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sugarandspice
13.03.2006, 15:51
I Seem to have spent the entire weekend with my band, and we ended up having a lenghtly dicussion as to who uses a baton when conducting. Our Conductor doesn't anymore (the main reason behind it being that he lost his!) and we figured there must be other conductors out there that just use there hands.

So what does yours do?!

brasscrest
13.03.2006, 16:07
Conductors of both the bands I'm curently playing in use a baton.

When I conduct, I do not. I find that visibility doesn't suffer in a a group as small as a brass band (unless the lighting is really bad or the setup is not standard). And I think I can be much more expressive when I'm not concerned with holding onto the stick. Might also be that I learned most of my conducting from my father, who never used a baton.

The other son
13.03.2006, 16:07
<insert amusing phallus oriented annecdote here>


In all seriousness, practically all the conductors that have conducted bands I've been in have used their batons almost all the time.

Obviously when someone's clapping a rhythm or something, then there'd be a slight difficulty in holding it.

HBB
13.03.2006, 16:15
I don't really know, don't tend to watch the conductor!!

The other son
13.03.2006, 16:21
...have you ever tried playing Bb bass?

Chris Hicks
13.03.2006, 16:27
Ian Holmes isn't for the areas with us!
And when Rhod used to conduct us he did but not in slow/expressive parts!
Doesn't any difference to me either way

Dave Payn
13.03.2006, 16:34
Depends on the experience of the players and/or the piece or section of music. I tend not to use a baton for conducting hymns. I prefer attempting the 'choral' approach of using my hands to indicate phrases and phrase breaks, like imagining a choir singing the words, where the phrase breaks may differ from verse to verse. I may use use a baton if I want (but not necessarily succeed!) my direction to be more marked, or if specifically requested by my current band (many of whom are relatively inexperienced and sometimes may want a more defined direction)

Key2207
13.03.2006, 16:40
I was actually discussing a few weeks ago which conductors I knew used a baton and which didn't. I never really noticed if our conductor, Adie used his but last week I noticed he did.

Thirteen Ball
13.03.2006, 17:25
Our current chap, Mr Wadsworth, uses a baton all the time. Usually to tap on his stand at regular intervals to try and get us all playing together!!

It's a good job he does too, from my point of view at least. Because he's not the tallest chap and tends to use a tall typing chair at band practice, from where I sit he dissapears almost completely behind the solo horn, except for his stick!

ploughboy
13.03.2006, 17:33
I use a stick except for slow or smooth moments when i want to emlutate the kind of sound i'm looking.

Geoff Whitham told me in a rehearsal that most players watch with a Third eye, so if your smooth there's more chance the sound will be!! Good advice I still think!

GJacko
13.03.2006, 17:33
Our current chap, Mr Wadsworth, uses a baton all the time. Usually to tap on his stand at regular intervals to try and get us all playing together!!

It's a good job he does too, from my point of view at least. Because he's not the tallest chap and tends to use a tall typing chair at band practice, from where I sit he dissapears almost completely behind the solo horn, except for his stick!
Ahhh yes. My baton is also frequently heard tapping on the stand. I'd be lost without it. (and so would the band sometimes??) Also enhances the percussion section.

I use a lightweight translucent one, with luminous properties. Picked it up at the Weston contest a couple of years ago when I lost my original!!

jingleram
13.03.2006, 17:40
All of the conductors of my bands use batons, and I do too. I find it is easier to give a clearer beat. When i am rehearsing the band, I tend to use the baton when it is the whole band, but only use hands when rehearsing sections of the band - not sure why!

brasscrest
13.03.2006, 18:07
Because he's not the tallest chap and tends to use a tall typing chair at band practice, from where I sit he dissapears almost completely behind the solo horn, except for his stick!

This sort of mystifies me - does he conduct with the stick over his head? I'm not a particularly tall person either, but if someone could see a stick in my right hand they could also see my right hand itself. If someone's having issues seeing then the conductor needs to stand on a box!

Also, if you can't see both of the conductor's hands you're only getting half the story.

lewis
13.03.2006, 18:54
Hmmmm.... I wonder whether there is an element of conductors trying to make themselves feel more important???

Just thought I'd throw that one into the pot :) ;) :)

tinytimp
13.03.2006, 18:59
The conductors in both brass and wind bands I'm in use batons. The uni orchestra conductor has a really strange quirk - he uses a baton for the orhchestra but when we perform works with the choir and needs to conduct them specifically, he'll put down the baton to use just his hands then picks it back up again! Not that it often makes a difference, the beats are all circular anyway so it doesn't matter if we can see or not...

brasscrest
13.03.2006, 19:06
when we perform works with the choir and needs to conduct them specifically, he'll put down the baton to use just his hands then picks it back up again!

Not so odd - choral conductors rarely use a baton. Choral conducting is in many ways a completely different animal from instrumental conducting.


I wonder whether there is an element of conductors trying to make themselves feel more important???


Not sure I follow - do you mean they feel more important when using a stick?

lewis
13.03.2006, 19:20
Not sure I follow - do you mean they feel more important when using a stick?

:tup

ian perks
13.03.2006, 19:24
Ours always does

Jan H
13.03.2006, 19:36
A couple of times, I've played in wind band under a conductor that wasn't using a baton, and I found it very confusing. especially when you're sitting on the third row, or on the sides.

The strangest thing I've ever seen was Jouke Hoekstra, the conductor of the Frysk Fanfare Orchestra, one of my band's competitors at the WMC Kerkrade contest last year. He was conducting with a pen!

yonhee
13.03.2006, 19:45
Current band conductor does use a baton and so did the last one. School windband conductor does if he isn't playing piano then he just waves his hands about every now and then. Winband conductor use hands and occasionally a pencil or his trombone...

Charmed
13.03.2006, 20:19
Yes - except when he throws it! :biggrin:

Leggy
13.03.2006, 22:05
Our resi has never used a baton to my knowledge, and he's really easy to follow. Our professional MD does to a certain extent, but it's more in a sort of "Ready - GO!" way if you see what I mean, a lot of the time he just sort of dances about in front of us in the hope that we'll interpret what he wants!
I know of a certain conductor who used his baton to tap on the stand, then speed up throughout and tell you that you were behind the beat.... Then again this same conductor (of whom we're all very fond by the way) would demonstrate how easy any parts people were struggling with were, by picking up his pencil, "playing" the part on the pencil and saying "Well it's easy, why can't you play that??" My mother who sat next to me pointed out very loudly that anyone could play a part by pretending to play on a pencil.
Such were the highlights of 2nd section banding in the North East!

madandcrazytromboneguy
13.03.2006, 22:14
i tend to use the baton coz if i dont, i look like im doing martial arts chops all over the place lol

on a serious note, i'd say that a baton can make a beat clearer, but not using the baton can sometimes allow an MD to make more expression in music, especially slow tempo music.

anyone agree or disagree with these points?

Just Crazy
13.03.2006, 22:16
Yes - except when he throws it! :biggrin:

Same with ours but by accident maybe i should play a different instrument as it always lands in the horn section.

Our new conductor always does.

matti_raz
13.03.2006, 22:26
The baton is an extension of the arm.... so me being short a55 - Yes I do!!!!

Dawnys_flug
13.03.2006, 22:28
Ours varies between baton, hands and drum stick! :D

Dave Payn
14.03.2006, 02:56
Still, there's been a couple of times when I've let our band play on without me conducting them at all only for them to play better than when I was conducting them! ;)

Gits :) :)

GingerMaestro
14.03.2006, 09:10
I have played under many conductor and like most of you they use a baton for most of the time but not in slow or flowing passages of music

Although there are a few conductors who I wish now had never even picked up a baton unless to poke out thier own eyes:eek:

Liz Loftus
14.03.2006, 09:37
Our conductor certainly uses a baton. Don't know if any of you saw a program on TV think it was last year. It showed a baton being removed from someones hand. Yes that was our conductor :oops: . Don't know how it got there and it hasn't stopped him using one.

GingerMaestro
14.03.2006, 10:08
Our conductor certainly uses a baton. Don't know if any of you saw a program on TV think it was last year. It showed a baton being removed from someones hand. Yes that was our conductor :oops: . Don't know how it got there and it hasn't stopped him using one.

I remember that neverdid find out if the baton recovered:biggrin:

andywooler
14.03.2006, 14:23
I do often discard the baton for the slower moments - for example, with the work we are using at the Hove contest, I am tending not to use the baton in the whole of the middle section as it enables me to drag some quality moments out of the few people who are playing at that point.

chizzum
14.03.2006, 15:49
one of my conductors only uses his stick when he relises that nobody is watching him!

a very flat b
14.03.2006, 16:09
...have you ever tried playing Bb bass?

Whats wrong with playing BBb bass, we sit at the back for a reason you know:rolleyes:

Anyway back to the thread JK uses one - mind he nearly had his own eye out with it on Sunday!!!!!!!!

Trumpet Dave
14.03.2006, 20:14
I have a conductor that uses his baton but doesn't really wave it to control the band. He sort of keeps flicking it in circles and it is so off putting when you can see one beat but hear another. You have to go along with the beat you can hear because its a youth band and some people dont waych at all!

I have another teacher that starts the rehersal with his baton but by the end its on the stand and he's using a pencil! Why?

Crazysop
14.03.2006, 21:30
ours uses his baton mainly. I must say i dont mind either way if conductors choose to use their hands or a stick, as long as they arn't doing seamless windmills with vague beats!