Getting over a Slump

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by BobtheBigFoot, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. BobtheBigFoot

    BobtheBigFoot New Friend

    May 15, 2011
    I've been playing my trumpet for a while now and I am planning on going to college and majoring in Preformance. Latley though, for like the last year or two my endurance is at an all time low even though I practice regularly, and it really is not getting any better. It is really doing a number on my confidance and self-esteem. This is because other people that i play with seem to have the ability to play longer without as much tension as me. Also Im pretty freaked out because I am going to have to start applying and auditioning to colleges soon, and my endurance hasn't gotten much better and I don't want this little hiccup Im having to affect my future college plans or even future career plans. And im pretty freaked out because i may not even have enough endurance to get through my audition piece just like everytime i practice it. I have talked it over with my private lesson teacher, but I was wondering if anyone else has had these problems and how you got over them.
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    In college I played lead in Jazz Band, was a screamer in Marching Band and played first in Symphonic Band. No problem. I'd play the National Anthem solo in front of tens of thousands of people. No problem. Playing four-hour gigs in a funk Band. No problem. Playing "classical" music--solos and etudes and such, I'd crash and burn. In part, it may have been a lack of technique, but the Satori moment was when my Professor was on Sabbatical and the grad student covering his lessons told me: "You'll never be a good trumpet player."

    I got angry, and started to "attack the trumpet" with an attitude that I can only put into initials--F.Y. I "went after" classical pieces with the same attitude I would Tower of Power or a Maynard chart. My attitude changed from that of playing "wimpy" for classical to one of being Superman in his Clark Kent disguise. Even at ppp one can attack the trumpet, even when playing something sweet and lyrical.

    I learned the trumpet is like a beast, and you don't tame beasts by petting them--you tame them by dominating them.

    So--hope this helps, BobtheBigFoot: "You'll never be a good trumpet player."

    (I'll be delighted when you prove me wrong!) :-)
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    We stop getting better when we stop seriously working on things that we can't do. I don't buy this "I am in a rut stuff". A year or two BEFORE college?

    Maybe you should think about majoring in Performance (on stage with an audience) instead of Preformance (warming up?). ;-)

    To be honest, when thinking about what we want to do in life, it normally makes more sense to leverage our strengths instead of weaknesses. What are you good at?

    Back to getting better: any decent player has a daily routine which is there solely for maintenance. This gives us common ground every day as well as no opportunity to get worse. Mine consists of about an hours worth of long tones, lipslurs, scales and simple tunes. This is NOT my practice routine. That comes on top, normally after a break!
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
  4. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    What advice did your teacher give you?

    JNINWI Piano User

    Apr 26, 2011
    Can’t make it through an audition due to endurance ?
    You’ve been playing for a while now….how long is a while ?
    Lately for the last year or two your endurance is at an all time low ? Last week is lately, not a year or two.
    How long do you practice, and how often do you practice, and what do you practice ?
    What does your teacher say ?
  6. Satchmo Brecker

    Satchmo Brecker Piano User

    Jul 19, 2010
    Don't be too sure he wasn't doing what I like to call "a Mystery Alaska" on you. Watch the movie, the scene at halftime of the big game i think, where Burt Reynolds characters tells the team they're 2nd rate, just try not to embarass us, etc. Shaped them right up!
  7. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    My experience happened in 1979, not 1999, and I believe he was being sincere.

    My favorite quote, from the movie is:

    "Two things we've always had in Mystery. Our dignity and our illusions."

    Good pedagogy encourages, bad pedagogy berates. My incident turned out well, but why not encourage students to be more aggressive and attack the trumpet, rather than tell them they're 2nd rate? Why not teach in a manner that takes away illusions while preserving dignity?
  8. Satchmo Brecker

    Satchmo Brecker Piano User

    Jul 19, 2010
    Good pedagogy is knowing which "technique" will have the desired effect. In the context of the movie (yes it's fiction, but we can imagine) Reynolds character knew they wouldn't respond to a preachy koombaya speech. I know from personal experience that there are people who all you have to do is tell them there's no way they can do X, and boom, they'll say eff u and try to prove you wrong. And when they prove me wrong I shake their hand and say great job, I knew you could all along. On the other hand, if I said that to my son who's pretty sensitive, it just wouldn't work and so I never do.
  9. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    "I practice regularly" is the problem.

    Practice a lot. Hours a day. Time playing with the band doesn't count.

    If you really want to major in performance then you have to be good at performing. That takes tons of practice.
  10. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    I am going to guess you re not getting lessons privately ... most of us can only go so far on raw talent and self teaching ... there is a reason private teachers can command $35/hr ... and alot more for the professionals with credentials. I think you will also find that certain teachers have a great track record for getting there students into colleges with scholarships...
    A good private teacher could just be what you need.

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