How do you measure / validate improvement?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by kctrumpeteer, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. kctrumpeteer

    kctrumpeteer Piano User

    Dec 23, 2009
    Recently started taking lessons with a new person and wondering what the best way is to measure improvement? Sounds simple enough, until you think of how best to empirically measure improvement. Because sound quality is subjective and you almost need a 2nd person to listen to you before and after, and if you play a piece of music today, you typically have the opportunity to play it better the 2nd or 3rd time you play it regardless if your ability has improved because you are not seeing the music for the first time.
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Improvement can usually not be measured day-to-day, but over longer periods of time. It's sort of like growth in humans--suddenly noticing that one's trousers are too short or the belt isn't long enough.

    Wait for the miracles.
  3. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    I like this. I consider something improved if I can do the good thing consistently. I can do good things by accident, but when they're consistent, I consider that improvement.

  4. Dean_0

    Dean_0 Piano User

    Jan 21, 2013
    I was thinking about this very thing today ,lately it seems i haven't had any noticeable improvement ,in fact i think i have gone backwards in a few areas, as a come backer i have noticed what i call Plateau's ,when you notice a step up in any regard you then have to go too the next step,or you will get there ,the tricky part is you have no idea how wide the next plateau is ,in other word's ,no idea how long it will be until you notice another improvement ,or more specifically how long it will take to have for instance ,clean ,crisp attacks or whatever the area is you think you need to improve.

    This helps me be patient and work on things one at a time ,but it's very nice when i have noticed a change in my playing ,very satisfying .

    In this era of instant gratification we have got used to easy success ,,not a brass players friend :D

    Keep playing and remember to find fun along the way ,it will come . good luck :p

    Another person is your best bet to know how much you have improved ,up to a point .Try this :record yourself playing a piece of music you know very well this week ,save it and record yourself in a month or 2 from now with the same piece ,then compare.
  5. Sharvey

    Sharvey Pianissimo User

    Dec 25, 2012
    There is a lot I don't know about playing a trumpet but I do know a lot about measuring improvement.
    Firstly you need a baseline. Easiest way is to record your self playing something. Use your mobile phone to do the recording.
    You may select a test piece that contains the features you are trying to improve. In a month after practicing what ever the target skills were rerecord your self on the original test piece.
    Each time you do this process you will not only improve your playing you will get better at selecting baseline pieces and target skills and at analysing your own laying.
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    The bills I find in our bands tip jar. Last gig we played there was a C-note. That's what I call validation.
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    You know, playing back an listening to yourself does help, but then we can become our worse enemy. I love to "put out there" my recordings and get personal feedback. TM has been a great resource for doing this, but I now typically use mp3s sent out to member's email addresses, and get personal responses. I believe this is more unbiased to get a true heart to heart as to where I have come and where I need to go.
  8. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    I agree. But there is something you an do day-to-day ... make sure you are learning something new each day.

    Hey Gary. I lost my wallet the other week when I was at your gig. I know I can easily identify it. It had a $100 bill in it. Did you happen see it? :-)

  9. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    This is a tough one, whereas each new song is a restart reverting to the beginning. It's personally not a thought in my head at present to improve when I put the music before me, it's just to play the song as well as I then can and enjoy doing so. I suppose after I've played many thousand songs I should be playing quite decently ... but by then I hope I enjoy it more than I do now.
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Oh sure... all you need to do is provide me the name of the venue and the serial number on the bill and I will gladly return it when I am out your way in May. Please understand, we get this so often that I want to make quit sure we return the actual bill... you know... for IRS purposes.

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