Choosing the correct instrument

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BrassSection
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2022 3:22 pm
Location: Central PA

Choosing the correct instrument

Post by BrassSection »

As the only brass player in a contemporary Christian worship band, I get to choose which instrument to play for each song. Asked leader to let me know if he has any preference for which horn, he always replies “Just keep doing what you’re doing”. Some songs beg for trumpet, others trombone, some euphonium, and a few the French horn fits well. I always choose what I think will work best with what we are playing, but occasionally when we get partway into a new song at practice I’ll have second thoughts and switch horns to what I think works better with what the guitars, keys, vocals and drums are doing. My question is, is there a good way to musically choose which horn to use, or just go with my instincts? Have several former trumpet players, trombone players, and some French horn players in the congregation, all have commentated about enjoying what I add.

As a side note, a few big time groups do have limited brass, but usually only a trumpet or trombone to cover a few songs as needed.
WilliamLang
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Re: Choosing the correct instrument

Post by WilliamLang »

a combination of trumpet and trombone might take you the farthest, imho.
William Lang
Stephens Horns Artist
Professor of Trombone, the Longy School of Music
founding member of loadbang
www.williamlang.org
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JohnL
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Re: Choosing the correct instrument

Post by JohnL »

Sounds like the band leader trusts your instincts. You should, too.
BrassSection
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed May 11, 2022 3:22 pm
Location: Central PA

Re: Choosing the correct instrument

Post by BrassSection »

Trumpet and trombone get the most play, sometimes only one of them for the whole service. Euph may get in the mix on the same day, and twice all 4 horns have been used in the same service.

Guess I’m not confident in my instincts, being that my formal music training stopped after high school and that was baritone only. Add to the fact the leader is a nephew, one of the electric guitar players is a nephew, and one of the rotating bass guitar players is my grandson, I always wonder how objective their feedback is. Another rotating bass player is also a local band director and tuba professional, hopefully I can trust his feedback. I will sometimes ask him his advice on horn choice, majority of the time he picks what I had thought of. Choice made basically on song style, high energy gets trumpet, mellow stuff gets horn or euph, and trombone also good for some high energy songs.
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