The Power of Positive Thought

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Johnctrumpet, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. Johnctrumpet

    Johnctrumpet New Friend

    Feb 17, 2012
    Playing the Trumpet can be a brave thing to do. Every performer will experience the ‘fight or flight’ response. This can be experienced to a worse degree on the trumpet. It is both very easy to hear a ‘split’ note and also because the sound relies so heavily on the player’s physical condition i.e. their lips. Many trumpeters worry (most of the time unduly) if they will have the ‘lips’ to play the high notes, or if they have the stamina to play long passages.

    Have a firm foundation

    When people ask a very good player what they are doing whilst performing a ‘hard’ piece (as if they are doing something superhuman), they invariably answer, “I’m focusing on my breathing”. People often don’t really understand how simple trumpet playing actually is. All you have to do is blow air, vibrating the lips and a sound is created. Obviously we need to practise this until we change the airspeed easily and smoothly. Nonetheless it is a very simple thing to actually do. We are always complicating things and having negative thoughts about our playing. Whenever we have a problem there is always a simple solution, which will enable us to easily play a particular phrase or technique.

    Whenever we pick up the trumpet never think a negative thought! This will never help. We should rather say; how do I do this? Only when we are at this point, we are then ready to start to improve.

    However, this is the most critical point; we know need to know what a good foundation is in order to start to make improvement. If we start practicing the wrong way we only ever learn how to play incorrectly and with bad technique.

    If you like this then please visit my Blog at Trumpet Blog
  2. Brad-K

    Brad-K Piano User

    Jun 18, 2011
    Mmmm.......yummy yummy spam.
  3. patkins

    patkins Forte User

    Nov 22, 2010
    Tuscaloosa, AL.
    "People often don’t really understand how simple trumpet playing actually is."

    Really? I've never heard a single one of my teachers, professors nor mentors say "trumpet playing is easy." This is an understatement and is misinformative. As a matter od fact, it could lead a potential player with a false sense of security and when they discover the truth, 'That it reqires practice." and lots of it; I believe it would cause them to have serious negative thoughts. As a psychiatric-physician, this is not the type of message I would send. I doubt I'll recommend your "Blog" based on these statements alone. or maybe you can correct yourself for the record.
  4. Johnctrumpet

    Johnctrumpet New Friend

    Feb 17, 2012
    The point I am making is trumpet playing on its own is easy to play, but we are always overcomplicating it. Why is it that a player like Wynton Marsalis finds it easy? We make the instrument hard by not playing it correctly, but it is easy when played correctly.
  5. patkins

    patkins Forte User

    Nov 22, 2010
    Tuscaloosa, AL.
    When you practice 4-6 hours a day it will look easy to the observer. But there is always a sacrifice to improvement.
  6. Conn-solation

    Conn-solation Pianissimo User

    Jan 22, 2011
    On my way to Bearberry Ab
    I would never confuse 'simple' with 'easy'.

    Breathing is simple and easy. Vibrating the lips is simple and a little harder. Doing both while the lips are in contact with the mouthpiece, in a controled manor, is simple but difficult to do well enough to make a piece of music recognizable.

    The more time we put into doing this, the simpler it gets but at the same time it gets harder to do well enough to meet our expectations and those of our peers who critique the music we eventually produce.

    Simple and easy are not equivelent. But what do I know....... :dontknow:
  7. shooter

    shooter Piano User

    Jan 12, 2007
    In the OP's defense, we DO tend to complicate things a little with our mpc safaris', concerns about breathing and posture, etc.... Sometimes it's good to just play and let the music within take over.
  8. vern

    vern Piano User

    Mar 4, 2008
    Perhaps it's our job to make it sound easy or, in the words of Maurice Andre after a recital, "Tres facile!". I think John C makes an important point worth considering carefully.
  9. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    When people ask the "how do you do that?" question I've never answered that "I'm focusing on breathing." I tell people that I'm able to get the sound I hear in my head out the bell in a manner that fits in with the orchestra. If I've just sight-read a concert I tell people that I can read the notes, hear them musically in my head and get them out the bell. (If I am forced to improvise, I focus on which chord I'm on, which notes work and consequentially my jazz soloing isn’t all that great.)

    Eugen Herrigal’s book, Zen in der Kunst des Bogenschießens (better know by TMers under it’s English translation, Zen in the Art of Archery) documents Herrigal’s experiences learning the Japanese longbow, an art that the masters make look very easy, but entails lots of concentrated training. A good and worthwhile read.

    I would argue that playing trumpet can be easy, but that is no way intrinsic to the instrument, and that ease of playing is something earned through hard work, an open mind and the ability to be teachable.
    kingtrumpet likes this.
  10. Chuck Cox

    Chuck Cox Forte User

    Oct 3, 2008
    Cary NC
    We just buzz our ;ips in the little end while pressing the right button at the right time and then the beautiful sound comes out the big end. John has got it ! We should shut down TM and all run to his blog so we easily master the trumpet. Why didn't I think of that ?

Share This Page