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Discussion Starter #1
Just finished playing in a big band for our semester-ending concert... and it was horrendous.

I'll give one example from among the dozen or so that happened. This occurred when we played "A Child is Born" tonight:

As most of you know, it's in 3/4, and the first chorus is 1/2 solo piano, 1/2 P/B/D. The pianist took his solo part and played it in a rubato-esque fashion, and actually sounded great. Well, it so happens that when our conductor cued in bass & drums, the pianist somehow royally screwed up and entered on the & of 1... AND kept playing at his own random tempo (which was about 20bpm faster than the tempo everyone else was playing)! The rest of the rhythm section then got that "deer-in-the-headlights" look and it all fell apart.

Needless to say, we were all embarrassed.

So now that that's done, what do you all do if the band starts falling apart? Conduct? Count out loud? Stop the chart and restart? Keep on going?
I'm curious.

Also, if you have any particularly interesting stories that are relevant, feel free to share.
 

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Back to the head
 

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the rhythm section should have tried to keep their place
 

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In worst case scenarios, call out the measure number. If it's too far gone to be saved, stop the band and pick a spot to restart.

The pianist must've been in their owl little world. Most pianists in big bands play with their back to the audience/conductor so maybe there's good reason they couldn't follow the conductor but they must've been completely ignoring the rest of the rhythm section.
 

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The worst thing that has happened to me was when I was playing Children of Sanchez with a group of people at a concert. We cut out some repeats but kept some and this wasn't communicated effectively. In the middle of the piece we started to lose it and people stopped playing. Then there was one point in the middle of the piece where everyone just stopped playing, we all looked at eachother, and then just decided that was going to be the end of our piece. We walked off stage and the audience still clapped!
 

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I've never been in the situation listed here when everybody loses their place, but I've never been in a biog band situation. I've encountered a couple times at the beginning of a number when someone (guitarist or keyboard) began in a different key and all have stopped and adjusted. I also remember a time when the song was supposed to be in 6/8 rime and the drummer played it in 4/4 time. The rest of us adjusted on the fly to make it a 4/4 number. The one time that I as the soloist came in at the wrong time of an instrumental section I held a high C# for a measure or so until the song caught up with me and went from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
the rhythm section should have tried to keep their place
In any other case, I would agree. That's the point of being the rhythm section.

But I think that when the conductor is prominently counting a steady tempo and any one player enters in the wrong place, plays much faster than everyone else, AND doesn't realize it – especially when in such an exposed part of a chart like this one – then the blame falls squarely on said player... at least in a big band context.
 

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1. If you have a conductor, defer to him/her. Hopefully, he/she will see the impending trainwreck coming and yell out a measure or rehearsal number, followed by a big, fat "one."

2. Regardless, having to stop and re-start a chart is not the worst thing in the world. I've played on a band with L.A. heavyweights where we had to do this. People get over it.

By the way, if a "dozen" things happen like you describe, I'd venture that your band was either poorly-prepared, or got an extreme case of the jitters... which also indicates poor preparation. Either way, treat it as a learning experience and move on.
 

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I just don't get how someone mess up their time so badly. I know piano players aren't know for their great sense of rhythm but this:D
 

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My story is the strangest ever , I was practicing for a xmas holiday party with over 500 people at a hotel (corp party) and I was putting away my Bass Flute and turned it over to clean the flute when all of a sudden the flute came loose from the footjoint . Well the main body of the flute speared my second toe ouch and bounced off the carpeting.
I was bleeding pretty bad on the ground in pain. The flute was damaged and un playable ( 200 to fix it ) . So I dusted off my self and performed anyways till 100am in the morning. What a crazy experience!
 

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Train wrecks just happen sometimes. The only solution is to get back on the tracks. They're pretty good indicators of what needs to be addressed in the next practice though...
 

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Stop it all, and start again, while making a joke about it. We sometimes start in different keys (Real Book clash, e.g.), which is easy to joke about, and re-start. If someone is out, everyone should be listening and someone just takes a lead: it works better with regular bands, but as long as someone plays the tune loud or shouts 1,2,3, that usually does the trick. It's jazz, and part of the fun is that it can fall apart so easily, but does it relatively rarely. There are plenty of out-takes by the greats that show nobody is immune to this, which is good.
 

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.....dosen't make it any less dumb....possibly a bit more so, since it came from someone who probably should know better. Then again. maybe your teacher has the misfortune of playing with a lot of sucky piano players....
Maybe my piano teacher is a piano player and he was joking and so was I and you really can't take a joke can you?:faceinpalm:
 

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Maybe my piano teacher is a piano player and he was joking and so was I and you really can't take a joke can you?:faceinpalm:
Yeah....I can take a joke. Sorry for my obvious stupidity. I'll not make that mistake ever, ever again, I swear to you as God is my witness.....
Seriously, I didn't realize you were trying to be funny
 
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