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Not waving but drowning! ... First Band Rehearsal.


Costa Blanca, Spain
I was persuaded to go and listen to a local 'concert band' rehearsal last week.

They were very friendly, welcoming and re-assuring, so this week I took my tenor (with which I am least familiar, but they already have 2 altoists and no tenors), and sat-in for a couple of pieces.

It was like sitting in on a lecture in Japanese and being asked to contribute ..... I almost immediately lost track of where we were, although I picked the occasional 'landmark' and managed to play a few notes. (Not necessarily in the right order :))) )

I s'pose the only positive thing to say is that I DID it!! The next time will be slightly less traumatic.... I'll have a better idea of what to do and expect.

I went home with a very slight feeling of achievement and had a very large glass of wine!!
My experience was quite similar. It comes as a shock, no doubt. The parts really were not difficult at all. I do much harder pieces in my practice. But the others were much better at counting and watching the conductor. All the same, I learnt a great deal in that first hour, and I recommend joining a community band once you have reached a suitable level of proficiency.
Good one,
Connichi wa Roger San!

That's great, also called step 1!
I suggest if you have the sheet music count & play through at home at a slower speed (steps 2 & 3) till you can get right through. Would also have been good to record the tunes, that way also at home you can count it (without playing, just watching and listening) and follow the bars untill you know where you are all the way through! Then and only then pick up the sax and off you go, with the recording you can put this into Transcribe or audacity and slow the whole thing down, or the tough sections and even loop them untill you get it right.
The more you listen to it, the easier it will be while reading the music and once that's done … do sections without looking, then longer sections, then what do you know…you've mastered it.

You"ll get there!
Cheers & Ciao
Thanks, all, for the encouragement :)

They seem to guard the sheet music as if it's printed on gold foil, but I'll try to extract some for copying. I also like the idea of recording the session ....I have a Zoom H4....if I can ever figger out how to use it...I did a bit when I first got it and then forgot what I did!!
Another well done from me....
Thinking back to the early days of this forum (well the breakfast room anyway) I don't think you beleived it would happen.
Now you've knocked on the door, go on inside and get familiar with the surroundings.
Well done Roger. I have had the same experience. Joined an intermediate ensemble last September with great trepidation. My timing and reading weren't brilliant but they have improved tremendously now, as has my self confidence in playing. Now another chap, who started at the same time as me, and I get most of the lead parts. Not that I always get it right. On Monday the leader asked me and the other chap to play the middle section of a reggae piece so that the others could get the idea of their parts fitting round it. A repeated four bar phrase that moved up a major 2nd on the repeat. The second four bars was printed on the next line below the first phrase. So what did I do? - launched happily straight into the second phrase at 2 notes higher..and immediately felt very silly!
Keep at it Roger!
Good for you Roger - just enjoy the experience and you will learn many lessons and in no time will be making a grand contribution.
My sax teacher persuaded me to join her band - there are about 40 of us aged from 17 to 70+ - after I had been playing for about 8 months. She had subtley mentioned it on a number of occasions, then we got to the "there's a practice on Sunday, why don't you come along" bit.

Well, last September, I did eventually brave going along, and felt just the same as you, Roger, what on earth had I done? I managed a few notes here and there, but felt that everyone else was perfect and I was the only failure. Still, she was very positive and somehow I managed to go again the next time and again, and....

I wouldn't say I was really any good yet, but I recognise all the music now and enjoy the chit-chat at coffee time and rather look forward to those 2 hours of time spent away from the family :)

And last weekend I played solo - nothing spectacular, just 8 bars in the middle of a piece. Ususally the solo is played by someone else, but she couldn't make it that weekend, she had forewarned me and I had practiced. It went well, and at the end, my teacher (she is also the conductor) asked the band to give me a ripple, as it was my first solo. :thankyou:

I felt so chuffed (and embarrassed....but hey hum!)

Thanks again for the support ....I'll be wearing it next Tuesday ;} ..... and I only remember the first , large glass of wine :D

"Counting" ??? .....OMG, do I now have to learn how to do that, as well as reading those weird hieroglyphics, pressing down/releasing the right buttons, and blowing into that white beaky-thing with PPT on the side? :shocked: :shocked:

How do I count with that thing in my mouth?

Multi-tasking overload is setting-in rapidly.

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