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If only..!

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,076
I'm with Ian on this one, once in a blue moon is enough for me, I love playing with other people but hate feeling like the weak link! Plus the nerves beforehand make me wonder why I do it to myself. Great feeling after wards though :w00t:

All the best,

Chris
 

Nick Cook

Member
Messages
862
Location
Wokingham, Berks, UK
I quite enjoy playing in the Windsor Community Orchestra.

I don't find there's any pressure, and if I get stuck I just stop playing until I feel ok to join in again.

Mind you, the conductor/director/organisor has suggested I do a solo at the Easter concert - so that is starting to get scary!!!
 

thehunt

Member
Messages
797
Location
Studham Bedfordshire
Lewis why don't you organise something with your fellow musicians, it could become a regular occurence. I just can't wait for band practice each week and my lessons when i have them. I just love getting up and improvising, although i do get nervous i just love the buzz. Good luck. Phil
 

jadoube

Member
Messages
150
Location
Fleet, Hampshire
I'm with Ian on this one, once in a blue moon is enough for me, I love playing with other people but hate feeling like the weak link! Plus the nerves beforehand make me wonder why I do it to myself. Great feeling after wards though :w00t:

All the best,

Chris
Yes indeedy, how I know that feeling.

Training band starts a new season with the distribution of many new pieces. The conductor taps his baton to call the runners and riders to order, and they're off at a hell of a lick.

You fall at the first bar line.

As the field disappears into the distance you pull yourself together and try to catch up. The dots shake in front of your eyes but finally you recognise where they are.

But by the time your brain realises its found the place 'they' have galloped on. you resign myself to waiting for the 'slow' passage and with a sinking heart notice that the rest of the sax section appears to be sight reading note perfect at the speed of light.

Nerves set in. The slow passage is simple minims and quavers in an easy key, and finally you stand out - as the person playing the wrong notes!

We reach the end of the piece and the youngster in the row in front (clarinets) turns round with an expression that clearly says 'who let the idiot making the mistakes in'. And then its a quick romp through the next piece 'just to get the feel', then the next, until the end of the session.

A few weeks practice helps , but only a little, so on to a lesson with grizzled old teacher who's seen it all before. A few well chosen bits of advice, 'do it at your pace for the moment' and suddenly it all appears easier.

Until the next training band. 'Your speed' is all very well but nobody told the others. The conductor appears to be waving his baton like a demented wasp on speed. Your brain goes numb, your fingers tie themselves in knots, and the wasp stings your very soul.

Suddenly a crumb of comfort. You are not alone, a follow old codger on trombone is also having difficulties. And, horror of horrors, is asked to play it solo - so the whole band can analyse his failings you think - but really in order for the conductor to help him.

With the fear of similar public humiliation hanging over you, you return home determined to achieve. The wife's 'how did band go dear' not quite as supportive as its intended to be.

Weeks of practice (and grumbles that 'I never see you because of that damn saxophone') later you feel there is just a chance you can to it. Which is just as well because its the last rehearsal before the performance. Joy of joys it goes well with only a few minor wobbles, it will be all right on the night.

Its the day. the band is crammed into a small room all trying to prop up their music somewhere for a last blow through. The conductor is tipsy and playfully putting his hands in front of your music - thereby proving conclusively that you do not know it well enough to play from memory. Leaving you nerves a tatrter and no longer able to play with the dots in front of you. He moves on to try this jolly educational jape on fellow band members.

You walk out under the lights, sit down, drop your music, and try to relax while desperately shuffling it back in order.

And they're off again. You keep up, mostly. You play the right notes, mostly. Often in the right order. And its over in a trice. What fun, that was great, you can't wait to do it again.

Long-suffering supportive wife assures you that she heard none of your mistakes, in fact the flutes (trumpets, clarinets, ...whatever) were noticably worse than the sax section.


Del signo 'start new season', ad infinitum - no coda.
 
OP
Lewis.S

Lewis.S

Member
Messages
118
Location
Hertfordshire, England
Lewis why don't you organise something with your fellow musicians, it could become a regular occurence.
Hi

I allready do! It is myself, a grade 7 pianist (he's 12) and a vocalist who's one various competitions (she's 12)

HeHe, I'm the weak link, I'm approaching grade 5!

Lewis;}
 

Phil Edwards

Senior Member
Messages
1,335
Location
East Sussex
Brilliant summary of "life in the concert band" from jadoube, spot on from start to finish.

Very well observed (experienced, rather) and yes, it's addictive. You start each season wondering why the hell you put yourself through it, then realise why you do at the end, and can't wait to start again...
 

jadoube

Member
Messages
150
Location
Fleet, Hampshire
Jadoube
I know the feeling well, but it is after all supposed to be a learning band
And it works. :w00t:

I'd advise anyone contemplating to feel the fear and do it anyway.


You start each season wondering why the hell you put yourself through it, then realise why you do at the end, and can't wait to start again...
Wise words. Decades ago I 'enjoyed' throwing my body (hands, head) between a rugby ball and studded boots wielded by 16+ stones of gristle.

My wife is a psychologist by training. These facts may be corelated.
 

Lloyd

Member
Messages
208
Location
Hertfordshire
Hi,

Does everybody feel that there aren't enough concerts and places to play and show off your 'skills' anyone feel the same way?

Lewis;}
Whereabouts in Hertfordshire are you? I play in a woodwind ensemble in Hemel Hempstead; everything from Bach to Led Zeppelin! Always looking for new members.
 

Lloyd

Member
Messages
208
Location
Hertfordshire
Hertford's about 40 minutes away. We meet on a Wednesday 7pm and give 3 - 4 performances per year. Ages range from 13 to 60+ and there are around 8 people who regularly attend. PM me if you want contact details.
 

Mamos

Member
Messages
691
Location
Falmouth Cornwall
I may have found a band to rehearse with.

A chance meeting with a very old friend of my Wife revealed he is trying to get a samba band together.

There is Trumpet, Trombone, Congas and I think another sax player at the moment.

Not my first choice of music tbh but anything that gets me playing and practising will be a good thing.

Plus it will help me get over the fear of playing with others.

Bumped into a guy in the pub on Sunday who is setting up a blues band as well so hopefully I will get a few sessions in with them as well

mamos
 

RedBottom

Member
Messages
191
Um, Don't you need a licence to busk?
In Leicester there are designated spots where you can busk and you have to go to the council and get your permit on the day. Provided there's still space, anyone can do it - although you'll be sent away with your tail between your legs if you go in for anything racist/sexist or anything elseist.

The last concert band I played in had two ability sections. The supposed higher ability section would sometimes have two or three gigs a month which, coupled with the approximately bi-monthly gigs of the intermediate section (actually the better band of the two) meant that I rarely had a band-free weekend, especially in the summer.

My current band, now in its third year of age, plays just two concerts a year and has its first 'outside' gig in March. It's a band mainly for late bloomers and returners, but there's a fair number of novices in there and the MD is keen not to pressure anyone. I never thought I would settle to this step-down in gigs, but it's giving me so much more time for other things, plus in this band you get the chance to show off in solos and small ensembles - something that seems to be reserved for the kids in many community bands.

The band was actually the brainchild of the owner of our local music shop, who advertises for us and employs the MD, as well as providing a member of his staff to do the admin for us. It's a nice little setup, because we get the support and he gets the business. He's also a member of the Weekend Warriors scheme for those who are more inclined towards the rock end of the spectrum. It may be something worth exploring with your local music shop if there's nothing much else doing in your area.
 
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