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SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
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One other thing (not sure if it's been mentioned) but often when there are slightly more complexities to remember and reading charts is not possible or appropriate, we would just make shorthand notes as an aide de memoire (aka crib sheet).

So for example if you need a reminder this would be all you might need to for Sea Cruise:

Sea Cruise in C (IV -I - IV - V) F A C D Eb...

So one very quick glance and this gives you the key, chord sequence of horn line, and opening riff. Once you know that the rest sort of takes care of itself.
+1. Yes, I've done this on a few occasions when invited to play a gig with a band I haven't played with before, and all I have is a set list and YouTube a few days prior to the gig. I made some notes on whatever tunes I didn't already know, just as in your example, on a piece of paper that I either kept in my pocket and pulled out for a quick look or placed on the floor at my feet if the lighting was good enough. It worked out just fine.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2011
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Does the OP still exist by the way? Have you had a rehearsal? How's it going?
I was wondering the same thing. Looks like she joined a couple months ago and only has a few posts. I wondered what her decision was and how the rehearsal went. It's not unusual here for someone to start a thread and then never appear again in the thread, but I'm really curious about how this one turned out. Still, it's made for an interesting discussion and good posts from some long-time members and old pros. :geek:
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2017
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This is still a great thread but I think it maybe being over-thought a bit. Since this thread was started I’ve had two gigs with a 9pc band (3 horns). The only charts provided are self written and discouraged on stage. All music would be appropriate for theOP’s gig. Set lists are published in advance by a day or three, but it’s “Show Up, Set Up and Play” with no (or limited) rehearsals for this group.
On the first gig, “If Loving You is Wrong” was on the list and when it came up the trumpet player panicked and said, (grumpily). “I charted this but I forgot my chart!”
The bone player asked “What Key.”
I said “A minor - I think…..Don’t worry about it - We’ll do fine”.
…and we did…

Granted - it was a bit tentative at first, but we were loud and proud by 5he second chorus. We even managed to fit the signature horn lines in!

This stuff is not rocket science - it’s music. Do your homework. At a minimum - listen to the songs on the way to the gig. If you’re unsure- play quietly - (or not at all)

Even if you don’t nail the part you should be able to play tasteful notes that fit. There’s only twelve of the damn things and it’s pretty obvious which ones don’t apply in the key of Am…

most importantly- have fun (and scowl at the bass player if things go south!)

Edit: If you don’t belong on stage in a gig like this - decline. Or put on your big boy britches and take the learning experience. There’s nothing wrong with pushing your limits. You’ll learn a lot ifthe other players on the gig are better - including humility. Stick with it and one day you’ll be the one driving the horns
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2017
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You shouldn't be so nice to trombone players. Spare the rod, you know.
Lol, You're right of course but this guy is world class with a discography to match….he only asked about the key to further rile the trumpet player! (It worked too)

Every band has that one guy…..

There food order is always wrong.
You can't find them during line / sound check.
it's too hot on stage.
They can't hear themselves in the monitors
They miss the first note of almost every song
The lights are in their eyes.
They yawn and check their watch during your solo…
They drink too much and then bitch because the green room smells like weed…
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2011
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This thread is turning into a comedy routine. 🎷🙌👍🤩
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
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All you need is one "Lead" instrument and 3 guy following. Ive had me and another horn at gigs with no rehearsal and we can easily put in harmonized background hits. But the lead has to be defined. thats the issue. Two or three guys throwing stuff in rather than it sound like a section. Dont run to charts, use your ears K
 

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Discussion Starter · #129 ·
I was wondering the same thing. Looks like she joined a couple months ago and only has a few posts. I wondered what her decision was and how the rehearsal went. It's not unusual here for someone to start a thread and then never appear again in the thread, but I'm really curious about how this one turned out. Still, it's made for an interesting discussion and good posts from some long-time members and old pros. :geek:
The gigs went. Sorry I didn't respond to this thread earlier. We probably had about 6 since this post, some were more of a jam gig, a few corporate and private gigs. Very fun! We figured it out and made it work. Since the band leader/manager doesn't provide charts we shared some of them with each other but some of the songs we have different charts for. We make it work. On songs we are playing by ear, one alto player will jump in on a harmony part (there's two altos) and sometimes the tenor will. It would definitely sound even better if we had more sectionals and full rehearsals but it's not my gig. I did suggest it to the band leader and he agrees. Thanks for all the tips, advice, info. Very helpful!
 

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The gigs went. Sorry I didn't respond to this thread earlier. We probably had about 6 since this post, some were more of a jam gig, a few corporate and private gigs. Very fun! We figured it out and made it work. Since the band leader/manager doesn't provide charts we shared some of them with each other but some of the songs we have different charts for. We make it work. On songs we are playing by ear, one alto player will jump in on a harmony part (there's two altos) and sometimes the tenor will. It would definitely sound even better if we had more sectionals and full rehearsals but it's not my gig. I did suggest it to the band leader and he agrees. Thanks for all the tips, advice, info. Very helpful!
Maybe ask the leader if he'll pony up to pay for some charts, either from one of you or the myriad of folks out there that do that.
 
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