I Think I Finally got "it"

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by dsr0057, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. dsr0057

    dsr0057 Pianissimo User

    Dec 20, 2009
    Denton, TX
    I've struggled my entire collegiate career grasping the idea of using reckless air to play and to stop worrying about what I'm playing. For the past 4 years I've been super inconsistent and it really wasn't until this semester that I finally started to see major improvements in practice and performance quality. I'm really excited.

    I'm wondering how long it took you to get "it." When did your playing finally click into something that wasn't trying but just free flowing?
  2. ltg_trumpet

    ltg_trumpet Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 21, 2009
    I don't think I understand. But then again... Maybe I just haven't got it yet :)
  3. rainbowboy023

    rainbowboy023 Pianissimo User

    Feb 15, 2011
    I struggled with the same thing in when I was in high school. I was incredibly inconsistent in my playing, I would play great in jazz band then not sound half as good in concert, at first I thought it was endurance issues since some of the stuff was pretty high, but then I finally realized that I was just trying to hard. I guess I felt that jazz didn't half to sound perfect and relaxed while I felt classical had to be perfect and tensed up. Once I stopped trying too hard my playing became so much better and consistent as everything- tone, range, articulations, note accuracy, intervals, and rhythm improved greatly and things just became so easy.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011
  4. Kujo20

    Kujo20 Forte User

    Sep 29, 2010
    I got "it" after I was handed the lead book for "Guys and Dolls", "Seussical the Musical" and then was moved to the lead part in my ol' high school's top jazz band...(thanks a lot Mr. band director). This was in a period of 1 year.

    Needless to say, at that time in my life this was quite the challenge for me and my chops. But it worked out in the end. My playing improved BIG TIME after that year.

  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    It wasn't until graduate school that I figured it out. Was working on the Hindemith Sonate at the time, and I'll quote from a April 26, 2008 post:

    It was then that I realized that composers (the good ones, anyway) are trying to communicate something, and the best communicate the profound. After that it became a real joy to tackle new works with my Sherlock Holmes hat on. What is the composer trying to say? How can I best convey that? The intuitive part of me really enjoys that, and over time I could play a new piece the right way the first time.

    The other aspect of "getting it" came with my first orchestral position, learning to "mind-meld" first with the principal player and later across the entire orchestra.

    The combination of these non trumpet-specific aspects of musicianship I've found just as important as acquiring technique.

    Good thread, dsr0057!
  6. larry tscharner

    larry tscharner Forte User

    Apr 30, 2010
    dubuque iowa
    Ive never had a major breakthrough like the one you speak of, so I guess like ltg tmpt mayge Im still pre-epipophonic (hows that for creative spelingg). But I have been able to play with more confidence and thus much more sucess after I got some better equipment. I realise that it was not the new horn but the mental boost that did the trick. So much is controled by the mind and supprisingly little is physical and thats why trumpet players are constantly "fiddeling" with their game. Relaxing and having fun playing is hard to do and necessary to my sucess as for you too. Congrats and best wishes.
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Life has its ups and downs. The smart players have the discipline to push other things out of the way and run with the ups.

    I was in high school during my first "click". I started skipping Phys Ed to be able to practice more. Without having attended Phys Ed once in a half year period, I got a B on my report card.
  8. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I hope we never finally "get it". The final "get it" is when we stop trying to progress. I liked the comment above 'during my first "click"'. The key to that phrase is the word "first". I believe we progress in a series of clicks. May the clicks keep coming so that we never FINALLY get it, as the final click is when the top to the coffin closes.
  9. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    VB's post is wonderful! Musical maturity often depends on having lived and loved and lost. We hear young phenoms all the time, but it is a rare youthful performer who emotes well through a performance. Technique has no age barrier, but learning to play it with feeling usually comes much later.
  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I think Rowuk stated it best by talking about "clicks" - when things just start to click and the learning curve angles up sharply. I have several "clicks" that I can define.

    My first happened when I was in 7th grade, in my 3rd year of playing. It just started to make sense, the music became easy, and I had a big jump in technical ability that included gaining usable range past top of staff G, and I could play High C.

    The next big jump occurred my Freshman year of HS, and I attribute that to just spending a lot of time on the trumpet. I'd go in early and play before first period band. After lunch I was back up in the band room, usually blowing through pep band charts. Then came 6th period Jazz band and show choir on alternating days. (I was in both) After school I was back up there again, playing and doodling around the horn, and then some nights we'd have pep band. Just a lot of time with the horn on my face, and even though I wasn't practicing in any kind of structured way, my technique continued to improve anyway.

    The next click came as a Junior in HS, and wasn't so much a technical click as a musical one, and was probably brought about by the angst I felt after I got dumped my the first girl I was ever head over heels for.

    The next really big click came about 6 months after I got to my first Army Band assignment. I was playing every day for hours a day, and I found myself in the brass quintet and the band's big band. Between the two, the level of focus and chops necessary to play in those ensembles pushed me to a technical level I haven't seen before or since.

    So, did I "get it?" No, not really, but there were marked "clicks" along the way.

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