Is a loud sop a good sop?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by sooooper sop, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. sooooper sop

    sooooper sop Member

    After 32 years playing the best instrument ever, from 4th to Championship section and back (now in the 1st section) I'm curious to know exactly what other players think about us sop players :) Do they like louder, faster, higher or a more subtle approach?
    Personally I prefer a more subtle approach, having seen several top class bands performances' spoilt by OTT sop players (who will remain nameless!) playing completly out of context.
    I find it's much easier to play loud and high, but more satisfying as a musician to strive for quality in all ranges and dynamics.....:guiness Hmmm sop fuel!:D
  2. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    The one that can do both gets my vote.

    And for those that cant, the subtle approach should always be adopted.
  3. sooooper sop

    sooooper sop Member

    [The one that can do both gets my vote.]

    I can't disagree with that! there's not too many players around who can though :(
  4. ScreamingSop

    ScreamingSop Member

    If all the player can do is play Loud, and ther are many players that can only do this then no they make a pretty bad player in my opinion.
    I read an interview with one of the top soprano players who i think hit the nail on the top of the head wen they said;

    "Its the soprano players job, to embelish the sound of the band, not obliterate it"
  5. sooooper sop

    sooooper sop Member

    I couldn't agree with my fellow sop more, I think loud raucous sop playing, often overpowering the band is awful and can ruin a bands performance. But all too often I've heared some sop players (and others) boasting how loud they (or their bands sop player) is, don't they ever listen to the overall performance?
  6. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    I don't think loud is important. But the best players do seem to have a comfortable, 'fat', broad sound - not the thin 'scratchy' sound of lesser players.
  7. tam-tam2

    tam-tam2 Member

    Having played the sop for a while I found that keeping the damn thing in tune was enough of a struggle.....I normally false fingered most notes in the upper register. Now a sop who can play all the things already mentioned whilst keeping the thing in tune would get my vote. Failing that I like one who you know is there but isn't too intrusive!!
  8. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Sophisticated, under control playing is the way to go. There are occasional situations where the sop should be assertive and make its presence felt with great force, but these moments are few and far between. Not to say that the sop should never play loud, but loud playing out of context (by anyone in the band) is just not right.
  9. Craigsav83

    Craigsav83 Active Member

    Loud, but not too loud in my opinion. The sop has a unique tone, and doesn't need to be played at fff to be heard above the band. When I played sop, I played in a very loud band, and was often (usually!) outblown by the rest of the band, but trying to play at that dynamic is very strenuous, as well as being out of tune.
  10. Harold.Wells

    Harold.Wells Active Member

    Many years ago, on one of my "stints" on Sop, Eric Ball was rehearsing my band for a concert. His view was that the Sop should be the "cherry on the cake", the embelishment on the top that added to, and not detracted from the whole.
    I go along with the view that the Sop should normally be "floating" over the top of the band in a sophisticated way, rather then standing out like a sore thumb!
  11. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I would say learn by example ... Peter Roberts is a good start for listening & studying!
  12. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    Listen to Gary Fountain, the ISB's sop player. it is a masterclass in blending to a band and then being noticable but unobtrusive in the loud stuff. Awesome, awesome player.
  13. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    Tasteful soprano playing is all too rare.
    There are far too many players (especially in the lower rankings of bands) who think that an all-dominating sop is the best way a band can work. Does nothing for me.
    There are times when a soprano player should be heard as a dominant part, but not to obliterate the entire band.
  14. ScreamingSop

    ScreamingSop Member

    He sure is! Amazing player.
  15. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    No, no, no! At "our" level I have heard far to many "laser beams" and not too many players. All good sops know when to turn it on and off and should be able to blend with the rest of the cornet section too. Someone who is technically adept but plays too loud to blend with the rest of the band is not a good sop IMO (and I can think of several examples). As has been said, Peter Roberts and Gary Fountain are both good examples of how to play the part correctly.
  16. MickM

    MickM Member

    Pete Roberts for sure, and Gary Fountain are masters of the sop. They know what to play, when to play it and how to play it. Another one for me that comes under the heading "proper sop player" after hearing her at the yorkshire area is our very own (tMP) Dippy Blonde (Hot Lips) :clap:
    My opinion is that you can have the best band in the world, but a sop player can either make it or break it!
  17. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    Looking further south, Mark Pye at Woodfalls is absolute class and if he was up North would definately be mentioned in the same breath as Peter Roberst
  18. i agree with what you all have said.
    but you all forgot to mention the man himself kev crockford
    who IMO is the best exponent of sop playing about at the present
  19. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    Real name Claire Taylor, class player :tup top girl too!

    I have to say, having heard Mr Crockford at t'area I was astounded. I remember the last time I heard him he was a one man demolition team (although who am I to criticise someone with his talent and CV). Seemed a much more controlled player at Bradford and definitely up there with the very, very best.

    I've just had a search for a best soprano player thread as this seems to be turning into one, unfortunately I cant find it so if anyone else remembers one please feel free to post a link in this thread.
  20. bennem

    bennem Member

    The issue in the lower sections I feel is that the sop player is usually one of the more technically proficient players in the band. Therefore they feel they need to show this off and play too loud in the hope of covering up some of the "bruised" notes from the rest of the cornet section.

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