How do you empty your mind when......

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Sethoflagos, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009

    What I think you are doing is moving from conscious behavior to habit - which is exactly what you want to do. In sports I believe practice is the way they do that. As the brain develops the control it allows you to slowly back off on concentration. Much like learning to drive. First time you are thinking about push the accelerator, turn the wheel, etc. with 100 percent concentration. In a year you are driving, talking to the person next to you and listening to the radio. You want to get to the point where you are not thinking about the tongue. Try some exercises where you have to focus on fingering. That way your mind is working on which valve to push and not the tongue. Just a thought.
  2. gordonfurr1

    gordonfurr1 Forte User

    Aug 2, 2010
    North Carolina

    Hard-wiring an action in by repetition.
    A clear example occurred to me a number of years back...back in the days of faxing documents:
    As engineering manager, I was sending documents hourly to engineering staff by fax to the office.
    One day, whilst typing in the number quickly with my right hand, a secretary asked me the fax number as she was also needing to send a document.
    I looked at her and realized that I had absolutely no clue what the number was, even though I had just typed it!
    I had repeated the act so often that the action had shifted from a conscious act to a subconscious habit. We're amazingly wired to do so to free up our LIMITED conscious (RAM) capacity.
    And the secretary?
    I had her watch my fingers whilst I typed the transmission in so she could write down the number for her future reference.
    This was in that thin sliver of time between the advent of fax machines and speed-dial programs.
  3. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    I'm beginning to have serious doubts about the 10,000 mechanical repetitions model.

    There's an assumption here that Self 1 knows exactly the right sequence of movements that Self 2 should follow and learn by rote to achieve the given objective. And maybe this works for the relatively slow, relatively simple actions like tapping valves in a particular order.

    But if this site should have taught us anything, it's that the rapid, complicated stuff is beyond real-time control; beyond straightforward language to explain; and (I suspect) largely beyond the understanding of every single one of us. And that's just how we play as individuals. Add in the 'different strokes for different folks' factor, and a slightly different picture emerges.

    It's as if Self 2 more often than not faffs around with the programme/old-wive's-tale Self 1 has asked him to execute until he hits on an idea that's much more energy efficient and (hopefully) produces something approaching the desired outcome.

    This isn't to say that Self 2 is always right. He may just be slipping back into an old bad habit. But Self 2 has come up with some pretty neat stuff for me over the last year or so, so there we have it. Yet another Hegelian Dialectic*

    Thesis: Self 1 says "Do it this way"
    Antithesis: Self 2 says "No! I want to do it this way"
    Synthesis: Approach learned instructor on bended knee pleading for guidance (or failing that, just post some rubbish on TM)

    ...and things get all iffy and butty and whyfor wert thou not herey, until something pops out of the jack-in-a-box.

    This viewpoint does seem to reinforce Robin's view that an educated independent ear could be essential in resolving this sort of conflict.

    But for my own particular case, I'm happy to run with Self 2 for a little and see where that leads. I just have need of a temporary gag and straight-jacket (or psychedelic equivalent) to shut Self 1 up for a while. Which was the point of the OP.

    Btw If they'd given that book a serious title like "The Inner Game of Cricket", I'd probably have got around to reading it years ago. :-)

    *It was actually Kant, you cretin - Self 1
  4. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

    Jan 9, 2010
    East Yorkshire
    I refer you to the ancient seal of Masham, great for separating two peculier minds
  5. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    I've actually met the Old Peculier of Masham. Seriously. He's some sort of church official. Came up to me and introduced himself after we performed a concert up there.

    Or it could have been just some old wazzock in a suit winding me up ;-) HNY, Andy
  6. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    Over think, and you're paralyzed. Free your mind and you can soar. I just thought of that. You may want to dispute it, I can accept that.
  7. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    I wonder where the resident professional is on this one ---- "hello GM, earth calling GM, please get in the right frame of mind, we need your expertise on this question" ---------------- like they say, those that live it can teach it, and those that teach it, know how it's done!!!!! ROFL ROFL ROFL I have no official stance on "empty mind" and playing, because, I am always thinking of the next note, or phrase --- contemplating the actions of what's coming next usually enables me to get it right.
  8. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria

    The old one's are the best ;-)
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    It isn't a repetitions problem, it is in fact discovering the "right repetitions". You can drive, fly, walk from Lagos to Frankfurt, Germany by going north or south. Going north is tough, but travelling south is infinitely harder. I guess the decision comes after determining where the greatest enemies are located and what skill sets are necessary to accomplish the mission. Even then, going south means that you may have changed the goal by the time that you get to Frankfurt to raw survival.

    It is the same with the trumpet. I recommend the Circle of Breath because it is easy to understand/repeat and is safe. It alone is only a very raw base however. It does not take into account handicaps whether they be mental or physical. I am convinced that it is VERY difficult to intellectually evaluate our own playing unless we have done a lot of teaching and had some success stories. Most of the really successful people that I play with do NOT really know why they are as good as they are. They have no idea of the trumpet physics and in fact, that is probably a good thing. They have a bit of luck with their bodies, the situations that allowed them to develop and the chances to perform. For those of us missing one of those three things, there is a lot of conjecture about how to get results.

    Seth, I have no trip planned to Lagos, but if you were ever in the Frankfurt area, you would be most welcome to come by and stay for a while........

  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Listening and hearing others empties my mind.

    Anyone in the area, come down to Gilly's this Saturday and hear me empty my mind with my Quintet. We have a fill in piano player for this gig, Will Minefield, who just finished his PhD in Jazz Performance at the University of Texas, Austin. He is an amazing player to empty the mind onto.

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