Player psychology

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Anglo Music Press, Jun 12, 2005.


As a player, which would you rather do?

  1. Sit out

    44 vote(s)
  2. Play a few notes

    22 vote(s)
  1. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member

    Some player opinions would be appreciated to the following question

    If an arrangement of (say) a baroque piece meant that it was difficult to find, for example, percussion and trombones a real role, would you prefer to sit the piece out or have only one or two notes to play and feel involved????
  2. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    Interesting question Philip! I would personally prefer to be left out than count 100's of bars rest to add some bit which isn't even important. It could actually end up quite a practical idea for a concert. If the instrument is featured as a soloist/section feature (in another piece), this piece could be played before the solo piece allowing the person to have a quick break before playing the solo.
  3. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    Likewise i do the same on this occasion:clap:
  4. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    Yeah, I wouldn't mind sitting out... could find something else for us to do...

    (still, seems a bit mean since we were around and the rest of the band instruments weren't...)
  5. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    That's so true, lynchie, but that's history for you. Just look at what happened to the dinosaurs ;)

    Sitting out is better. The problem with just playing a few notes, particularly in younger/lower level bands is the chance of splitting/not speaking after such a long rest. The chances for mishap are quite high.

    You can always leave out the baritones, so they can go and fulfil their main function.....tea lady :p
  6. Kerwintootle

    Kerwintootle Member

    No, I would rather be involved in some sort of way even if it was just for the odd note. I don't like being left out (lol), anyway soprano is obviously the most important part in the band and you would of course feature this demanding instrument more than any other, it goes without saying right?! (lol)
  7. euphfanhan

    euphfanhan Member

    ditto! Well apart from the bit about soprano, its common knowledge that euph is the most important instrument in any ensemble. ;)
  8. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    For me, it depends on the requirements of the music. The arranger should not need to fall victim to satisfying the requirements of using full band and percussion. It wouldn't be the first time groups of instruments have had to sit out a piece of music. It might not sell as well as a full band arrangement (in terms of rehearsal time used) but why lessen the musical effect?
  9. cornetgirl

    cornetgirl Active Member

    I've done my time as a percussionist playing the old fashioned pieces where you do very little and as an orchestral trumpet where my knowledge of viola parts came in handy as it got me out of counting bars rest!!!

    I'm happy to play a few notes - by the time you get to concert stage I usually find I know the music by heart so I'd treat it as a rest!

    Rach x
  10. Imperial

    Imperial Member

    I'd prefer to play just a few notes than nothing at all.

    Maybe that notes could be placed in the beginning of the arrangement to avoid counting difficulties.

    Once my uncle's brass sextet ended a concert by leaving the stage in the middle of a tune, one after each other. starting with the melody part. finally there was just the percussionist left on stage.
  11. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    arrrrrrgh... I dont know!!! lol......

    I can see both sides... were I wouldnt mind sitting out and listening/watching... at the same time, I agree with Alex that I like to be involved in stuff..... even if it is for a few bars... errr, notes.... :p

    If the piece suits the genre by not using certain instruments, then I'd be happy to sit out (or even play an alternate instrument).... it could make that all important difference to how the piece would sound overall... etc.....

    I'm easy though :) :lol:

    Seen several pieces with no cornet parts in the piece at all.....
    ...and they may be grateful for the rest of the lips.... (or arms if you're a percusisonist :p)

    ;-) :biggrin:
  12. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I'd rather sit out than have only the odd note to play, unless those few notes were really telling, such as a piano BBbass entry which would change the whole texture of the piece ;)
  13. sevenhelz

    sevenhelz Active Member

    i'm unsure on this one. i do like to feel involved in a piece but on the other hand, it feels lazy to only play two or three notes - surely we could cover breathing gaps for another part?
    it absolutely depends on the piece, i think.

    i voted to sit it out because that way you get an extra break in rehearsals ;)
  14. Band_Beefcake

    Band_Beefcake Member

    think I'd prob rather play :) , but then again I cant imagine any piece sounding complete with the dulcit tones from my baritone :clap:
  15. mcbm

    mcbm New Member

    As a trombonist, I'd rather sit out....go for a coffee. Of course we can sometimes do that anyway with the number of rests we get.
  16. Steve Marcus

    Steve Marcus Member

    If an MD selected music based solely upon equal distribution of the parts, there would be lots of great music ignored.

    For example, as a tuba player, it isn't appropriate to say that Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 is terrible music just because I have a grand total of only 14 notes to play in the entire piece--and those are in just one of the four movements.

    One of the essential differences between orchestral music and brass band music is that the brass players have much more "face time" in BB music and much less counting of rests. That is part of the appeal of playing in a brass band. Nevertheless, if a meritorious BB piece calls for use of one or more sections of the band sparingly, the wishes and thoughts of the composer are to be honored.

    Our percussion brethren have to deal with this issue much more frequently than most of us brass players. Stick it out--play the piece--participate in the rehearsals. The next piece in your folder will keep you blowing.
  17. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    I would personally rather just sit the piece out, have a break and not count rests. Anybody who has ever sat next to me should know one of my biggest weaknesses as a player is counting rests...horrible at it!!

    That being said, if the composer/arranger really feels that those 2 bars of trombones would really enhance the piece, I'd hate to see them leave it out just because "well the trombones don't have anything so far, and I'd hate to see them count all those rests."
  18. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    I would suggest that it depends strongly on the piece being arranged.
    There are some pieces that would best be suited to a different style of group (maybe a quintet or 10-piece), rather than having loads of doubled parts, or pages of rests.

    Is there a specific piece you have in mind?

    When arranging for brass ensembles I have no problems with giving certain players/parts a piece off, in some concerts the break can be very useful (I certanly appreciate a break when playing some concerts). When arranging for youth groups I try to keep all the parts interesting - they are coming into a band to experience the joys of making music as an ensemble, not listening to other people have all the fun.
  19. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    Prolonged periods of rest are one of the few opportunities for most players to actually look and listen to their own band - so I would welcome a piece where I could sit out completely and concentrate my whole attention to listening rather than counting bars rest.
  20. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    I'm more than happy to sit back and enjoy the wonderful (hopefully!) music being made around me by all the people not lucky enough to be enjoying a rest!


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