Wanting to improve playing, assistance with possible options.

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Phil3822, Dec 4, 2014.

  1. Phil3822

    Phil3822 Member

    Hi all, looking for some advice. I play 3rd Cornet in a local Brass band and have been playing for probably coming up to 7 months as a comeback player. I play in the training band plus the main band. I have also been having occasional lessons with the bands MD.

    I have been asked if I would like to join another brass band and also have the option to join a local orchestra which includes training.

    I only have limited time in the evenings, I practice at home. I am not sure if to increase my commitment to lessons weekly while also attending my current main bands weekly rehearsals like now, or join a second band therefore increasing my ensemble playing to twice a week.

    I am committed to remaining with my current band but just looking at what I can do further. The Orchestra is less appealing as it is mostly filled with young children for my level although I am remaining open minded.

    Any help or thoughts welcome.
  2. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    Take as many opportunities to play as you can, and also have a lesson once a month with a good pro teacher will then give you enough to work on between lessons....the most important thing is that you enjoy your music making!
  3. KenIrvin

    KenIrvin Member

    I found the best way to improve is to play with a senior band as this is usually more challenging. If you are short on time drop the training band as this is probably well in your comfort zone. I practice twice a week which helps keep up my playing, so joining the second band will probably help you (assuming if there is no conflict with engagements).
  4. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    I second what Vegasbound above said.

    Weekly lessons are fine for children in that it keeps them focused (maybe), and the routine adds both urgency to the need to practice (sometimes) and a structure for progress (hopefully). For an adult it's all different, I like lessons to be well spaced appart and well prepared for.

    Dropping the training band is likely to be sensible now that you're more established. I gain a great deal from visiting other bands (sight reading practice, different styles of music, different conducting style and feedback, etc.) so, if you can manage it, joining another could be sensible.

    IMHO Orchestral playing has its place (and I hope to do some eventually) but might not be best use of your resources. IMHO Brass Ensemble work (rather than Orchestra) is the way to go if you like the classical stuff.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2014
  5. Phil3822

    Phil3822 Member

    Hi all, thanks for the replies. I am liking the sounds of occasional lessons. I am keen on joining the second hand the more I think it, conflict on engagements could be an issue but something I will have to manage. I am fortunate in this area as we have 6+ bands all within 30 minutes drive and they all welcome guest players so that could be a way of improving confidence and sight reading on occasion. I could always play in occasional engagements if they wanted me. Only 2 of the 6+ in this area are competition bands so would probably leave them alone.

    I appreciate the advice, many thanks.
  6. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    Not sure whether I'd skip the contesting bands - standard is often higher and most will welcome you even if you're not interested in (or up to standard for) contesting.

    Try them and see what you like the most - if you're open about your commitments (first band first with clashes, for example) you're extremely unlikely to encounter any ill will.
  7. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    Change to Baritone, you will get away with murder ! :cool:
  8. Phil3822

    Phil3822 Member

    Thanks all for the replies. I will certainly make contact with joining in with another band. Baritone?! Funny really as someone mentioned that to me the other day. Is the Baritone viewed as an easier part or something? I thought third cornet would have been.
  9. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    I think Ian's reply was 'in jest'. If you have the lip for it then playing the (Bb) Cornet will give you the widest variety of suitable seats (over time principle, tuti, rep, 2nd and 3rd) so, IMHO, it's a good place for you to stay. If it isn't brocken don't fix it.

    AFAIK 2nd Baritone is an OK place to be for a begineer but 1st is not an easy chair.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
  10. Phil3822

    Phil3822 Member

    lol, no intention of changing at all. Just wondered why I often hear baritone jibes. I take it tuti is like front row cornet?
  11. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    Everyone knows it, Baritone is the easiest instrument to play
  12. GordonH

    GordonH Active Member

    Don't practice repertoire. Practice exercises that improve the skills you need to be able to play repertoire.
  13. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    Not a good idea to upset the horn (tenor or baritone) players so I'd distance myself from any jibes. AFAIK Ian is down as a Baritone (though I suspect he plays Euphonium to) and the rest I leave to your observation - typically he adds a bit of something funny.

    I'm no expert on Cornets but the Principle Cornet has the corner chair (nearest the audience) and (I believe that) the others on that front row are Tuti Cornets (Tuti meaning together). Deputy Principle sits next to the Principle. I think all the front row play the same music (unless a line is split in pitch or there is a Solo), but others are much better placed to give you the actual facts - I'm at the other side of the band attempting to play the Trombone.

    Sadly Gordon is right about exercises to develop skills. I find exercises boring, if you do too then I suggest that like me you play something enjoyable between every exercise - a mix of work and fun get's me to practice.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
  14. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Absolutely; and remember, if you sound good when you're practising, you're practising the wrong things ...
  15. Phil3822

    Phil3822 Member

    Ah, looks like I am doing things wrongly then. I practice repertoire and often fall into practicing even once reasonably good.

    Are there any good practice exercise resources that can be suggested. I have many weak points but in particular when sight reading am slow plus pitch is an occasional problem when playing in a group. Many other faults but these ones stick out more...

    Again, as before the advice is helpful.
  16. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    I just want to know what AFAIK means !
  17. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    AFAIK. As Far As I Know, it means, well yep as far as I know. :D

    Can't offer any more than has been said, you did say the MD was giving occasional lessons which will be helpful no doubt. Other than that, paid for lessons with a reputably good teacher. Worked for me when I was playing!
  18. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    Tutti is Italian for 'all' or 'together'
  19. KenIrvin

    KenIrvin Member

    I don't agree, I think third cornet is one of the most challenging positions; hardly any tune and lots of counting in the rest periods. Why we put beginners in this position I do not know as they so easily lose concentration and get lost. I suppose some say it does not matter as the part is not missed.
  20. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    I agree, umchucks and endless bars of doing nothing require a very particular talent.