Preparing for a big Concert/Gig/Competition

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by RHSbigbluemarchingband, May 16, 2009.

  1. RHSbigbluemarchingband

    RHSbigbluemarchingband Mezzo Piano User

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    Jan 17, 2009
    What do you do to prepare yourself, mentally and physically before a big concert, gig or competition?

    ONE WEEK BEFORE?

    A COUPLE DAYS BEFORE?

    DAY OF CONCERT?

    HOUR BEFORE CONCERT?

    FIVE MINUTES BEFORE?

    I want to learn how other people prepare themselves to see if i can compile a better strategy, mainly for the day of the concert.
     
  2. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

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    It depends on what I am doing, but basically the day of the concert I do a normal warm up and go and play the concert. That is to say if I have fully prepared myself before the concert. If not then I suggest prayer!
     
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Months before, I study the score, put breathing marks in my part - before playing a note. I do not listen to other renditions first.
    Then I start practicing slowly - avoiding anything that could disturb the FLOW.
    A week before, I have my personal dress rehearsal for a couple of pairs of ears that I trust. If everything is OK, I practice other stuff and only look at the piece every other day.
    The day before, I make sure that I do not beat myself up. I play through the piece with a metronome. I drink enough water!
    On the day of the concert I DO NOT play the solo before hand, not even tough passages! I play my normal 30-45 minute routine of long tones slurs and easy tunes.
    I get to the gig early and sit where the audience sits and get used to the room. I look around and check out all of the windows curtains, paintings, color of the paint, floor material, all of the stuff that could distract me. Then I get dressed, tell a couple of jokes about trumpet players that have lost it on stage.
    15 minutes before is concentration time then I go out and do the dirty deed.

    Forget everything that I just wrote. This only happens for 1 in 20 concerts because stuff happens: traffic, another event before hand, a heavy gig the night before, no preparation time, a bad nights sleep, one of my kids gets sick, forget my suit, my mouthpiece, wrong trumpet in the case.....................

    If you get a strategy, you only make yourself dependent on events that you have no control over. That is POISON for any player. You need to be able to pull the horn out of the case and go to work. Anything else is contraproductive!
     
  4. Pete

    Pete Piano User

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    Nov 17, 2007
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    ONE WEEK BEFORE? I'm probabbly playing on an entirely different type of gig.

    A COUPLE DAYS BEFORE? Check my date book, and the time that I have to be there.

    DAY OF CONCERT? Get directions on MapQuest

    HOUR BEFORE CONCERT? Show up so the cat in charge isn't upset, and set up.

    FIVE MINUTES BEFORE? Lip flutter, lip buzz, mouthpiece buzz, then play on the horn ala Bobby Shew warm up.

    I know that this seems like a wiseguy response, but all the other preparation is daily practice. If I have a gig that day, I warm up in the morning, go over parts if I have to, and then not play until 5-10 minutes before the gig. Like Rowuk said, stuff happens, and you don't want to create anxiety by doing things too much differently.

    Pete
     
  5. TrumpetLucian

    TrumpetLucian Pianissimo User

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    May 7, 2009
    Indiana

    Wow.....GREAT ADVICE. Thats really the reality of a working musician right there, thanks!
     
  6. Bachstul

    Bachstul Mezzo Forte User

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    Jan 25, 2009
    One week before...I make sure I don't get bored practicing the music. I like to keep it "New" so I can still feel emotion when it counts.

    A couple days before.... no difference from "a Week before", but I'm sure I have showered.

    Day of concert.... It's like any other day. I play all the time. It'll be fun to share my playability for other folks for a change.....they're gonna love me.

    Hour before concert.. all that remains is fresh oil; and clear the water. Wonder why your had to show up so early............

    Five minutes before.... Well... it already started, but, .................................... keep the glass wall up between yourself and the audience. Just remember, they're not focusing on you and the audience hardly notices. So, what do you care. You are in it for yourself and your section. It is your band-mates that matter. the audience will drive home after the concert, telling their son, or daughter how well they were.....regardless.

    What matters is those you stick with in the trenches day in and day out. When that glass wall stays up, there is no one else. Ever.
     
  7. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Case in point--a week before an all Bach gig in Germany (Magnificat, 3rd Suite, and the solo cantate 51, all on piccolo) the first trumpet ditched it, and I got the call. Day 1-5:45 minute warm-up.range, endurance. Day 6: light warm-up, rest. Day of the gig: 4 hour drive to Worms, Bobby Shew warm-up, rehearsal, Fladle Suppe (like crepes in a chicken broth), beer and a banana.

    Concert.

    The idea is to prepare the best you can, and come into the big day rested, full of easy to digest carbs and electrolytes and fruit sugar, and ready to play.

    The ready to play part is the most important!

    Have fun!
     
  8. RHSbigbluemarchingband

    RHSbigbluemarchingband Mezzo Piano User

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    Jan 17, 2009
    I think I wanna really improve my day before aspect of big concerts, because no matter what I do my chops are always insanely tired the day of and at the concert. Any advice?
     
  9. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Rest the day before--muscles need time to rejuvinate!
     
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I think you are old enough and mature enough to figure this one out!

    Sometimes less is more. Testosterone can block the paths to intelligence sometimes, however..........................
     

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