Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by jonny89, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. jonny89

    jonny89 New Friend

    Feb 22, 2005
    Redhill - England
    When i performe say for a recital i get pretty nervous and i find it affects my confidence particularly on things like range meaning i cant go particularly high. Has anyone got any tips on performing and avoiding nerves like this?
  2. davidjohnson

    davidjohnson Piano User

    Nov 2, 2003
    play more in public.
    go to the courtsquare and sound taps on veterans day, play at a church for offertory or maybe a community thanksgiving service, star spangled banner at events...the more the better until it helps.

  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Uhh, all these American songs in Redhill, England? Maybe not the best idea. While we can have confidence based on our past successes, in order to create confidence we don’t yet have there are a few tricks.

    1. Practice breathing – memorize the feel of a full breath, the sound as you inhale, etc. Our bodies love to lie to us under stress, and we can be tricked into thinking we’ve taken a full breath when we are actually experiencing extreme tension and mistake resistance for a full breath. Take time before your first entrance to take in a super effective breath and the first note should come out the way you want. After that, just play.

    2. Our endurance falters under stress. As a rule of thumb, if you can play through the program three times in a row and not be worn out you can make it through the performance once. Don’t practice like crazy the day before – use that time to rest and focus on the excitement of the coming performance.

    3. Fear and excitement feel the same to the body – it is our attitude that makes the difference.

    4. Don’t neglect all the other things to do in practice – create the balance in the practice room. If the pieces are high and loud don’t forget to practice low and soft, too.

    5. Remember that the audience is your friend (unless you’re playing in some parts of Germany) and are pulling for you. Entertain them and yourself. Don’t try to show off, bur rather make music.

    6. Have fun – we live to play!
  4. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Forte User

    Oct 11, 2004
    Farnham (a place too smal
    David may have the tunes slightly off (not certain that Redhill would appreciate those), but I do agree with his suggestion - play more.

    Have you got a friendly pianist that you can team up with?
    If so, a small recital in church is always a good way of raising money (as we have proved in the past). If you are unsure of whether your lip can last a whole recital, get a friend or two involved (maybe include some trumpet duets/trios - hmm, wonder who we could suggest?).

    Another suggestion is to practice perform - if you are working towards a recital, get someone to sit on a practice session and perform as if it were the recital (if they are doing anything similar, you can then return the favour - I am sure you and Hannah can work something out).

    And then reread Vulgano Brother's post, some good advice in there.
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    If you can, practice in the room that you will be playing in (or at least one of similar size).
    The logic here(drastically simplified) is that we push a note into the room, hear it and then the brain tries to adjust for the difference in expected and actual sound. Rooms that we perform in are generally much larger than those that we practice in. The first reflection coming back to our ears will therefore come later (due to the distance from the opposite walls) and because of the damping properties of air, have less high frequencies. Reverberation in a large room is also considerably different.
    It takes a while to get used to this and can cause insecurity.

    These expectations are also what causes discussions at a gig with stage monitors. Everybody wants them adjusted for their own personal preference. The discussion is generally restricted to "balance" although EQ can sometimes solve the problem without changing the volume. If the sound is "brighter" it doesn't need to be as loud (because it resembles more closely our practice room expectations)

    Worst case is playing unamplified outdoors. Here we have almost no feedback. In this case, I try and position the music stand so that at least a little sound is reflected back.
  6. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    When I was younger I would get really nervous. As I got older and played more it went away. I still get it in an audition or sometimes when performing for family or friends. Even though for the most part I don't get the shakes anymore. In a high stress job sometimes I can feel my back tighten up and I get tired.

    I don't know what to say about the shakes other then what was said but, relax relax relax. Think about relaxing before you play. Slow big breaths.
    When you warm up, slow big breath in, shoulders down, no tension and play. When you go to perform give this a thought before you play and then as said; just make music. Sometimes when I think about the notes I miss them. When I just play I do my best.

    Just as a side note:

    On my last audition I had to play a lot of technical stuff and some lyrical stuff.
    I played the technical stuff perfectly and then came Carmen Prelude. Half way through my mind started to wander and I thought about where I was and got the shakes. After that was over I played more technical stuff and was fine. So I would say I blew it by taking my mind off the music.
  7. jonny89

    jonny89 New Friend

    Feb 22, 2005
    Redhill - England
    Thanks everybody these tips are really helpful. In a few months i have my A-level recital which lasts 20 minutes. The longest recital i have ever done lasted 6 minutes so for me this is a huge jump. Im trying to find some music that will be impressive and some music that will give me a rest. The grade has to be 7-8 so have you any ideas?
  8. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    Well, some nice little ditties for a short 20 minute recital:
    Turrin Caprice
    Ibert Impromptu
    Honegger Intrada (Not really a ditty, that!)
    Bozza Rustiques
    an Arban/Clarke solo such as Bride of the Waves, Carnival of Venice, etc.
    Maybe a sonata/concerto
    Goedicke Concert Etude

    There are, I'm sure, lots of other tunes, too.

    Avoiding nerves...I'm not sure that's really what you're looking for. Dealing with them? That's probably more like it. Focus on breathing, think about the MUSIC, and prepare, prepare, prepare.

    What you eat can have a big impact, as well. If you search the general trumpet discussion forum, you might find something on diet or nutrition before performance helpful.
  9. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    Any tips on getting rid of dry mouth? It doesn't happen to me all the time, but sometimes when I have to get up and solo or something, my saliva dries up instantly and it becomes a real chore to sound good.
  10. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    Chewing the inside of your cheeks or your tongue (LIGHTLY!) stimulates salivation.

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