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1st Time With Band

BUMNOTE

Senior Member
Messages
591
Location
Wolverhampton West Midlands
Hi just wandering what peoples experiences had when playing with a band first time.This weekend i am going to a sax swing practice for the first time and am finding it a bit daunting!Bit concerned about maybe trying to hard,and messing up,i know bound to make mistakes,but also concerned about playing different parts to other players and keeping up with them.Guess just have to try play what i can,when i can and sse how it works out.Any tips much welcome,thanks.Bumnote.
 

c9off

Senior Member
Messages
603
Location
London SE/Kent & Rickinghall
Start by remembering to enjoy it!

Briefly, Relax, the bills being paid won't depend upon your performance ;-)

The conductor & others will have seen plenty of new ensemble players so I'm sure they will look after you... usually sitting with another playing the same part...

Upon first sight go through the score for key, time (+ changes if any) maybe DC or DS & coda, accidentals, dynamics.. etc etc This seems a lot to take in but it does get easier....

Over time find anchor points that you can recognise so that if you lose your place you can get back in.. these can be rhythm, dynamics expression etc...

Lastly did I mention to enjoy I?...

Try to take the pad home after, I copy everything so all originals stay with the band, then run through parts at home to (try and) understand how my part fits, in addition to practicing...

I'm sure you will love it!!

Good luck
Geoff
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,402
Location
West Midlands
Best of luck for the weekend,what Geoff says is spot on,if it is a big band you will probably have parts 3 or 4 to start with so don't panic someone else is playing lead and enjoy the experience,no one will be concerned if you mess up don't forget the other players were in your shoes at some point.

Enjoy and lets us know how you get on.
 

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
Messages
26,510
Location
Cheshire UK
It is daunting but with the right group great fun.

A couple of things I was told:

1. When faced with a difficult piece to just play the first note in each bar, actually harder than it sounds as you really have to count.
2. Remember that it is just as important what you leave out i.e. don't worry about playing every note if you are struggling.

and as Geoff says, enjoy:)

Jx
 

drrob7

Member
Messages
46
Location
Wellington, New Zealand
For pieces for my concert band I've found it very useful to search YouTube for a clip of some other band playing the same arrangement. I then practise playing along with that, which really locks the sound of the whole piece and my part in it in my head. Tricky ones I convert to mp3 and play them on Anytune on the iPad so I can loop the hard bits for extra practice.
 
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Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Café Supporter
Messages
6,127
Location
Whitchurch, North Shropshire UK
It is daunting but with the right group great fun.

A couple of things I was told:

1. When faced with a difficult piece to just play the first note in each bar, actually harder than it sounds as you really have to count.
2. Remember that it is just as important what you leave out i.e. don't worry about playing every note if you are struggling.

and as Geoff says, enjoy:)

Jx

What Jeanette says.

If you're not used to playing in a group, it will seem strange. The first thing is that they will just keep playing and will only stop for a major sort out. This can be a shock if you've only played on your own.

There are bound to be pieces beyond your sight-reading capacity. Just stick the on-beat notes in or the first of the bar - it is much better to play the wrong note at the right time than the right note at the wrong time.

My music reading is good enough for me to not lose my place (usually). I find I can play quite complex rhythms but I get challenged if there are a lot of notes at speed. Obviously this will get better. In the mean time in such cases I stick in the odd on the beat note and leave the others out.

Finally, don't panic, don't worry, and enjoy yourself.
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Café Supporter
Messages
3,572
Location
The Malverns, Worcs
things to remember:
they will all have been in your position once
nobody is expecting a perfect rendition
(almost) everyone will be helpful and offer advice
you are all there to enjoy yourselves

the first time I went to our large band rehearsal, I felt I'd achieved something if I knew where I was in the piece, let alone managed to play more than a few notes.
After a few rehearsals you'll start to recognise pieces.

If you plan to go back it would be a good idea to borrow the sheet music and work through them (and the band leader will love the idea that you actually practice!)

when I joined the school Jazz band, I was overwhelmed by teenagers! but everyone of them was really kind, and now, after 2 years, I really enjoy playing with them, and we often have a good laugh about my inability to keep up! :)))
 

OiGoier

New Member
I run community jazz bands in the midlands and I have new members sign up all the time. My number one attribute that I look for is a willingness to learn and work hard (thats actually two....oops)!

If someone arrives on time, helps set out the rehearsal room, has a go, admits they've gone wrong and remembers not to do it again, helps pack away etc then they are in and I will help and encourage them all the way.

Top tips would be: never give up. never LOOK like youve given up! Try to keep your place in the music even if you cant play it. Play the long notes and watch the conductor/band leader when you think it might be coming to an end (nothing more embarrassing than holding a note when every one else has finished - having said that, Ive certainly done it in the past and im still alive!)

Good luck and enjoy. May the force be with you.
 

trimmy

One day i will...
Messages
10,283
Location
Liverpool ( Pool of Life )
I'm sure you will get a lot of help and advice off your fellow band members, especially if you sit next to a more experienced member (as I did) and still am !
Enjoy :D
(nothing more embarrassing than holding a note when every one else has finished
Guilty as charged :blush: and yes it is embarrassing :doh:
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Think about it. If you are worried about the odd cod's, what do you think your fellow band members are thinking about? Bright fellow, whether they are going to foul up.

As long as you're not doing 'Roll over Beethoven" whilst they are standing for "The National Anthem", will anyone except you really notice? You will make less errors than you expect and rapidly became a valued member of the group.
 

Profusia

Senior Member
Messages
984
Location
Worcestershire
If someone arrives on time, helps set out the rehearsal room, has a go, admits they've gone wrong and remembers not to do it again, helps pack away etc then they are in and I will help and encourage them all the way.

Uhm, not sure about the "remembers not to do it again" bit Jay! :w00t:
 

llamedos

Senior Member
Messages
429
Location
Lincolnshire England
It's a long time ago but I seem to remember my prime concern used to be to make sure I started and finished in the correct key - I still have a dislike and distrust of those numbers that have awkward key changes. A secondary consideration was that I finished at more or less the same time as everyone else (not too impossible because I never played in big groups). But for sure playing with others was always a lot more rewarding than tootling around solo.

Dave
 

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