian Holmes isn't for the areas with us!
    And when Rhod used to conduct us he did but not in slow/expressive parts!
    Doesn't any difference to me either way
  7. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Depends on the experience of the players and/or the piece or section of music. I tend not to use a baton for conducting hymns. I prefer attempting the 'choral' approach of using my hands to indicate phrases and phrase breaks, like imagining a choir singing the words, where the phrase breaks may differ from verse to verse. I may use use a baton if I want (but not necessarily succeed!) my direction to be more marked, or if specifically requested by my current band (many of whom are relatively inexperienced and sometimes may want a more defined direction)
  8. Key2207

    Key2207 Member

    I was actually discussing a few weeks ago which conductors I knew used a baton and which didn't. I never really noticed if our conductor, Adie used his but last week I noticed he did.
  9. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Our current chap, Mr Wadsworth, uses a baton all the time. Usually to tap on his stand at regular intervals to try and get us all playing together!!

    It's a good job he does too, from my point of view at least. Because he's not the tallest chap and tends to use a tall typing chair at band practice, from where I sit he dissapears almost completely behind the solo horn, except for his stick!
  10. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

    I use a stick except for slow or smooth moments when i want to emlutate the kind of sound i'm looking.

    Geoff Whitham told me in a rehearsal that most players watch with a Third eye, so if your smooth there's more chance the sound will be!! Good advice I still think!
  11. GJacko

    GJacko Member

    Ahhh yes. My baton is also frequently heard tapping on the stand. I'd be lost without it. (and so would the band sometimes??) Also enhances the percussion section.

    I use a lightweight translucent one, with luminous properties. Picked it up at the Weston contest a couple of years ago when I lost my original!!
  12. jingleram

    jingleram Active Member

    All of the conductors of my bands use batons, and I do too. I find it is easier to give a clearer beat. When i am rehearsing the band, I tend to use the baton when it is the whole band, but only use hands when rehearsing sections of the band - not sure why!
  13. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    This sort of mystifies me - does he conduct with the stick over his head? I'm not a particularly tall person either, but if someone could see a stick in my right hand they could also see my right hand itself. If someone's having issues seeing then the conductor needs to stand on a box!

    Also, if you can't see both of the conductor's hands you're only getting half the story.
  14. lewis

    lewis Member

    Hmmmm.... I wonder whether there is an element of conductors trying to make themselves feel more important???

    Just thought I'd throw that one into the pot :) ;) :)
  15. tinytimp

    tinytimp Member

    The conductors in both brass and wind bands I'm in use batons. The uni orchestra conductor has a really strange quirk - he uses a baton for the orhchestra but when we perform works with the choir and needs to conduct them specifically, he'll put down the baton to use just his hands then picks it back up again! Not that it often makes a difference, the beats are all circular anyway so it doesn't matter if we can see or not...
  16. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Not so odd - choral conductors rarely use a baton. Choral conducting is in many ways a completely different animal from instrumental conducting.

    Not sure I follow - do you mean they feel more important when using a stick?
  17. lewis

    lewis Member

  18. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    Ours always does
  19. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    A couple of times, I've played in wind band under a conductor that wasn't using a baton, and I found it very confusing. especially when you're sitting on the third row, or on the sides.

    The strangest thing I've ever seen was Jouke Hoekstra, the conductor of the Frysk Fanfare Orchestra, one of my band's competitors at the WMC Kerkrade contest last year. He was conducting with a pen!
  20. yonhee

    yonhee Active Member

    Current band conductor does use a baton and so did the last one. School windband conductor does if he isn't playing piano then he just waves his hands about every now and then. Winband conductor use hands and occasionally a pencil or his trombone...