Tuesday, April 6, 2010

That 30-second epiphany that defines the clarinet player's life in the band

So earlier today (it's still Monday in my head), we're playing Pinball Wizard at Penn Band rehearsal.  Cool song, right?  Well, I guess.  At any rate the drum major decides to have only the clarinets and flutes play their part at the beginning of the song.  The part is a rhythmic pattern of 8ths/16ths that repeats in each measure and I believe is meant to imitate the guitar strumming.  (As a side note I'll say it took me til senior year to figure out the rhythm... or at least I think I've got it now.)  The action proceeds as follows:

Clarinets/flutes:  (begin playing the part, several measures go by)

Trumpet player:  Wait, that's the part?!? ...... Wow, that's gross!

Major sigh.  In the space of 30 seconds it was plainly illustrated how a) we sometimes get stuck with annoying, boring, or otherwise undesirable parts, but far worse, b) very often the rest of the band doesn't even have a clue what we're playing cuz they can't hear us at all.  This was one of those moments when I'm not sure how much I really contribute to the band.  Oh well.