Relaxing when playing

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by djserrant, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. djserrant

    djserrant New Friend

    Dec 13, 2008

    Has anyone ever had songs that you play effortlessly when at home but somewhat struggle with during performances? Well I have. After my last performance this semester I discovered my problem. My lips and my body tense up when I play (Especially whenever the band stands up to play the star spangled banner before the start of basketball games). I'm just so afraid to mess up, even during practice. I now realize that this tenseness kills my endurance and makes it more difficult for me to get out certain notes. Anyone has any suggestions on how to relax during performances?
  2. Bach219

    Bach219 Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 25, 2008
    Try checking out the "tension tension tension" thread in the Trumpet Discussion forum. Maybe it'll help you...

    Good Luck!
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    If you are afraid of messing up, then you shouldn't be here on the computer, you should be in the shed with the horn! Practice builds confidence. Your lips and body don't tense up by themselves. It is your BRAIN that is causing the problem. Practice a lot more if you really want to solve this!
  4. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005

    Playing the trumpet is about breathing. When you tense up, you can't breathe properly. Get in the habit of spending a few minutes before practice and performances doing some deep breathing meditations. This should help you to relax. Rowuk's comment above has relevance also, the more confident you are, the less inhibited you should feel (although some people just get uptight). I used to get really uptight doing jazz gigs when I was younger and for a while I would go out and deliberately blow a couple of clams in my first solo! After the world didn't stop, and nobody shot me, my subconcious seemed to calm down. After a while, I didn't need the exercise at all anymore....I'm not necessarily recommending this practice (if you're not playing with the right people, you can get a really bad rep doing stuff like this =:-) ) but it's one example of the lengths that are sometimes gone to in order to get over anxiety....

  5. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    Basically what bigtiny and rowuk said, but also try playing for people a lot
    not like serious stuff, but just play for a couple of friends, and get used to playing in front of people. When it stops being weird, you can relax more and it becomes more like when you practice
  6. RX-2Fan

    RX-2Fan Pianissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Tampa FL
    id say concentrate on your band director or drum major and block out the crowd. just concentrate on the music and the conductor.

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