I just had a horrible night.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by RB-R37297, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. RB-R37297

    RB-R37297 Pianissimo User

    Mar 12, 2009
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    I just got back from a show with my Getzen 300 Series and a Yamaha Bobby Shew Jazz Mouthpiece. The set ate me alive and it wasn't even that hard. We played seven tunes and I was playing lead - the lead parts put me usually either just above or just in the top of the staff. I was struggling to complete the third one, and then I started to sweat. The mouthpiece started to slip around on my face, and it lodged itself in a bad spot which strangled my range. I couldn't get it out of there cause it kept slipping back in because of the sweat. Anyways, I couldn't even pull out Gs on top of the staff. It only got worse from there. By the end of the set I wanted to pitch my horn out into the floor and walk out.

    The problem was that there was no reason for that kind of critical failure. It was unfortunate that it had to come for my end-of-year jazz band concert (Grade 11), but it's infuriating because there was no reason for it. I know I've played that exact set two times before, and each time I felt like I could have run the set again. But this time it just murdered me. It had no reason to murder me - I wasn't tired at the outset or anything like that.

    I'm feeling very frustrated and angry at the moment. Does anyone have any thoughts on why this might have happened or what would prevent it in the future?
  2. RUFocused

    RUFocused Pianissimo User

    Apr 26, 2009
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Last Concert? Under the stage lights? Maybe stress brought on by the end of an era for you (Becoming a senior) Maybe you were sweaty because you were hot. You hit the nail on the head when you deduced that your MP was falling because of sweat. the real question is why were your arms and wrists not supporting the horn instead of your face?

    Nerves and Stress. Relax and enjoy a fruitful summer. (Until Marching Camp!)
  3. RB-R37297

    RB-R37297 Pianissimo User

    Mar 12, 2009
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    It's the end of year show. Next year I'll be the lead trumpet in the senior jazz band. My MP did keep sliding in because of the sweat which came up because it was hot in there, but I don't quite understand what you mean by "why were my arms and wrists not supporting the horn instead of my face" - could you clarify? Also, I wasn't really nervous - I only got nervous after my face started to fail, which shook me a bit.
  4. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    We all get excited to some extent when on stage, hey if we didn't feel a rush we wouldn't do it, the trick is to control your energy and don't play too hard at the beginning of the set, that will wipe your chops out very quickly , learn to trust your tone and projection and relax your breathing, don't worry it gets better with experience.
  5. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    I think that's when you noticed it, the nerves likely started earlier. Last concert of the year usually means that adrenaline and testosterone fuel everyone's tempo and dynamics, so you were likely playing louder/harder than normal from the start.

    Alternately you could have just had an "off" night. With a regular practice routine (and a regular practice routine for performance time) those off nights can be almost eliminated.
  6. Dave Mickley

    Dave Mickley Forte User

    Nov 11, 2005
    when I was a junior in high school [right after the earth begin to cool], Doc came to our school as a Getzen artist. He sat down with our stage band and talked with us for a couple of hours. The main thing that I have kept all of these years was of him telling us that playing the trumpet was a physical and mental thing. Not only must we be prepared mentally but we must be well rested before a performance. He stated that we should exercise and be fit to be a good player. He stressed eating right and staying fit. Maybe you stayed up late the night before or had done something to tire you out during the day. Hope this helps.
  7. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    Fear is the enemy. The other posters have raised valid issues as to what might have been the trigger. However, what brought you down is the fear (call it nerves, stress, anxiousness, whatever - it's all just fear in one form or another) that started to creep in when things got dicey on one tune.

    I like the practice routine solution proposed by gbdeamer. For me, these days, when I feel things going south, I know exactly what to do, how it should feel and what I need to do to fix it on the spot. This isn't because my chops are in better shape. I've just been doing this for a long time and have close to totally internalized the form and feeling of playing this thing called trumpet. I prefer to just play and let the music move me, but if the going gets tough, I can get a bit cerebal for a moment and rethink my form on the spot. Once I've got the wheels back on the wagon, then I can let it roll.

    Let this one go. It's over. We've ALL had them! You can learn from it and move on. Just keep loving your music.

    FWIIW comig from me.

  8. RB-R37297

    RB-R37297 Pianissimo User

    Mar 12, 2009
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    I wasn't even nervous or afraid though. I got nervous right after my face basically started telling me it was going to screw me, royally.

    The problem last night was that my face decided to quit and leave. It wasn't nerves or anything like that. It didn't perform the way it usually does and it just died.

    I just took out the horn and warmed up. Gs on top of the staff are problematic right now. This is bloody embarrassing. I'm also noticing my lip has swelled just a bit.

    Any more thoughts? Forget nerves and fear. I know how to deal with those. I don't know how to deal with these wildly inconsistent chops.
  9. Garyleadandjazz

    Garyleadandjazz New Friend

    Jun 4, 2009
    Asheville, NC
    Things that help range and endurance: 1. Go to Bobby Shew's web site and read his clinic page. 2. When away from the trumpet several times a day clamp your lips together until you feel a muscle burn. You can also do this with a pencil between your teeth at the aperture. 3. Claude Gordon's "Systematic Approach to Daily Practice". Pay particular attention to what he says about breathing. In fact, be sure to read the first part of the book really carefully. Also, pedal tones won't do you any good unless you are connecting them to the rest of your register using the same embouchure setting. 4. Iron's "Lip Flexibilities". 5. Carmine Caruso exercises.

    Use a sweat towel if you're playing in the heat if you use a dry outer embouchure.

    Lips have to be strong, but the more you can rely on air support, the longer you will last. Big abdominal muscles are stronger than little lip muscles.
  10. skankin'dan

    skankin'dan Pianissimo User

    Mar 14, 2007
    In my opinion I think it's a pressure problem. Playing without pressure means that your MPC is just touching your face, and it would have no reason to slip. My advice to you: add some pressure reducing excersizes to your practise routine.

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