getting the song going

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by gregtrum84, Jan 8, 2006.

  1. gregtrum84

    gregtrum84 New Friend

    Oct 19, 2005
    Boston, MA
    Hello Manny,

    Its been a while since I've posted, but I do follow some of the threads here on occasion.

    Some background on me to give you some idea of where I'm at:

    I'm going into the spring semester of my junior year pursuing a B.M. in Performance from Boston University and studying with Terry Everson.

    I feel like I'm a pretty good place right now with the trumpet, at least in terms of my attitude. I've had some good success in the last couple months with getting more laid back and relaxed about the horn and all, and I think it's put my playing in a refreshing new direction. More constructive work and less criticism and frustration, which is a good thing!

    I've been doing a lot of work lately on the mental side of playing and trying to stay away from my old notions of what technique on the horn is, and I feel more relaxed and confident in my playing then I have in a long work tends to be mostly trying to get the sound-image in my head louder, clearer, and more detailed. I know you've talked about the topic of having a clear mental image of your sound at great length, and I do remember your saying something to the effect of "having a mental CD player you can turn on" to hear your best sound. However, I find that when I'm playing, sometimes I tend to get distracted from the concept of my best sound or am not giving this mental image all of my brain power. These distractions usually come from me noticing how I FEEL when I play as opposed to concentration soley on the SOUND. I find that after listening to Phil Smith or another favorite player my sound and general playing improves because that beautiful sound is fresh in my mind, and I would like to find a way to always have the image "fresh". I wondered if you could give me any advice in regards to keeping your mental focus when you play, or perhaps some exercises you use to get your concentration level to the maximum before you perform or practice.

    I find, as I'm sure you do, that my best playing comes when my focus is strong and clear and I have an undeniable image of what I want to happen playing inside my head as I play. I would like to learn how to achieve this state more often and steer myself away from mental distractions.

    Also, are your travels going to be taking you to Boston in the next few months (maybe for the BSO audition :-))? If you are going to be in the Boston area I would love the chance to get a lesson...sorry for asking here but I really don't know any other way to contact you.

    Thanks in advance for the help.


  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    It takes more than what you've been giving it and for a greater length of time. When you hear nothing else you've got the knack. The next step is to be able to hear that sound in your head and everyone else you're playing with.

    Practice hearing the trumpet in your head until it's so loud you almost wish it would stop. If you haven't been insitutionalized by that point, you've got it. No magic pills or easy solutions... just more and more of the same until music is something you can't get rid of, it's always there.

    Good luck,

  3. Derek Reaban

    Derek Reaban Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 16, 2005
    Tempe, Arizona

    Great answer! I love it when the pros all answer a question in the same way. It certainly validates the answer!


    I’ve asked this question myself many times. You may enjoy a topic I started called Mr. Hickman (A Question About Visualizing the Sound). I specifically want to excerpt this part of that topic (these are my words):

    To hear the sound in my head better, I purchased a pair of those sound isolation earphones and an iPod. It's made my listening experience MUCH BETTER. Get busy! Start listening to the point of complete immersion!
  4. gregtrum84

    gregtrum84 New Friend

    Oct 19, 2005
    Boston, MA
    thanks to you both for the advice!


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