Soprano players blues

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by chris brookes, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. chris brookes

    chris brookes New Member

    After a rather disastrous evenings rehearsal, where terms such as intonation, pitching & sound may as well of been uttered in some far off language.
    I started to ponder as to how many other players experience the same phenomena, where no matter how hard one tries, nothing at all goes right.

    v Middle C was as far out of reach as a top D.
    v The sound well that’s best left unsaid.
    v The positioning of the mouthpiece and the valves of the instrument seemed foreign.

    But the most frustrating thing of all was. “Why did the guy opposite, look so capable and sound so good “.
  2. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    Don't dwell on it, chalk it up as a bad one... move on...
  3. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    All i do even i play baritone is get out the Hynm tune book(at home next day) and play some hynm tunes forget about the piece /test piece you are playing
  4. Crazysop

    Crazysop Member

    Try and maintain a positive mental attitude, you're bound to have bad days/nights, I know I certainly do.
    I try not to dwell on the bad days because if I do it can spill over into a bad week, couple of weeks.
    Positive mental attitude, if you tell yourself you can, you will!!!
  5. Oh yes get it all the time... I am rubbish and don't claim to be anything else.
    I normally get a rubbish lip the day after having a few beers...

    Onto your point... the thing that was probably happening is that you knocked a couple of notes over and became concious of it then started to try too hard thus making you tense up and not relaxed which you should be. So if you find it not going so right... ask yourself if your trying too hard. Could be a factor.

    At the end of the day we all make mistakes.. if we didn't we'd all be in the best bands in the world. After all it's a hobby and we do it to enjoy it so don't beat yourself up about it... just relax and enjoy making the music with your mates.

  6. David Sheedy

    David Sheedy Member

    I pretty much agree with everyone else, most other players can hide having a bad day but us sop players can't, just forget about it, move on and just chalk it up to experience........ and if in doubt just tell the MD that you are having to support the front row too much so they should give you more chance to rest for the bits more suited for sop
  7. Sop_Or_Bass?

    Sop_Or_Bass? Member

    I'll let you know after tomorrow's contest :)

    Seriously though - to play Sop you have to get pretty thick skinned, look at alternative fingerings/triggers for intonation, remind the MD that the principle cornet (or others) may actually be out of tune (shock horror!) and not just be the Sop;-) Work with the front row for them to play as much as the parts (or just stop) and most importantly enjoy it :)

    If you have a bad night/performance - just put it aside and move on to the next.

    Hope that helps
  8. Don't be too despondant, we all have off days, some of us have quite a few! Sop playing is all about mind set and believing you can do it. Ignore the bloke opposite he would propably make a truly horrible noise. If in doubt wash your cornet out, might not make any real difference but you can tell yourself how much easier it blows then!
    Good luck
  9. FlugelD

    FlugelD Member

    Been on sop, had that rehearsal, got over it. (But was moved off sop. after the contest 'performance' :oops:)

    Been on Flugel 12 years now (different band!), had that rehearsal - and concert! - but still plugging away on flug (which suits me better than sop... ;))

    On sop, I was really toiling - c*** range, squeaky sound, semi-permanent headaches: not cut out to play sop.

    On flug, I've had the odd disaster, be it rehearsal or (shudder!) concert - but at the end of the day, MD and band haven't demanded my head on a platter, they've accepted it was a bad day - life goes on :) - and in the case of the concert, they thought I'd hit a bum note or two, when I felt that I'd only got one or two right. :oops:

    Be critical of your own playing, but not hyper-critical. Seek feedback and advice from those you trust (MD or players), and try to act on it. But, until and unless you're offered a switch to 2nd bari or 3rd Eb bass (I've done both...) be confident that you're the best player in the band for your current seat - and enjoy! :)
  10. Squeaker

    Squeaker Member

    Let's be honest, Sop IS the hardest instrument to play in the band!! :clap: Everybody has a bad day on any instrument, the only difference is that mistakes on Sop very rarely go un-noticed! I've always thought of it as like a goalkeeper in football. Keeper either saves a goal, or let's one in. A sop player either hits the top C (for example), or misses it! You will rarely hear a sop player criticise another, it's normally people who wouldn't even dare attempt to play sop, for we are a "special" breed! :rolleyes:
    My only advice for doing well on it is working very hard at it. I practice everyday and push myself to get better. I find the bad days rarely happen as long as I'm on top of what I'm doing!
    Give it a try. :tup
  11. Rambo Chick

    Rambo Chick Member

    Hi I'm suffering from bad days at the moment. Yesterday I picked up my mouthpiece and couldn't even buzz! Today I was rehearsing and my co-ordination/tonguing/intonation was SHOCKING!!! Plus it was really hard work and the more I tried the worse it got. These days can happen and it may even be a few at a time. I think your lips are like yourself. Sometimes you just need a holiday, and so do your lips!

    But the thing is, it WILL pass. Take all the pressure off yourself and just practise something easy and where you don't have to think too much. Long low notes, tootling away. Don't try going to high; stick to notes below middle C or even middle G. You could also try pedal notes (not totally familiar with how this works on a sop!) but low and grunty can really relax your chops.

    Give it a few days (if you can) doing lower stuff and chill out. You'll be back on top 'singing' away and your lip muscles will hopefully be feeling recovered and you'll be feeling much more comfortable.

    Hope this helps and good luck!
  12. Rambo Chick

    Rambo Chick Member

    P.S. I should've added that I'm actually on p. cornet in my band, not flugel as my avatar says! (so I know playing cornet, esp sop can be challenging because of the resistance of the instrument)
  13. Valvecap

    Valvecap Member

    Yeh as has already been said, Sop is a mad persons instrument - got to be crazy to play it - your either a genius or a numpty - usually there is very little in between - and it changes day to day - tuesday this week, I played crackin, friday rehearsal played like a bag o spanners. Move on - good players dont turn bad over night. Positive mental attitude! - whats the adage.... "whether you think you can or you think you cant... your probably right"
  14. waynefiler

    waynefiler Member

    you're not alone.

    I lost my confidence after the areas last week, I split a cracker of a note on stage in Bradford and was gutted. I contemplated giving up sop and trying something easier like percussion.

    I've heard people refer to the soprano as 'the suicide chair'. As in an earlier post, nothing we do goes unheard, and I agree with them whole heartedly.

    My first rehearsal back after areas our conductor wasn't there so had a dep in, a sop player! Confidence low, I thought, 'keep things safe, no heroics'. it took half an hour before playing as normal and the usual taking bits and bobs up the octave, playing higher notes than writen to start appearing.

    We are a special breed of player, no doubt about it. we are the gods of the band, don't let anyone, especially top cornets tell you otherwise. Every sop player in the land, from the dawn of time to the ever stretching future will sympathsize with you.

    We have our bad days, so does everyone else. Just enjoy the sound you're making with your band
    Get the beast out it's case and sing over the band as we're intended to do. If you cant play above a D, so what. Just nail it in the next rehearsal.

    Get the beast out it's case, and sing over the band as we're intended to do.

    (*rant over* though I somewhat feel Nimrod should be playing in the background)
  15. jockinafrock

    jockinafrock Active Member

    Hats off to all Sop players - talk about being in the limelight; and not always for all the right reasons. For a sop player especially to keep going thru' all the good and bad times requires somewhat of an 'indomitable spirit' IMHO... :clap:
  16. Crazysop

    Crazysop Member

    Never heard this saying before, isn't it just!
    We must all be crackers!
  17. halsasaurus

    halsasaurus Member

    Hang on a minute. I have made 2nd bari my preferred seat. What is your point?
  18. FlugelD

    FlugelD Member

    A move from a hard-working but exposed position to an equally hard-working but relatively unexposed position, of course! ;)
  19. Squeaker

    Squeaker Member

    Erm, a harder working position than Soprano doesn't exist!!! :mad:
  20. FlugelD

    FlugelD Member

    ... because we all work hard, don't we? ;)