So I've decided to jump in and attempt to learn a solo I've never played or performed before, the trumpet concerto by Alexander Arutunian. (or Arutiunian - depending on which spelling you prefer) I've got a couple of reasons for wanting to learn this piece - the biggest of which is that I know it's going to be technically and musically challenging for me, but also because it's a commonly played trumpet solo that I've really never even looked at. I've also got an Army playing assessment coming up in about 6 months, and if I'm playing it well, I might try to use it for that. I'm now working in a realm of music preparation that I'm not used to. Most of the time my music prep is oriented toward an upcoming gig, and I rarely get more than a couple of weeks (if that!) to prep whatever it is I'm going to play. So how long should it take to prep something like this? I'm a solid enough player, but I'm finding that there are things going on in this piece that are presenting a pretty big challenge - lots of double tonguing through moving lines, and a lot of accidentals and notes that for me don't seem to fall "logically" for me, if that makes sense. I find that I'm literally going phrase by phrase - picking it apart, slowing it down, speeding it up, slowing it down again, etc - wash, rinse, repeat. Keep in mind, I've only had a couple of practices where I've dug into it, but I'm not even close to being happy with even the first two pages, and prepping the whole thing seems almost insurmountable at the moment. I guess this is what I get for moving right into a gigging mode out of high school, and not doing the music academic route in college where this sort of thing would have been assigned to me. Is this piece really as hard as I think it is, or will I eventually fall into the right mindset for it? I'm eating a big old piece of humble pie by creating this thread and admitting that this piece is really going to make me reach, but I'd like to hear from some of you out there who were music majors in college and had to tackle something that really pushed your boundaries.