Dodgy gigs and concentration

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by JackD, Feb 18, 2005.

  1. JackD

    JackD Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 30, 2003
    Manchester / London
    Well today I got a call at about 5pm, asking if I could do a concert at 7.30pm, with a rehearsal at 6pm - at a place about an hour and a half away from my house!

    I picked up my DJ and rushed out the door, got to the church and was handed a D trumpet: "We're playing some baroque trumpet ensemble stuff and you need to use the D on this". One problem: I've never played a D trumpet before!

    I'll come to my point / question: on the gig, I was making a lot of VERY stupid errors (getting lost all the time, and general counting mistakes) I split a fair few notes too... well I suppose that was due to my being tired (I had practised all morning), a cold hall, and an unfamilar instrument.

    I found this immensely frustrating, and I feel like I let myself down, and the people who called me in for the gig.

    There was nothing wrong with my playing technically I think (sound was nice, breathing was working, and the upper register was there), it's just that I was mis-pitching a lot, and I kept losing concentration. I think the concentration issue may be related to the fact that I am quite tired (sleepy) after a pretty heavy week, and a late night last night.

    So are there any tips for waking yourself up, and when you feel your mind starting to fall asleep, are there any ways to get back on the ball?

    Sorry if this seems a little random, it's a vent as much as anything else :-o


  2. dave_59

    dave_59 New Friend

    Jan 12, 2005
    cant think of anything legal
  3. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    Coffee. Some breathing excercises can help focus things, too. I'll do a little digging into my stuff and share something I found via that "other" trumpet site. It's been helpful to me. It'll be a bit, though.
  4. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    Jack- Sorry this took so long. This seems to help me get focused in the morning on my daily work. The cleansing breath is done by taking a big inhale through the nose, then immediately out through the mouth, forming the lips as if whistling. Do a cloeansing breath or 2 first, and follow the excersise with a cleansing breath. It's taken from a book called The Hindu Yogi Science of Breath, by Yogi Ramacharaka.
    This is a very important exercise which tends to strengthen and develop the respiratory muscles as well as the
    lungs, and its frequent practice will also tend to expand the chest. ’The Yogis have found that an occasional
    holding of the breath, after the lungs have been filled with the Complete Breath, is very beneficial, not only to the
    respiratory organs but to the organs of nutrition, the nervous system and the blood itself. They have found that. an
    occasional holding of the breath tends to purify the air which has remained in the lungs from former inhalations,
    and to more fully oxygenate the blood. They also know that the breath so retained gathers up all the waste matter,
    and when the breath is expelled it carries with it the effete matter of the system, and cleanses the lungs just as
    a purgative does the bowels. The Yogis recommend this exercise for various disorders of the stomach, liver and
    blood and also find that it frequently relieves bad breath, which often arises from poorly ventilated lungs. We
    recommend students to pay considerable attention to this exercise, as it has great merits. The following directions
    will give you a clear idea of the exercise:
    1. Stand erect.
    2. Inhale a Complete Breath.
    3. Retain the air as long as you can comfortably,
    4. Exhale vigorously through the open mouth.
    5. Practice the Cleansing Breath.
    At first you will be able to retain the breath only a short time, but a little practice will also show a great
    improvement. Time yourself with a watch if you wish to note your progress.

    Sometimes we put immense pressure on ourselves to produce (rightfully so, but sometimes too much) and get hung up on mistakes. That throws us off and things just compound from there. In your case, it just seems thaqt you were expected to play an unfamiliar horn, and you just never quite got past that. When we are tired, we don't deal with things the way we do when we are fully rested and fresh. Combine that with everything else and you may have a better understanding of what happened. Through that, you can also likely see a solution to preventing it from happening again, or at least discover a method for keeping things under better control.

    Check out Manny's reply to the "off days" thread. Helps me because it shows that we all have them.

    Hope that is helpful!
  5. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004

    You didn't have an off day as much as you subjected yourself to a variety of stressful situations.

    1) You tried to bail someone out by covering in an emergency situation

    2) You had little time to get there but got there anyway

    3) You played on a strange instrument you had no chance to acquaint yourself with

    That all adds up to muddling your thinking and robbing you of the opportunity to play at your best. Think of how it would have gone if it had been a previously arranged gig, you were there in plenty of time, and you played on an instrument that was part of your arsenal.

    Chalk it up to experience. Don't be afraid to turn down gigs.That's easy for me to say, though, isn't it? It's tough , I know.

  6. JackD

    JackD Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 30, 2003
    Manchester / London

    I just tried that, and it really makes you notice your heart rate - probably a good way to relax if you're nervous too. Thanks for the heplful reply.

    Thanks Manny, I did think about saying no, but I didn't want to let my mate down (who had already been let down by someone else bailing at the last minute.)

    I think I can learn a few things from this though, in particular that I shouldn't play an instrument on a gig I've never played before.

    Thanks for the help and reassurance :-)


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