After marching season is over and brass players can finally have normal looking lips again, concert season begins. Now you will be required to sit on stage with other players and play more music ( Hey, at least it's air-conditioned). Playing in concerts demands more of players than even a marching band does. Here are some tips to lessen those demands and get the most out of concert playing.
First and foremost, you must
LISTEN! Just like on the marching fields, a person that
sticks out above everybody else because they're playing too
loud will make the band sound awful. A good rule to stick to
is to not play louder than the person sitting next to you. If
everyone is doing this, then nobody will play louder than
anybody else. This also means that you play the same style
that the rest of the band plays. Think of how peculiar it
would sound if a trumpet played in a jazz-like style during
Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Always listen and match the rest
of the band.
Another tip is to be quiet and not
drive your band director crazy! Loud rehearsals almost always
result in getting nearly nothing done. In rehearsals where
everyone cooperates and no one talks, more can be accomplished
because the director is not distracted. Don't be the bad
apple in the bunch because being disruptive rubs off on others.
Always have a pencil at rehearsal so you can mark your music. Little reminders of some sharps and flats have saved my tail many times. Don't be afraid to do this - professionals do the same exact thing.
Practice your part in such a way that if you had to play it from memory, you could. One of the biggest showings of how well you know a piece of music is whether you can play it from memory or not. Don't memorize it all in one practice session. Instead, memorize the piece because you have practiced it many times.