Is it me? Awkward Band Situation

ttf_Jhereg
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Is it me? Awkward Band Situation

Post by ttf_Jhereg » Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:45 am

I was really excited a few weeks ago to be offered my first gig in Kansas City. It's with a Phil Collins tribute band. We had a meeting two weeks ago to discuss how the band will operate, what kinds of venues we'll play, what the staging will be like, etc. They've got the audio parts separated out in finale, and staging already planned. Seems legit.

But during the meeting, nothing was said about charts for the horns. So I asked about it in front of the whole group. "Are parts going to be provided, or is that up to us?" I thought this was a reasonable question.

We got a really vague, confusing response. There are plans to provide each of us tracks to rehearse with, but as for written parts the answer seemed to be "We don't know".

Last night in our group chat, we got a message from the leader saying he wants our first rehearsal to be on July 30th, and that we'd run five songs (did not say which ones). I asked again whether any charts would be provided, or if we were on our own for that. It was an active chat with several band members watching the conversation. It has been almost twelve hours and no response from anyone.

The silence I'm getting in response to what I thought was a simple yes or no question is really bothering me. Am I doing something wrong here? Is it unprofessional or amateur of me to be asking about charts? I'm not even asking FOR charts, I just want to know if I need to be putting them together myself, especially if there's a rehearsal in a few weeks. Some of the songs I could certainly learn by ear, but there are some that I'd definitely need a chart for, like "Hang In Long Enough". If you've heard that song I think you'll agree that it's not unreasonable to want it written out.

Could someone please tell me, have I committed some faux pas here? Is there some common professional policy among tribute bands that I'm missing? Or should I be concerned about how the leaders of this group are handling my question?
ttf_BGuttman
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Is it me? Awkward Band Situation

Post by ttf_BGuttman » Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:50 am

Is this a forming band?  Maybe the leaders are just as at sea as you are.

I think your question was valid.  If you have to transcribe parts to learn them you should know.

If they are so disorganized as to not know anything about the operation of a band, maybe it's best to bow out.

ttf_harrison.t.reed
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Is it me? Awkward Band Situation

Post by ttf_harrison.t.reed » Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:52 am

I always ask for music ahead of time. No matter what the group is. Could be that the answer is to bring my real book (fair enough) or they'll put the parts up on drop box.

I imagine you'd want to go to the first rehearsal prepared. Not unreasonable!
ttf_slide advantage
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Is it me? Awkward Band Situation

Post by ttf_slide advantage » Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:25 am

Suggestion: If you do stay in this band and you or your horn section mates write horn parts, protect them. Do not leave them with the bandleader unless arrangements were made to be paid for your efforts.

There are countless situations in which a horn section gets canned yet the leader keeps the horn books. Not cool.

Watch your back!
ttf_Matt K
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Is it me? Awkward Band Situation

Post by ttf_Matt K » Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:18 am

If its anything like some of the rockish bands I've played with the question may well be simply confusing to them. They may even be mildly embarassed they don't know how instruments that aren't brass or drums (in a rock context) work (e.g. you actually have to have something written in order for three+ people who aren't doing a mind meld so they play at the same time  Image).   I once asked a group the same question since they called me for a 3-4 hour gig and they said "oh yeah, we'll get them to you at the gig." The parts were literally handwritten pseudo-charts with pop chord symbols with no bearing to form. E.g. song that was a blues was written as:

Quote A D E
That's all I got! Image  

Or one of the more amusing ones that took me some time to figure out:

Quote  A E B
Which is, of course, a blues where the chords are written in alphabetical order so you can more easily reference which chords exist in the song!  Image

They may just be expecting (or perhaps not expecting inasmuch as possibly not thinking) the horn section to show up and figure out parts on-the-fly.  If my assessment is correct, the band may be a bit of a timesink for you. In my experience bands like this are filled with pretty laid back individuals and they like the act of throwing time at stuff without much planning.  It drives me nuts!! But to their credit the guys I've played with in this context are pretty cool with you not having something right the first time so its often a welcoming type of atmosphere and you are likely to be hard pressed to have them judge your playing negatively unless you do something to provoke it. Very different type of culture.  The other plus side is the money, of course. If I could stay up until 2AM regularly I'd still probably play with them since the money is pretty decent but I need my beauty sleep!

At least that's my guess as to what's going on. Hope it all gets worked out for you.
ttf_uncle duke
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Is it me? Awkward Band Situation

Post by ttf_uncle duke » Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:22 am

  For the Hang in Long Enough I see there is a keyboard part that is available.  To me it sounds like the keyboard was made to sound like a brass section in the original recording and the you-tube video shows the brass players playing something, maybe just for show.

  More than likely you'll have to transpose treble to bass clef.  What I found was in the key of F.   Being here in K.C. myself the first question I would be asking is what are we going to play - keep pressing the issue gently.    
ttf_Radar
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Is it me? Awkward Band Situation

Post by ttf_Radar » Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:03 pm

You said " They've got the audio parts separated out in finale" if the parts are in Finale then there shouldn't be an issue extracting them out from the Finale project files. If there in Finale there should be no reason for you to have to learn them by ear, anyone who has proficient with Finale should be able to get the parts for all the instruments out of it.
ttf_Jhereg
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Is it me? Awkward Band Situation

Post by ttf_Jhereg » Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:28 pm

Quote from: BGuttman on Today at 08:50 AMIs this a forming band?  Maybe the leaders are just as at sea as you are.

I think your question was valid.  If you have to transcribe parts to learn them you should know.

If they are so disorganized as to not know anything about the operation of a band, maybe it's best to bow out.


Yes, forming.
Great, glad you think so...I was starting to worry!
They actually seem really organized. The guy has synthesized all of the horn parts, if he's capable of that he's also capable of printing that out in chart format. Confusing.

Quote from: harrison.t.reed on Today at 08:52 AMI always ask for music ahead of time. No matter what the group is. Could be that the answer is to bring my real book (fair enough) or they'll put the parts up on drop box.

I imagine you'd want to go to the first rehearsal prepared. Not unreasonable!

I do too. And it's usually either offered ahead of time or "We'll hand it out at the first rehearsal". I don't have a Real Book but maybe it's time to get one. Thank you.

Quote from: slide advantage on Today at 09:25 AMSuggestion: If you do stay in this band and you or your horn section mates write horn parts, protect them. Do not leave them with the bandleader unless arrangements were made to be paid for your efforts.

There are countless situations in which a horn section gets canned yet the leader keeps the horn books. Not cool.

Watch your back!

Absolutely!!!

Quote from: Matt K on Today at 10:18 AMIf its anything like some of the rockish bands I've played with the question may well be simply confusing to them. They may even be mildly embarrassed they don't know how instruments that aren't brass or drums (in a rock context) work (e.g. you actually have to have something written in order for three+ people who aren't doing a mind meld so they play at the same time  Image).

They may just be expecting (or perhaps not expecting inasmuch as possibly not thinking) the horn section to show up and figure out parts on-the-fly.  If my assessment is correct, the band may be a bit of a timesink for you. In my experience bands like this are filled with pretty laid back individuals and they like the act of throwing time at stuff without much planning.  It drives me nuts!! But to their credit the guys I've played with in this context are pretty cool with you not having something right the first time so its often a welcoming type of atmosphere and you are likely to be hard pressed to have them judge your playing negatively unless you do something to provoke it. Very different type of culture.  The other plus side is the money, of course. If I could stay up until 2AM regularly I'd still probably play with them since the money is pretty decent but I need my beauty sleep!

At least that's my guess as to what's going on. Hope it all gets worked out for you.

I mean...if these are people who understand music, I think they'd know just from listening to the music that this can't be a guessing game. Not for a tribute band. For an improv/jam session, sure, throw everyone in a room and see what comes out. But it seems to me if you want to sound like a specific band you can't really do that without a framework of some sort.

If the problem is embarrassment/confusion I do feel sympathetic, but the solution is to man up and either hire someone to write the parts or tell the musicians they need to collaborate and bring their own. This dead silence every time they're asked is just weird and suspicious.

Speaking of suspicious, there's been no talk of pay...........................................

Quote from: uncle duke on Today at 10:22 AM  For the Hang in Long Enough I see there is a keyboard part that is available.  To me it sounds like the keyboard was made to sound like a brass section in the original recording and the you-tube video shows the brass players playing something, maybe just for show.

More than likely you'll have to transpose treble to bass clef.  What I found was in the key of F.   Being here in K.C. myself the first question I would be asking is what are we going to play - keep pressing the issue gently.    

The key parts I've found are inaccurate as far as the horn lines are concerned. If you've found one that matches the actual song I'd love to see it. It's very syncopated and fast, and sorry, I'm not good enough to learn that by ear. We are using a live "True Colours" concert video for reference, and the horns are definitely actually playing something: https://youtu.be/qas34-l0iPs (starts at 38:44). This version also seems to be in Eb.

I'll keep asking, but in about a week and a half if they haven't answered it's going to be too late.

Quote from: Radar on Today at 12:03 PMYou said " They've got the audio parts separated out in finale" if the parts are in Finale then there shouldn't be an issue extracting them out from the Finale project files. If there in Finale there should be no reason for you to have to learn them by ear, anyone who has proficient with Finale should be able to get the parts for all the instruments out of it.

EXACTLY. So I don't understand why the silence when I ask about this. It shouldn't even be any extra work.

Thanks for the input everyone. I'm just happy to know that I'm not missing something here, and it really is OK to ask.  Image
ttf_harrison.t.reed
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Post by ttf_harrison.t.reed » Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:40 pm

No pay no play. Simple
ttf_EdGrissom
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Post by ttf_EdGrissom » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:19 am

Every good rock band I've been in that has a horn section had one person that headed up the horns.  They worked with the leader of the band and put together charts.  They coordinated the section parts and made sure everything worked and then the other horns would show up and read it all down.   The horn leader sometimes would get an extra cut of the money for their efforts.  Sounds like you could be this person in this band.
ttf_Jhereg
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Post by ttf_Jhereg » Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:20 am

Quote from: EdGrissom on Jul 09, 2017, 05:19AMEvery good rock band I've been in that has a horn section had one person that headed up the horns.  They worked with the leader of the band and put together charts.  They coordinated the section parts and made sure everything worked and then the other horns would show up and read it all down.   The horn leader sometimes would get an extra cut of the money for their efforts.  Sounds like you could be this person in this band.

Actually, the sax player seems to know the bandleader, so I would pin that on him. I don't have any arrangement software and am also new to the area. The sax guy plays with many local bands, writes arrangements, and is actively involved in the scene here. I volunteer him  Image
ttf_Exzaclee
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Post by ttf_Exzaclee » Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:25 pm

Quote from: Jhereg on Jul 09, 2017, 09:20AMActually, the sax player seems to know the bandleader, so I would pin that on him. I don't have any arrangement software and am also new to the area. The sax guy plays with many local bands, writes arrangements, and is actively involved in the scene here. I volunteer him  Image

Sounds like that's the guy you oughta aim your queries at. He'll probably have better answers. I'm "that guy" in a lot of the bands I work in. In some bands I work in the horns are the only guys who can read anything other than Chord charts or Nashville charts. I handle any writing/arranging that needs to be done. Asking the singer or guitarist will get a lot of blank looks and vague answers in that situation.

I highly recommend all trombonists that want to work a bunch become "that guy" to the extent they can. Being a capable arranger and/or music director increases your worth and makes you hirable. There are a ton of great resources for teaching yourself arranging if you're not comfortable with it. As far as scorewriting programs, there are a few you can use. I recommend learning Finale and Sibelius (I only use finale) - if you want to use a free one I recommend using Musescore. Most scorewriters' files can be converted to midi or XML for easy conversion into another program - so even though your Sibelius files won't work with finale, you can turn a sibelius file into a midi or XML file and open it in Finale and edit it that way.
ttf_Piano man
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Post by ttf_Piano man » Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:15 pm

I agree with Exzaclee that you should be communicating with the sax player because he understands what you're asking. As Matt K said, the bandleader might not know what playing a horn in a section entails. I got a call from a good singer for a NYE party. I was hired for piano, but she said there were going to be three horn players and a violin! I asked where the arrangements were coming from and she didn't seem to understand the question. It was at a very fancy retirement home, and they wanted an orchestra, and she didn't seem to understand that they couldn't just show up and be one, the way a pianist, drummer, or bassist might. It was most important that the horns and violin be on stage wearing tuxes. The gig paid very well, and I was a bit self-conscious over the fact that they paid enough to get an actual orchestra and got something sort of ad hoc.

You're completely reasonable to ask about the charts. Even if you were well set up to do orchestration, you can't always come up with 'just your own part' without reference to a full arrangement. And you don't want to duplicate work that someone else is doing. Between the lack of pay and the lack of communication, I'd take a flyer, but that's just me. I used to work as a contractor (not in music) and when a job looked like a royal pain, we'd bid it high to get rid of it. Even if it doesn't work and you get the gig anyway, you're well paid to put up with it.

I'd write the leader and express your confusion over the availability of parts, and offer to write your own for a princely sum, then see if he comes up with an alternative.
ttf_MikeBMiller
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Post by ttf_MikeBMiller » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:23 pm

One time I got hired to play a Junior League follies gig. I showed up and they handed me a few piano parts and basically told me to make something up. That was interesting.
ttf_Jhereg
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Post by ttf_Jhereg » Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:02 pm

Quote from: Exzaclee on Jul 09, 2017, 12:25PMSounds like that's the guy you oughta aim your queries at. He'll probably have better answers. I'm "that guy" in a lot of the bands I work in. In some bands I work in the horns are the only guys who can read anything other than Chord charts or Nashville charts. I handle any writing/arranging that needs to be done. Asking the singer or guitarist will get a lot of blank looks and vague answers in that situation.

I highly recommend all trombonists that want to work a bunch become "that guy" to the extent they can. Being a capable arranger and/or music director increases your worth and makes you hirable. There are a ton of great resources for teaching yourself arranging if you're not comfortable with it. As far as scorewriting programs, there are a few you can use. I recommend learning Finale and Sibelius (I only use finale) - if you want to use a free one I recommend using Musescore. Most scorewriters' files can be converted to midi or XML for easy conversion into another program - so even though your Sibelius files won't work with finale, you can turn a sibelius file into a midi or XML file and open it in Finale and edit it that way.

Oh I've asked him too and gotten the blank stare. This is all going so well. Haw haw.

I am totally uncomfortable with arranging and have never been any good at it across my life. I think I'd need to go back to college/take courses to get a working grasp. Thanks.
ttf_Jhereg
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Post by ttf_Jhereg » Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:17 pm

Quote from: Piano man on Jul 09, 2017, 01:15PMI agree with Exzaclee that you should be communicating with the sax player because he understands what you're asking. As Matt K said, the bandleader might not know what playing a horn in a section entails. I got a call from a good singer for a NYE party. I was hired for piano, but she said there were going to be three horn players and a violin! I asked where the arrangements were coming from and she didn't seem to understand the question. It was at a very fancy retirement home, and they wanted an orchestra, and she didn't seem to understand that they couldn't just show up and be one, the way a pianist, drummer, or bassist might. It was most important that the horns and violin be on stage wearing tuxes. The gig paid very well, and I was a bit self-conscious over the fact that they paid enough to get an actual orchestra and got something sort of ad hoc.

You're completely reasonable to ask about the charts. Even if you were well set up to do orchestration, you can't always come up with 'just your own part' without reference to a full arrangement. And you don't want to duplicate work that someone else is doing. Between the lack of pay and the lack of communication, I'd take a flyer, but that's just me. I used to work as a contractor (not in music) and when a job looked like a royal pain, we'd bid it high to get rid of it. Even if it doesn't work and you get the gig anyway, you're well paid to put up with it.

I'd write the leader and express your confusion over the availability of parts, and offer to write your own for a princely sum, then see if he comes up with an alternative.

Thanks for the input. As I said, all band members were in the room when I asked, including this sax player. If the sax player (or anyone capable of writing) wanted to make a little $$ or wanted to make the charts, there have now been at least two public opportunities to offer. I would ask the sax player to write charts outright, but as someone who is not band leadership and has met everyone in this band exactly once for a few minutes (whereas everyone else in the band is local/knows each other), I don't think I should designate that stuff, and I don't think people would take it well if I tried to. If the band leaders were to reply with "We haven't figured out what to do about charts yet," or somesuch, THEN I could say something like, "Would it be cool if one of the band members wrote up the charts?" or "Can I help with this?", and discuss the issue. But that's the problem, there has not been a response AT ALL.

Exactly, if they've got parts in the works, I don't want to duplicate it. I don't want to go around asking people whom I've never met to write charts when the band management might already be doing it. I don't want to pay someone to write charts or write them myself without knowing I'd be reimbursed for it. All I'm looking for from these people is YES or NO so we can move on to options. While I agree with you about peacing out on this group, they do seem very organized in other ways, so I'll hold out for now and see what happens. Makes me feel better to know that I'm not being ridiculous by asking about parts.

I have written to the leader twice in addition to publicly asking, and did not get a response. I don't know how much more clear I can make the question "Are we going to be provided with charts?". All he has to do is answer. I wouldn't be asking him over and over if he would just answer, even with an "I don't know".

Just seems so silly! If I find anything out, will share here!
ttf_Piano man
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Post by ttf_Piano man » Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:21 pm

Quote from: Jhereg on Jul 10, 2017, 12:02PMOh I've asked him too and gotten the blank stare. This is all going so well. Haw haw.

I am totally uncomfortable with arranging and have never been any good at it across my life. I think I'd need to go back to college/take courses to get a working grasp. Thanks.

I don't get the blank stare. I do some arranging--decently paid--for a small, local theater. The first question horn players ask is "When can you send me the charts?"

Your question is completely reasonable. The possible answers are "I'll email you the charts", or "There are no charts; write your own parts from the tracks." I can't imagine why there would be no answer at all.

I'd distance myself from this situation, because it appears to be nonprofessional. If as Matt K suggests it turns out to be an easygoing rock band where they won't be prepared but also won't expect you to be prepared either, you're going to waste a lot of time in unproductive rehearsals, which gets old fast.

Again, what bothers me is the mystery surrounding this. Why can't they just answer you? I'd run.
ttf_BGuttman
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Post by ttf_BGuttman » Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:22 pm

For this gig it may not be too hard.

You can hear what the horns are playing in each song and all you have to do is apportion the notes to the various horns.  Probably won't matter if you don't perfectly duplicate the original charts.  Or even if you don't get all the notes right (that's what rehearsals are for).

As you work with it you will find it easier and easier.

You can probably do it.  And work to get better as you go on.  Lots of on-line and printed sources on arranging.  Or maybe arrange to distance study with Exzaclee Image
ttf_jnoxon
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Post by ttf_jnoxon » Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:57 pm

A lot of good advice here,  but watch your back.  If you do your own horn parts they are yours not the bands unless they pay you for them.  Most rock bands don't have a clue about how parts and players. Someone needs to lead the horn section so it will be productive. I was once called for a gig, I was handed French  Horn parts. The leader sez you get these parts cause you can play high! Well ok he just had no idea what was involved in transposition etc to do this. Thats why I say most Rock band leaders don't have a clue. You have been around for a while you know whats going on so just keep your eyes and ears open. Don't be afraid to walk away!
ttf_Doug Elliott
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Post by ttf_Doug Elliott » Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:14 pm

I recently walked out of a similar situation after the third tune in a rehearsal.  They had charts but they were so very far from being correct that I just told them I couldn't deal with it.  Rewriting wrong stuff is worse than doing it right the first time.
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Post by ttf_sonicsilver » Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:34 pm

This kind of chaos is one of my pet hates in horn line work. The main problem is that the non-horn players are often only partially musically literate at best. That being so, they should check these matters and delegate where necessary. When I'm group [s]muggins[/s] leader in such a band, your parts/charts/set list are on your stand when you walk in. I ask a dozen dumb layman questions about amp specifications, cable requirements, how many powerpoints etc etc and make sure everything is in order BEFORE THE REHEARSAL STARTS. I like to make the job slick and easy, not seat of the pants and panic.

To Megan, you're trying to pay the bills after the circus right? Don't be shy over asking about the fee. Best to get this straight right now before you give any time. As several have said, if they want you to write, that's extra work = extra money. If you get a shaky answer about money, or no answer, or it's beer money, do something more useful instead.

To get you started with arranging, I recommend two books.

Orchestral Technique by Gordon Jacob
The Professional Arranger Composer by Russell Garcia

The Jacob is obviously classically oriented but is essential to know because it sets out all the principles of good part writing, combinations of instruments, how to set out chords to sound like this or like that etc. Follow the rules, like painting by numbers, and your arrangements will always sound good. Russell Garcia is best known for the score to The Time Machine. His book is a brilliant guide to writing for dance bands, big bands, studio orchestras and combos. Unlike the Jacob, it also covers form and structure.

Write as much and as often as you can, and get people to play and critique your work. That's how you learn and improve.
ttf_EdGrissom
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Post by ttf_EdGrissom » Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:27 pm

This could very well be one of those bands where everyone is supposed learn their parts from a recording.  They make it sound just like the record.  It's how cover bands that can't read learn the songs.  They want to practice and practice and practice.   Hours and hours.   Everything is played exactly the same way every time.   The kind of band I would RUN from....haha
ttf_Jhereg
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Post by ttf_Jhereg » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:42 am

Quote from: Piano man on Jul 10, 2017, 12:21PMI don't get the blank stare.

Me neither bruh.

I'll take your advice at some point, but actually did get a response today from the director:

Quote"...after discussing it further, until we have necessary charts, sequences etc. ready to go we would be better to wait."
So he basically cancelled the full rehearsal on the 30th and it'll just be going through vocals for the backup singers.
I'm just glad to get an answer. NOW we're getting somewhere.

Quote from: BGuttman on Jul 10, 2017, 12:22PMFor this gig it may not be too hard.

You can hear what the horns are playing in each song and all you have to do is apportion the notes to the various horns.  Probably won't matter if you don't perfectly duplicate the original charts.  Or even if you don't get all the notes right (that's what rehearsals are for).

As you work with it you will find it easier and easier.

You can probably do it.  And work to get better as you go on.  Lots of on-line and printed sources on arranging.  Or maybe arrange to distance study with Exzaclee Image

It's nice that you think so. I'm willing to do my best. However the only recording we've been given IS LIVE (I shared the link in an earlier comment). It's not always easy to single out YOUR part in a LIVE setting what with people screaming and all the other instruments in the mix. It's not really a question of anyone's ability to hear-and-play...they just need to provide SOMETHING other than a freaking youtube video for learning parts. They've promised tracks, which is fine, but then they went and set a rehearsal on the 30th without giving us anything. But now I've got a response so I think they've realized the horns will need at minimum something other than a live recording. yay!

Quote from: Doug Elliott on Jul 10, 2017, 01:14PMI recently walked out of a similar situation after the third tune in a rehearsal.  They had charts but they were so very far from being correct that I just told them I couldn't deal with it.  Rewriting wrong stuff is worse than doing it right the first time.

Totally agree.

Quote from: sonicsilver on Jul 10, 2017, 04:34PMThis kind of chaos is one of my pet hates in horn line work.

To Megan, you're trying to pay the bills after the circus right? Don't be shy over asking about the fee.

To get you started with arranging, I recommend two books.

Orchestral Technique by Gordon Jacob
The Professional Arranger Composer by Russell Garcia

Write as much and as often as you can, and get people to play and critique your work. That's how you learn and improve.

Agree. If it were me, I wouldn't even hold a rehearsal until everything was ready. But whatevs, ain't my band.

I'm ok with taking pro bono for a bit until I get established around here. There seem to be a lot of pro trombonists in this area and I don't have connections here, so it's cool.

Tbh I hate arranging, but will keep these books in mind in case I have to. Thank you.

Quote from: EdGrissom on Jul 10, 2017, 05:27PMThis could very well be one of those bands where everyone is supposed learn their parts from a recording.  They make it sound just like the record.  It's how cover bands that can't read learn the songs.  They want to practice and practice and practice.   Hours and hours.   Everything is played exactly the same way every time.   The kind of band I would RUN from....haha

I don't mind that. Would give me something to work on. I'll be happy when we finally know how we're learning this stuff. They either need to isolate our parts for by-ear (which we did hear clips of so I know they're working on this) or give us charts (which I know now that they are at least considering).

Thanks for the input y'all. Looks like they're at least trying.
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Post by ttf_JohnL » Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:05 am

Quote from: Jhereg on Jul 11, 2017, 09:42AMTbh I hate arranging, but will keep these books in mind in case I have to.Even if you're not planning to do any arranging, the Garcia book is a good one to read just for the insights of someone who did the job successfully for a long time. Some of it is a bit dated, though.
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Post by ttf_mwpfoot » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:18 am

This just reminded me I hadn't gotten paid for a couple rock charts, reminder sent! Image

The biggest headache ahead is once you get the parts they are going to change the form but not tell you. Worst case would be if they just can't stick to a form - sometimes there's a third verse here, sometimes a double chorus there, oh we go straight into this other song now, just follow the vocals! Oh and everyone knows Brickhouse just play it!

If they are blind to the need for parts they will almost certainly be blind to the ensuing consequences. Image

The band I played with for a while was very, very good about doing it all predictably. Instead of tweaking songs they varied the set by aggressively introducing new charts - which meant some extra bucks on that front too. More open stuff I'd rehearsal mark with incremental numbers so fingers can be used: when I hold up TWO FINGERS it means we are going back to "2". This notation crutch helps.

As a general thought, we horn players can help ourselves by committing to know the material as cold as the keyboardist. We don't always have the luxury of a precise road map, unfortunately, so it really really helps to know that this part of the song always goes into that one, etc. It should be really clear to the player when the song is deviating from the written part: he's singing a chorus but I've got the bridge, so jump back to the chorus it is! Trainwreck avoidance is a critical skill, imo.

Mostly just commenting because I'm curious to read how this all plays out.

 Image
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Post by ttf_Jhereg » Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:12 pm

Quote from: JohnL on Jul 11, 2017, 10:05AMEven if you're not planning to do any arranging, the Garcia book is a good one to read just for the insights of someone who did the job successfully for a long time. Some of it is a bit dated, though.

Ok, cool. I've gotten some great suggestions on arranging books as a result of this thread and will definitely put them on my "want" list!

Quote from: mwpfoot on Jul 11, 2017, 11:18AMThe biggest headache ahead is once you get the parts they are going to change the form but not tell you. Worst case would be if they just can't stick to a form - sometimes there's a third verse here, sometimes a double chorus there, oh we go straight into this other song now, just follow the vocals! Oh and everyone knows Brickhouse just play it!

All of this sounds like a typical day in the circus. Can't speak for anyone but myself in this band and not to toot my own kazoo, but personally I'm very used to cuts and jumps within a "predetermined" piece. As long as someone can signal what's happening this can be done, though one's eyeballs may get whiplash.

I'll be sure to post here how it turns out. Hopefully well, but if not maybe it'll be fun to watch it burn  Image
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Post by ttf_Geordie » Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:24 pm

Megan, Fred Stickley does a series of 7-10 minute YouTube videos specifically on arranging for horn sections in rock type settings. I found them useful. Loved your circus blogs too, glad you found something else.
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Post by ttf_Jhereg » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:29 pm

Quote from: Geordie on Jul 11, 2017, 02:24PMMegan, Fred Stickley does a series of 7-10 minute YouTube videos specifically on arranging for horn sections in rock type settings. I found them useful. Loved your circus blogs too, glad you found something else.

Sweet, I'll check them out. Again, this wasn't something that I wanted to do, but sticking to something you want to do doesn't seem to be the way to go. And thanks  Image

Image
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Post by ttf_Max Croot » Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:41 am

Hi. Happened to me once as well. Arrived at rehearsal. Trumpet leader and 2nd trumpet and me in the horn section. Set up. Leader says Spinning Wheel 1234. No music and he said If you don't know spinning wheel what else don't you know. Exit one trombone.
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Post by ttf_Matt K » Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:12 am

Quote from: Max Croot on Jul 12, 2017, 05:41AMHi. Happened to me once as well. Arrived at rehearsal. Trumpet leader and 2nd trumpet and me in the horn section. Set up. Leader says Spinning Wheel 1234. No music and he said If you don't know spinning wheel what else don't you know. Exit one trombone.

/facepalm
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Post by ttf_Dan Hine » Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:27 am

Very much off topic but I feel I have to say this:

Megan, from reading some of your circus blog I am certain you've gained plenty of marketable skills from that experience alone.  You probably just need some coaching on what they are and a little bit of (I hesitate to use this word) confidence on not selling yourself short.
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Post by ttf_BillO » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:15 pm

Do you have contact info for the horn section?  If so, ask them if they want to get together before the full band rehearsal for a sectional to work things out.

I've been in similar situations in the (distant) past.  The most successful was when we could get together and write out some charts.  Even if they need to be changed up when the whole band got together.  It's better to come prepared with some sort of common concept for the horns.  You still have more than two weeks.

In most of the groups I was involved with where this sort of scenario played out it was the trumpet player that set the tone, but that is in no way a rule, just the majority of my experience.  Sometimes it was me.

Sometimes, we just jammed until it sounded good and went went that.

Let us know how this unfurls.  It sounds like a learning situation for you.  That can be painful, but in the end you'll be better for it.  You're an experienced and accomplished musician.  Rely on that and have confidence in yourself.  I'll bet you do alright.
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Post by ttf_Jhereg » Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:44 pm

Quote from: Max Croot on Jul 12, 2017, 05:41AMHi. Happened to me once as well. Arrived at rehearsal. Trumpet leader and 2nd trumpet and me in the horn section. Set up. Leader says Spinning Wheel 1234. No music and he said If you don't know spinning wheel what else don't you know. Exit one trombone.

Haha that would have been me too. There are people in this world capable of such things. But it sure isn't many people.

Quote from: Dan Hine on Jul 12, 2017, 07:27AMVery much off topic but I feel I have to say this:

Megan, from reading some of your circus blog I am certain you've gained plenty of marketable skills from that experience alone.  You probably just need some coaching on what they are and a little bit of (I hesitate to use this word) confidence on not selling yourself short.

I'd agree with you. Not sure who's my coach though.
The abilities that I have that I know of just don't seem to be in demand.
High playing endurance. Who cares? Not like anyone's doing 2-4 hour sets out there.
Ability to read cuts and cues very quickly. Might be useful in a pit/theater/opera, if any of those are using live brass any more.
High tolerance for tour-related stresses and issues. The next word out of everyone's mouth whenever I bring this up is A) cruise ships or B) the military.

Outside of those, I'd sure like to know what skills I ought to be putting forward, that might be in demand in the music industry. Or that might be something I could get paid to do, rather than a service I'm expected to provide for free or in the interest of "establishing myself". 

Quote from: BillO on Jul 12, 2017, 10:15PMDo you have contact info for the horn section?  If so, ask them if they want to get together before the full band rehearsal for a sectional to work things out.

I've been in similar situations in the (distant) past.  The most successful was when we could get together and write out some charts.  Even if they need to be changed up when the whole band got together.  It's better to come prepared with some sort of common concept for the horns.  You still have more than two weeks.

In most of the groups I was involved with where this sort of scenario played out it was the trumpet player that set the tone, but that is in no way a rule, just the majority of my experience.  Sometimes it was me.

Sometimes, we just jammed until it sounded good and went went that.

Let us know how this unfurls.  It sounds like a learning situation for you.  That can be painful, but in the end you'll be better for it.  You're an experienced and accomplished musician.  Rely on that and have confidence in yourself.  I'll bet you do alright.

I do, and I will, but not sure what good a sectional is without something to rehearse.
As I said in an earlier comment, the rehearsal on the 30th was cancelled and we did hear back from the director. And in any case, the instructions for rehearsal were "We'll be playing through five songs" without any indication as to WHICH SONGS OUT OF THE TWENTY ON THE SET LIST. I'd love to be prepared, swear to god, but none of us are writing out an entire Phil Collins concert in two weeks for free just so we can "be prepared".

This being a tribute band, I'm not going to "jam until it sounds good". I've made it abundantly clear where I stand on all of this. I need either an isolated audio track or charts to learn my part, and if that means I'm not a good fit for the group, so be it.

Thanks for the compliments. Just wanting to do a good job, and actually play something. Hoping that will happen.
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Post by ttf_Piano man » Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:02 pm

Quote from: Max Croot on Jul 12, 2017, 05:41AMHi. Happened to me once as well. Arrived at rehearsal. Trumpet leader and 2nd trumpet and me in the horn section. Set up. Leader says Spinning Wheel 1234. No music and he said If you don't know spinning wheel what else don't you know. Exit one trombone.

Perfect response--Feets, don't fail me now!

How about if you name tunes for him, then count them off, and ask why he doesn't know them? What? You don't know any Thad Jones tunes? What else don't you know?

It's easy to win that game when you're picking the tunes.

I could certainly fight my way through "Spinning Wheel" as a keyboardist as long as everyone else had it, but I wouldn't remember all the notes from the trombone part, and I've heard the tune since it was new.  That's total BS.
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Post by ttf_sonicsilver » Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:33 am

Quote from: Jhereg on Jul 14, 2017, 04:44PM
The abilities that I have that I know of just don't seem to be in demand.
High playing endurance. Who cares? Not like anyone's doing 2-4 hour sets out there.
Ability to read cuts and cues very quickly. Might be useful in a pit/theater/opera, if any of those are using live brass any more.
High tolerance for tour-related stresses and issues. The next word out of everyone's mouth whenever I bring this up is A) cruise ships or B) the military.

Outside of those, I'd sure like to know what skills I ought to be putting forward, that might be in demand in the music industry. Or that might be something I could get paid to do, rather than a service I'm expected to provide for free or in the interest of "establishing myself". 



Oh, I hear your frustration. People, or companies, will pay you to create music for video games and TV. The commercial pop sector of the industry pays people to write catchy hooks and proto melodies over a 4 bar turnaround for the latest starlet. Music library services will pay you to fill a CD with 50 or so tracks in a particular genre. And yes, cruise lines and military music services will pay you to provide the shows that the punters expect. And there are more examples, I'm sure.

But these things might not necessarily be very fulfilling artistically to the employee/contractor. Opportunities to get paid for playing where there is also room for some artistic satisfaction exist mainly in New York, LA, Nashville and Miami (and Chicago?). And does Vegas have live bands any more? There's probably not much for trombone players in Nashville, although there was in the past. Are you near any of these places, or able to couch-surf for a few months to test the waters?

My impression is that trombonist with Ringling's Circus band carries some prestige, like trombonist with the JP Sousa band or indeed Cirque du Soleil or another major show. Should be enough to command at least some professional courtesy if you enquire about work in the above listed scenes, or have I misperceived?
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Post by ttf_JohnL » Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:57 am

Quote from: Jhereg on Jul 14, 2017, 04:44PMThe abilities that I have that I know of just don't seem to be in demand.
High playing endurance. Who cares? Not like anyone's doing 2-4 hour sets out there.
Ability to read cuts and cues very quickly. Might be useful in a pit/theater/opera, if any of those are using live brass any more.Those are just the things you have that most trombonists don't. Take 'em away and there's still a really good trombonist there who is going to show up and play her backside off. Remember - I've heard you play. At no point did I think: "Wow, she's really got great endurance" or "she's really picking up those cues well". All I heard was a trombonist doing a heck of a job in a really tight band.
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Post by ttf_ddickerson » Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:33 am

Megan, you said:

"The abilities that I have that I know of just don't seem to be in demand.
High playing endurance. Who cares? Not like anyone's doing 2-4 hour sets out there.
Ability to read cuts and cues very quickly. Might be useful in a pit/theater/opera, if any of those are using live brass any more."


I'm not an expert, but from my limited experience, ISTM with your experience and willingness to tour as much as you do, playing on cruise ships is your most logical place for continued employment. Zac has a lot of experience in this and I bet he can show you who to contact.
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Post by ttf_Jhereg » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:02 am

Quote from: sonicsilver on Jul 15, 2017, 02:33AMAre you near any of these places, or able to couch-surf for a few months to test the waters?

My impression is that trombonist with Ringling's Circus band carries some prestige, like trombonist with the JP Sousa band or indeed Cirque du Soleil or another major show. Should be enough to command at least some professional courtesy if you enquire about work in the above listed scenes, or have I misperceived?

Yeah, I think most musicians struggle with this. I'm lucky that I got to experience "being a musician" once, and am very grateful for it. I don't want to sound ungracious just cuz I'm frustrated.

I could couch surf, if any auditions come up, at risk of losing my job. I've never done the thing where you go from gig to gig and that's it, so not sure how to go about that or if it's a good idea to play around like that when there are bills to be paid and such...it may work for others but just not sure that I personally could base my food and shelter on maybe-gigs.

That is the one thing that has been good about playing with the circus: now when I write to "professional musicians" or reach out to them on social media, I generally will get a response, and that's a big change. Coming out of college I would sometimes send friend requests, or just a note to say "Loved your last performance", but unless I was asking for lessons ($$) I usually received silence or "please don't bother me". At least these people will now say "hello" to me, even if they'd never call me to sub.
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Post by ttf_Jhereg » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:07 am

Quote from: ddickerson on Jul 15, 2017, 07:33AMI'm not an expert, but from my limited experience, ISTM with your experience and willingness to tour as much as you do, playing on cruise ships is your most logical place for continued employment. Zac has a lot of experience in this and I bet he can show you who to contact.

LOL. See? "Cruise ships and the military". Is that really all there is to look forward to? That's really sad. No offense to either of those, I'm not saying those options are sad, I'm saying it's sad that there aren't more options.

I have auditioned for and been rejected by just about every cruise line out there. I'm having a hard time convincing myself that it's worth going through that again.
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Post by ttf_Jhereg » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:10 am

And before anyone suggests the military, this has been pushed on me so hard and so aggressively that I will never consider it. I have never been bullied and harassed so much as by military recruiters. No offense to anyone in the military.
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Post by ttf_ddickerson » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:22 am

Quote from: Jhereg on Jul 15, 2017, 08:07AMLOL. See? "Cruise ships and the military". Is that really all there is to look forward to? That's really sad. No offense to either of those, I'm not saying those options are sad, I'm saying it's sad that there aren't more options.

I have auditioned for and been rejected by just about every cruise line out there. I'm having a hard time convincing myself that it's worth going through that again.

MyBad. I didn't know that you've been turned down by cruise ship gigs. I wouldn't have suggested it if I had known. I was just going with your touring experience since a lot of people would rather stay home more, and tour less.


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Post by ttf_Jhereg » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:53 am

Quote from: ddickerson on Jul 15, 2017, 08:22AMMyBad. I didn't know that you've been turned down by cruise ship gigs. I wouldn't have suggested it if I had known. I was just going with your touring experience since a lot of people would rather stay home more, and tour less.



Understood, I wasn't trying to be insulting. In an earlier comment I said the first thing people will usually suggest is cruise ships and the military, and you went and proved my point. Sorry, I just thought that was funny, that's all, I didn't mean to put you down or anything.

I understand and apologize for coming across poorly here. You could not have known that I had been turned down by cruise ships and I didn't expect you to know that and I didn't think my answer implied any expectation. From my perspective while writing I thought I was just stating the fact and also stating why I haven't yet tried again. I could have been kinder by saying thank you for the advice or adding other words that would have come across more gently. Not sure what else to do other than apologize. In the future I will try to be more considerate when responding. 
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Post by ttf_MikeBMiller » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:47 am

Megan - I don't know you personally, so I am in no position to give career advice, but it seems like you are in a good place to make a lot of contacts in the music industry and find places to play. BAC seems like a well-respected instrument maker and retailer in that area. I think if you stick around there a while, you will have the opportunity to meet a lot of folks in the KC area who can point you towards some good gigs. Lots of people do a non-music job all day and gig at night. At least your day job is in the music business and you get to rub shoulders with musicians all day long. You might consider starting a brass quintet or brass band or something along those lines and looking for gigs on your own. A city the size of KC should have plenty of opportunities to play somewhere. Plus they have good barbecue.
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Post by ttf_Dukesboneman » Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:13 pm

From 1989 - 2011 I played in 3 piece horn sections with World Beat Bands, reggae, Blues . Funk and 16 years with a Classic R&B/Classic Rock Band (Excellent band).
I found that there were no charts and /or bad charts when I joined. Job security - I wrote for all of these bands. Most Non-Horn playing Rock/R&B players have no idea what to do with us.
But... They want that sound in the Band. Good for us that we are wanted. So make the best of it. When I started writing for the Bands, I had a little more control and say in the way things were put together. Instead of just adding another sax solo, I would write a "Chicago inspired" Horn section soli. This made us really stand out from other bands that had more pedestrian horn parts.
Have some fun with it, take some chances, try some different voicings. Do the other players double at all?
In the R&B Band , all 3 of us doubled on Flute, so I could write either unison or 3 part harmony flute parts, My sax player double Flugel-horn.
It was a great experience
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Post by ttf_harrison.t.reed » Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:00 am

Quote from: Jhereg on Jul 15, 2017, 08:10AMAnd before anyone suggests the military, this has been pushed on me so hard and so aggressively that I will never consider it. I have never been bullied and harassed so much as by military recruiters. No offense to anyone in the military.

Ouch, hope that wasn't me. I had only suggested it when you first posted about the circus closing  because it would have been cool to work with you. I'm no recruiter.
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Post by ttf_davdud101 » Sat Jul 22, 2017 2:09 pm

Quote from: Dukesboneman on Jul 15, 2017, 12:13PMHave some fun with it, take some chances, try some different voicings. Do the other players double at all?
In the R&B Band , all 3 of us doubled on Flute, so I could write either unison or 3 part harmony flute parts, My sax player double Flugel-horn.
It was a great experience

That's killer! I'm not sure I find myself well-founded enough on brass to be venturing out into woodwind territory, but the very thought of this is awesome.
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Post by ttf_BMadsen » Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:26 pm

If I can jump in and comment on some of the issues many players in this thread have brought up about form in a cover band - considering I have a (somewhat) unique perspective as a trombone player having to deal with it, a keyboard player having to follow it, and a leader having to make certain calls.

As a bone player, I can completely understand the frustration of bands not sticking to forms - you're reading a chart, ready to play the next section, when they jump back to another section entirely and you either play over it and it doesn't fit, or catch yourself in the nick of time and curse under your breath on how the band doesn't know the right form of the tune. Same happens to me when I'm playing keys - and I'm often even more frustrated, because it's not my main axe, and my latest double, so I don't have nearly the same comfort behind the keys as I do behind any of my brass doubles.

But, as a leader of top 40 bands, I've come to realize that a good vocalist or band leader will be carefully gauging the energy of the crowd and determining what needs to happen. I've gotten used to watching the crowd, and based on what I'm seeing, doubling (or even quadrupling) choruses if needed, jumping back to other sections of tunes, or skipping tunes in our sets (much to the ire of the band members). And my vocalists know that they will be followed if they are gauging the energy and make a call like that on the fly, because we are trying to keep the party pumping, and ultimately, the clients won't hear those little mistakes if the band is rocking and the crowd is dancing. Just last night, I was a sideman (trombone) with a band, and they did 15 minutes straight of Good Times, but putting other tunes over it - then switched to another hip hop tune I wasn't familiar with, and then went back to Good Times again. Floor was packed - it was a 250 guest wedding, end of the night, and probably 125-150 people on the floor - loving every minute of it. And it wasn't planned - the leader followed the singers (at one point he came over to the horns and said "I have no clue what we are doing next - I'm following them"), and the crowd was insatiable. And this is a VERY experienced leader - 100+ weddings a year for the last 10 years. It just happened organically by following the crowd's energy.

And this is where we need to step up as horn players. If you are playing weddings, you need to know the standard rep as well as any rhythm section player (meaning, if a singer jumps a verse to head to the bridge, you aren't thrown and can move with them immediately). It means not being locked in to charts for said standards. We get by playing from charts and missing entrances because of those mistakes, but the busiest players I see on the cover scene? Any standard tune they are off book, can play it in different keys if needed, and know the sections well enough to be able to jump to different sections of the tune without any fuss. And they don't complain about it - because they know that's what needs to happen to keep a band working, and that keeps them working.
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Post by ttf_BGuttman » Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:00 pm

Excellent comments, Brad.  As a band member who understands "light on one's feet" in a musical sense, I can relate.  Sometimes I'll noodle behind a transposed tune that the rest of the band (with the exception of the keyboard player and perhaps the drummer) lays out on because I can recognize the key.  Some players seem not to be that good (I'm not going to trumpet my greatness either; sometimes it's beyond me as well).  Finding yourself when you get lost or when the band does an unexpected jump is a great skill to develop.
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Post by ttf_Jhereg » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:23 pm

Quote from: harrison.t.reed on Jul 22, 2017, 07:00AMOuch, hope that wasn't me. I had only suggested it when you first posted about the circus closing  because it would have been cool to work with you. I'm no recruiter.

Nah, I don't think it was. It started in high school with military recruiters coming to our school and cornering kids in the hall. Maybe because it was rural PA they were more aggressive there? Idk. Then another time they had a booth at the amusement park where I worked, and actually stopped me during work to try and recruit me. I think those were the guys I gave my phone number to just so they'd leave me alone (no cell phones, so my parent's number). Then they started calling the house. First it was once a week, then it was every day. Pitch after pitch after pitch. My Dad finally had to yell at them to stop calling our number, and I got in trouble for creating the situation.

While working for Busch Gardens they also had "military days". In that part of VA many musicians were military, so I was already being pushed pretty hard on a daily or weekly basis by some of the people I worked with. All of whom were 55+. Not that that's a bad thing, I'm saying that they were not active military and hadn't been for some time, and I had a strong feeling that the military experience they were recruiting me into did not reflect the military as it is now. So I always politely declined, but was surprised at how hard many people took my rejection, like I'd personally insulted them or something...or like they'd been really, really hoping I'd say yes for some reason, like they'd get something out of it.

Then after my time with the circus, some friends of my grandparents tried to convince me to join, to the point of exhaustion. Messages every day on facebook. When I finally asked them to stop, I did ask if they knew anyone currently active in the military that I could talk with. They put me in touch with someone who gave me their pitch ("great money!" "great health care!" "see the world!", basically the same thing everyone said without going into detail about what it was like for them personally). When I politely thanked them and said this probably wasn't for me, I was told "well that's not surprising, not everyone has what it takes to serve their country".

So, this is something that has been sour with me for more than a decade at this point. I think that if joining the military were so great, it would not be necessary to push it so hard, to the point where recruiters are resorting to calling your house daily or using guilt tactics. Plus, 95% of the time the recruitment tactic has been money, health care, and travel. To me personally, military service is so, so much more than these things. Last I checked it was YOU serving, YOU sacrificing. YOU swearing an oath with sincerity. YOU undergoing training, no matter how infrequently, to learn to KILL other human beings. That, to me, is not a quick n' easy decision to be made based on incentives alone. Maybe I don't have what it takes to serve my country as that one recruiter suggested, but I certainly do know the value of the sacrifice, and what it means to commit to such a thing.

...and that's why I've not joined the military. I think I've derailed my own thread.
ttf_Jhereg
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Is it me? Awkward Band Situation

Post by ttf_Jhereg » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:34 pm

Quote from: MikeBMiller on Jul 15, 2017, 10:47AMMegan - I don't know you personally, so I am in no position to give career advice, but it seems like you are in a good place to make a lot of contacts in the music industry and find places to play. BAC seems like a well-respected instrument maker and retailer in that area. I think if you stick around there a while, you will have the opportunity to meet a lot of folks in the KC area who can point you towards some good gigs. Lots of people do a non-music job all day and gig at night. At least your day job is in the music business and you get to rub shoulders with musicians all day long. You might consider starting a brass quintet or brass band or something along those lines and looking for gigs on your own. A city the size of KC should have plenty of opportunities to play somewhere. Plus they have good barbecue.

Thanks Mike. I do appreciate the advice. I hate to come here and sound so frustrated...it's really just that I don't know what direction to move in next. I feel frozen in place.

I wish I got to rub shoulders with musicians all day long. The owner of the company does get to do this with just about every group that comes into town. I get to rent instruments to kids and create PO spreadsheets. Not that I'm complaining, it needs to be done, but the schmoozing definitely all happens at the BAC factory where the custom work is done. I work at the retail store which services the K-12 set. I'm giving it a year to see what happens and if any opportunities will pop up. And I would like to try and work toward a goal of some sort...there's the trouble. It would have helped if I'd been any good at jazz. Too late now. Still trying to get lessons around here.

We are trying to start a BAC quartet/quintet, but it will have to wait until after repair season.
That is a great point about the BBQ  Image
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