The mental side of trumpet playing

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by chenzo, May 1, 2012.

  1. chenzo

    chenzo Piano User

    Jul 18, 2008
    HI all
    I am starting to realize that the brain can have negative affect of ones progress.
    We can talk our selves into a standard of playing.... buy saying this I mean that if we come across something that is a little difficult does our subconscious
    go in a negative frame, and before we know it a clam or missed notes are a result. I do understand about practicing a piece slowly until the notes come automatically.
    But I sometimes think that we our selves are our own worst enemy...We can talk our selves into the mistakes without realizing.
    I suppose this is just another aspect in ones progress to overcome in our advancement as a trumpet player ..

    I would be very interested in your commits and suggestions about all of this

  2. MSfortissimo

    MSfortissimo Pianissimo User

    Jul 13, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    I attended a masterclass with Charley Davis last weekend (that I meant to recap in another thread) and he spoke a lot about the mind. One of the exercises he had us do was clasp our hands, and point our pointer fingers straight out about three inches apart. Then we closed our eyes and he began to softly say "your fingers are getting closer" soon all the fingers in the room were touching. Nothing we did could stop our mind from controlling the body.

    He stated that thought processes like that transfer to Trumpet. Sooooo, if you think "I'm not going to hit this note" then...
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    And when you no longer realize this excellent revelation... the progress stops. If we realize our mistakes... we learn by them.
  4. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    It can have a negative effect, but it can also have a positive one. Confidence (backed up by proper practice and preparation) goes a long way in making you a good player. Once you have the mechanics down, a big part of playing at a high level is a mind game.
  5. edfitzvb

    edfitzvb Forte User

    Jun 10, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    Like Dale said.

    If I am confident and well-prepared, I play MUCH better. As soon as I get anxious, I can be sure that bad things will happen. I read somewhere (think it was here) the difference between a pro player and an amateur one, and it has been my mantra ever since. It goes like this:

    "An amateur practices until they get it right. A pro practices until they can't get it wrong."

    So much of everything that we do is controlled by the mind. I have often thought of hypnotism as a way to rmove the artificial barriers that my psyche sets up for me.

  6. Satchmo Brecker

    Satchmo Brecker Piano User

    Jul 19, 2010
    I've also seen posted here and elsewhere to always play like you're at a concert performing, even when practicing. That goes along with the mental side of playing.
  7. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 14, 2010
    I do find that at a certain point in my training most of my technical mistakes are rooted in mental mistakes, not thinking of the right notes fast enough or thinking about the wrong notes then trying to switch when its too late, though it seems I am getting better at making mistakes gracefully and in time, I still spend quite a bit of practice time reviewing the songs that I already know. On a closely related subject, I think most amateurs are kidding themselves when they say they are improvising, and "Creating something new" on the spot.
  8. Rusty_Restorer

    Rusty_Restorer Pianissimo User

    Feb 24, 2012
    I have several master degrees. My last one is in counseling psychology. I also am a certified hypnotherapist. My younger sister use to work in Nashville as a writer and arranger. I would often get calls to come up and "help" a performing artist using my skills. Often to really good results, several times to outstanding results for the musicians. Several of these musicians/artist/performers went on to advance their careers to new heights and wealth. Before that I coached high performance athletes who were at national to world class levels. Our brains do not come with a hand book (sorry to say). There is a great deal you can do to mitigate the negative and go to the positive results. Several things I found about the mind body connection. One part of our mind reads stuff literally and translates it to actions in your body. So it is important to think positive always. It is also important to practice and have goals. That said here are some don't with a positive side:
    1. Also avoid negative people - they lead to depression and will hold you back. Find people who are positive and hang with them - more fun!
    2. Do not be down on yourself - it is only temporary if you allow it to be. Find the good in what you do every day.
    3. Do not worry about what you do not have - concentrate on what you do have and is good
    4. Work only on what you do well - many people do this - Actually work on your weak spots till they get strong

    my .02s
  9. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    I find that when I teach lessons that a fair amount of time is helping to train the mind along with the body. Of course if I'm doing my job well the students is progressing and building confidence and security mentally and physically. I also show them that sometime we have to play games with our minds to ensure good results.
  10. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    chenzo -- hey what are you good at? sports, reading books, building birdhouses, computer graphics, etc. ---- what I am sayiing is find the one thing other than trumpet playing where you are successful at life ---- LOOK at the discipline, and knowledge about your subject that led you to become confident and the Practice and expertise that made you enjoy and excell at that particular subject ----- then apply all the same stuff to the trumpet -----

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