Do you ever over think things?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by TrumpetMonk, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. TrumpetMonk

    TrumpetMonk Pianissimo User

    Jul 22, 2009
    West virginia
    Hey all,

    For about a year now I've been one of the top guys in our band, and I think that because of the stress that goes along with those demands I over think things. Mostly it's the breathing. About two weeks ago I went to a camp where I worked with a wonderful trumpet professor and he gave me a lot of great tips. But today I found myself over thinking things again. Does this ever happen to you? Do you have any little self help techiniques? thanks!
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Nope, I don't overthink. Why? Easy! I generally do not just jump into a piece, I analyse it first and mark the probable breathing points based on the phrases and then I take it through slowly to avoid mistakes.

    Things get messed up when the brain is turned off when LEARNING a piece for the first time. A bit of structured, intelligent practice solves most things. Play more easy tunes and learn to breathe when you should instead of when you have to!
  3. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I think that most trumpet players have tended to overthink things from time to time. I do better when I stop thinking about mechanics and just play, but I will still focus in one what I'm doing from time to time, and I've been playing for over 25 years.
  4. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    This is one of the reasons why I recommend warming up to my students. A warm up not only helps our lips,but it also helps us to focus our minds on proper mechanics such as breathing, before we attempt more challenging things on the band stand.
    TrumpetMonk likes this.
  5. Mambo King

    Mambo King Pianissimo User

    Aug 20, 2009
    I think overthinking comes from a lack of focus, allowing the mind to fire in a scattergun approach. You say that you were given lots of tips only two weeks ago...It takes time to incorporate information and I'm guessing that you are possibly trying to add all of this new stuff at once. Cut yourself a bit of slack but don't use it as an excuse not to practise, just focus more on fewer aspects at any one time...and once your thinking and analysing is done play the piece or study for you, not with your head filled with do's and don'ts-if you work honestly they will incorporate themselves without you realising.
  6. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    Wilmer Wise made exactly this message to me in TM some months ago - he's so right and the warm-up and body centering techniques I now try to employ are helping. I too play more "easy" tunes and try to pre-analyse a piece. Hopefully one day I will be a trumpet player - if I ever get to practice enough. :-(:oops:
  7. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I'm a huge fan of over-thinking in the practice room: of being critical (in the positive sense); of being experimental. Then, with a firm idea in my head of how it should sound I play. More often than not, what comes out the bell is different (neither better nor worse) than what I imagined--this becomes the point where the music plays me, and that is such a cool feeling.

    For me, this is where the magic happens.

    Have fun!
  8. TrumpetMonk

    TrumpetMonk Pianissimo User

    Jul 22, 2009
    West virginia
    Well, I'm not speaking so much of playing music so much as the mechanics of taking a breath. I feel sometimes I get to caught up in "feeling" and not just breath in breath out.
  9. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    At risk of sounding like an echo, I generally don't overthink.
    Here's something that'll take your mind off all those pesky mental gremlins:
    Hopefully you have your own Mannhassett stand or some comparible version.
    1)If you're a guy, find a Victoria Secret magazine and cut out 3 or 4 of the best pictures and glue them on the music stand where you set your music so you can see them when you play
    2)If you're a girl, then a do the same thing but with a male magazine like Men's Fitness.
    When you notice the gremlins creeping into your thinking, just look at the pictures and play to the person in the pictures.
    I promise it'll work everytime if you sincerely play to that person on your music stand. I've used it for years.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2010
  10. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    The finicky thing about air is that, yeah, we must learn the mechanics but then forget about them, because under the stress of performance, as tension sets in, our bodies will lie to us, and it will feel like we're moving huge amounts of air, breathing deeply and supporting when in fact, we are not!

    For this reason, I rely on some Vulgano Voodoo and the RAY OF POWER. It involves the Root Chakra, which is located directly at the base of the spine, also known as the coccyx. The chakras have their own mystic qualities, I guess. I don't know for sure, but they do seem to be located in parts of the body where bunches of nerves meet. (The Vulgano version is situated half way between the places we do our number one and number two in the restroom.)

    In practice and in theory, imagine (and feel) a ray of some sort (red is the most common mystic color associated with the root chakra) shooting down into the ground while playing. For high notes, imagine (and feel) a more intense ray. If we practice this sitting in a chair, we can notice all kinds of muscles come into play, which happen to be the same muscles used to "support" the air stream. By taking attention off of the mechanics and experiencing the mysterious, magical and not yet patented RAY OF POWER we can avoid some of the tension involved in "trying hard."

    Nothing mysterious and magical here really, but the RAY OF POWER does permit me to play with a relaxed but working body.
    tedh1951 likes this.

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