Playing solos

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Myshilohmy, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. Myshilohmy

    Myshilohmy Pianissimo User

    Jan 6, 2009
    This year for our marching band show there are three soloists and 6 lead players, I am pretty sure if I get over playing in front of people I will get it because they are easy solos, but what do you guys think about when playing in front of people? I try not to play in front of people by myself a lot because I am shy and care too much about what other people think, but I know that confidence is the main key. Lately I have been just using breathe dah and it works well, but I don't know if I can do that in front of 20,000 people without messing up. The other day my director had the seniors (me being one of them) demonstrate how a song went, and it was just in front of the brassline, and I was shaking even though I wasn't the only one up there. How do I stop this shaking and play in front of people better?
  2. Mr. Explorer

    Mr. Explorer Pianissimo User

    Jun 14, 2009
    Colorado Springs
  3. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.

    Mr. Explorer might not be overly shy, but, his point is valid and absolute. Experience at playing in front of people equates to the old axium that,"familiarity breeds contempt". The more that you do it, the more comfortable you will become.

  4. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    I agree with everything that has already been said. You have to know your part so well that it is almost second nature and that you are going to play it the best you possibly can. If the people like it great, if not oh well. This was taught to me by a teacher of my who is now playing with the LA Phil.
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Do you find the idea of soloing in front of 20,000 exciting or scary? Our bodies can't tell the difference, but our minds will either permit us to play our fannies off or suck, depending on our attitude. Do you really want to play in front of all those people? If the answer is an emphatic "YES!" and you find the idea exciting, then go for it! You'll be fine!
  6. Pseudonym

    Pseudonym Pianissimo User

    May 23, 2009
    The way I've learned to combat the nervousness is to learn the piece so well that I can overcompensate. If you can pick up the horn and play the piece perfectly at 2x the speed without looking at the paper, you'll probably feel slightly nervous. If you can start anywhere in the piece at meet the same requirements, you'll do perfectly fine. Looking out at the crowd isn't such a big deal if you know that you're unable to mess up!

    Remember this: It takes six repetitions for the brain to process any information from short term memory to long term memory. So if you played the solo six times every hour (you're on summer break, and it's a short solo most likely, just do it) that you're awake / able to play, you'll have it completely memorized by day six. Then start playing it by memory from that day on. You'll do fine. :)
  7. Myshilohmy

    Myshilohmy Pianissimo User

    Jan 6, 2009
    Well it's like a call and response, so my solo is only 4 notes, so it will be easy to memorize.
  8. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    So, it's more like a duet where you have rests and someone else plays - it's just a matter of perception. You can do it. :thumbsup: We are all behind you - let us know how well it goes.
  9. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    The shaking thing is likely adrenaline running through your body and is very common. The first time it hapened to me I was playing a solo in front of about 300 people at a drum corps show. It didn't hit me until I started playing my first not and my legs were so shaky I almost fell down. To survive through this I slowly shifted my weight to one leg and then slowly to the other. The movement gave my body something to do, and concentrating on NOT falling down kept me from screwing up the solo (I knew the solo inside and out, so my lip was on auto-pilot).

    I recommend playing in front of as many different people/groups as possible so you can get used to the feeling and deal with it when it happens. It's been 20 years since my drum corps "episode" but I can still get that feeling from time to time. Most recently it was during a church gig. I was playing flugel accompanying a choir and organ, and we all clicked so perfectly the congregation went silent and just stared at us (a really sweet musical moment).

    My point is you might never completely eliminate the nerves, but the more experience you have feeling them the less it will impact your performance.
  10. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Like everyone else has all ready said the more you perform in front of an audience the easier it gets. Most of us got nervous in the beginning of our budding careers, all you can do is be prepared and trust what you learned from your teacher and in your own abilities. I used to nervous when I started but I was also playing in a couple of bands outside of school and quickly got over my "stage fright", volunteer to play in a church group if you can, every time in front of an audience helps.

Share This Page