Good fundimentals, off performance

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by JackTheMusician, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. JackTheMusician

    JackTheMusician Pianissimo User

    Aug 14, 2013
    Hello there.

    I found I can play fundimentals like lip slurs, tonguing and the lot with pretty good technique. Yet as soon as I go to play a piece (regardless of where) my technique just seems to go, pressure comes back and my endurance goes as a result.

    Any advice? :)
  2. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    Your issue may just be one of multi-tasking. When you are carrying out your drills, you can take care of the basics like breathing etc. When you start reading dots, you may be so intent on the piece that all the basics go out the window.
  3. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    This is a pretty solid assessment IMO. You might want to try to incorporate some very basic etudes where you can focus on the fundamentals while playing melodically until the two skill sets merge into a single function.

    Out of curiosity, what method books are you working out of?
  4. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    Today's TM is so full of great quotes!! Thanks, Ivan!

    I know this happens to me. My teacher throws a new piece of music on the stand, and I am so consumed with getting the dots converted to sound that I forget to breathe and my posture degrades.
  5. Clarkvinmazz

    Clarkvinmazz Forte User

    May 11, 2013
    Oberlin, Ohio
    I feel a Rowuk rant coming in for a landing....
  6. anthony

    anthony Mezzo Piano User

    Mar 3, 2009
    "Rowuk" ya you vill practice or else kaput! ...... only kidding Rowuk, Anthony
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Sometimes I wait before jumping in.

    I think that we need more information before offering a "fix". Ivan hit the nail on the head although my version would not be "intent", rather that we turn our brain off and most things become chance.

    Veery described what I see most of the time: Erratic breathing and bad posture. In my world, this is a sign of bad practice habits. I have often mentioned breathing into a prepared body as well as the circle of breath. This is not a "thing" for me, it is THE source of all good playing and must be second nature. It is something that I still incorporate in my daily routine which is NOT part of my practicing. It is like prayer, meditation all in one.

    I am sure that Jack is missing this in his daily routine. The trumpet is not only about testosterone. There is something transcendental about flowing air creating sound. That is the result of proper fundementals: Automated body use, masterful breathing in time, thousands of thoughtful moments with longtones and slurs.

    My read of the symptom, Jack does not have any breathing marks in his score, or if he does, doesn't pay attention to them. When performing, breathing and body use become chance and thus there is no foundation for security in tone, endurance or technique.

    My recommendation: mark EVERY SINGLE PLACE TO BREATHE when you first get your part. Practice with those breathing marks which are even more important than the notes between them. Make sure you have ample time to breathe. Make sure that your posture has not caved your lungs - preventing you from getting that big, relaxed breath.

    A good procedure before the first note is to exhale deeply, then inhale to play the first note. Exhale helps us relax, a fresh load of air gives us a bigger sense of power.

    To all that think that I am german, it isn't so. I just live and play here.
  8. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    To all who think I am a Kiwi. Yeah - Go the Blacks!! (PC comment: Blacks=All Blacks, the first Rugby team to successfully defend the World Cup).

    And an extension about breathing out:
    When I encounter students with difficulties, and who finish their piece feeling "out of breath" but have stale air in their lungs (normally as a result of Valsalve maneuver resulting from a fear or startle reflex) , I get them to breath out before breathing in and playing at the apogee moment (that time when the inhalation changes to exhalation). In extreme cases I need to get the student to stop at the end of each phrase, breathe out then breath in and continue. This reminds them of the ease of playing on a "first breath". For this I typically use the chorale from Finlandia (in my book "Melodies for Playing), but any simple song of 4 measure phrases is suitable. They end the piece as fresh as when they start. Then we work towards retaining the feeling of playing on that "first breath" by doing 2 phrases at a time, then three etc. eventually eliminating the need to stop/start.
  9. Tomaso

    Tomaso Pianissimo User

    Oct 2, 2014
    New York City
    This sounds like performance anxiety to me. It doesn't happen when he's "practicing", but only when he attempts to smoothly play a piece. That's a strong clue as to its origin. Our unconscious works on us in funny ways and he could very well be unconsciously tensing up to the point of its interfering with the perceived "performance" he is attempting.

  10. anthony

    anthony Mezzo Piano User

    Mar 3, 2009
    No offence entended Germany is a good place to be if your a Trumpet player I would think.

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