getting better

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by dovod, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. dovod

    dovod New Friend

    Jun 13, 2008
    Ottawa, KS
    Do you all believe that anyone can continue to get better? I have been playing for just 10 or so years, and I try, and I try to get better, but it seems all my practicing, all my playing, I just can't reach the next level. And, let me just say, that I am not THAT great of a player as it is. I am decent, I mean, I was lead my jr. and sr. years of high school, but in comparison to probably 99% of everyone on this site, I am quite crappy.

    I can hit the double C, D, E, and F. Its not about range, I have that, I just can't seem to PLAY. I don't really know how to explain it. Personally, I think that a big problem I'm having is confidence. For some reason, I just can't get enough. I have a LOT more than I ever had in high school, and that has helped me achieve new levels I never thought possible back then, but I still strive for more.

    I try to make my tongue move faster, but it just won't. I try to make my fingers move faster, and more accurately, but they won't. Some of my problems, I'm sure with more practice I can get better, or at least I hope. An example of this is, a couple weeks ago, in my city band, a couple pieces of music had 4 or more flats. In high school, we never really had to worry about more than 2, so I was worrying about the flats, and this caused me to get behind. If I focused on keeping up with the band, I'd hit wrong notes. I just don't know. It's just really frustrating me. I want to get better. I want to be the best. I NEED to get better. But what do I do? *sigh*
  2. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    HI!First you should try to find the best available teacher in your area. As for your practicing until then BANG THOSE VALVES DOWN. The more sightreading you do the better it gets.Learn from your section mates.
    Schwab likes this.
  3. Bach219

    Bach219 Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 25, 2008
    I agree with Al Innella, try getting a teacher. And also like he said, sightreading can and will help you with accuracy, quickness and so much more! I do believe anyone can keep getting better and better, and so can you!:thumbsup:
  4. Miyot

    Miyot Pianissimo User

    Jul 22, 2007
    dovod, you should be working on all aspects of your playing. Work on those scales, 6 sharps or 6 flats, it shouldn't matter. We were all where you are at at one time or another. Weird, but I now have more trouble with 3 sharps than I do 6. Get some good study material and begin working thru it. Clarkes, Arban, etc. Continue to move forward and it will improve. Guaranteed. Get a teacher if you can, you will move forward quickly.
  5. oldlips48

    oldlips48 Piano User

    Mar 1, 2007
    Hi dovod,

    I'm a comeback player, played in high school and college until I was 21, then pretty much didn't touch a horn again until recently, and I'm 49!

    One big difference I've noticed is indeed in my confidence level. As a teenager I worried about my playing. Now, I worry about my job, my kids, everything else EXCEPT my playing. My playing is my escape. Consequently, I'm having a blast playing in a community band and a small dixieland band.

    I had a band director in college who was fond of saying "If in doubt, play it out!". He knew (and I know now) that 95% of the people listening wouldn't know if you made a mistake, and 99.9% couldn't do what you're doing even if they knew you made a mistake.

    Yes, heed the advise of getting a good teacher,, but the main thing is: YOU gotta have fun at it.

    Blast it out, man. You'll improve, don't worry 'bout it.:thumbsup:

  6. dovod

    dovod New Friend

    Jun 13, 2008
    Ottawa, KS
    Thanks all. And I just got a bunch of new 'advanced' music on ebay, should be here next week i'm hoping. As for the teacher, the only one in my small town, i took lessons from him once before, but I just don't think I can really learn the way he wants to teach..? i don't know. I live about 30 minutes from Kansas City though, so I am going to see if perhaps there isn't someone up there, or at Washburn college, or somewhere. I don't know.

    And as for sharps, thats the funny thing, I can handle 6 sharps a LOT better than I can flats. I don't know why, but sharps are easier for me to remember to play than flats are.
  7. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    Are you any chance a string player in disguise??? :-o
    But seriously, play, and play music (not notes), and you'll be playing more than a lot of people. :play:
  8. Smirnus

    Smirnus New Friend

    Jun 24, 2008
    The O.C., CA
    Get a hymnal and start transposing through all 12 keys.
  9. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Dovod, we have all gone through the same thing. A plateau of sorts, or an envelope; we keep plugging away, and "BAM" we jump to a new level.

    The artist's learning curve is like that.

    We practice scales, we practice Clarke and Arban until we "own" them; and then we can relax. I've played under some insane conductors, who chose impossible tempos, and the key to success was to relax and let my body do what it was trained for.

    Have fun, and keep at it!
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I know where you are coming from. You feel many things should be easier (although your range is not what you think. The double octave is probably an octave higher! Double C is TWO octaves above the staff - if you have control of that, you wouldn't have posted as you did).

    In any case, I think it would be worth reviewing your practice habits. My recommendation is 1/3 easy longtones and slurs played VERY softly then 1/3 tunes - real music played beautifully then lastly 1/3 technical studies.

    Normally we stick the tunes at the end of our practice session, but then we are beat up. You need to make music when you are FRESH. It is a lot more fun that way AND a real motivational factor. Try practicing as softly as you can for 2 or 3 weeks. You will notice that AMAZING things happen.

    Lastly, you can ALWAYS learn something from just about anybody - even a teacher that you may have written off. Try it, you may be surprised......

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