Diagnosing and solving burnout

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by chrisryche, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. Richard Oliver

    Richard Oliver Forte User

    Jul 18, 2006
    Casper, WY
    Certainly can relate to your "Oh, no. I'll never be like that."

    What works for me is to find guys like me who want to play anything from hymns to quintets and work on making music: chords, beauty, rhythms, crescendos & diminuendos. In short, even if it be easy hymnal stuff, tons of GREAT music lives inside. And, since the technical demands are nil, then mining the music with a few like-minded souls more than makes me want to keep at it.

    I guess it's sorta a rejection of stereotypical community mentality where the notes are right but not much else. And, these adult musicians, though they don't say those words, really dig it when we make it all just right.

    Lastly, I guess it's about helping others make music. I'm a bit sheephish to really try it hammer and tongs because I'm no great shakes myself. But, to give you an example, after concert band rehearsal last week, I asked 2 buddies in the section to play some chords with me because the section's pitch was wonky at times that night: G/B/D in the staff then we all move up to play B/D/G etc . . . the expressions on their face was really something. It was like "you want us to do what?" :shock: Suffice it to say, the D was low. So I says, "Joey, I know you won't like it, but play that D 1 & 3 & use your 1st or 3rd slide a tad (kinda boldly like I knew what I was doing)." Well, the chord sung. The guys I play with love to play trumpet. I'm looking for a way to move us a tad towards making beautiful sounds. Figured chords aren't a bad place to start.

    Progress on that score enlivens me, and they seemed to like it too. Sorta :oops:
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
  2. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    Is the burn out only with your trumpet playing? Do you feel burned out in other facets of your life? How do you feel about just practicing? Has something change in your life? has something changed at the rehearsals? Do you not want to go to all the rehearsal for every group or is it selective?
  3. larry tscharner

    larry tscharner Forte User

    Apr 30, 2010
    dubuque iowa
    All great questions Bob. There is always more than meets the eye. For me, just realising what is going on is half of the resolution. I try not to over think anything that is going swimmingly right and also anything that is going horribly wrong because it tends to etch it into me. But when things are not right I start a shopping list of symptoms and the changes in my routine outside of music first and always find the solution there. I always tell my staff if you are looking for personal gratification in your life you better get a hobby because much of life is devoid of fulfillment these days. If trumpet playing is your hobby and it is lacking then something in your life is out of balance and is not being eased by music. For me it has always been about worrying about money and Im ashamed to say it still dogs me today. For you it probably is something else. Renew a connection with a spouse or friend and bend their ear about it. Thats a great start in getting renewed hope. Best wishes and prayers to you.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I think that "Burnout" is a catch phrase for a lot of stuff that doesn't have anything to do with "self destruction" associated with the real thing.

    What I read out of Chris's post is not burn out. I read a period in his life where interest is down, but playing commitments are up. That turns every ensemble into a chore. The solution is really easy for me to type, but for the involved player, generally tough to do:

    Pick one (max 2) ensembles that you REALLY like to play with, and QUIT all of the others. With the tons of time that you now have on your hands, don't practice more, rather start doing good stuff for yourself - go out for a good meal, a massage, now that it is spring time go for a ride with a bicycle and SMELL the flowers, listen to the birds. Wash and wax the car by hand, detail the inside. Basically what I am saying is to get a life.

    I have worked with many pros needing help. The stronger the player, the greater the symptoms due to loss of destiny control.

    I think the problem is that all of these groups are "demanding" time and your mind is fighting the idea of requirement. I happens to me when my wife gets into her "its time to renovate" mode. She then expects my undivided attention and it just don't work that way.

    It is tough to quit groups. Generally we leave a back door open and we gain NOTHING in terms of destiny control. Believe me, once things smooth out, there is no group that wouldn't welcome you back - just do NOT "semi retire". For the undetermined amount of time that you need to get back in the groove - ONE group - no more.
  5. patkins

    patkins Forte User

    Nov 22, 2010
    Tuscaloosa, AL.
    Burn-Out is a syndrome as decribed specifically by my earlier post. It has phases and transition and the only way out is thru intervention through self- analysis and correction of life issues either individually or through professional help. The description I gave is from the Text Book, "Burn-out and Disillusion." I agree some people overuse the term to just describe stress or frustration or lack of motivation, but these in and of themselves can be symptoms of burn-out. I think ignoring these symptoms is more of a problem.
    IMHO, we should not compare ourselves to other players, but omly to ourselves. Are we improving, if not, why not. I take breaks when I need them. I love playing the trumpet and guitar and look for every spare time to do so. I do not overly criticize myself. I know I am getting better and at times there are plateaus. I enjoy the slow times as well. It tells me to rest and relax and not take evrything so seriously.
    We are a community and should help one another in evry opportunity we have. I know some of you have helped me, for which I am grateful! This is a great forum!
  6. chrisryche

    chrisryche New Friend

    Oct 26, 2009
    Starke, FL
    I sure appreciate all the posts and suggestions. I am happy to say I have had 4 days in a row of some killer trumpet playing and feel like whatever kind of funk I was in I seem to be out of now. It became a point of determination that I was going to keep playing no matter what. I have kept up my practice routines, done a couple of gigs, and reset my priorities. I was reminded, through reading these posts and through some reflection, as to why I play the trumpet in the first place. I have had to remind myself of perspective and that it is just a hobby for me. I took Rowuk's advice and did some things outside of trumpet playing that I enjoy doing and I actually left one of the groups I have been in for some time (something I had been considering for a long time). I feel very relieved and feel like I am having fun with my horn again without the hectic playing schedules and rehearsals. My schedule is more manageable now and I have time for the other things I enjoy doing. I even bought a new Flugelhorn which has given me a new challenge to deal with!
  7. BustedChops

    BustedChops Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 1, 2011
    Yup I know where your coming from...I pawned my horn to play poker...I lost...LOL thankfully it was a pawn loan...Now i've got a few months to think about where my chops will go...Actually a few weeks till I pay em back...

    The moral of the story is don't feel inferior to the pro's. They have bad days too. Also think about the $$$$ the pro's have spent with instructors and instutitions.

    I'm damn proud that I can make 20$ busking with only a 8th grade music education...Sure I'm not great but I try. You only get what you put into it.
  8. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Flugel therapy works for me.
  9. Pete Anderson

    Pete Anderson Pianissimo User

    Feb 27, 2008
    What is the level of the groups you play in? As a serious amateur player it's not unlikely that you're by far the best player in any community group you join, which could lead to a musically un-fulfilling experience for you. You might consider starting a brass quintet or a jazz combo or some small chamber group where you could play with better musicians and work on more challenging music.

    MTROSTER Piano User

    Jan 25, 2007
    I'm strongly in agreement with Bob Grier's opinion. What is going on with the rest of your life?(Please don't answer). Your trumpet ills are probably tied in with other aspects of your life that you may, or may not be aware of.
    Aas for your not achieving the ultimate in playing your horn, you must appreciate that as in all aspects of life people of different abilities acieve different levels of perfection. The fact that you seem to be playing in a wide variety of different bands/groups means that you've achieved quite a bit and should probably accept your position as it now stands. i think part of your problem is that you're not being too realistic about some things(We all do that from time to time), but that's no reason to get down on yourself.
    Good Luck,
    Dr. MIke

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