Blown out chops when performing

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by JNUTRPT, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Under the stress of performing, our bodies will "tighten up" and that will have an effect on our breathing and playing. Even though it "feels" like we are taking big breaths our bodies lie to us and we can crash and burn.

    I find the Vulgano RAY OF POWER to be a great help in performance situations.
     
  2. JNUTRPT

    JNUTRPT New Friend

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    Thank you. I think I have a tendency to over blow during performances, to play louder than I need to. In addition to the increased pressure and diminished finesse, I'm likely breathing whenever I feel the need, rather than at sensible times that fit in with the phrasing. I'm working on practicing softly, rehearsing more softly ( generally if I take it down one dynamic level, I'm about where everyone else is) and hanging on to that in the performance. Writing the breath marks will help, as if I'm not making it to the end of the phrase I'm likely playing too loud. When anxious I have a tendency to play louder and faster. I'm improving, but was disappointed I reverted to old habits in the performance. More experience performing would also probably help me keep the concentration and presence of mind.
     
  3. JNUTRPT

    JNUTRPT New Friend

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    Thank you all for the great recommendations. Lots to think about and work on.

    Richard
    Juneau, Alaska
     
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Thanks for the update. Old habits are hard to break, but keep your thoughts on relaxation. The moment you feel yourself tense, think happy thoughts and relax.
     
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    What does overblow really mean? Generally not that you are "too loud", rather too wasteful/respectful. Music is the sum of all the parts and the recognition that we are ALWAYS part of the whole.

    Don't try and intellectualize the process, it makes you even less responsive. Just do the right thing: Play with the band not at them. Treat every note with respect instead of "trying" to conquer them. Stop trying to prove something. Believe me, decent players with their eye on the musical ball get the recognition that they deserve. Those without their eye on the ball also get recognition................

    We are what we repeatedly do, and blogging day in/day out does not help. After 4 weeks every one around you knows what has changed (if something has changed). The next day is pure luck or chance. I am talking about a process not a quick patch or switch to flip. Habits take thousands of repetitions so you should now have a feel for what I really mean.


     
  6. fels

    fels Piano User

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    Several responses:

    Marking the score is essential - i have been in numerous sectional rehearsals and observe that other players are not marking their score - breath marks - articulation - whatever. I mark everything! Too many distractions during a performance - the markings are there to help.

    Fatigue - Playing lead in our Jazz band - i was blown out - i inherited the Lead - "I am a lead player, I play loud and high" -- the loud part is an issue. I found that i could gauge my level of endurance and if i thought i was getting tired, i would relax, reposture, breath and lower the volume - And i found i had more high register left and could play longer.

    And yes the practicing is paramount - over and over. My wife is a pianist and her instructor years ago suggested practicing by playing : slowly, then backwards - yes play the music from end to front - then front to back - then work on the parts causing uncertainty. Muscle and mental memory.
     
  7. Dean_0

    Dean_0 Piano User

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    Ok ill bite ,specifically how do you do that? do you count so many measures or are you talking about phrasing? the natural break in the tune ? or some thing else ,

    Not trying to flame you just need to know :D

    TY

    Dean_0
     
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Dean,

    what separates a great storyteller from a boring powerpoint presenter? This is the exact same issue with phrasing. It involves knowing the story, building tension where necessary and relieving such where necessary. Sometimes we need to play with our "voice" or "articulation" to heighten the experience.

    Phrasing involves reflecting on the musical content and finding acceptable alternatives to get enough air without destroying the composers "story". In its most primitive form, phrasing uses the natural musical form (12 measures, 8 measures for instance), in more advanced situations, we may even have to learn how to circular breathe to play the whole phrase. Many times the composer helps with marked phrasing. It is necessary to study the score to get the entire context of the music. There is no specific rule other than trying to interpret the composers intentions.

     
  9. vern

    vern Piano User

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    I do better if I don't overdo it the day before a recital/concert and I quit earlier in the evening. Also, when I warm up on the day of a performance I avoid playing higher than what the concert requires and, if anything, I go into the performance a little "under" warmed up.
     
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    This does make some good practical sense, especially in your last sentence. I use to follow the advice of your first sentence, although I no longer have the luxury of a quit earlier evening before. The quintet has been playing back to back killer performances lately, and you know what? With my current daily rehearsal routine, I have adapted to being able to one night take a licking, and the next night, keep on ticking. I guess the body with the right workout can learn to adapt.
     

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