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  #1  
Old 10-01-2018, 11:57 PM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Default What is the cleverest instruction given to you by a music director?

Based on the "What is the most unintelligible instruction given to you by a music director?" thread... What is the cleverest instruction given to you by a music director? That is, what unobvious words did they use that immediately conveyed what they wanted?

For me, it was when I was told to play something "brighter". The conductor deliberately didn't use the word faster, as that could be interpreted the wrong way. But 'bright' was exactly the right word to describe a slight increase in tempo, and I knew exactly what he meant by that. I've used the word frequently since then.

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Old 10-02-2018, 01:46 AM
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Default Re: What is the cleverest instruction given to you by a music director?

Not by a music director, but I was reading an interview with Art Blakey in Modern Drummer and he said, and I paraphrase: Don't worry if you make a mistake. Learn to do that mistake on purpose.
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Old 10-02-2018, 02:04 AM
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Default Re: What is the cleverest instruction given to you by a music director?

I was at a band directors’ conference and the presenter had also studied the use of mime and facial expressions. He could conduct with his eyes! He’d raise one eyebrow and our tone would change, he’d smile, he’d frown, he’d look to one side and we’d all play faster, slower, darker, brighter without even realising it.
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Old 10-02-2018, 02:07 AM
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Default Re: What is the cleverest instruction given to you by a music director?

Written next to an abrupt rest : "Out like a sniper victim."
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Old 10-02-2018, 02:15 AM
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Default Re: What is the cleverest instruction given to you by a music director?

With my high school band I use terms like warmer, darker, brighter, ease back, driving, crisp, round, patient, angry, etc. but they’re pretty standard. I often say things like ‘the staccato here should be bouncy like a ball. At the moment that ball is flat. Splot’

Had a conductor describe the opening crescendo of a modern piece as the first hint of light before dawn. Building from nothing, imperceptibly, gradually becoming a full sound, but so slowly and naturally that no-one even notices it growing.
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Old 10-02-2018, 02:33 AM
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Default Re: What is the cleverest instruction given to you by a music director?

On a related note, the only tempo mariking on this song from a musical is ‘square’. (Also - the first bar of this song is bar 8 for some reason).
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Old 10-02-2018, 03:58 AM
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Default Re: What is the cleverest instruction given to you by a music director?

Conductor waves the band to a halt..."Mike, what dynamic is written on measure XXX for the bass drum?"

Me: "Uh, three effs... uh, fortissimo... issimo?"

Everybody's laughing, conductor tells me to just hit the bass drum as hard as I can.

I looked it up when I got home, fff is fortississimo, not fortissimo issimo.

Not sure if that's why everyone laughed or not - I bet at least some knew the correct term, but probably not all. Now I do.
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Old 10-02-2018, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: What is the cleverest instruction given to you by a music director?

During my HS band days, I played French horn. The assistant band director always told us that when we were playing (and singing for that matter) to use the same muscles to push air out of our horns that we used when sitting on the toilet. It actually works well.










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Old 10-02-2018, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: What is the cleverest instruction given to you by a music director?

One of my earliest theater gigs was an original musical, called "The Borrowers." It was based on the children's book series, and the whole thing was pretty rated G. However, at one point the villain and villainess of the musical have a musical number together, and the composer / musical director's direction for the feel of the piece was to make it sound like a whiskey soaked 1920s bordello. Okayyyyyyyy... so on the first rehearsal, I just swung it hard and made it as sleazy sounding as I could. At the end of the piece, he looks straight at me and said, "oh that's it exactly!"
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Old 10-02-2018, 05:08 PM
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Default Re: What is the cleverest instruction given to you by a music director?

Watch me for the breaks.

That's about as clever as it gets in my world lol.
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  #11  
Old 10-02-2018, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: What is the cleverest instruction given to you by a music director?

The orchestra conductor would tell me "Ok Art just play chick-boom". We did a lot of chick-boom songs so it was a clever way to communicate with the novice in the band ;) I think he read "Music Communication for Idiots".
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Old 10-02-2018, 05:59 PM
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Default Re: What is the cleverest instruction given to you by a music director?

I just appreciate it when someone actually knows what they want, and says it.

Favorite example was at USC, the lab band director was in Woody Herman's band, Basie's band, played on some Chick Corea records in the 70s-- I was playing a solo break he starts screaming at me:

"NO!!! Get off the tom toms! I want cymbals ringing all the way through that! THAT'S exciting!"

My favorite oblique piece of playing advice was Miles to Tony Williams: "Don't finish shit."
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:45 PM
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Default Re: What is the cleverest instruction given to you by a music director?

"Lay off the beat here, just do some 'painting' on the cymbals."

I knew exactly what that meant. Think the beginning of the live version of Turn The Page, by Bob Seger.
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Old 10-02-2018, 09:20 PM
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Default Re: What is the cleverest instruction given to you by a music director?

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddbishop View Post
"NO!!! Get off the tom toms! I want cymbals ringing all the way through that! THAT'S exciting!"
I can't stand it when people say "Tom tom".

Really grinds on me. Don't know exactly why.
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Old 10-02-2018, 10:33 PM
J-Boogie J-Boogie is offline
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Default Re: What is the cleverest instruction given to you by a music director?

Is tom tom an onomatopoeia? Totally knew how to spell that
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  #16  
Old 10-02-2018, 10:42 PM
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Default Re: What is the cleverest instruction given to you by a music director?

No the automatic Pia is when you step on a snake-wait no that scares the $&!+ out of you. Automatic Pia is when you drink too much beer-my Bad I get confused sometimes.
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Old 10-02-2018, 11:02 PM
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Default Re: What is the cleverest instruction given to you by a music director?

Not really clever, but confusing: a guy once told me before a run, to "groove" it... so I counted it under tempo and groovy. He stopped the band and said no, he wanted me to play it fast! Then a little later he told me to "bounce" it... so I counted it fast and bouncy. Guess what he said when he stopped the band that time...
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  #18  
Old 10-03-2018, 03:31 AM
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Default Re: What is the cleverest instruction given to you by a music director?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
I can't stand it when people say "Tom tom".

Really grinds on me. Don't know exactly why.
I started saying it again after I read this quote from Paul Motian-- made it cool again...
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Old 10-03-2018, 11:08 AM
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Default Re: What is the cleverest instruction given to you by a music director?

Clever instruction + musical director = Oxymoron
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So, kick drum...or...bass drum? I'll tell you what. If it's 18" or less, it's a FOOT TOM.
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  #20  
Old 10-03-2018, 12:10 PM
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Default Re: What is the cleverest instruction given to you by a music director?

As a pub band player we don’t have a musical director.
However the most useful, as opposed to cleverest, instructions a band member gives me or I give to my fellow band members are “the magic snare” or “the hi hat thing”.
The magic snare is a ferocious strike/rimshot that indicates that whatever part of the song we’re in, it’s time to change to the next bit. Ideal for middle eights or longer so everyone knows it’s time for the guitar solo to end. The hi hat thing is a similiar device that involves either reducing the pressure on the hi hat pedal, or moving from the ride cymbal to the hi hat, that says “after this bar we change to the next bit of the song”.
They’ve both served me well for quite some time.
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  #21  
Old 10-03-2018, 03:16 PM
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Default Re: What is the cleverest instruction given to you by a music director?

A Tomtom is a navigation device for an auto. A tom is a navigation device for a fill.
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Old 10-03-2018, 03:28 PM
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Default Re: What is the cleverest instruction given to you by a music director?

"tick like a clock!"

"What do you 'hear' in that break?" (talking about designing a fill)

"tighten up the groove" (vs "play it really loose")
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Old 10-03-2018, 03:38 PM
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Default Re: What is the cleverest instruction given to you by a music director?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
I can't stand it when people say "Tom tom".

Really grinds on me. Don't know exactly why.
Totally agree. Doesn't matter if its an official name or not. Usually I hear it in a video where time is sort of critical, and by sayin TOM twice, just wastes that precious little time. I don't think theres any other drum reference term that makes me cringe as much. I think I may even rather hear the words "Pies" for cymbals or.. "skins" for heads before I will ever want to hear the word tomtom again. In fact just typing it makes me want to punch myself in the face.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GetAgrippa View Post
A Tomtom is a navigation device for an auto. A tom is a navigation device for a fill.
Yes. This is correct.



T.
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  #24  
Old 10-03-2018, 04:15 PM
jimzo jimzo is offline
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Default Re: What is the cleverest instruction given to you by a music director?

I know of no better than this.
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  #25  
Old 10-04-2018, 12:06 AM
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Default Re: What is the cleverest instruction given to you by a music director?

Quote:
Originally Posted by V-Four View Post
Usually I hear it in a video where time is sort of critical, and by sayin TOM twice, just wastes that precious little time.
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