Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Dreads, May 9, 2011.

  1. Dreads

    Dreads New Friend

    Jun 9, 2010
    Been extremely angry and confused lately. My progression is all over the place. My Standard of playing just seems to change day to day (in a bad way). This is especially noticeable in my range and often tone. I have a steady practice routine of about an hour a day, including tunes, long tones, slurs and other studies. been playing for about 18 months and this STUPID problem has been ongoing for about 1 month. What could this be caused by? Maybe I'm not resting enough? Should I just go with it and play as best I can? Paaaaaah. :mad:
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    All you have been playing is 18 months total? If so, I wouldn't worry about it so much. Just try to be consistent and don't force it if it isn't happening on a particular day. It's very common to go through peaks and valleys in your learning curve, and that's likely all that's happening. Also, remember than when it come to playing and practice, quality is often better than quantity, although to be frank, if you really want to progress, you'll probably have to bump up the time you are spending on the horn.

    Something else to consider, and something I still employ from time to time, is that rather than trying to cram all aspects of playing into every practice session, try breaking things apart and instead of trying to work on everything, take one day where you'll only work articulation, another where you'll only work lip slurs, one day where you'll only work long tones, etc. I found that for me, I was able to get better refinement on those areas by doing it that way - athletes break stuff out that way, so why can't we?
  3. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    Everyone hits snags or plateaus. As long as your routine is consistent, and you rest enough (as much as you play) then you will get through a rough time and things will improve.

    It is a hallmark of trumpet players to be impatient, and when that happens we tend to push harder and forget the resting part. This will get you into a downward spiral and in order to break out of it you will need to return to a deliberate routine which incorporates enough rest.

    A very revealing statement from you is the first sentence. Emotions can interfere with everything in your life, including learning the trumpet. When we fear something we become angry because it has more power than fear - it feels more secure than fear. But you must ask yourself what you are afraid of. That you will fail to improve? That you will suck as a player? That you will be embarrassed to play in front of others? Whatever it is, you must embrace calmness, put down your horn and do some deep breathing or go for a walk. When you realize that there is NOTHING to fear (and there really is nothing, except maybe the unknown DEATH), then you will be able to diffuse or even avoid the anger, which will otherwise completely undermine your desire to be a good player (and many other things in life).

    In your last two sentences you ask questions. You already know the answer. REST enough (more than you think is necessary), and be in the present moment when you play, doing all that any of us can do, which is the best we can.

    Remember why you play. Don't be your own worst enemy. Be kind and forgiving to yourself and ENJOY it.

    My guess is that you are a teenager. Emotions run strong at that time of life. But even if you are older, emotions can be difficult to manage. There is NOTHING WRONG WITH SEEKING HELP. That's why you wrote your post here. Every community has trained professionals who can guide you to a better place and help you learn to manage the ups and downs which every single one of us encounters. This is not just about the trumpet. It is about learning to be centered and keep your balance when things don't go the way we want. When we gain the life skills to help us keep our balance, the all of life becomes incredibly wonderful - even the challenges which used to move us off center and make us angry.
    Last edited: May 9, 2011
    Vulgano Brother likes this.
  4. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Sometimes I think it would help if there was something in a poster's signature line that indicates where they are as a player:

    Middle school band
    Adult beginner, 2 yrs experience
    Comeback player after 15 years off the horn - 9 months back on
    30+ years, gig regularly

    It would help us to formulate a response to the poster and the question being asked. I don't know if Dreads is in middle school, high school, a late starting adult...
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    How long does it take a baby to get out of diapers? They didn't have other body habits before to unlearn.

    Playing trumpet means retraining your body. It will take at least as long as getting out of diapers.

    This is only meant as an example. Your question/problem are not childish rather quite typical!
  6. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    Being frustrated with yourself will NEVER help, it will only impede your progress. long soft tones - relax and breath
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    This is great advice! Kigntrumpet, you are the best in the world!
  8. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    My experience of this phenomena is that you are probably on the cusp of a breakthrough - things you couldn't achieve 6 weeks ago will begin to fall under the fingers. I embrace these sessions of uncertainty because it causes me to take stock, tense the corners of embouchure, breathe using my gut, relax my upper body, lift the bell, plant the feet, centre the body and BAZINGAH there it is. RELAX, centre, breathe, focus, RELAX, breathe, focus, RELAX, breathe, RELAX, breathe .... now .... PLAY IT :play::play::play::thumbsup: .... and if that doesn't work, go and wash your trumpet.
  9. ccNochops

    ccNochops Piano User

    Sep 30, 2006
    White Marsh, VA
    I usually threaten my trumpet with drinking a can of coke before I play or going back to a Bach 7c mouthpiece when it doesn't do right. Usually clears up any further resistance to me improving.............Tedh & Veery hit it on the head, you're getting ready to push through a barrier on to the next level. Hang in there, it's
  10. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    thanks, but I had to learn that lesson the hard way -- so I know not to get frustrated with oneself.

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