I'm new to brass bands....What advice can you give?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by mp_TRMB, Jun 1, 2004.

  1. mp_TRMB

    mp_TRMB Member

    Hi there, I'm pretty new to brass bands and new to the mouthpiece. I jointed Tullis Russell Mills Band last October and have loved every minute of it. :D Everyone was really welcoming, it was just like a social club with a little bit of hard work :wink:

    The problems that i have are things such as being confident in my playing and understanding the brass band sound.

    I am 16 and played the trumpet in windbands at school and across Fife but now am having to adjust the 2nd cornet place at Tullis.

    I must say, joining Tullis has improved my playing so much over the last few months and hopefully my standard will be much better as time goes on.

    does anyone have any advice on how to boost my confidence within the brass band situation and sound and make me a much better player? :?
  2. Keppler

    Keppler Moderator Staff Member

    easiest bit of advice. Listen to band recordings, and listen to other bands performing. Try to know what you want your sound to be before you try to play it.

    second easiest bit of advice. Enjoy it.

    Oh, and welcome to tMP...
  3. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    Welcome to the family!!!

    Second cornet, when you first join the band, can sometimes feel so disheartening. So here's piece of advice number one - to a degree, everyone has a good part and a sucky part, but the audience doesn't give 2 hoots about you......they listen to the big picture. So listen to your solo cornets, blend in, and be inspired by both your peers and yourself!!!

    Try to realise everyone there is there for 2 reasons - to play and to have fun. Don't interfere with either, it may bite you in the bum one day!! enjoy the music you play, and the people you play it with.

    Go to contests. Listen to bands. Talk to players. I had a job to do tonight, which required me to visit ALL band member's. while at everyone's house, I had a chat with familes and players about things, especially our state contest at Easter. The number of "new banding families" that went to contest and had a blast is eye-opening.

    Finally, make it a family affair. Get your parents involved, and let them socialise with other people's parents, or older bandsmen.

    When band feels less like a chore, and more like a comfy jam session then the REAL magic begins!!! :wink:
  4. flugelgal

    flugelgal Active Member

    Pay close attention to what the MD says, what your section leader says - and always listen to the flugel. Remember that the flugel is the most important instrument in the band... :wink:

    But seriously, listen to everyone, blend in, work hard, and make beautiful noises.

    I joined banding at the tender age of 11 and it has helped to make me the well balanced individual that I am today... :shock:

    Good luck and may the Force be with you!
  5. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    We've lost another one.........

    Here, she speaks truth........banding has made us better human beings.......now I've said that, I feel like doing one of dave's Anagram puzzles. Nothing like some mental stimulation at 11:33 PM!!!!
  6. Rambo Chick

    Rambo Chick Member

    yes this is the best rule to learn!!

    confidence in playing comes from time mainly-the more you play, the better you get emotionally and improvement comes from experience and practice and LISTENING to others

    but never forget the afore-mentioned rule! :lol:
  7. ted

    ted Member

    A few important things which are often taken for granted...

    1. Practise daily
    Brass players use air to vibrate their lips against metal to make music. Hence the muscles we use have to be strong and the only way to develop them and keep them in shape is through regular practise. (Physical training) NOTE: However, just like other kinds of physical activity, don't over do it or you risk injury!
    Band parts should be learnt at home so at rehersals you only have to worry about how to play and not what to play. Practising technique allows you to play everything. (Mental training)

    2. Confidence
    This is a mental thing. When you're a newbie, always play as loud as you can (without the sound going sour). If you're too loud then the conductor will tell you, and you continue to play as loud as you can get away with. Musicality will come with experience, but you must be in the correct mindset that you want to be heard and contribute. Seriously, principal players cannot sound good without good 2nd and 3rd parts.

    3. Enjoyment
    Always play for your enjoyment, and other people's enjoyment. Even if no one is there, you should imagine that someone next door is listening and it's your aim to make their day better with your music. Want to be heard. That's why you're playing a brass instrument.

    4. Always attend band rehersals
    If you're involved with banding for the right reasons, then you would want to go to every rehersal you can. I can't stand people who don't turn up to rehersal because "It's too cold" or "It's raining".

    5. Take advantage of your newbie status
    Since you're young and a newbie, you have the license to make mistakes. So have a go and always aim to improve yourself, when you play something wrong, work out how you can make sure that you play it right everytime. (Usually all i have to do is put a mark that reminds me that I always gets this bit wrong is enough to stop me from playing it wrong.)

    Congrats for taking up banding (although you've found yourself on the wrong side of the band, oh well no one's perfect). I hope you have a long and fruitful journey in discovering the joys of music making. Finally, once last thought: Banding ins't a hobby, it's a lifestyle.

  8. mp_TRMB

    mp_TRMB Member

    what do u mean by "found yourself on wrong side of the band" ..
    told u i was knew, dont understand the brass band language yet either :roll:
  9. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Welcome to the wonderful world of brass bands! :lol:

    Oh... and welcome to the Mouthpiece too... :lol:

    Best advise I can give you is to listen to your MD, and the players around you. Don't be afraid to ask things - it might seem like a silly question but if you don't ask you won't learn! Banders are mostly a pretty friendly bunch so don't be afraid to tap someone up for a tip or two. :wink:

    As Keppler has already said, the best way to understand how a BB works is to listen to how the top boys do it. A good source of CD's, as well as news and general gossip in the banding world is a website called www.4barsrest.com I can vouch that their on-line ordering service for CD's is second to none.

    Your sound and confidence will develop with time, but try to find a player whose sound, or style of playing you can use to inspire you.

    Most of all - enjoy it! It's a fantastic hobby, with loads of great people :D
  10. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I think you'll find Ted's just teasing you because he's a euph player and so would normally sit opposite where you are on cornet.

    Good advice from lots of people so far; I should just like to underline the need to listen and to make sure you blend in with those around you. Cornets, especially in brass bands, are called upon to blend in with the band sound much more than, say, trumpets in a wind ensemble, where you are often expected to cut through the textures. Also, concentrate on intonation, as you will often find yourself in unison with other players, and sloppy tuning will stick out like a sore thumb.

    Enjoy your banding and tMP :wink:
  11. ted

    ted Member

    I'm a euphonium player. (On the good side of the band)

  12. Dave1

    Dave1 Member

    Like many fine players before you - you suffer from a few nerves and a bit of confidence. BUT as I know who you are, you are being really quite hard on yourself.

    You DO have a good sound and you read well and when you forget yourself and project your sound it's as though you have been playing for years. Keep practicing - maybe listen to your Dad???

    And maybe I'll tell this to your face on Thursday night !!!
  13. ted

    ted Member

    I think "The Prestigeous theMouthPiece.com School of Excellence in Brass Banding" have just got it's first student.

  14. paddo

    paddo Member

    Start by drinking vast quantities of larger which you will then progress on to Bitter to build that fine posture, this will enable you to achieve the transition from CORNET to a mans instrument but this will take time!!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

    If you are not able to manage this Hic!....... Well some one has to play a cornet, don't they!

    I'm off my trolly...hic! must be not enough beer hic!!!
  15. mp_TRMB

    mp_TRMB Member

    haha, im a girl so probably wouldnt have a mans posture!

    no offence to anyone but,, i 16 year old girl doesnt want a "beer belly"... but maybe a "vodka belly" would be ok :wink:
  16. mp_TRMB

    mp_TRMB Member

    ....and im really weak and have never beat anyone in an arm wrestle so a cornet is just about ok to lift :D

    god help me if i have to play anything bigger !
  17. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    ....have you seen some of the "ladies" in bands.... :? :wink:

    ***ducks from all the female members of this forum***
  18. paddo

    paddo Member

    I thought the same, I went on to BBb when I was 11 yrs old.

    God I must have a big mouth! 8)

    Must be why I like going down!

    pedling that is! :oops:

    My wife i 5ft 3 and can drink like no other woman I have ever met but with out a beer belly!

    But then again your only 16! :roll:
  19. ted

    ted Member

    A lass? You better be careful then. Male cornet players are shady, very shady.....

  20. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    Oh and never argue with a sop player, cause he'll make you play his part!

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