Stuck in a rut

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by davejenkins, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. davejenkins

    davejenkins Member


    Does anyone have any suggestions how you get out of that rut, where you join a band, and because someone's been there longer than you, not necessarily any better, they get the 1st seat, and you end up playing the off-beats on 2nd? Can you really prove yourself playing a 2nd part, and would the conductor ever swap seats around or at least share the 1st from piece to piece? I'm a trombonist, to give this a little context.

  2. when i played solo barri/ 2nd euph, i allways shaird parts with the person next to me. it helps the 2nd player improve and if the solo chair isnt there youve already seen some of the music so u can put it in, do i make any sence?? lol, any way what im trying to say is: u should get to play the solo part at times for exsperance, if your not then id look for another band!!
  3. _si

    _si Member

    This is a tricky one. To be honest i never remember anyone sharing solos at my previous bands, the top player in each section got the solos.
    How does a conductor move improving players up the pecking order without causing upset to the demoted player/players? ive always wondered that myself?
  4. yoda

    yoda Member

    All parts are important in a band. If there was no need for 2nd this and 3rd that then there wouldn't be parts written for it.........

    See yourself as part of the ensemble, or part of the team, which is in fact, what you are. You are a valued member of your band. It is such a help to any ensemble to have really good players on every part. I imagine the conductor of your band is very happy to have such a strong player on that seat. It can only benefit the section and the ensemble, by having you there.

    And as started above, if it's not right, leave and find somewhere which does feel right.
  5. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I seem to recall a BB article a little while back - I think by Chris Thomas of Cory's - in which he stressed that it is often the second player in a trombone section that makes or breaks the team. There is definitely an art in being in the middle of a three or four man section, and maybe you could concentrate on the team-work aspects, rather than worrying too much about the solos.

    Having said that, I know from experience how disheartening it can be when you don't get the opportunities coming your way: when I joined the Coldstream those of us who were not in the A band, doing most of the paid work, would be found with the band Sergeant Major playing Wagner & Auber overtures etc, and when you were suddenly called upon to step up, then you were often sight-reading some pretty tricky stuff!
  6. The Wherryman

    The Wherryman Active Member

    Hi, Dave, welcome to tMP.

    I go with yoda on this one. In its own way, 2nd trom is as important as 1st trom, just not as noticable, perhaps. If you didn't play your part as it should be played, the chord structure and overall sound would be detrimentally affected. If all the 'sub-parts' were missing, what a thin band sound there would be.

    Presumably, you joined the band as 2nd trom because that was the seat that was vacant. If, outwardly, you seem to be happy in that position and there is not a huge difference, ability-wise, between you and the 1st, your MD might well just let you get on with it and give his attention to other areas of the band that need looking at.

    What is important, though, is that you get your head round it, otherwise you'll end up being unhappy with your situation and/or band. Speak to your No.1 and the MD and you might find they are receptive to the idea of you taking on some of the 1st parts. Or it might be that they don't share your opinion of your own capabilities.

    If talking it through doesn't resolve it to your satisfaction, it might be time to be looking for a solo seat elsewhere.
  7. John_D

    John_D Member

    Does your MD decide on all the music that is played,or are they open to suggestions? Could you suggest a solo that you would like to have a go at? I know of a few bands where solos are played by people not sitting on corner seats.
  8. euphojim

    euphojim Member

    Moving players has got to be the conductor's decision and it is often not an easy one because, as others have said, one person's promotion is another's demotion. If your 1st Trom player knows you are better, then it is a shame that he/she is not recognising this by giving you some of the solo work or even suggesting that you swap places.

    As a player on Solo Euph several years ago, I was faced with a new recruit who was much younger and far better than me and I was happy to move aside for him, returning to the top chair when he moved on to greater things as I suspected he would.

    But I now spend most of my time stick-wagging and appreciate the problems that moving players can cause, even if approached sensitively. My aim is to make the best band possible out of the players I have and sometimes that means leaving a long-standing player, who is maybe past his best, in a top chair for longer than we would in an ideal world.
  9. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    Firstly, as has been mentioned, the 2nd trombone makes the section. As the trombone section tends to be quite separate from the conical instruments in the rest of the band, it is vital that the trombone section can act as a full and well rounded ensemble in isolation. Therefore, the ability of the 2nd trombone to balance and bring together the egomaniacs on either side with intelligent, quality playing is vital. If you're doing that job very well, your conductor will notice, as it's usually very obvious.

    Secondly, if your second trombone parts are all boring off-beats, you need to talk to your band about buying some decent music. There's plenty out there with good, interesting stuff for 2nd trom. You could also suggest you get out a trio for the section.

    Finally, if you're doing a good job on 2nd, your 1st player should be eternally grateful. A good 2nd makes life a million times easier for the guy on 1st.
  10. flugelgal

    flugelgal Active Member

    Corrected ;-).

    I do agree, though, that the person in the end chair in any section is only as good as the people backing them up. One strong soloist will sound really rough without a good section there, so even if you feel that you're a stronger player, your sense of teamwork should keep you happy enough by doing a good job on the lower parts imho!
  11. Zappa

    Zappa Member

    Agree ... With the full post actually (and bravo on stepping down at that point in your playing).
  12. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    There is nothing as impressive sound wise as an equally Ballanced ( Sound Wise ) Trom section, It can be a real lift and is something you don't often get. weak ness in 2nd Trom can be a problem so If you'r playing as Strongly as the 1st Player your condutor will be noticing, and I'm sure he would be happy about that. Maybe a Chat about playng 1st Trom on Relief occasions when the 1st player is away and bringing in a 2nd as a relief player. Might let your conductor know of your ambitions if he doesn't know already
  13. hicks

    hicks Member

    Totally agree with the previous comments. Sitting in the middle means I can hear both players equally well on either side. It's a pleasure to be part of a nice balanced sound from the section, and each player has an important role to play in that.
  14. Martin

    Martin Member

    I know I am talking about horns (but still a three part section). I agree with comments already made about approaching your MD for more exposure. Our MD spreads the exposure between us a lot of the time and when the Solo Horn is not there, I am encouraged to step up. Generally, I quite enjoy playing 'piggy in the middle' and there is something to be said for being in that position.:)

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