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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by gregc, Jan 23, 2007.
Ffffffftt......... I donno, man........
First, let it be known that I am not a professional. I do not even play one on TV. I'm merely a guy who studied years ago, and has a passion for playing -even if it's only in my living room.
As I read your posts, I'm thinking of all the snippets of advice I've ever been given. The one that rings loudest, though, is "Trust is a must or your game is a bust." Your mind is whirling trying to find reasons for the off days. The harder you try to fix it, the harder it's going to get. Disengage your conscious mind, quit trying so hard, and let your body do what it knows how to do. Music is supposed to be fun. Right, Manny?
Go back and review something Vulgano wrote. Play a simple tune, as beautifully as you can. Then put the horn down and walk away. Build on a successful playing session, rather than dig deeper into an unsuccessful one. And keep in mind, sometimes, when you think you are doing your worst, your ability is still improving, you just don't know it yet.
I wrote a post a while ago called The Princess and the Princes. The point of my post was that sometimes what we think we are hearing can be mistaken for something else.
Finding a way to improve the sound that is in your head will be very important for you so that you donâ€™t keep walking down this road of inefficient sound production. Study recording of players that have great sound production. Find the similarities (hopefully youâ€™ll be able to chip away at the Princess vs Princes quandary). Meet with your instructor and compare your sound from behind the bell with his sound from behind the bell (find the similarities). This step is not about volume or the color of the sound, itâ€™s about the ring that you hear in the sound. Itâ€™s best to do this at a relaxed dynamic.
Does your sound have the same ring as your instructors? If not, continue playing long tones and beautiful melodies, cultivating that great vibrant sound. Eventually you will be able to hear what you need to hear to avoid â€œthe spreadâ€.
Hope this helps.
Am curious: whose playing do you try to emulate? Whose playing do you listen to all the time?
Sorry to stray off topic, but the title of this thread reminded me of this...
it is always the same story, you have to invest before you collect interest!
IF you have hit a barrier that can mean one of 2 things: the first and most probable is that your basics are not solid enough and that you are at a point where improvement by force is fighting back. The second possibility is that you are so far off track with your expectations that failure is a mental and not a physical thing.
To correct the first, get back to the basics. Reserve 20 min. a day for long tones, slurs and BREATHING! Take a break after that and come back later for repertoire.
To fix the second case, I have to admit that I have never been successful in changing someones expectations until they have run into the knife, having completely wasted a(t least one) concert, finally turned humble and WILLING TO LISTEN AND SLOW DOWN TO THE SPEED THAT I DICTATE. Then we go back to the basics, all ensemble playing is stopped until the vicious cycle of self destruction is broken! In those cases I decided when the student was far enough along and what they were allowed to do.
As you have noticed here, there are many TMers willing to help and provide support. If you aren't making any progress, YOU need to reevaluate what you are doing and maybe look for local professional help. We can up to a point share your frustration, we have all been there. With the proper plan of attack YOU can get through it. I am sceptical of failure that lasts more than 4 weeks, though. It generally shows a lack of focussed determination or a search for pity without a real desire to improve - barring a physical handicap of course. Without having met you personally, I can only guess what is more applicable based on your writing style. Getting back to the basics is THE ONLY WAY to secure the foundation.
If you play a lot and have no endurance then 99.9% of the time you do not use enough air and the face muscles have to compensate. If you are playing 1st in a wind band and can't get through, move down to 2nd or 3rd where you have more opportunity to think about breathing, tone production - without breaking your chops. If you are not willing to do what is necessary, you pay the price by investing time and energy without the payoff of success. Your loss.
I have read a lot about "emulation" at TM recently and question the reason for the posts. When you try to "copy" someone, you start with education: listening, transcribing, googeln until you have a picture of the emulant's (or was that emulee) soul - the essence of their playing. With that KNOWLEDGE, you no longer need to EMULATE, you perform with your expanded knowledge base and the style attributes that you have learned find their way into your playing. Copying someone else without the research is a complete waste of musical energy and denial of your own soul. I consider both tragic!
Since the answer ultimately lies within you and all any of us can do is speculate as to what your problem might be, may I recommend Luis Loubriel's book, Lasting Change? It's about the only thing that i can see might help you develop a methodical appoach to the consistency you're looking for.
Just a thought...
Manny, I'll get that book. Thanks!
Rowuk, I've tossed the piece I was working on. It was the Hummel concerto. I had most of it 'in my pocket' before disaster struck. Oh well. It was working on me more than I was working on it in the end, or so it seems. I'm back to nothing but basics this week; Clark, Arban, Schlossberg. I'm going back to playing easier material, and trying to make it 'perfect'. Maybe that'll help turn me around. Thanks for taking the time to write.
Vulgano Bro - Derek: I mostly listen to recordings, not ofter having the 'live' experience often enough. I have quite a varied taste in players, ranging from Wynton to Botti to Miles. I most often hear my teach play live and appreciate his tone. On a good day, I can impersonate him pretty well (tonally, within my playing limits). I've been in small room - master classes type things, with Jim Thompson, Robert Sullivan, Dave Krauss, Mike Mossman, Chase Sanborn,... and I think I have developed an ear for quality tone.
Maybe I'm pushing too hard, and using a little too much force for my own good. Too much - too fast? Maybe that too. I'm going to try to be smarter, and more efficient in my practice time and playing. I'll take small bites and try not to to climb the mountain in a day. I WILL figure it out. If I need other, specialized help, I'll get it. I love the instrument and the music. It's so much fun and fulfilling (right up to the time I realise I'm in water over my head, LOL).
I don't really have an outlet for live performance. I'm at home, playing solo and duets with my teacher at my weekly 1/2 hour lesson (which I'm thinking of making 1 full hour). I don't get enough in 1/2 hour to make a dent.
Thanks to all who replied. I appreciate it. I really do~
Rooting for Ya!