Gaining confidence

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by hhsTrumpet, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. hhsTrumpet

    hhsTrumpet Piano User

    Dec 3, 2011
    How do I become confident in my playing? Even if I play something right, I don't feel like I played it right. I never feel ready for playing tests, auditions, etc... This makes me practice A LOT but it makes me really nervous for auditions and stuff. I guess you can say I'm too much of a perfectionist. And I worry about stuff too much.
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    When you don't have to ask yourself if you played it right, and you just enjoyed playing it.
  3. Mark_Kindy

    Mark_Kindy Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 11, 2010
    Gainesville, FL
    Perfection is unattainable. Instead, revel in progress -- it's more satisfying and actually exists. Know that you will IMPROVE. That's more important to me than anything else.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    First of all, your attitude is defeatist, not perfectionist. Worrying about stuff means that you have no confidence in your practice process. That means to me that an accomplished lesson never happens because you didn't set goals.

    When I assign double tonguing for my students, I assign a (realistic) tempo too. That way we know when we can go on to the next exercize. Quarter=144 is absolute achieved or not. Without the tempo - double tonguing could always be faster. The same goes for anything else - no realistic goals, no accomplishments.

    To me this means you are only playing (what you call "a lot" is probably different than my definition) not practicing. Practicing is the intelligent repetition of achievable goals until they are mastered. Trumpet players should have a steady diet of tone builders, technical studies, range builders and most of all MUSIC. The recipe is different for each of us, but without reasonable development in all of those areas, we have nothing to be proud of, nothing to generate confidence.

    My recipe for you: get off of the "woe is me" horse, write your WEEKLY goals down and stick to them. Make sure that they are achievable. Not everything can be accomplished in a week so short, middle and long term goals/accomplishments are significant. The rest is simply experience. Performing a lot makes it easier to play a lot.
  5. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    Confidence is something that can be isolated and built up. Not much to add to the above post, but an analogy from tennis.

    I used to play competitive (weekend) tennis tournaments (when younger :roll:) and I read about a formula for preparing for tournaments, and building your confidence.

    In tennis, confidence is built with winning. That's the type of confidence you need to win tournaments. To build confidence while you are preparing for the tournament, you manage you practice matches. You need to know how good people around you are so you can work it out to win (the preparation matches) roughly 60 percent of the time. If that number is too high, your matches aren't hard enough and you don't get prepared. If the number is too low, you've played tough practice matches but your confidence suffers. That ideal goal of 60% winning matches is valuable, and really works.

    If you manage your practice sessions on trumpet, you can build confidence. Easier said than done .... I'm still working it out.:dontknow:

  6. xjb0906

    xjb0906 Piano User

    May 2, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    The only way to get over it is to perform as often as possible. The mistakes are not disasters but indicators of what you need to work on. Don't let mistakes affect you in an emotional way. Just take stock of what happens and adjust. You will be much happier as a trumpet player and as a person.
  7. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    Look for places to perform, where you have an appreciative, captive audience. Like nursing homes.

    Here is a place where you will likely be appreciated, probably not heckled or your playing criticized, and where they probably won't remember you anyway, after you've left. Win win all around.:-)

  8. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    My favorite kind :D
  9. schleiman

    schleiman Piano User

    May 12, 2010
    Austin, TX
    I agree with Rowuk here. Since I have organized and written down my practice routine, I can see the improvements each week. They are small, but as he says, progress is measured in months or years, not hours or days. Intelligent practice is really difficult once we let frustration in. My teacher told me something that really sunk in. "Be tenacious!" And he showed me how to break down my practicing a piece of music. He had me play through it and really pay attention to exactly which parts of the phrases I was having trouble with. Then we slowed down the tempo, and worked with patience and concentration on each 1/4 phrase or so. Once they felt more comfortable, we raised the tempo. We repeated the process until they felt comfortable at speeds faster than I will actually perform them, then we slowly started connecting the phrases, a couple at a time. Then we strung them all together and to my great surprise and delight the whole piece felt much easier to play. I felt a rush of satisfaction at that moment, and I felt like I could learn anything I really put my mind to. I've still got loads of work to do. But in essence he taught me how to enjoy the process instead of being tunnel-visioned for the end result. I've enjoyed playing much more since then. Because not only is practice fun, but performing is more fun too because I feel more confident in my abilities. I had a friend from the wind ensemble come over last night, we played some duets and then worked on the music. I played my solo, and he complimented me greatly on it. I have rehearsal tonight and I can't wait to play! Good luck to you, and do NOT be afraid! No fear! Take care!
  10. PatMurphy

    PatMurphy Pianissimo User

    Aug 9, 2009
    Cherry Hill NJ
    Rowuk gave yu good advice. Set short term goals as you go along. No trumpet concertos for awhile. Then listen to yourself. Listen to the music your horn and you are making.Is it not better than last week?
    Is it not enjoyable to listen to? If so then it is time for that "captive" audiewnce mentioned above.
    BTW, I never did hear how old you are, how long you have been playing and what you expect to be able to play now.

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