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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Keith Fiala, Aug 1, 2010.
As a comeback player who put his horn down for 15 years...
I've found that the mental aspect is the hardest to get back. My sound is back. My range is back and then some. But the struggle to back in a year or two what it took me 10 years to develop was very hard for me mentally. Things that I took for granted like breathing had to be relearned. My embouchure took 2 years to feel 'burnt-in'
Another thing, as I was trying to perform before one is ready, I was playing far too loudly. When you're focused on the notes and not the music (section) this becomes is a hard habit to break;
But perhaps the most hideous thing to try to re-learn is the ease (relative) ease at which I used to play. I can now so easily slip into using too much tension because I do not yet fully trust my abilities.
I'm a newbie to trumpet (5 months now), but former sax player. My biggest challenge is my ear. With sax getting the right note is practically automatic. On trumpet though I'll play parts of passages what seems to be real good...until something sounds funky and I realize I'm in the wrong register, like playing E's instead of A's. Also tuning. I never knew you had to think so much about getting certain notes in tune.
For me personally, it's improving my improvisation. I have worked, slaved, worked, and slaved some more on endurance, range, rhythm, and intonation... but I left out improv! DUH!
Wow. There are a lot of responses that I did not expect. Many of them make playing (or at least practicing) sound like a chore or a dreaded task. I'm starting to feel very fortunate. I look forward to everything that I play. I played for 14 years then put the horn down for 27 years. I picked it up again a little over a year ago. I still loved my tone from the minute I started. My range took a while to get back but that was expected. Still, I love every minute of it.
As for what I struggle with, articulation and speed. So, what do I do about it? I try to improve during practice time and I play what comes easy during fun time.
Granted, I don't make a living with my horn. I know that there are pressures associated with pro playing that I never experience and maybe don't fully understand. I did play lead in several bands including a college jazz band while I was still in high school (want to talk about pressure!) so I do understand pressure to perform.
I do have two major struggles that I absolutely love. I'm teaching my two children ages 8 and 10. Big struggles but again, I love every minute of it.
I'm not even 5 weeks yet, and what I find interesting is, I press the wrong keys but my mouth and brain know the note I want, and darned if I don't *almost* get it.
I like how you can get a bunch of different noes for one key combination, just how you think, essentially, it keeps it simple. All those keys on a sax scare me, and saxes sound "slidey" to me, bet you have to work hard to stay right in tune.
Picking the horn up after a ten year break, I hate that my beautiful sound is gone, but I'll get that back... in time.
I'm not a pro, so playing trumpet is pure entertainment at this point. Technical abilities that I had when I was younger, I'll get back, so I'm going to try to surpass myself.
Improv is pretty weak, but I'm not overly concerned with that.
My secret is this: I can't play in the higher register. In high school and college, I concentrated on tone/sound quality while my peers tried to "squeal". At my peak, I could use a shallow MP to get maybe and Eb above the staff, but not solidly.
I'm going to take some time to get my sound back, but after that, I think I'll try to hit the stratosphere. It makes me nervous, because having never given it much thought/effort, maybe I can't do it. This is what makes me nervous.
It's hard to peg. In my experience, the hardest part, especially for jazz big band, is endurance. There's a lot of demand for volume, and it's also hard for me to play over the stand. Also, tonguing fast passages in jazz. I'm not good at jazz. (I can't really improv, either!)
I'm much better at tonguing at classical, though my tonguing is a bit sloppy with single tonguing. Endurance is somewhat of an issue, but not as much here. I think my air use is my main problem. My air is probably the main issue; I'm not sure whether to blame it on a minor physical handicap on my chest, but I'm sure that can be overcome, anyway. I hope I'm not playing too far off the center of the horn's sound/resonance...
I'll agree with others that it is hard to get a good, focused practice on all days.
Hardest thing for me is trusting that things will come out without tightening up when in performance situations. Relaxing under pressure isn't easy, yet tightening up makes everything so much harder than it is in the practice room.
Hardest thing is finding the time. Not that I don't want to, but I live in an apartment, have a wife and easier ways to make money.