An observation...any feedback is appreciated!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by silverstar, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. B15M

    B15M Forte User

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    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    I'm going to be the one to disagree.

    When I stopped working and just playing to play, that was the end for me. Slowly but surly my playing ability slipped away.

    It took a long time and hard work to get it back.

    I do agree to sing and have fun while performing. Just make music and enjoy listening to yourself.

    As far as not progressing, I would think about changing teachers or looking for a different approach musically. When I got back into playing my new teacher changed everything I was doing musically. My whole idea of what things should sound like changed. My teacher might be in left field but the idea is that he opened my eyes to see things differently. It's kind of like looking at a painting from the left and someone says "look at it from here and tell me what you see". Same picture, different view.

    I think that is how not to get stuck and stale.
     
  2. trjeam

    trjeam Pianissimo User

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    Dec 5, 2003
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    my problem was that i was playing up to 11 hours a day sometimes... i had allot of ensembles and auditions to get prepared for and at the same time i was trying to improve my chops so I was stressed out all the time and just doing things without thinking right...

    once i relaxed and started thinking logically and stopped trying to do things that I couldn't do (such as trying to play 11 hours a day in the upper register most of the time) and started to rest more my playign improved dramatically... actually when i was killing my self i was getting worse and it just became more frustrating each time..

    what do i do now?

    well, i'm still practicing allot and hard but my head is allot more clear now. I use my time more effeciently and get more done in less time.. I'm relaxed and having fun (i'm even having fun doing clarkes!)..

    plus now i have an execellent teacher and he's helping me get to that other level....

    trumpet playing is not easy and you do have to have allot patience. I think the biggest problem (with me at least) when I was younger I tried to force some many things such as my techique and high register and endurance and when i couldn't do something or when i got worse i would just get so frustrated...

    i've learned that in trumpet playing it's bad to force things and that you have to develop things in a systematic way...

    yes the practicing is boring but when you hear the results it's all worth it and fun.. i think that's one of the other reasons as to why i have more fun practicing now, it's because i see so much more improvement every week.
     
  3. hose

    hose Pianissimo User

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    Oct 31, 2003
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    At age 35, I switched from clarinet to trpt because I had always wanted to play trpt. I was extremely "driven" to catch up because of my late start. During those first years I became very frustrated at times. On several occasions, I put the horn in the case and told myself I was quiting. I would just go back to the clarinet. However, the next day I got out the trpt just to make sure that I had made the correct decision the prior day. My improvement was mind boggling. I had never played the trpt better! So there was no reason to quit...until the next time. I did this act several times with the same result. Allowing myself to walk away seemed to clear the air. Now it's been twenty five years since those episodes and I can't quit as there is no clarinet to go back to! :roll:
     
  4. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Well, maybe the reason I never reached grand success with the horn was because I never, and I mean NEVER devoted the kind of time or discipline necessary to do it. I got "good" and at one point I was probably doing 4 hours of practice a day on top of playing jobs, but that was when trumpet was my life. Seriously. I had very few friends, I didn't own a car, I didn't own a TV and I didn't have a girlfriend. (Quite a change from now when I'm married, own a home, have two kids, two dogs, two cars, I don't even want to think about how many TVs and my job is no longer playing horn.)

    These days I have issues making the time to fit it in - often times I'm either grabbing 15 minutes here, 10 minutes there and grabbing a bit of time any time I can, or I have to wait until everthing else for the day is done - often after 9:30 at night.

    For me, the trumpet has always been a jealous mistress and if I'm not giving "her" the time she requires, she takes it out on me on the gig. ;-) This brings me to a couple other major points where trumpet is concerned: contentment and acceptance.

    What are you willing to accept? What level do you need to reach before you can become content with your playing?

    Out of necessity, I have accepted the fact that for now at least, playing trumpet professionally (barring some sort of miracle or extreme stroke of good fortune that makes it possible for me to stop working as a DBA) is just not in the cards. I don't have the time to commit to it, and I have come to accept it rather than beat myself up because technically I'm not playing as well as I "should". It's all relative to where you are vs. where you want to be. When I accepted that, playing trumpet suddenly became a lot more fun because I pulled the pressure off of myself.

    Maybe one day I'll put myself back in that pressure cooker, but for now, the 30-90 minutes a day of maintenance practice is enough.
     
  5. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    I wanted to add some things to this thread that I was thinking about last night after I practiced.

    I had previously asked questions related to acceptance and contentment regarding where you are as a player - both are determining factors that drive us to succeed, even to the point where we forget why we started playing trumpet in the first place; because it was a lot of fun and we enjoyed making music.

    But something else to factor in, and something that we have to come to grips with is the small matter of potential - let's face it, as much as it's quaint to think that as long as you are determined and work hard that we will realize our goals and dreams, that's not very realistic. For a 16 or 17 year old aspiring trumpet player, this is something that is going to be tough to define because you are still right in the middle of the stage of development where many things are new, improvement is a measureable, almost daily thing, and therefore it's hard to try to define that potential.

    For someone like me, 35, who has been playing around with trumpet for about 25 years, defining potential and coming to grips with possible limitations to that potential is a bit easier. At this point, I am very well aware of what I know, I have a good idea about what I don't understand, (and may NEVER understand) and I can define many of the physical, mental, and just plain "lack of talent" roadblocks in my playing.

    I don't think that this is being pessimistic either, nor do I think that realizing your limitations is a bad thing. What it does is put into sharp relief the dedication and steps that you will have to take to overcome and break through those barriers, if those efforts ultimately will be worth it in the end, and if those efforts, in the long run, will lead you to lose sight of the original goal. At some point, if you aren't careful, the original goal, in our case - to play trumpet at a high level and to make good music, gets overshadowed and lost in the interim goals of studies, exercises and the other peripheral aspects that are necessary to try to achieve excellence. In addition to that, if we aren't being realistic about our potential - if we don't take a hard, realistic look and accurately assess our talent and potential, we may be consumed trying to attain a goal that simply is not realistic.

    Does this mean that I think that we should simply give up? Does this mean that if that hard look and self assessment shows that we don't really have "it" - whatever that indefinable "it" may be that marks us with the ability to attain the top teirs - that we should sell off the horns and give up? No, I don't, however, I do think that sometimes an adjustment in expectations might have to be made because the truth is, only the best attain and stay at the top tier. However, that doesn't mean that contentment can't be found at a lower level. For me, that means that the weekend warrior gigging, and laying down the occasional track or two in my friend's basement studio for band CD projects is good enough for now because for my potential, the price to get to a point where I could truly be competitive at a higher level is too great. I would have to give up far too many things in my life in pursuit of that dream, and it would still be no guarantee that I would achieve what I set out to do.

    I don't have to be in a top tier orchestra, or gig with "name" bands or artists, or work in the studios in LA, New York or Nashville to be happy as a trumpet player, but coming to grips with that idea wasn't easy and it sure as heck didn't happen when I was 17 years old, the dreams were fresh and the possibilities seemed limitless.

    Once again, sorry for the ramble - I might not be saying anything that hasn't already been thought about or said before.
     
  6. hose

    hose Pianissimo User

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    Pat, I have to respectfully disagree with the above assessment of your abilities and everyone else's. Except for a small percentage of players with physical limitations (ie, bad teeth), we all have the capabilities within us to rise to great heights of tprt playing. We all won't because we allow ourselves to get mentally side tracked by obstacles. Or our priorities change. BUT, most of us have the innate talent to play at the top level if our heads' and bodies' were in sync. It is not "lack of talent", but a lack of skill to surrender ourselves to our subconscious and thereby let things happen.

    I think the so called naturally talented or "gifted" players have acheived this level of mental balance and most of the rest of us have not allowed ourselves that luxury.
     
  7. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Hose, having been married to a school teacher for as long as I have been and hearing about the students at each end of the spectrum year after year, I think that a statment like "we all have the capabilities within us to rise to great heights of (X)" is folly. It has nothing to do with getting our heads and bodies in sync - some people naturally have a much greater aptitude toward certain things than others. Disagree with the point all you want, but the research backs my assessment.

    It's a quaint thought to think that if we can just get everything in sync, then the sky is the limit, but it's just not realistic. An example would be saying that a kid with a sub 80 IQ (or even a normal kid with an average IQ) can grow up to work with quantum physics and theoretical math if they work hard enough and get in sync. It just isn't going to happen. The potential just is not there and no amount of hard work or wishful thinking is going to make it happen. For some people, simply remembering how to work a cash register is more than challenging. Why would playing an instrument be any different?

    In order to achieve great things musically, fundamentally you have to understand certain things beyond the mental aspects of getting the mechanics to work correctly. If it was all about mechanics, Jerry Callet would be talked about right alongside Maynard Ferguson and Harry James. Jerry would be the first to tell you that he's no great musician, even though mechanically he knows the fundamentals of playing the trumpet and is good at teaching his method to others.
     
  8. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

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    Pat,

    I think you are missing what hose is saying. You are talking about basic potential, where as hose is talking about the things that get in our way and how most people never figure out how to tap into their potential.

    I hope I am not over stepping here to say that from reading your post it seems like you are letting things get in the way of your potential, then saying you lack the potential need to play well.
     
  9. hose

    hose Pianissimo User

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    Orlando FL
    Actually, Patrick, I wasn't talking about quantum physics or therorical math. I am talking about trpt playing and realizing our inate potential for hand/eye mental coordination. I have not completely unpacked that ability and it sounds like you may not have realized it in yourself, but I believe it is there. Our individual personalities and enviormental conditioned responses keep most of us firmly planted in the average catagory. I am a believer in the theory of Tim Gallowey's Inner Game Of Tennis and the approach of Dr. Maxwell Maltz in his PcychoCybernectics book.
     
  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Hose, the only issue I have with what you have just suggested is that you have now turned playing a musical instrument into mostly a physical approach. There is a certain quality to some players that transcend the ability to intellectually learn the ins and outs, the dos and don'ts. They have an ability of being able to understand the music and the instrument in a non-intellectual, non physical way and I believe those are the people who wind up playing principle in the top tier orchestras, or who tour with name bands and artists.

    I knew a girl in HS - a very bright girl who was tops of my graduating class. She played the flute and while this girl was certainly smart and intellectually learned everything she needed to do physically to play that instrument, her performances were lifeless - she just did not have the inate musical ability necessary to put emotion and feeling into her playing, although technically, there was nothing wrong with what she was doing.

    I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.
     

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