Rough practice

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Principaltrumpet, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    First let me qualify - I am not a classical musician. I am into improvisation.

    If you can apply the concepts he writes about - not being concerned with how you sound, allowing the music to flow through you, channeling as it were, deflating the ego - you get to a place where you are in the moment when playing. Notes that were, or will be, don't exist.

    Meditation is very much a learned skill which can free the right brain, allowing the full measure of one's emotional investment in music to be reflected in what comes out the bell of the horn.

    If you didn't try the meditation part of the book his ideas will seem mysterious. For me, a former hippie and long-time student of the practices of various religious/ethnic approaches to altered consciousness, from the Yaqui Indian brujo teachings of Don Juan, to Zen Buddhism, and almost everything in between, these ideas make total sense and changed my playing almost overnight. While I no longer consume anything to change my mental state, I no longer need anything to achieve that end. I did not apply it to music until I read Werner's book, which astounds me since it makes so much sense.

    Art is not Godly, but the creation of it is a Godly act.
  2. oj

    oj Pianissimo User

    Sep 9, 2005
    Thanks for the reply veery715,

    Looking hard, I can probably find a few good points in Werner's book. But since he bases his writing on pure speculation, I would not recommend it.

    There are other good books that understand the connection between the brain and the art form called music - in a much more scientific way.

    One example: Arnold Jacobs was a great musician, but in addition (unlike Werner) he studied science and tried to understand how the brain work. He found a simple but great formula: Song & Wind.

    I could never sit down and listen to track #3 on Werner's CD and tell myself: I am great... I am a master....


    I wonder if any of the jazz innovators that Werner list (Armstrong, Ellington, Parker, Gillespie, etc.) would subscribe to his ideas? Sure they were masters on their instruments, but were they "effortless" masters?
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    May I question the need for absolute consistency?

    Of course we strive to find a routine that will get us through our musical needs, but does that mean that feeling good should be routine?

    My take is definitely NOT! We need to get our basic playing skills (like technique, range, endurance) to be MUCH better than our basic playing requirements. Then we can have a bad day and nobody notices! I had a student with allergies and can tell all sorts of stories how the body with varying levels of histamines and antihistamines alone can be extremely inconsistent.

    Nope, if the basic skills are much better than good enough, the good days further the art and the bad days still do not get us kicked out of the ensemble.

    Wide swings in your emotions can also be channeled for more inspired playing. The smell of a flower can be as musically inspiring as the HATE for the clown that just stole your girlfriend.

    Once you are in tune with yourself, is not too tough to figure out the difference between physical and emotional issues.............

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