Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by SpiritDCI08, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. SpiritDCI08

    SpiritDCI08 Piano User

    Feb 11, 2009
    Fort Campbell, KY
    So I've been in the brass world for about 3 years now. I haven't been faithful to one horn, switch from tuba to mello to trumpet. Well I do admit I don't practice as often as a should, but when I do I practice hard. I probably practice about 5 days a week for about 4 hours. And keep in mind that I'm in high school so I play everyday at school.
    The thing is when I play at home I generally do better than at comps, and auditions. I know it has to do with nerves but hear this. At home everything is clean and good (but could get better). But the moment someone is around me I play differently. And it's the same everytime without a falter. I never have bad or good days I always play the same and it sucks compared to my at home playing.
    I really want to make the Cavaliers hornline. But I don't feel like that's possible with my current situation. I can't afford fancy equipment, tutors, lessons, books, and others. And I try hard, but it seems to never work. I think the only reason I'm in spirit is because I know the director.
    I just don't know. I think I inherited my mothers Bi Polar disorder.

    Advice? Help?
  2. TheSlur

    TheSlur New Friend

    Feb 22, 2009
    Do you usually have a certain mindset going into competitions or concerts? If so, I would keep an adamant mindset about playing and make sure you are breathing properly with good posture (concert and marching). I know it sounds like bologna, but it makes all the difference in the world in crunch time.
  3. tunefultrumpet

    tunefultrumpet Pianissimo User

    Apr 9, 2008
    New Zealand
    Could it be that you're worried that people will judge you for how you play....maybe you are a little self-conscious? This sort of thing can definitely affect your playing. It affects everyone to a lesser or greater degree. Personally I found I had to get to a place in myself where I let go of worrying about what other people think of my playing. Do I still play better in private than in public?...of course.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006

    you probably have read it here a thousand times, the key to success is not based on how much you practice, rather how intelligently you practice.

    Most of us play live differently than at home, if for no other reason than the small room we have at home versus the big one for school ensembles and auditions. The sound that bounces off of the wall in a small room has a lot of high frequencies that disappear in the larger room. This is yet another good reason to practice very softly.

    As far as your situation goes, I don't know how long it is until auditions. I hope you have 2 months or so.

    Start playing hymns in church. There you have a very considerate, thankful audience and a relatively easy repertory. It is also a big room with the need for your sound to fill it (unlike the usual bedroom or living room). That will do more for your nerves and sound than anything else short term we could recommend.

    Practice outdoors. This also gives our ears and brain a more useful workout than is possible in a small room.
  5. SpiritDCI08

    SpiritDCI08 Piano User

    Feb 11, 2009
    Fort Campbell, KY
    I can't practice outdoors, my neihbors already complain enough. They view the playing as noise, so do my parents :(
  6. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Learning how to be confident and a winner can become a habit. Unfortunately, learning how to be nervous and flubbing can become a habit too.
    Suck it up, practice regularly with an intelligent goal in mind and learn how to put your game face on.
    Remember, no one sounds exactly like you.Your job is to work smart and make yourself the best version of yourself you can.
    Now, put down the cheeseburger, move away from the computer screen and go practice with some of your buds. We never stop improving. Well, maybe we stop when we die. Never the less, you are the best version of you on this planet. Now, go practice and kick some ass!! I want to see you guys with the World Championship this year!!
  7. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    I'll get long-winded here, so please feel free to scroll down if you don't want some "direct" feedback.

    First, stop focusing on what you can't do. It's just a way to build excuses for yourself down the road when you quit or fail. As usual Rowuk has great advice, go out and play. I recommended to someone (perhaps you) on a previous thread to play in a public park (or any other public area) to get used to playing in front of people. You don't have to play as loud and high as you can, just simple stuff that other people will hear. Church is even better. Captive audience with few other trumpet players around to feel embarassed in front of.

    Here's an old joke: How many trumpet players does ot take to screw in a light bulb? Five. One to screw in the lightbulb, and four others to tell him how they could have done it better.

    What does that mean? Simply put, there will ALWAYS be someone who is (or thinks) they're better than you. The trick is in developing an attitude that says screw it, I know what I'm doing, I know what I want to do (in this case play for the Cavies), and there's nothing anyone else can do about it. Put Roger Ingram, Wayne Bergeron, and Eric Miyashiro in a room and tell me who's a better lead player. I can't tell, but if you walked in that room with ONE lead part and asked them who wanted to play it, ALL of their hands would go up. Each of them would know that they could handle the part, and they would definitely have an idea in mind (real or imagined) why they were better than the others.

    If you want to be a lead/solo trumpet player you need a HIGH degree of confidence bordering on arrogance. Others will definitely chime in and chastise me for the statement, but it's true and they know it. Unlike tubas and mellophones, trumpets are THE voice of a big band, drum corps, brass band, etc. As such, those who play the instrument NEED to be confident in what they're doing or the whole group will suffer.

    I'm not a profesional shrink, but perhaps you feel that every note you perform in public has to be perfect. That's a great goal, but the reality is that public performances are very different than studio work. You will clam, split, gack, and crack a lot of notes before you play a perfect performance. Sometimes those misses will happen in front of other people. So what. Miss a million notes in practice/rehearsal. Intelligent practice will insure that your perfect performance comes at the right time!

    Years ago I was involved in senior drum corps and wanted to be a soloist. I worked very hard to reach that goal and for several years had the opportunity to perform in front of a lot of people. Along the way I also had a few "bad" nights that were heard (and captured on tape!!) by lots of people, but that's OK. I took comfort in hearing Maynard and other heros of mine having "off" nights as well.

    If you really want to play with the Cavies then don't let anything stop you. Not your neighbors, not the people in church, or the people in the park. Play until you're comfortable letting people hear the good and the bad that you play...
  8. sayluvee

    sayluvee New Friend

    Mar 19, 2009
    Being Nervous means one thing - you care about the outcome. Whether you practiced you butt off and really want to do well or you didn't practice enough and you feel guilty or you are worried because you are going to make a fool of yourself - in the end you still care - and thats is good thing. What you need to focus on is channeling that energy productively.

    Now all these guys are right - the more you play infront of people the better your stage presence will be and the less distracted you will be by others. Now obviously people viewing your playing as "noise" is something that every musician has encountered at least once in their lives - but you know what there are plenty of people in this world that play their car stereo loud enough for the world to hear and though people complain they do get over it. Obviously try to be respectful of other people but its not bad thing to expect some respect it return.

    Alright you also need to be alot more confident - plain and simple - Trumpet is a loud and proud instrument (especially in corps playing) the meek do not survive. gbdeamer is correct lead playing requires a huge ego - even if you don't have the confidence you need to fake the funk - if you think you suck so will everyone else. You should be proud of you position in Spirit. Even if what you say is true about knowing the director (though I frankly find that hard totally believe) its called NETWORKING and there are millions of dollars spent every year to increase ones "network".

    Lastly - if you think you have bipolar please go and seek help........

    Happy Notes

    "Sing me the Trumpet Mama..........Sing me the trumpet............"
  9. Bachstul

    Bachstul Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 25, 2009
    Fishing, Golfing, Hiking, Boating, Hunting.... It doesn't matter if it's biking. Sooner or later, it will infringe on people in your life. What talents; you will prosper, others will grow tired. It doesn't matter what it it is. If you were into lapidary arts, people in your world would seem to grow tired of your rock tumbling.

    Bi-polar ????? Spare Me That B.S.

    I mentioned five recreational, no, six, activities in my my first sentence and had a very negative experience in each one that bummed me out. I've had real bummers with my trumpet, also. I won't mention my wood working nightmares.

    I don't believe it is the trumpet you're having difficulties with as much as I believe the trumpet is preparing you for difficulties LIFE will inevitably bring to you. Get Strong and be prepared for the hard days. If you expect them, they won't be so bad.
  10. Bachstul

    Bachstul Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 25, 2009
    You don't have to practice outdoors in your neighborhood. Go for a walk somewhere to play outside.

    You will be so amazed by the sound coming back at you reverberating from the woods, etc. I love playing outside.

    Take it out, you might meet someone this way...........:wub:

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