• I ran across this old picture from the 1980s of a German band I played in from time to time. We were playing for members of the Von Braun rocket team, their families, and friends at a picnic on top of a mountain in Huntsville, Alabama. I still have the flugelhorn, an Olds L-12, and the suspenders...lol

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  • @Dale-Proctor That's a cool pic!!


  • Looks like a lot of fun.
    I wonder at what point Americans will acknowledge that there is a difference between Prussian music, Bohemian Music and Bavarian Music. Bavarian Music is not German Music. FWIW,


  • You do get around, Dale.


  • @Kehaulani said in German Band:

    Looks like a lot of fun.
    I wonder at what point Americans will acknowledge that there is a difference between Prussian music, Bohemian Music and Bavarian Music. Bavarian Music is not German Music. FWIW,

    Well, it was a Bavarian band, then...😉


  • @GeorgeB said in German Band:

    You do get around, Dale.

    George, I’ve been fortunate to have played in all sorts of different groups over the years - various big bands, a British-style brass band, a few concert bands, a Civil War brass band, a parlor/society band (early 20th century style), large church orchestra, brass quintet, the Bavarian band, a mariachi band (short lived), numerous weddings, a couple symphony orchestras, a Salvation Army band, and numerous pit orchestras for musicals. I don’t have the improv skills to play jazz, and have never played in a rock band or anything similar.

    The trick is to be well rounded in playing many different styles of music. That initially comes from listening to and studying a particular style you’re interested in playing, and then getting your feet wet in a group of that style. For example, with the mariachi band, I listened to a LOT of mariachi music on YouTube and practiced emulating that unique style of playing. The band didn’t survive long (the leader had a protracted illness shortly after our first gig, and the band fell apart), but I was beginning to get into it pretty well...lol


  • Do the suspenders still fit ?


  • @Dale-Proctor
    Wow, that is some resume`.

    I would have to say that you must be an exceptional sight reader in order to accomplish all you have. All the things you have done more than make up for not having the improv skills to play jazz. I would be quite content if I had your talent, my friend.

    There are a couple of players I know and have played with who happen to be great sight readers and yet, like you, are not skilled in improv. But, man, put the notes on paper and they can play anything. I'm sure you could, too !


  • This is off-topic, but for those who might benefit - the trick to sight-reading is to be reading ahead of what you're playing. It also helps to be able to know a compendium of most-used rhythmic patterns. You then see the rhythms ahead of time and match pitches to them when the time comes.

    Know your scales. If you're in the key of Eb and see a run from D to D with an Eb, Ab and a Bb in it, don't think of it as D to D run concentrating on playing the chromatics, but just see it as one unit, that of a run from D to D in the key of Eb. Know your scales and how to read them.


  • @Kehaulani
    Some excellent advice there.


  • @Pinstriper said in German Band:

    Do the suspenders still fit ?

    No answer yet. Keeping us in suspense for sure.


  • @Pinstriper said in German Band:

    Do the suspenders still fit ?

    I’d guess they do. I weigh about 20 lbs. less now than I did in that picture...😁


  • @GeorgeB

    Thanks, George. Yep, I’m a pretty good sight reader, and you nailed it - if it’s printed out, I can make a good stab at playing it, but music with nothing but chord changes written are beyond my ability. When a solo like that crops up, all I can do is some basic ornamentation of the main theme of the song. Playing by ear is a definite no-go, too. I suppose it has to do with all my past “legit” musical experience and never really being involved much with any kind of improv (and I don’t think my brain is wired correctly to do it, anyway). I’m just happy to do what I can and hopefully contribute to music making wherever I’m playing. It’s been an interesting ride so far...🙂


  • @Dale-Proctor
    " Basic ornamentation " of the melody has worked for me the 12 years I played in the 50s and 60s and anything I been doing since I started up again in 2016. In fact I don't care to listen to those jazz players who record a 7 or 8 minute rendition of Stella By Starlight where you may hear 40 or 50 seconds of the melody. I was always a huge fan of Bobby Hackett because you always knew the title of the song he was playing.


  • So. I guess you don't enjoy the development section of a Beethoven String Quartet, LOL.