Developing Concentration Performance Skills

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by jmberinger, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. jmberinger

    jmberinger Pianissimo User

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    Recently I had a long playing day with a three hour rehearsal, an hour break, and then a two hour plus concert. The performance included Dugas’ the "Sorcerers Apprentice"and other works, including sing along Christmas material (which went on and on) and other crowd pleasers. There were many modulations/extreme key changes, tempo changes with “quick entrances and then long rests with tricky entrances.

    As the day wore on, it was more difficult to get the concentration up. Physical energy and chops were there, but entrances were getting more difficult.
    I work on chops and technique daily but what do you do to work on developing your concentration for when you are not playing? How did you develop your ability to stay in the immediate of the performance? I’m not talking boredom; I’m talking about concentration for large symphony works and being in the immediate when an entrance occurs.

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. Mark_Kindy

    Mark_Kindy Mezzo Forte User

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    Still working on it.
    Playing many different styles, in many different situations, in MANY different bands has helped, though. Just something you have to practice, as well as your horn.
    I would suggest not resorting to pharmaceutical methods. Train your brain!

    Note: I have ADHD (according to someone..). No excuses!
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
  3. larry tscharner

    larry tscharner Forte User

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    I have just had the same experience and this time of year with Christmas music on the stand its easy to do. (or should I say, NOT do.) I personally love the old Christmas standards and look foreward to them every year, but playing along with choral singers tests my concentration to the max. Lots of long rests and wierd tempo changes to compensate for the lyrics, and funny keys all conspire to throw me off. I try to get more intimatly involved with the concert as a whole by listening to the words (music has words? Who knew?) and making my part an accompianment to them. This helps with the entrance problems and keeps the sluggishness at bay longer. Sometimes just realising that the problem exists will improve your awarness. I hope some of this will help, and sometimes its just been a long day and your best effort is just a bit short of you being at your best. Hang in there.
     
  4. jmberinger

    jmberinger Pianissimo User

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    I thought about it overnight and decided that having a practice buddy alternating four/eight bar patterns in Clarke etudes might work too. The issue for me is keeping the metric moving, even while the horn is not on my face. The idea is to keep engaged and excercise the concentration "muscles" for an extended period.

    I'll try this and report back...
     
  5. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    What was the question?


    Turtle
     
  6. jmberinger

    jmberinger Pianissimo User

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    The question is "what do you do to improve or prepare your concentration skills?"
     
  7. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    Sorry, just being silly.

    That's a tough one. I don't really know .... I concentrate well when I'm playing in front of people because I don't want to make a fool of myself (any more often than is absolutely necessary) and the music is usually complicated enough to keep my attention.

    Your situation, where there are long periods where you aren't playing, then have to come in "on a dime", doesn't happen to me much. It would be like baseball, I guess. That's probably why I don't like playing baseball ... not enough action and you have to maintain concentration for the short amount of time you can make a difference to the game. The rest of the time you're waiting, waiting, waiting for something to happen. Sutiuations like that are always tough on concentration.


    Turtle
     
  8. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

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    You have to work on pushing through boredom. It's one reason I hated certain classics we played in high school (out 75 measures! give me a break).
     
  9. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

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    Try practicing while watching TV - seriously.

    If you can play a song well while having an interesting TV show on in the background
    then you can keep your head while performing in a distracting situation.
     
  10. jmberinger

    jmberinger Pianissimo User

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    The analogy of baseball was a good one. In baseball being in the field is different than being at bat. In the field it is the anticipation of the next action that keeps your awareness up. At bat is the immediate.

    Maybe the issue is being more involved in the totality of the piece and less egocentric as to just being interested in playing my parts. Just because there are rests for me, doesn't mean that there is no music going on. Still, it is the duration of the concentration inclusive of the rests and the trumpet performance that is the issue for me. It is not an issue when playing a show, it is when there is a long symphony concert.

    As to Gzent, for me the issue is not the distractions of the situation; it is the distractions that are not part of the situation. Good comment though..
     

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