Nerves & Playing Too Loudly

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by RHSbigbluemarchingband, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    RHSBBMB,
    just keep RESPECT in your mind and you will solve this. Nerves ARE only an excuse for things like volume. Like I said, cracking a note is a function of your daily condition. Dynamics, tempo and pitch are not. If you already have yourself talked into being a nervous mess, a shrink is your next stop. I just don't buy it. Excuses are CHEAP.
     
  2. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    The only thing you have to fear, is fear itself. Even if you have to fake it, you're the boss. Always act like you're in control in front of the listening crowd. You can decompress after your performance.
     
  3. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

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    It all comes down to being prepared, missing dynamic markings is the same as missing a flat or sharp marking, nerves and not being prepared are two different things. I've had students get nervous at auditions ,but once they played their first note they settled down and played the whole piece , notes, rhythms, articulations, dynamics , rests , etc.
    Next time make sure you practice everything in the piece,and don't think oh that's not that important I'll get it next time.
     
  4. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

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    It sounds like maybe the adrenaline got to you. Sort of like an athlete who needs to remind themselves not to do too much or try to be a hero at a critical time. It's a bit of a paradox, but if you try to play "better" than you can, it comes out worse. Trust yourself and the way you've prepared. As you do more of these things, you'll learn how to handle them. Preparation and experience go to together, I think, in learning how to play your best in auditions. Also, the longer you play and study music, you'll learn how to prepare at higher and higher levels. Maybe you were as ready as you could be...for now. In a year, you might have the ability to prepare even better.
     
  5. RB-R37297

    RB-R37297 Pianissimo User

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    I don't think it's altogether impossible for pressure and anxiety to be affecting his performance.

    When I'm nervous, I shake. This is amplified by the horn and generally, really sucks. This compounds my problems because now I'm trying to control shaking, which might lead to cracking notes or poor phrasing or things of that nature because I've got a hull breach in the form of the shaking.

    As a fellow high school player, I can relate to what he's saying. We don't have near as much experience in high-pressure situations as pros do and are more prone to having our problems compounded by nervousness. That's no excuse for underpreparation - in fact, it's a strong case for overpreparation - but it doesn't change the fact that the problem still exists.
     
  6. RHSbigbluemarchingband

    RHSbigbluemarchingband Mezzo Piano User

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    I worked really hard, and I had the dynamics down pat during my practice sessions, but the pressure during the auditions really got to me. I actually sounded very good, i was told, it was a very clean audition, no note cracks, no poor phrasing, bad breathing. But thats cause when I was getting nervous thats what I most likely concentrated on, hopefully with more auditions I can concentrate on all aspects of a great audition, and get the four points, but Jon I think you get where im coming from the most (all of you gave good advice don't get me wrong), no matter how much I prepare, high pressure auditions can only get better by more high pressure auditions. But im still confused as to why I would get louder with nerves? I do typically play loudly when picking up the horn, but why if nervous would I get louder? Id think it would be the opposite..........



    ps jon im a girl lol
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    It is not the nerves. Your getting louder only happens when you are NOT well enough prepared.

    Just because practice sessions work does not mean that you are prepared. There are many things that we can sightread excellently, that does not mean that we have them "down". If something is properly prepared, rhythm, dynamics and articulation are "lived" and no longer "read". You understand the music and can't help but play it right.

    Like I said, a cracked note because of nerves I will accept. That is human. The rest is just plain hard work (or the lack of it). Blaming everything on nerves is just moving it away from being "your fault". Prepare better next time and you will have solved the problem!
     
  8. RHSbigbluemarchingband

    RHSbigbluemarchingband Mezzo Piano User

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    The only thing I don't understand, is I put in a lot of effort, especially since we had less then a week to prepare. I practiced about two hours every day, went through it with my private teacher, and only took the day before the audition off, to keep myself from getting carried away and overpracticing the night before. When I went into the audition, first breath, I made sure was a nice, deep, full, tummy breath, and I made sure to do this for each breath I took. For higher notes, I made sure I wasn't tense, relaxed, and remembered in my head open throat and fast, controlled, directed air. Is this a sign that I should concentrate more on dynamics in my practice for future auditions, or am I still misunderstanding what you are saying (and sorry if I am)?

    Thanks,
    Kristina
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Kristina,
    MAYBE we have time to think about our first breath. We do not have time to "think" about not being tense. That is built through proper practice and habit building.

    When we prepare pieces, we can't pick any one thing to "concentrate on. We are making music and that needs everything.

    I wrote that my first session with a new piece is with a pencil and not a horn. I put breathing marks in and train them that way. I look for themes and counterthemes to make sure that I practice them to give them enough "importance".

    We need to pay attention to the musical line. Once we speak that musical language, dynamics and articulation are clear. Before that we are only playing notes.

    I don't know how well you play. I do know that this nerve thing does not fit the picture that I have of you (you have been posting for a while).

    My advice is to play a lot more tunes. Develop more feeling for where a melody goes dynamically. Hymnbooks are really good for this. Easy tunes and range and powerful words. A pretty dynamic combination. Learn the language, then the mechanics become less mechanical and more automatic.
     
  10. RHSbigbluemarchingband

    RHSbigbluemarchingband Mezzo Piano User

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    I had a great audition that was what I was told, but the dynamics could have been better, when Im practicing later on today, ill definitely have to keep what you said in mind. Although we aren't allowed to borrow the hymn books from the church, a marching band director, who im friends with, is in the music ministry, and might be able to snatch me one. Im currently working on Concert Etude (goedicke), The Hounds of Spring (audition piece which we are performing, very lyrical parts), a couple of piano and trumpet solos (fantasy for trumpet and piano, and stars in a velvety sky), and later on the hummel. Im hoping playing all these pieces, will really help me broaden my playing arsenal, and get me to hear the musical lines. In the Hounds of Spring the part where I messed up the dynamics in auditions, even if the dynamics weren't there, you can tell they should be, its this very flowing part, the phrases start off soft, get loud, and slowly get higher to this climatic A above the staff. It sounded beautiful during practice sessions and my lesson, so I don't quite know what happened to me during auditions.................
     

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