Awful Gig Offers

cbphoto

Gold Member
I have a veteran in my neighborhood whose sole musical purpose is to play Taps. Apparently, it's really hard to find a trumpet player with a military history.
When my father was buried he was given a veteran's burial. I'd never attended one before and it was an excellent ceremony. When the bugle player began Taps I was amazed at how good he sounded. Everyone was crying their eyes out, but I still managed to snap a few pics. Later on, when processing the pics on my computer, I noticed the bugle housed a loudspeaker. Even though he held it to his lips, he simply pushed a button to play the track.

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larryace

"Uncle Larry"
When my father was buried he was given a veteran's burial. I'd never attended one before and it was an excellent ceremony. When the bugle player began Taps I was amazed at how good he sounded. Everyone was crying their eyes out, but I still managed to snap a few pics. Later on, when processing the pics on my computer, I noticed the bugle housed a loudspeaker. Even though he held it to his lips, he simply pushed a button to play the track.

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What you wrote saddens me. Nothing is sacred anymore.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
When my father was buried he was given a veteran's burial. I'd never attended one before and it was an excellent ceremony. When the bugle player began Taps I was amazed at how good he sounded. Everyone was crying their eyes out, but I still managed to snap a few pics. Later on, when processing the pics on my computer, I noticed the bugle housed a loudspeaker. Even though he held it to his lips, he simply pushed a button to play the track.
Yup, I played in KY a few weeks ago, and part of the celebration was honoring a fallen soldier. Taps was played from a bugle with a speaker in it.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
What you wrote saddens me. Nothing is sacred anymore.
I'll take it over the alternative (Boombox/bluetooth-speaker).

The gent I know wasn't an official military bugle'er, just a vet that learned trumpet in his youth and found a demand after he retired. I 'think' his position in the military was as a clerk or something else totally mundane. I was told he got tired of seeing boom-boxes playing TAPS at friends burials, and the first time he did it was for someone in his son's unit in the late 90's. Apparently, he isn't the only one . ( https://www.buglesacrossamerica.org/ )
 

ottog1979

Senior Member
I gotta admit, the speaker in the bugle is surprisingly disheartening. Authenticity seems harder & harder to come by these days. Sad that less and less people are willing to put in the effort to reasonably master an instrument and enjoy the sense of achievement in doing so.
 

roncadillac

Member
I'm 30, been playing drums about 18 years, currently serving time in a semi-professional Southeastern regional act with strong resume and radio/internet presence... I am so wholeheartedly over these stupid "sell tickets and keep the money instead of us paying you" gigs. I'm not 14 playing pop-punk covers in an underage club any more. You booked my band because of our iTunes, Spotify, and touchtunes numbers... Because of our extensive resume of prominent venues... Because of the reviews, interviews, and articles posted about us... Then you want me to sell tickets for cash like a damn high schooler hoping to win the big YMCA battle of the bands!?

Eff off, I'll go play down the street at the open mic for free to 3 drunk rednecks who aren't paying attention instead just out of principal.

*Also, I admittedly didn't read the last few posts before mine until after posting. The bugle speaker thing is gross. Middle school kids learn that damn song in their trumpet 101 book.
 
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PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I am so wholeheartedly over these stupid "sell tickets and keep the money instead of us paying you" gigs.
Back when I was playing exclusively Christian-based music, I was in a band one time who showed up at a church who had live bands every Saturday night (which I thought was really cool). About 15 minutes before we went on, I asked the organizer about the average turn-out for their Saturday night concerts. I'll never forget it...she said, "Well, the size of the crowd depends on who all you brought with you."

O. M. G. :oops::rolleyes:

We didn't get paid much of anything; I don't even know if it covered gas (it was an hour away, and it took 3 vehicles to get us there). We could have just had an open practice at my house and had a better turnout, saved money on gas and food, and we wouldn't have had to have torn down our gear. What a freakin' waste.

I guess my one take-away from that gig was there were a little table of little old ladies who suffered through every note of that rock show. The organizer said they came to every one of them. I really appreciated them, and I hope I'm like them someday.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
Bugle speakers. Who would have thought of it?

I got busy and considered dropping my lowest paying gigs, keeping the highest paying gigs. I then realized that I enjoy the low paying gigs much more than the higher paying gigs. Maybe the people were nicer, or the place was prettier. The high paying gigs are more work and I can't wait to get away from there.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
The guy with the bugle....He doesn't even have to blow. Was he pretending to blow? I hope not, that's even worse, easily seen through trickery and deceit with zero substance.. He probably isn't even a musician. Completely unacceptable. I would be totally insulted if I hired a bugler and got that. And I wouldn't keep quiet about it either.
 

trickg

Silver Member
It's interesting to hear that there are people who were still unaware of the electronic bugle for the rendering of "Taps," although as a military trumpet player, it's going to be at the forefront of my radar. This has been going on for a while now, and it came about for a couple of reasons, the main one of which is the fact that so many military bands have been deactivated as part of several base realignment and restructuring initiatives that have been going on since the early 90s, so there aren't as many military trumpet players available to do it.

As for the electronic bugle itself, it's basically what you see - there's a speaker in the bell, and the bugler simply holds the bugle up to their face, pretends to play, and then pushes a button. And, like with so many other things that are electronic, it's never a matter of IF it will fail, it's a matter of WHEN, and it has failed - there are bunch of e-bugle fail videos online, and it's pretty sad when you consider that many of those videos were taken at funerals where military honors were being rendered.

A couple of years ago a coworker of mine passed away after a brief battle with an aggressive cancer. He was retired Navy, so I knew that he was going to have an honor guard detail at the funeral, but I didn't know if they were going to have a real bugler, so I brought my trumpet and asked his wife if it would be ok if I stepped in if the honor guard didn't have a real bugle. She readily agreed.

After the funeral service was over, I took off on my own rather than to follow the processesion, and I touched base with the honor guard. The conversation went a bit like this:

Me: Hey - how are you guys? I just wanted to ask, do you guys have a bugler with you here today?
Detail leader: Yes we do.
Me: Is it a real bugle, or is it the electronic bugle?
Detail leader: ...well...it's the electronic bugle.

I gave him my background - former active duty Army trumpet player for 10 years, I've played "Taps" at approximately 500 funerals, I still play, etc. He had to get permission from his leadership to allow me to do it, and it was only on the stipulation that it was ok with his next of kin/wife. I played a flawless rendition of Taps that day, and it felt good to know that my friend had been honored as he should have been.

Unfortunately, just because you have a "real" bugler doesn't always mean that it's going to be a good rendition of "Taps."

When my wife's uncle passed away, he'd been a bugler in a senior drum & bugle corps in his earlier years, so two of his friends decided they were going to do an Echo Taps at his funeral.

In a word, it was terrible.

Suffice it to say, their horn chops weren't exactly in shape, plus, they didn't know how to do a proper Echo Taps. (Never mind that Echo Taps is technically not authorized for a funeral service.) They thought that for Echo Taps, one guy was supposed to play the whole thing from one location, then another guy was supposed to play the whole thing from another location after the first guy was done, rather than having it be a proper call/response. While I can appreciate that they wanted to try to honor their friend that way, we sat through two godawful renditions of "Taps" - diffuse airy sounds, splatters, missed notes, barely having the chops to make it through, wrong rhythms, etc. I was a bit put out because it wasn't like they didn't know I had been an actual military trumpet player. After that debacle, I was a bit offended that I hadn't been asked to do it.

This is a recording of Echo Taps I threw together one night in my home studio and set to a slide show before publishing - the whole thing took me about 30 minutes. I did it on a lark, and I had no idea when I put it out there that it would get the kind of response it has gotten, but at present I've got 160K+ views on it. (The trumpet player at :52 is me for my local Memorial Day service - I was 17 in that pic.)

 
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danondrums

Well-known member
I don't really remember any of my awful gig offers. I'm sure they happened because I've turned down gigs but once turned down I move on to the next thing. Seems like a silly thing to waste energy on. Then again, that's what the internet was created for, right?
 
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