Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Vulgano Brother, Feb 28, 2007.
Practicing is my meditation. It quiets the mind and increases my ability to focus.
I agree, Bill. I have been under some major stress lately. Other than listening to meditation CD's (which work well), the best thing to ease my stress is trumpet practice. Even if I am not on top of my game, I focus on my sound, and imagine in my mind some of my best playing times. That always works. I believe the biggest thing that gets in the way of making beautiful music is one's mind; not chops or equipment.
It's seems to me that if you try to concentrate on making music, everything else isn't that important anymore. Even if you play the wrong note or make a kicks, it doesn't matter. You're enjoying the music anyway. Only stupid listeners are hearing the few mistakes, the real listeners are listening to the music you're making and enjoying it.
Your focus should always be on the music you're making and nothing else, if you focus on other things like fingering, embouchure, breathing, the public, the acoustics of the hall, things get worse.
Because making music has always been my hobby, I don't have any problems with this way of thinking...
This reminds me wholly of Jacobs' pedagogy.
Part of that 20% could be considered sensory
Excactly, that's why I'm a fan of Arnold Jacobs and Bill Adam. I already noticed that when I teach with the main focus on music and sound, the students play much better. I tell them to focus on the music and their sound instead of their embouchure and other problems they THINK they have. I always play the music myself to give them an idea how it could sound.
I notice all the time the problem is not in the lips but in the head. The problems with the embouchure is a result of not focussing on the real issues. Jacobs called it "Song and Wind", Bill Adam talked about "goal orientation".
An example: Last week I give gave someone a lesson. he told me he had problems with the low register under central C and he showed me. So I asked him to play a beautiful C' and that was no problem. After that I asked to keep playing that beautiful C and just press the valves to get lower and do nothing wih the embouchure. The low register sounded much better the before. So instead of an embouchure problem, he was just doing to much with his embouchure and therefore blocking the low notes.
Thanks for all the comments! When this thread was started, I was thinking more along the lines of Spiderman II, when he started losing his spider-powers. He fell off the wall, lost his ability to shoot webs, needed his Peter Parker glasses, etc. We've either experienced that or seen it happen to others when playing trumpet. The question which hasn't yet been completely answered, is how to get those "super-powers" back mid-performance. Performances can still turn bad, despite "adequate" mind/body preparation. I'm eagerly listening!
As others and I already said. You have to be prepared and just focus on one thing: making music.
As Bill Adam says it, "when you're driving with your car, you have to know were you're driving to, and look forward. Don't look to much to the lovely cows in the field or other distractions because you will crash." (goal orientation)
When you start thinking "I hope I can hit that note", or "there are important people in the public" or even "I'm playing great today", then things get worse and you will loose your spider-powers...
Kind of reminds me of that story where Bud was getting ready to play something...I think it was Brandenburg 2. Anyway (most of us know this story, but it fits so I'll tell it), Bud was warming up backstage, and nothing was going well (for him) at all. He went out on stage, and just sat there while the rest of the orchestra assembled. All he did was sit there. The others were warming up, noodling, etc. He did not play a note. The piece began and he performed beautifully (as always). Someone asked him what he was doing during that "sitting down" period. His answer: he was thinking about all the successful performances he had given there, all the wonderful music he played there.
I think this story relates well to this topic because it shows us how Bud sort of pulled himself out of a bad day and got out yet another stunning performance, by simply thinking about music, positive energy, and beautiful sounds.
Trumpet playing is such a mental game...even more so than anything else (except maybe french horn or voice) because if your head is not in the right place, forget it.
Arnold Jacobs said that if you put Bud's brains in the head of an amateur player, the amateur would sound great....