Fustration - The Kid Who Can Just Play

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by note360, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. note360

    note360 Piano User

    Oct 16, 2006
    In a room in a house
    I dont know what it is, but we have this one freshman in my high school (I am a freshman) and he can just play good. Not much better than me and I used to be the best now I feel I slipped as my 2nd seat beat me into Symphonics. Then add on the older kids. I mean this kid who can just play is just great and it is my goal to beat him, but my moral is hurt. To add on another obstacle he got his braces off before me and he can play better 7 days after the braces have been removed. I feel like I am on that slope that just keeps on slipping and if I slip any more I may just fall off. I am trying pretty hard to get better and to not reduce my moral to a puddle.

    It feels like every one is suddenly better than me. Either that or I am just setting a higher goal for myself than every one else. Well hopefully by pushing I will eventually land at the top of the mount.

    How should I handle this? What can I d to get better? How can I handle Moral?

  2. trumpet blower88

    trumpet blower88 Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 15, 2005
    Flagstaff, AZ
    This is the exact same position I was in when I first started high school.
    I was 'the man' in Jr High, but then I get to highschool and it's like everything starts over, theres all these other kids that have so much more experience, and then theres this kid from the other Jr High that comes in and just blows everyone away.

    It sucks, and unfortunatly there's really not much you can do about it. Just practice, practice, practice, and use him and the other more experienced kids as motivation to practice more and do better.

    You just have to sort of accept the fact that it's your first year in highschool, theres more kids with more experience, you're pretty much the low man on the totem pole. Thats just the way it is. Work hard the next year or so, and when you show up for you junior and senior year you'll be up there at the top again. If you continue to persue music into college, you'll experience the same thing, you'll meet more people, and there will be more people with more experience.

    Just hang in there man, remember that 3 years ago the seniors were in your same position, they were all freshmen at one point too. Look up to them, learn from the other kids, use them as motivation and you'll pull out on top.

    You'll be fine, just don't let it stress you out.
    Good luck!
  3. FreshBrewed

    FreshBrewed Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Houston, TX
    As long as I have been playing trumpet, I have always tried to keep in mind that there is always someone better and that I can always learn something new. It can't be helped. All we can do is accept it and try to use it to push ourselves to the next level. When I played with an Army band over in Germany, the trumpet section was amazing. We had lead players, a great jazz soloist and quintet specialists. You name it and we had it. I was so intimidated at times that it was affecting my playing. No matter how much I practiced and learned it was never enough to be better than these guys. During this time, one of these guys commented to me that I was becoming a great utility player(jack of all trades, master of none). As it turns out, I was my own worst critic. I was being used to fill in for guys regularly because I became dependable as a player. I was no Jarrett or Gary but I could handle the part on short notice.

    My point is that maybe you just need to find your niche(sp?). It is probably not that you are a bad player. It is more than likely that you are just a smaller fish in a much larger pond now. Accept it, because you will one day be the bigger fish if you continue to practice and learn from the others. I wish you all the best as a player and a person.

    Hope this made some sense.
  4. Richard Oliver

    Richard Oliver Forte User

    Jul 18, 2006
    Casper, WY
    Note360, tell us what your private trumpet instructor said when you told them what you told us?

    Happy Practicing,

    Richard Oliver
  5. Dan Millheim

    Dan Millheim Pianissimo User

    Sep 4, 2004
    Fort Worth ,TX
    Note360: There is some good advice here from other posters! There will ALWAYS be someone better at whatever you do, that's life. Use others talent and ability to motivate your practice and LEARN. "Life long learners" use talented player's gifts to their advantage by allowing it to raise their "game" and keep them at their best. Without challenges a music orgaization, or any organization for that matter, loses its edge. So, having players that are better (for now) is good for you in the long run. You will be a stronger player because of it!

    The important thing at this chapter in your life is to not over think the situation, just keep practicing! You don't want to let them beat you and "YOU" beat you with head games! One thing, for what it's worth, that helped me when I think back on the better players in my highschool I could NEVER beat out is that I kept playing all these years later and they have long since stopped.

    In my highschool I played behind the 1 and 2 best in the state. Talk about stress (well, at the time it was stressful) No matter how hard I practiced I could not win their chairs. Every challenge was like state finals. I lost alot of sleep, at the time, over that. Where are they now? Well, sadly, they both don't even pick up a trumpet now.

    Time is the great equalizer...don't stop playing or learning!
  6. Siegtrmpt

    Siegtrmpt Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 21, 2005
    I realize stature in the band can be one of the motivating factors but what will work better is to focus on the music and making yourself the best musician/trumpeter you can be. Play the best you can and let the chairs fall where they fall.
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I see that you have 2 mouthpieces. With braces, this could be a disadvantage. If you want to get into symphonics, you may have to concentrate on that one thing. My students with braces spent MUCH more time on finger technique and double/triple tonguing rather than range. If you focus, you may advance more quickly!
    In any case, there is no reason to envy the other player. He just got lucky with his braces coming off first.
    See if you can organize a brass quartet or quintet to get some advanced repertoire while you are waiting for the next round of auditions. Some of the greatest musicians became so after getting their own gig started instead of playing for someone else!
  8. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    I could not agree more with Sieg's last post. As good as you are, there's always going to be someone better. This is about making music, not competing.

    Practice smarter. Practicing smarter means cracking the Arban book, the Clarke book and getting busy on your weaknesses. Put yourself under a microscope. If you have only 15 minutes to practice on a given day because of homework sports practice/game, work, chores, then make that 15 minutes focus on 1 aspect of your playing you find difficult. Maybe articulation. Or scales. Don't waste time noodling around on band music. Concentrate on fundamentals and the rest will fall into place; you won't have to work so hard to get that tricky passage because you'll have practiced it many, many times already.

    As for morale: use this not as a defeat but as an opportunity to look at where you are, where you want to be, and how to get there.
  9. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    I second this big time!

    Worry about being musical; the rest will come.
  10. BachLoyalist.com

    BachLoyalist.com New Friend

    Jun 23, 2006
    I think we've all experienced what you describe... In 9th grade I didn't make the "lead" band (but rather the 2nd tier concert band)... I worked on the "basics", and the next year jumped to 1st chair in the "lead" concert band.

    I was fortunate to have a teacher (who happened to play trumpet) that had me focus on the following...

    - Breath
    Deeper than I thought possible. Still a great learning today.
    - Fingering (Speed)
    He had me play all 9th grade "banging"/"crisp" my valves. After 1 year, I could outloast anyone (from breathing above), and fast fingering speed.
    - Sight Reading
    I was not good when I started, but he started throwing piano books at me, teaching me to sight read from that type of music. (seperating the different parts, lots of notes and rhythms.) In 10th grade he got me started on transposition.

    I'm sure there are better methods today, but these worked great for me.

    Good luck, don't get discouraged. As someone said above - there will always be someone better...

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