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Author Topic: Full band solo  (Read 4059 times)
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« on: Jan 20, 2004, 08:19PM »

I'm a senior in high school, but I've only been playing my trombone since the beginning of my sophomore year. I'm also first chair in the second of three bands.

Anyway, my band is playing a piece and I find that I have a solo in it. While I've played solo's in brass ensemble's of about 25 people, I haven't had the opportunity to really play in a larger group (roughly 60-70 people, all three bands together are a little under 200 this year). I've also had different solo's where I'm playing with a few woodwind players, which I don't have a problem with. I even have one where I'm the only one with a 'moving' line, so to speak.

With the piece, I can play the section whenever I'm practicing, but whenever the section comes in the song I usually choke on it somewhere. It's a 3/2 triplet quarternote              with a Bb    , an eighth rest and high Eb quarter followed by the D right below that.
 
Everytime I play it, I either mess up the G or the Eb, and it's been bothering me a lot. I suppose I just get nervous, since I can play it by myself. I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to approach this problem. I've always been a perfectionist at heart, especially with this, but this has been one tough year. =\ Anyhoo, any helpful comments will be appreciated. If I don't improve it, I may lose it and possibly even first chair.  
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Brandon Natelli
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 21, 2004, 05:06AM »

As this is your first post...  WELCOME TO THE FOURM!!

Try practicing the piece differently.  Take the approach of knowing the piece beyond anthing.  When you practice it, is passable each time you play or just a few?  If it isn't, make it flawless 10 times in a row.  Not just, I fracked the note this time, but that doesn't count because I won't do that.  Typically you perform the way you worst practice.  You need to be able to play it with little effort on your part.  As for the nerves...  Not really anything we can help you with everyone is different.  You just need to focus on your part more.  Try to figure out how you to do this.  Good luck!  Come visit us often!
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David Gross
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« Reply #2 on: Jan 21, 2004, 06:40AM »

Off topic -but- "From Slidell". What a great place for a trombone player to be from: SLIDE-ll
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« Reply #3 on: Jan 22, 2004, 12:14PM »

As someone who is pushing 40, it sounds like a little "fear of failure" creeping in.  I still feel it myself occasionally.  Listen to Brandon as far as practicing it at home/away from the ensemble.  (You've got to make sure you can feel when the whole thing is right, but you absolutely need to hit the opening note of the solo dead on.)  But when it comes time to do it for real, you need to relax and not give a hoot whether you boot it or not. JUST PLAY!!!     If you worry too much about screwing up, guess what: you will!  

By the by, what style piece is this? And tempo??  There's a big difference between a slow,jazzy piece and something that's zipping by M = 120!  

You know, in the real world, sometimes you gotta shoot for "close enough for government work" instead of perfection. [If only you and the conductor know you goofed, that's something you can deal with.    ]
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Johannes Mader

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« Reply #4 on: Jan 22, 2004, 01:25PM »

Always remember you actually can play this piece!
Try to keep this in your mind.
And don't worry and but just relax as labrat said.
Ask some friends to listen to you playing this part.


Johannes
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Brandon Natelli
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« Reply #5 on: Jan 22, 2004, 01:47PM »

Hey post it here too!  Make one copy, not the best of several.  Then we all will listen and tell you what we think.  Most of us will be nice.        I can imagine that that is nerve racking.
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« Reply #6 on: Jan 23, 2004, 05:35AM »

X,

Try this: Record the whole band next time your rehearse, and then play along with the recording at home.  This works even if you play your solo during the recording.

There's a big difference between playing something all by yourself and with a band behind you.  Practice it the way you'll play it.
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« Reply #7 on: Jan 23, 2004, 07:38AM »

Another "trick" is to practice the notes, but vary the rhythm.  Mix it up, change the tempo, "swing" it, play it as dotted 1/8 notes and 1/16s -- whatever to break the habit now you have.  Once you get the chops / arm / support thing worked out and don't cuff the notes, go back and use the correct, written rhythm.

As you practice, visualize yourself sitting on stage in front of the whole band and a huge audience...Rolling Stone concert huge.  You can, to some extent, train yourself to be used to playing in front of a crowd, and when the real thing comes along you won't be as nervous.  In other words, turn the mind games to your favor.

Keith
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Brandon Natelli
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« Reply #8 on: Jan 23, 2004, 11:36AM »

quote:
Originally posted by Al:
X,

Try this: Record the whole band next time your rehearse, and then play along with the recording at home.  This works even if you play your solo during the recording.

There's a big difference between playing something all by yourself and with a band behind you.  Practice it the way you'll play it.

This is a great idea.  But only after the basics of playing the piece are there.  Which I imagine in your case are.
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"He was not liked, but they learned to fear him." -Jacques Manheit on Gustav Mahler
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