Bari in a concert band -- threshold of boredom?

Discussion in 'The Community Band' started by retread, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. retread

    retread

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    Tenor parts are even worse than bari. But tenor offers some exciting moments, such a low G when the arranger is too lazy to rewrite the bass clarinet part.
     
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  2. retread

    retread

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    But I did enjoy the bari part on an arrangement we have of Marriage of Figaro. It mostly doubles the 3rd clarinets. When I recovered from passing out due to lack of oxygen they told me I looked to be having fun.
     
  3. tictactux

    tictactux Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    As others have pointed out, playing a low instrument does wonders to your (lung) stamina.
     
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  4. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    The tenor sax chair is where most strapped band teachers hide their worst players. Totally unnecessary for most of the concert band literature. And I'm certainly not the first to say that.
     
  5. Al Stevens

    Al Stevens

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    That explains it.
     
  6. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Hey, I've sat there cuz that's what the band needed. I can be a team player when necessary.
     
  7. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    And bari, as well. However, I still remember havening to perform a set piece as my final exam in HS. On bari. It was, of course, some alto sax thingy. I was told I could "take it down an octave if I needed to" (it only went up to D or some such) and the director was amazed I could play it as written. And I did have the highest grade of any of the sax players.

    Well, I also owned my own bari. I owned two of them in HS. Not many students do that, either :).

    In one of the few instances where there was a mouthpiece bigger than my Rascher bari, I did use the stock Leblanc contra 'piece. However, I think I coulda duct-taped the Racher onto the contra's neck.
     
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  8. Al Stevens

    Al Stevens

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    Likewise. Well, almost. I declined the glockenspiel chair.
     
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  9. Carl H.

    Carl H. Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    Much of it depends on the group and pieces selected. I generally consider tenor & bari to be death by pp low D long tones. No thanks, I'll do them on my terms and time.

    When I get I get sucked into those seats in cruddy groups, all of a sudden network TV looks kind of interesting. I end up spending 85% of the rehearsal time sitting and doing nothing while the interesting parts are being run through by the conducktor.

    No thanks please.

    In a good group, mallets are a lot of fun. Playing the parts and choreographing the instrument changes keeps you on your toes!
     
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  10. bar-ron

    bar-ron

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    Our director must pick music just so I don't get bored, Montana, by Jan Van Der Roost (a lot of his stuff is juicy), The Doors in concert, Sanford and sons, Olympic theme and fanfare, I'll be there (Four tops), Mit Freischum Schwung, Theme Basses, Graf Zeppelin (The conqueror), America the beautiful Carmen Dragon, and countless others with substantial bari parts. There was Can't stop the beat from hair that smoked.

    I like when I can hold notes for so long that the tenor starts looking at me like I'm some sort of deep sea diver and I sound like a string bass yawning endlessly.

    Sanford and sons was fun with the Berg Larson on so I could rip those bottom notes loud enough that 40 band members seemed like my back up band...they were calling me Harley.:-D

    Check out our bands CD mvcband.org and give it to your band director.
    Half the songs are Bari friendly. Most of the regular songs I'm on a Hite but the cooking ones I switch to the Berg for that extra power without as much work. It's a rather dark Berg but it is a berg all the same.
     
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  11. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Those do sound like fun and I'll check out the Web site. It's a good director who selects songs based on the strength of the band. :cool:
     
  12. AltoRuth

    AltoRuth

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    How true! Re: the bari part in the three community bands with which I've played---I've seen several bari players come and go. From my limited experience, a bad bari player is a dangerous thing in a community band---the lack of control and bad intonation, combined with the strong liklihood of their playing way too loud is problematic for the group and especially for the director, particularly so when the official policy is "come one, come all". I'll stay with alto---easier to cover my deficiencies.

    However, I've also had the pleasure of those times when we've had someone on bari who was in control of the instrument, knew his/her place in the ensemble, and made it happen. At those times it was pure pleasure when the director had the wisdom to pick the correct rep. I think of bari in a wind ensemble in much the same way as I regard the oboe----badly played it is very painful (except the oboe gets more solo stuff and is hence is even more potentially dangerous). And I'd put the bass clarinet right up there with those two. At this point in my history with community bands, none have a bari player; two have adequate oboists and the other has no oboe (I get some good cues to play!); one of the bands has a sublime bass clarinet player, and the other two, well-----'nuff said.

    Of course, there is always cowbell........

    Regards,

    Ruth
     
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  13. Carl H.

    Carl H. Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    Add Bassoon to Ruth's list. The guy around here who plays everywhere is something else. I think he plays an Olds, or is it a Buick,, Hard to tell with the earplugs.
     
  14. bar-ron

    bar-ron

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    I missed a few rehearsals due to work so I was glad to get back cranking out the bottom. The tubas and the trombones actually like my steadfast musical ability and tempos. I especially like when we are doing some monstrous thundering low not at fortissimo and a few of the clarinet players can't help turning around and laughing as I part their hair.

    I used to be the alto player that reveled in playing the lead but quite frankly I consider my job adding dynamics to the bottom notes, depth and sweetness to trombone and baritone parts my enjoyment now. When I play Sanford and Sons or the Olympic theme from John Williams and have to be heard and felt across the stage I love it.

    Ya sure a lot of times the notes are just big long and easy...but they are the richness and tone of the entire bottom end and in some cases the growl that is needed for adding snap to otherwise too puffy of a Tuba note.

    After being away a few weeks quite a few band members were concerned as my sound is so important to the bands over all tone and I am missed quite a bit when I'm not there..I never had that concern when I was an alto among many. Even just something like Siverado the bari adds to the over all power here and there.

    In sax quartet I wouldn't want to play anything but bari or Bass and have fun with the simplicity but oh so important parts. I think I am just addicted to the smooth low tone and eyeball rattling power.
     
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  15. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I got to play bari sax at the last concert. The regular bari player wanted to play alto, so we swapped. He is struggling with the intonation of the alto sax as is another player in that section. For the first time that I can remember, the alto saxes sounded too loud; dissonance makes for a louder sound.

    However, I got to play with some of the best tbones, bass clarinets, euphoniums, and tubas ever. Much but not all of the low lines were doubled. The low bass sound was fabulous and I'm glad I did it. (I'm back on alto and wrestling with trying to make the 4 altos sound like two during the P and PP marked parts.

    Here's an example of the result of a song selected to highlight the strengths of this band. You'll want to put a headset on to hear this well.

    WCB - The Witch and the Saint
     
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  16. Bari Sax Guy

    Bari Sax Guy

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    I disagree (over seven years later). 2nd Alto is the most boring part I have ever played in concert band, although I did improve at counting 1-2-3-4, 2-2-3-4...35-2-3-4, etc. :)
     
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  17. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    We'll have to agree to disagree on this. I love when the 2nd alto gets to play against the 1st alto. I've had lead players comment on how good it sounds too. And then when a great arranger plays the two against each other ... well, you live for that. We have three altos in my current concert band. Often I will give myself the second because the other 2nd player (our principal plays all first parts) doesn't play the second part loud enough to pass the "so what" test.
     
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  18. Bari Sax Guy

    Bari Sax Guy

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    (still counting 40-2-3-4..) Gandalfe, if I was playing the charts you are describing, then I would agree that Alto 2 would interesting.
     
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  19. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    Depends on the piece, but I'd say maybe 60% of the charts I've played in bands/orchestras the alto saxophones double the French horns. In which case, I guess you could say alto 4 is the most boring part.

    I had an incredibly short percussion career. I'd say that a lot of auxiliary percussion parts are the most boring: 53 measures of rests followed by a full measure of playing triangle. Wheee.
     
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  20. retread

    retread

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    I knew a couple who subbed in a small symphony, he on double and single reeds, she on percussion. He didn't think it fair that they were paid the same when he was usually playing and she napped between triangle entrances.
     
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