Playing in front of classmates.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Myshilohmy, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. Myshilohmy

    Myshilohmy Pianissimo User

    Jan 6, 2009
    In a week or two I will have to play a solo in front of my class, I think it's for a grade but does anyone have any advice for not getting nervous or shaking or anything?

    It's a very slow solo, and about halfway through there's a high B in there (my highest note is a C or D) and that's usually no trouble but it's in the middle of a long solo with no break and it's very exposed (obviously since it's a solo). What could I do to build endurance so this is no trouble?
  2. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    I am sorry to say in a word it's PRACTICE. However, your mental attitude is part of being successful in these type situations. You prepare as best as you possibly can and say to yourself that you are going to go play whatever the best that you possibly can.
    Further, you believe then if you have done the above then if they like it GREAT if not then to heck with them. All you can do is your best.
  3. Myshilohmy

    Myshilohmy Pianissimo User

    Jan 6, 2009
    Haha, practice is no problem I practice all the time. But I mean should I take it slower when I practice so when I take it written tempo it's no trouble?
  4. YamaMan

    YamaMan Pianissimo User

    Nov 29, 2008
    It couldn't hurt, but also practice it at its written tempo. Try long tones, too.
  5. gwie

    gwie New Friend

    Jan 7, 2009
    From the experience of someone who is a beginning trumpeter, but is a professional is totally about preparation!

    I often have private students who ask me how to not be nervous when playing in front of people, and I tell them "you will never NOT be nervous when playing in front of people. Being nervous means that you care about it!" To get used to the feeling of playing in those conditions, you have to somehow put yourself into the same mental experience while practicing.

    Imagine your classmates in front of you as you play. What do you think their experience and reaction is going to be? Take it a step further, and put your teachers, parents, best friend, out there. If you're standing on the stage at Carnegie Hall with a great orchestra behind you, how are you going to play? Take this visualization as far as you need to go...the concept of "performing practice" is about simulating both the physical and the mental environment you expect to play in so that the variables that you have control over can be worked on.

    Go visualize! :-)
  6. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    Gwie is absolutely correct - you get butterflies because you care - for my job I have stood in front of a class every day for 23 years and if I step into the room and find that I am NOT nervous, then that bothers me. I know then that I am not prepared properly.

    I seek the nerves to function correctly, I also stand when I teach - it makes your brain work faster, something to do with our physiology known as 'fight or flight readiness' (or something like that). Will you be standing for your solo? It will help if you do.

    Good luck :play::thumbsup:
  7. jason_boddie

    jason_boddie Piano User

    Dec 26, 2008
    Jacksonville, FL
    I have been performing for 25 years. Not always as a trumpet player, I also sang professionally for a while; and in doing so sang in front of some very large audiences. However, the toughest performances I ever did were the ones in front of my peers. That's the challenge you will face. You will be nervous, and probably more nervous than you normally are. So, how do you fix that?

    You will only conquer nerves through preparation. Practice, Practice, Practice.

    Please allow me to make 2 suggestions about your practicing.

    1. Practice your Solo in front of a mirror. even though your peers are a pretty tough audience, they are only the second toughest. YOU are your worst critic. Practice in a mirror so your beady eyes are staring at yourself, the prospect of all your friends staring back at you won't be so bad.

    2. THIS IS IMPORTANT. Alot of people say "Practice Makes Perfect", that is as untrue of a statement as I have ever heard. The correct statement is, " Practice Makes Permanent, Perfect Practice Makes Perfect". If while practicing you screw up, stop and start over no matter how long it takes. That kind of practicing and preparation will kill your nerves, trust me.

    Good Luck
  8. oldlips48

    oldlips48 Piano User

    Mar 1, 2007
    Practice and preparation IS key, of course. Speaking from my own experience, once you're a few bars into the performance and you're concentrating on the music, you'll be fine.
  9. Dave Mickley

    Dave Mickley Forte User

    Nov 11, 2005
    Jason is correct - my nerves get to me more in front of people that I know than in front of strangers. Your first solo will be the hardest and slowly get easier as you play more solos. practice, practice, practice and oh just one more thing - practice. if you have a tape recorder, tape yourself that will be like a performance and help you get used to playing for an audience [at least it does for me]. Good luck, and remember - nobody in your class is a paid professional.
  10. brem

    brem Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 13, 2007
    Quebec City, QC, Canada
    I personally just practice until I can't get it wrong (yeah right...), then when I perform, I strive to forget where I am. I just try to play just as I would if I were alone. That's why I close my eyes when I solo... :)

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