Monday, March 17, 2008

Band Geeks -- We're Brass. We RULE.

I don't know how many people know this, but aside from the fact that Brian and I met in high school -- well, right before I was in high school -- is the fact that since he was two years older than me, there was only ONE way to get a class with him.

Well, two.

But Brian was a serious musician at the age of like 12, so there was NO WAY he was going to take P.E.

So, you know the expression "If Mohammed won't come to the Mountain, the Mountain must come to Mohammed?"

I joined band.

I took band and played my Dad's trumpet in middle school. I could remember a few notes. But my sophomore year in high school it had been nearly 2 years since I'd last played, so I faked it and joined the MVHS Marching Band's brass section.

As you can imagine, every band has its pecking order. The cute little stupid girls play flute. They usually end up being prom queens and cheerleaders by senior year.

Woodwinds are ok. They are artificially full of themselves, but aside from a bari sax, don't have the wind to back it up.

Brian on his trombone and me with my trumpet put us in the brass section.

The brass section is made up of trumpets, trombones, tubas and the occasional French horns. We believe we are not only the coolest in the band, we'll drown you out if you try to argue otherwise.

Then of course there's the rhythm section. These are not really musicians. But they keep a good beat, and give you the cymbal crash when you need it, so they're tolerated by most others in the orchestra.

There aren't any strings in your average high school band, so we won't go there.

So back to the story:

We had very cool Minute Man costumes.

I marched.

I faked playing.

All so I could be around the guy I already knew I loved.

And HE thought I was just a musician, and aside from thinking I was cute, didn't do a thing about it.

It would be two more years before we'd date. And by then he'd be in college and I'd be a senior in high school. Even with a year off, by my senior year I'd become quite a good trumpet player, finishing high school as the lead trumpet player in the jazz band, and 2nd chair in the orchestra.

As Brian was going through his music stuff tonight, he gave me a cute cartoon, and said "You can toss this after you read it, but being a Brass Player, I figured you'd appreciate it."

And I do.

Here's one of the line of jokes:

Words & Expressions NOT to use on a Brass Player:

1) Please
2) Softer
3) What's the matter?
4) Let's run that phrase a few times
5) What kind of mouthpiece do you play?
6) Do you have a mute?
7) Isn't that a lovely violin solo?
8) You must be thrilled to work with such a conductor.
9) I'd like you to meet my wife/daughter/sister/grandmother.


OK, if you're still reading -- there's one more thing Brian gave me that describes him to a tee:

"Trombone players are relaxed individuals, completely assured of a place in life, and to a man they all possess the ability to tell the same story 8 times a day in great detail without changing a word. Getting a trombonist to change a note on his part or to even alter a dynamic is like trying to change the diet of a Koala Bear.

In the Brass Section, the trumpet plays the melody. They have fanfares, climaxes, solos, and lead the ensemble. French horns play beautiful color patterns and set the mood. Tubas play the bass notes, the ostinatos, the pedal points, the roots. Without a Tuba there is no recognizable chord progression.

Trombones play what is left:"


Then there's a short bit of sheet music that shows the trombone playing whole notes, the same note, over and over again.

OK.

Geek Brass Moment Over.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Look lady: I am neither stupid or anyplace close to prom queeen. Those of us that started playing the flute in 3rd grade did not know anything about pecking order... it was just the smallest, cheapest instrument.

So there.

Besides, I was WAY too cool to be in high school marching band - only nerds were in marching band. ;o)

For what it is worth though, I will be marrying a full fledged marching band nerd next weekend. He even played into college. He's a brass guy too (euphonium was what he played most).

Once you go band nerd, you'll never go back. LOL!

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