principal cornets Ego or Talent?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by grandad, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. grandad

    grandad Member

    Watched 1st section WOE areas 2008 and saw 2 principal cornets sit idle while the no 2/3 player tackled the triple tonguing cadenza. Been in many bands and know that it is often not the best player sat on the end chair. Talking lower sections here. So why do bands allow these egotists to occupy the seat? Politics? Genuinely curious about this can anyone out there enlighten me?:confused:
  2. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Different players have different strengths - IMO you use whoever's best for the job - being a section principal in my book isn't just about your playing skill (although it is of course rather a, er, large part of it ;) ), it's about being able to lead the section.
  3. 4thmandown

    4thmandown Member

    Fortunately, I'm sat next to a particularly fine principal cornet (and virtuoso didgeridoo player) for whom ego couldn't possibly come into the equation (but the messiest and strangest filing system in a music folder does).

    We have a simple system: I've played a lot of the parts so vaguely know how they go; I play the solo first time then he plays it better!

    It's about playing to your strengths and I fall to pieces when sat on the end (1998 Areas spring painfully to mind), so you need a certain mentality to sit in the "end-chair", but I have sat next to some very egotistical prima-donnas in my time.
  4. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    Sometimes you also get great technicians that aren't as good at the phrasing and musicality side of playing so you end up with someone who's brilliant at all round musicianship on the end leading the section, and someone bumping up who supplies the triple tonguing when required.
  5. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    Our top man is ****** brilliant! He does everything written on that part!

    He also won best soloist at the Welsh Area
  6. sugarandspice

    sugarandspice Active Member

    I know one top man didn't play because his fingers were strapped together! thought it was admiral that he managed to play at all! ;)
  7. grandad

    grandad Member

    What about his tongue?:rolleyes:
    PS still , why sit on the end ? are you not a weak link then?
  8. flash harry

    flash harry Member

    In my opinion, the best principal cornet players have a blend of both ego and talent. How the individual concerned displays their ego is a different matter altogether. For some it is apparent, for others, it is not.
  9. DMBabe

    DMBabe Supporting Member

    After years of a principal cornet with an ego, we at last have one with talent to match!!:clap: :woo
  10. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    That's nice.
  11. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Wow, that's some extreme opinion you have their grandad. I have seen this in many championship section bands, and also when I was a player on principal cornet (admittedly only in 2nd section bands), I regularly and willingly let several young up and coming cornet players take the solo lines... it gives them some good experience and I see nothing wrong in so doing.

    In both instances, the younger players didn't want the end chair, as they felt they were not ready. I can think of no better way to gain experience than to give some members who have a better sound than I had a solo to play on the contest stage.

    To make comments such as the ones you have I consider a tad extreme, and also very unfair to the PC's you allude to. You do not have the facts of the specific situations, and why I might ask, does it seem to bother you so much?
  12. 4thmandown

    4thmandown Member

    Sounds like he'd have been perfect for James Cook, Oceans or Voyage of Discovery through!
  13. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    Dont forget to call Admiral!!!
  14. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    Pretty generalised opinion of principal cornets you have there, some of us are there because that's where the band thinks we should sit while we would much rather sit somewhere else less exposed.

    I for one have never been comfortable on the end chair, I know my limitations (which are too numerous to mention), and my tendancy towards nervousness and don't believe I should sit where I do because of that, however no one else wants it, I'd rather do it than not play at all, I do it for the band because I think they're the best bunch of mates I could have, and I I'm in the happy situation now where we have a full band, a very capable front row and I'm able to ease off sometimes to save my lip for the quiet or solo bits or parts that need all four of us going for it.

    To say those that rest and leave it to others are prima-donna's is in most cases, in my mind, perhaps a little blinkered.
  15. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    Ive sat principal cornet of 2 bands, Flixton band 3rd sec when i was 18 and holme silver (briefly) 1st sec about a yr ago.

    Quite honestly my tonguing is atrotious to say the least, its better than it used to be but because i have a brace on the back of my teeth i find it very difficult to double and triple, i can do it but its not very clear and sounds a bit 'fluffy', i imagine this will be resolved when it gets taken off.

    My point is that i had different strengths which led the bands to wanting me to sit on that seat. I joined flixton badn on 3rd cornet, cos i was under no illusions that i could play everything and the top 2 cornets at the time were from the rncm and were brilliant players. Eventually they and the conductor started giving me little bits of solos to do until i was eventually moved onto the seat with one of them as my bumper up. He did the technical stuff I did the slow melody stuff. And it was the same at Holme silver, the conducter knew my strengths so 'used' me for them then if there was something technical that i really struggled with it would get moved onto someone with a better tongue! He did exactly the same at the next band we went to when i moved onto flugel.

    Just cos people cant triple tongue it doesnt mean their strengths dont outweigh their weaknesses!

    (sorry about the rant there:redface: )
  16. on_castors

    on_castors Member

    I know of a 2nd man down who is by a fair margin the better cornet player, and everyone knows it, but he wants to enjoy his playing and not have the stress of the end seat, even though in practice he spends a fair bit of his time in the leading role! It may well all be psychological, but it works for him, and for the nominal Principal, and for the band.
  17. In my case it's definitely ego... :tongue:

  18. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    Whilst there is no doubt the kudos of sitting in the end chair, its a team effort and if the 3rd / 4th man downs style / sound suits the passage best, then use it!

    Also some people have the ability but prefer not to sat on the end and to maintain their confidence prefer to have the 2nd man down sat on the end!
  19. Ipswich trom

    Ipswich trom Member

    Does it say on the part "to be played by principal"? No, it says solo so what does it matter who plays it.
    The best triple tongueing cornet player in our band is on 3rd cornet so watch out in James Cook this saturday lol!
  20. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    As someone mentioned earlier the "Principal" leads the section, has final say on phrasing etc etc....

    In the big band era the Lead trumpet did just that he led the section played the important ballads/tunes the 2nd trumpet was usually the Jazz player , 3rd player usually did a mix of jobs and the 4th was the high note/screamer......maynard ferguson always stated he was the best 4th trumpet Jimmy dorsey's band ever had !!

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