where did u learn to conduct? (and how)

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by kate_the_horn, Oct 4, 2004.

  1. kate_the_horn

    kate_the_horn New Member

    to all you conductors out there.
    im very interested in conducting, and have been practicing loads, but all ive got is a book! (and obv. a baton)

    where did u start?
    and haveu any tips for the beginning conductor?

    kell x
  2. The Cornet King

    The Cornet King Active Member

    Now i conduct a junior band i can add to this topic.

    I learnt the 'technique' as it were, from all the conductors i've played under (including tMP's own JohnFlugel and Ploughboy ;) ) and simply from watching how the best ones (i.e David King, Childs Bros) do it.

    Just adopt your own style, practice reading scores and wagging at the same time ( i think the most important thing is not to be buried head in score, as i found i was at first). Once you get practiced and get into it, tis great fun.

    Good luck.
  3. drummerboy

    drummerboy Member

    Try practising in front of a mirror. You'll feel stupid to start with, but it's the best way to practise without having a band at your disposal! You'll then be able to see for yourself what's clear (and not!) about your stick technique if nothing else.
  4. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    From the beginning ;-)

    hehe, ermmm, I started by watching all the MDs I played under like a hawk and took everything in... best way to learn is from watching and immitating (especially, of course, from the top conductors!)
    Of course, it's different conducting to yaself in a mirror with a recording then actually conducting the band itself....

    Best way is to just do it.... don't rely on the music all the time.... communication with the band is essential as well as working on the technique; also confidence is important....
    ie: dont conduct in yaself, to yaself with ya head glued into the score... get the band involved; communication: LOOKING at the players; conduct like you want the piece played. (PRACTICE all of these things in the mirror - or where ever.... pretend the band is in front of you).... Planning the rehearsal and music is extremly top priority....

    If you think about all these factors, and there's more I'm sure, then you can't go wrong really ;-)
    Good luck!
  5. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    ^everything she said :)

    If you can, try to arrange to actually conduct a group (needn't be a full band, just a small group will do), with an experienced conductor watching. If you have something that only has a small number of parts it's a little easier to follow the score when you're starting out.

    The biggest problems I had when learning were being too much in the score and not listening to the group, not listening to the group as a whole (focusing too much on particular lines and not to the overall sound), and keeping an even tempo. I practiced with a metronome making sure that my beat patterns didn't have a natural delay anywhere (for example, in a four-beat pattern I had a tendency to take too long between beats two and three, and rush between three and four).
  6. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    A suggestion I'd make to add to all the good advice you have already been given is to learn the music. I hope that word didn't get caught by the bleeper. Some people think it's a dirty word so I'll do it again:

    L E A R N

    the music until you can feel how it goes and how you want it to go. You have got to feel the music so that you can communicate that feeling to your players. Use the directions in the score to help you. Start with something simple that you like. Once you get more experienced then you can go for the hard stuff.

    Be warned though, it can take over your life and you can be totally possessed by it. Just ask Dave Payn.

  7. kate_the_horn

    kate_the_horn New Member

    thanks guys!

    all ure help has been greatfully recieved!

    ill be conducting top section one day!!

    kell x
  8. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Echoing the majority of what's been said already. All the same, just as instrumentalists should practice (I say that not as a 'lecture' but that's what we should do whether I've been true to that or not!) to keep our standards, for me personally, the same goes for conductors. It's very easy to get into bad habits even if you've rid yourself of them before! I still regularly practice in front of a mirror even though I no longer use a baton to try and make sure that the point of each of my beat is clear, and that I can clearly indicate where the next beats coming from/going to.

    Still cr@p, though.... ;-) :)
  9. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Actually, thinking about this, there are a lot of other factos to consider before embarking upon the 'lonely road' (and believe me, it can be lonely!) of conducting, in my own experience. I could go into 'working knowledge of theory and harmony' and 'knowing one's way round a score' etc. but I guess different people will have different views! ;-)
  10. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member


    If he's cr@p, I'd hate think how you'd describe the innumerable conductors of less talent than the eponymous one.

    Will the Conductor (who will freely own up that DP was, and is, the single conductor who's technique he tries to emulate.)
  11. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    I'd echo that for sure...
    I was hmmming away and conducting to myself after rehearsal this morning in uni....

    and I always conduct to the CDs in my car everywhere I go.... etc etc etc....
  12. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    * Memo to self: keep clear of Naomi when she's driving - unless she's found a way to conduct with both hands on the steering wheel! *
  13. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

    Blimey Naomi!
    Do you manage to conduct AND put the make up on when you drive as well? :shock: :shock:
  14. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Yup, Will's right. I'm a conductor and although in a long term relationship, still technically single! :) (Thank you Will! :))

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