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Dixieland57
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« on: Jul 16, 2017, 06:58AM »

Hi, I have a sort of dilemma with my band and need some advices.

In March I've joined an amateur big band, they are 2 trombones so the woman who play second give me his place and start playing 1st with the other one.

The problem is that they had demanding job that don't allow to be there at each weekly repetition and gig.
So after some months playing 2nd I feel pretty good and Last week ask if for september I can play first because I'm present every week and at every gig, so if it wasn't none of the 2 it will sound less weird playing 1st and no 2nd that playing 2nd and have no 1st, but the response was no way, they wouldn't switch.

And some other things bother me like playing pop songs at the middle of a jazz repertoire and the most crazy thing is that trombone section sitting on the back behind the trumpet...
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Sliphorn
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« Reply #1 on: Jul 16, 2017, 07:54AM »

I think it's the right thing to do to ask the leader if you can at least get comfortable with the book.  Once they hear you play it they might want you there. 

The pop thing bugs me a lot, too. 
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BGuttman
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« Reply #2 on: Jul 16, 2017, 08:10AM »

Let's see if I understand.

There are three trombone players in the band, 2 playing 1st and you playing 2nd.  Why don't they have a 1st, 2nd, and a 3rd?  No 3rd parts?

What kind of audience do you play for?  I play in a couple of big bands where we put some pop tunes in the lineup because the audience likes them.  Sort of like concert bands playing "Instant Concert" by Harold Walters (musicians don't like it, but audiences do).

Could there be an ego problem with the other players not wanting you to take "their" chair?  As the junior guy you have very little say in the matter.  For that matter, they may not want 3 firsts and no second.

Is the issue that the other two players don't bother with rehearsals and only show for the gigs?  That's not fair.  The leader should make at least one of them play the rehearsals.  Maybe they platoon (alternate rehearsals).

Sounds like an odd setup at best.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #3 on: Jul 16, 2017, 09:31AM »

I think it's the right thing to do to ask the leader if you can at least get comfortable with the book.  Once they hear you play it they might want you there.
If the OP is successful with that approach, the people who are playing first trombone now will almost certainly be offended. I'm not say that it's a bad idea, but the consequences must be considered before taking such an action.

I played in a band with those sorts of issues for a while. I decided it was best to just show up, play the part they put in front of you, and do your best to make a positive contribution to the music. Let others deal with the ego stuff.

As for mixing "pop" music in with the jazz? As Bruce pointed out, that is often something a band has to do to keep an audience. I am curious, though - could you give a few examples of what you would consider appropriate jazz tunes and also some examples of the "pop" tunes that you object to? In the band I used to play with, the struggle wasn't pop vs. jazz but swing vs. bebop and other more modern styles.
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Dixieland57
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« Reply #4 on: Jul 16, 2017, 10:19AM »

It's no band leader, that's another problem, no one is experimented to tight up the whole thing.

A gig repertoire going from ain't misbehavin', respect, malaguena, hey jude to chameleon, route 66 and always the same 2 that drive me crazy bugle boy call and in the mood...

No need to say that's no coherance
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BGuttman
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« Reply #5 on: Jul 16, 2017, 03:21PM »

Ah, but "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and "In the Mood" are crowd pleasers.  "In the Mood" was a cornerstone of Glenn Miller concerts in the 1940s.
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Bruce Guttman
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JohnL
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« Reply #6 on: Jul 16, 2017, 04:55PM »

A gig repertoire going from ain't misbehavin', respect, malaguena, hey jude to chameleon, route 66 and always the same 2 that drive me crazy bugle boy call and in the mood...

Not very different from what the band I used to play with, except there'd usually be one or two modern jazz charts in the mix. We pretty much played whatever charts the band members could scrounge up. Thing is, the group billed itself as a swing band (it was part of the group's name), but I was largely alone in my desire to build a repertoire of swing-era music. The band leader/vocalist wanted "standards" and a lot of the others wanted to do more straight-ahead jazz with lots of room for solos.

That seems to be the way of big bands at the amateur/low semi-professional level.
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gregs70

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« Reply #7 on: Jul 16, 2017, 06:02PM »

We had a lead also player who made every rehearsal but refused to play the few gigs we had.  He is gone now, not because he was dismissed but he quit playing...  He was a good player but a crotchety guy and hard of hearing to boot...

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Max Croot
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« Reply #8 on: Jul 16, 2017, 08:06PM »

Hi I think that we are very lucky with our section and our whole band. No ego problems. We are all capable players and we swap parts so no matter if one is not able to make the gig any of the others can step up and we really work together as a section. One of our vocalists also plays valve trom and we have a very good bass trom and we play a very balanced program of music depending on the type of gig. Cheers Max.
 
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