that quiting feeling....

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by j4k8, Nov 16, 2007.

  1. j4k8

    j4k8 New Friend

    Oct 7, 2007
    the band stand
    i feel like im never gonna get better
    i feel like it doesnt matter anymore
    i dont wanna sound emo or anything....
    im just at that musician fork in the road
    where you either quit or lose your heart in it
    maybe i try to impress them too much....
    and not myself?

    well if you read this thanks
    and if you've had this problem help me out!!
  2. DLP08

    DLP08 New Friend

    Sep 2, 2007
    Hey j4k8!

    I too have had this problem, many of times. I have had an experience which has caused my upper lip muscles to be permanently damaged to the point where the only thing keeping my mouthpiece on my upper lip is strictly my hands. My heart was out for the longest time, but I found myself a teacher who helped me out. Not by trying to fix my embouchure, because he knew it was doomed..but by getting me to practice. Consistent and effective practice to add.

    This whole musician thing is like a very high upwards slope... From the first few years you start strong and end strong..but you get to the point where time goes by and you feel the same. The upwards slope gets steeper...and steeper...and eventually becomes a plateau. The next step is going to have to be a LEAP.

    You're heart may not be in it because of you do not like the way you play...but if you choose to continue down the path of a musician, I would keep at it anyways. Get a private teacher if you don't have one already. Get a few books and practice.

    Trying to impress them will result in you rushing through your playing and skipping the most important (and usually boring) part. The fundamentals. Play for you, play for fun. Practice your basic technique and then reward yourself at the end with playing through some of your favorite tunes. What I have always done is turned on the radio and tried to match what I hear :D Makes for fun practice when I want to change it up a little.

    You don't sound emo, j4k8, and in no way are you alone. Almost every musician has been down that same exact path before. Some are still on that plateau.

    Good luck with your future endeavors, and down whatever path you choose. Though I hope you stick with the horn :D

    Sorry for the wall of text :D This internet is pixelated crack I tell you!

    Good luck, and hope to see you get out of this rut.

    - DavidLP
  3. dizzyizzy

    dizzyizzy Pianissimo User

    Jan 27, 2006
    Ever hear of "darkest before the dawn"?...or are you familiar with "The Wall" in marathon running?

    There is ONLY one way to NOT "get better"....quit.

    Getting better is sometimes measured in micrometers...not miles...every time you use your gets stronger, better...even IF you can't tell it...same for sight-reading, etc. But I can tell you from experience...put the horn down and things REGRESS.

    Don't know what you do, or want to do, for a lving...but music is a PART of can't really cut that can kid can take a different professional road (if you out to be a musician)....but you can't stop the music...

    So...JUST play it, Man.
  4. westview1900

    westview1900 Piano User

    Nov 30, 2005
    Don't quit, everybody has plateaus. Give it time.
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    why did you start trumpet in the first place? Try and remember what motivated you to even get started.
    What have you learned about music, people and life in general since you started playing?
    What goals have you set for yourself musically, personally, in the groups that you are involved in?

    The biggest problem that I run into when teaching, is the students desire for immediate pleasure. With computer games, I can download a cheat, with homework, I have many options to get through with a minimal amount of effort. THAT impatience can take over ones life and it leads to nothing productive - just a view of a world that must present things in easy to understand, easy to digest tidbits. The entire sales industry is pointed towards buy ever more ever faster.

    So let's tie these two paragraphs together!
    True satisfaction only occurs when you have earned something. I am 100% sure that your playing is something to be proud of, even if you still have a way to go! Earning anything needs a game plan. For the trumpet, that means short, medium and long term goals. To reach those goals, you need a routine and some friendly guidance. As much as we have many TMers looking for self help shortcuts, the support that you get from a good teacher cannot be replaced with anything else. A kind word during hard times, a fresh, independent look at ones own achievements, goals and strengths REQUIRES this type of intimate contact.

    Music is a gift. One works hard and the end product brings joy to those around us. Even beginners derive great pleasure by playing simple tunes to the parents and grandparents! As one advances, the audiences become more discerning and that is generally additional fuel to keep moving. Occasionally, we overstep our bounds and depression can set in. At that point, the question is not whether to continue, but rather to refocus on what we CAN do and where that would best fit in. Find that repertory and the audience for it. Deal with one issue at a time. A good teacher is your best friend in times like this.

    Giving up is also an option. I consider that RUNNING AWAY from the problem. That is a VERY BAD HABIT to get into and unfortunately there are too many examples of people that wimp out.

    If you do not want to post everything publicly, feel free to PM me. I need your age, approx. level of playing and an idea of what kind of groups you play with. No strings attached!
  6. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    To quit is to give up, to surrender. Don't quit, please! If anything, consider "retiring," if you've done what you've done all you've wanted with the trumpet, but if things are just tough and turning out to be more work than you thought, why not accept the challenge? The payoffs will be more than worth it!

    Consider lowering your expectations without lowering your standards--growth is a process, and where you are now is not where you'll be later on if you keep plugging away. We are all pulling for you!
  7. Bill McCloskey

    Bill McCloskey Piano User

    Apr 22, 2007
    I did exactly that. I was going to Berklee school of music at the time. I put the horn down and I didn't pick it up again for 30 years.

    Beggest regret of my life.
  8. PSH

    PSH Pianissimo User

    Feb 20, 2007
    Minneapolis MN; Denton TX
    Whenever I'm feeling this way, I just put in my favorite trumpet recording (Phil Smith-Trumpet Excerpts) and listen to the whole record. Then I say to myself, "I want to play BETTER than that some day." This will motivate me for months at a time...It also amazes me how powerful the ears are, if you just surround yourself with good sounds, you'll eventually start to pick up on them.

    Just a thought...

  9. j4k8

    j4k8 New Friend

    Oct 7, 2007
    the band stand
    i am 17
    been playin for about 2 years (so intermediate?)
    i play in marching,concert and i wanna play jazz soon

    ive really changed my thinking from all these comments :-)
    i realize i see others and think their so much better and ill never be that good
    but i realize quitting wont solve my problem
    i have to solve it by listening to great players,
    by practicing and playing the best i can
    to make me proud of myself:D
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    In our local town wind band we have players of (almost) all levels. A couple of the players are really challenged when we do VERY difficult things. I have often worked out simplified parts for them so that the band benefits and they are not left in the cold. Those players are very involved in the organisation and planning of parties and trips though. The first chair musicians often just come to play and then leave. There are so many "important" functions in any ensemble. The more involved you are, the more motivation you can discover.
    YOU need to (with your trumpet teacher) set short and medium term reachable goals. Then YOU need to start working towards them - as patiently as possible.

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