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 Community klezmer band
Date:   2005-06-30 18:40

I coordinate a community band which is probably not a typical one, it's The L.A. Community Klezmer Band and I'm more of an (unpaid) musician "wrangler" who communicates practice times and gig info via e-mail, rather than a music director. We have about 15 active members. The biggest problem we have is people showing up late and being somewhat noisy as they come in late. I realize that people have lives outside the band and may not be able to make practices or may have to come late, but it irks the others in the band and sometimes band members want me to kick out or "fire" somebody.
What kind of "rules" would be good for an informal situation like this? Not just about coming in late, but other behaviour which might be problematic in an informal community band situation.
I'll copy this to the ethnic clarinet section.

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 Re: Community klezmer band
Date:   2005-07-08 17:14

I wanted to add something which is not clarinet related but might be helpful to me. We don't have any of the low brasses in the band and our trumpet player is thinking about doubling on either alto or baritone horn. He was wondering which one of these two horns might be good for a klezmer band. I don't know. He doesn't want to play tuba but he is willing to try alto or baritone.

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 Re: Community klezmer band
Author: Steve Epstein 
Date:   2005-07-08 17:53

The lower the better, IMHO, therefore, probably baritone. Can he play t-bone? Is there another woodwind player who can play bass sax?[grin]

Steve Epstein

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 Re: Community klezmer band
Date:   2005-07-08 19:09

Thanks Steve, I went ahead and told him baritone...he says he might find one cheap on e-bay.
I was considering doubling on tenor sax or bass clarinet but I think I will work on my regular clarinet skills for a while. Bass sax is kind of rare isn't it? Even the baritone seems pretty daunting. Ken

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 Re: Community klezmer band
Author: Steve Epstein 
Date:   2005-07-08 21:24

I don't know that bass sax is "rare", but it's certainly not common. I know that the sound is bigger and brassier than what you can get out of a bass clarinet. You can hear bass sax playing by Andy Stein or Vince Giordano with The Guys All-Star Shoe Band on Prairie Home Companion on your public radio station, in case you haven't heard any. Though the biggest horn I play is a C-melody, I have a suspicion that big saxes are easier to play than big clarinets. This, because when I play my C-melody, I find all I really need to do is round my mouth, not pinch, keep a steady but not firm embouchure, and maintain a steady airflow through the tenor mp. I've tried blowing a bass clarinet now and then and that just doesn't seem to work. Seems the embouchure is half clarinet, half sax, much more particular. OTOH, if you already play bass clarinet fairly well, you've got a head start so you may want to stay with that. A bass sax certainly won't come cheap.

Steve Epstein

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