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Going to Rehearal In A Few...But...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bass81800, Jun 21, 2014.

  1. Please do not get me wrong...this group has great players and a lot of potential. I am not planning on leaving this group, not at the point of starting my own group due to life situation for now, but I feel so weighted down with how the group is managed re: charts..

    This is a group that also has horns, so the chart issue has become an issue of endless discussion as to who is responsible for what, and how to deal with tunes we take turns suggesting that may not be easily available. BL was complaining of having to rewrite a chart in Bb. Charts go in dropbox and are supposed to be printed out. The group is endlessly discussing charts, how many tunes are too many to learn, etc., etc. all week.

    So I am just curious about a few things in the realm of how bands work for you. I do play in several groups where none of these problems exist because the BL prepares the set list and all the charts for the gigs in a book for each player, and we just show up and play.

    Is getting chats available something the BL should be doing? We are a consistent group, but there will always be those situations were we need to call a sub. In my years of experience, charts and rehearsals, learning tunes, set lists, etc. have never been such a big issue or any issue at all.

    Just would like to talk with BL, who does not have any previous experience managing groups to make this less complicated and....fun!
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014
  2. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    If charts/song keys are the issue, the horns should talk among themselves and decide on a key without wasting everyone's time.

    Other than that, decide on who is going to choose the tunes. Everyone else shut up and play them. Sounds like the band is too large to exist as a democracy.
  3. I know there are a few people on here that think every band should be a democracy. I'm not one of those people.

    IMHO since you have a BL it is his problem to sort out. He can either make up the charts or find someone else to make them up. It's also his job to squelch all the yappity yapping that causing so much "discussion". Nothing wrong with forming a consensus but someone needs to be the point man.

    Is this something you can do and are willing to take on? Excellent opportunity to make yourself irreplaceable.
    buldog5151bass likes this.
  4. nukes_da_bass

    nukes_da_bass Banned

    Feb 19, 2006
    west suburban boston
    Key should be designed 1) around the singers range and 2) around the idiosyncrasies of Bb horns.
    So if the singer is REALLY comfortable in E, than Eb should be the compromise.
    buldog5151bass likes this.
  5. BL complains about writing Bb charts? What is wrong with him - he knows horns are in Bb and Eb, so just shut it and write the charts. That's about on par with a guitar player complaining he has to tune before the gig. It's basic stuff. You need a designated horn section leader - someone who will write and or review the charts to make sure they are correct and agree with the song's arrangement. This person should distribute print outs and keep a master book, in case of a lost book.

    As far as transposing the tunes - set them to the key that is best for the vocals, and if the horn players whine about playing in concert A (their B) then they need to man up. Likewise, no whine from the guitar player when the key is Db, (Eb for Bb horns) either..
  6. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    Well, mixed feelings on this issue. A lot depends on the skill and experience of the players. On one end not having a chart in the right key is no excuse to not play the song, but transposing on the spot is something alot of folks can't do well, and i am no exception. Either way i still take a stab at it and likely succeed after a couple choruses.

    On the other hand, if you all don't want to go the transposing route, the BL has set the precedent of distributing the charts, he should just understand that and provide them in the correct key for the horns. Sounds reasonable to me. Buy a B flat real book and make copies if he doesn't like writing up new charts...a google search will yield many charts in horn keys.
  7. Thanks for all your responses. I failed to add that the group is mainly instrumental and we only introduce a vocalist if the gig calls for it. As for me, no I cannot be the "point man" with the current band dynamics. But, I make many suggestions that are well received. And, I also agree that bands cannot function as democracies either. It is actually well structured with everyone having the opportunity to introduce tunes, and commentary, but final decision by the BL.

    Had a discussion with BL about cutting all the yappity yapping about this and that online and I am doing my part as well. No, not all members are able to transpose on the spot, and think a few things are worked out now.
  8. I'm glad everything is working out.

    Just to clarify my original comments, I didn't mean to imply becoming the BL. I meant taking on the job of writing the charts.
    bass81800 likes this.
  9. Sounds like the horns need to escape playing in middle school key signatures! Heck, the big band I play with has its signature tune in Db.

    Too many to learn? Are there that many new songs each week? I play in a group that meets only once a month and we have a binder of 100+ tunes. The set list is made a week or so ahead and there are gaps for audience choice. So, we pretty much have to know them all. Its never been a discussion point.

    A copy of Printmusic can save a lot of headaches when transposing. Put it in the original key, click transpose, select your transposition.
    Or just drag and drop it to a new line that is set up for the particular instrument. Poof! Done!

    As far as the charts... dropbox is good, as is having them on hand at a gig. I know its a lot of music to tote around, but you never know when someone will be missing a page or a pdf didn't scan in the right way or is inaccessible via dropbox for some unknown reason.

    For a long time, if we needed a sub, then we got the book to the sub player ourselves. That's pretty reasonable. If its an emergency, that's when the bandleader brings along the extra book.
    bass81800 likes this.

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