Helpful Tip: One way to avoid being early on entrances with the rest of the band
Sometimes we might to play at the beginning of a piece, or have a solo after a long rest, and have to play at exactly the same time as everyone else in the band. Sometimes (and most of us have experienced this) we end up playing too EARLY. One way to help prevent this is to BREATHE with the band (or the wind instruments if you are in an orchestra). Wind players need to take a breath before they play and if you get in the habit of breathing at the same time they do, you'll learn to make your sounds happen at the same time they do. A lot of this depends on your band (are they normally behind or ahead of the conductor?) or conductor (does he or she make it clear where the downbeat is?). You can't really change that. But what you can do is get in sync with 95% of your ensemble (the non-percussionists) by breathing in time with them. [note: this works anytime you play at the same time as another instrument. Learn what happens before they actually make sound: Do they take a long breath? Move a certain way? Learn what they do so you can watch/listen for it and you will always be able to play at the same time with them. Be aware of what's going on around you.]