Why am I struggling so much with this solo

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Pie Girl, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. And3

    And3 Pianissimo User

    Oct 7, 2013
    East Sussex, UK
    3 older sisters! Now that's growing up in a non competitive environment..!
  2. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi cornyandy,
    You stated:
    "Try saying that at the national finals in the British Brass Band World".
    I absolutley have no problems saying that at any place that I play. I know for a fact that the mental pressures that come with wearing the mantle of "competition" is a bad thing. This is not a new thing. It's basic performance psychology and it works.
  3. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi xjb,
    You stated:
    "Music is competitive. We are being judged on how well we make music. MAKE MUSIC and you will be competitive."
    Every time I perform, I'm being judged. However, everytime I perform, I don't approach the stage with the intent to defeat or to win. I'm there to play well (which I enjoy) and if I enjoy it, there's a good chance that so will the audience. Interestingly, I don't have to be interested in the music for the audience to love it. I just need to perform it well. However, when I dig deep and focus on making it the best it can be, both me and the audience get off. I can not bring audience members to tears if I'm trying to kick someone's ass. Competition is in the head. Its a matter of how you approach things. A person doesn't have to take on that mind set to achieve their goals. In fact, they'll doi better if they focus on doing their best and understanding that the listeners want to be "wowed" That means they(the audience) are on your side, not against you.
  4. xjb0906

    xjb0906 Piano User

    May 2, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    I was just driving home the point of making music first. Too many are putting too much focus on competition. That is not going to help with the nerves. See my earlier post.
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    For me, it's never been about being competitive. To compete means one can lose. I just try to play the heck out of the notes before me.
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    That was something I emphasized in my first post too - when I get too caught up in the technical, I actually make MORE mistakes, and when I just cut loose and have some fun with it, my accuracy is always better because I'm not thinking about what's going on with my fingers, or what's happening in the mouthpiece - I think the musical line and it just kinda happens.

    And yet, if you take an audition and you don't get the gig, you've effectively lost, whether you think you've been competing or not.

    I think that's part of what I like about the kind of gigging I do now - I'm not competing with anyone but my own hit/miss percentage, and even then, I'm just trying to make great music and have a good time with my fellow like-minded musicians. :-)
  7. Pie Girl

    Pie Girl New Friend

    Sep 7, 2010
    I like winning, everyone likes winning, but what most upset me was myself. I know I am better than this sophomore. I know I have the capability, but I just couldn't get it to happen for me. I don't think I've started to suck because I'm too focused on the competition, if anything I'm competing more with myself.

    I've struggled most of my life with anxiety and depression, but right now it's so much better than it has been in the past, and then it never really effected my trumpet playing.

    It probably is just mental, I didn't really notice it much until recently but looking back I can see that I'm not as good as I used to be, and I will admit, getting upset about playing poorly makes me play worse and that upsets me more, etc. It's a vicious cycle.

    And thanks for all the advice everyone :) It does make me feel a bit better
  8. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    Agree, somewhat. Internally, I've only competed with two types - myself, and the very best. These have always been my only yardsticks.

    Having said that, some people get "that" gig and others don't. That makes music competitive. You are always compared to others in this profession. The trick is to not get caught up in that, but to simply do your very best and let the chips fall where they may - which they're going to do anyway.
  9. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    I guess, in the 20-odd years I played regularly, 80% of the time I was on top seat.

    It probably suited my personality, in that taking the solo part there was nowhere to hide if I screwed up. And that 'danger' factor gave me a real buzz, kept me on edge and 100% focussed on getting it right. Not out of fright - I never felt that - but out of anticipation of how good we would feel after we'd given a great performance of a challenging piece.

    And the key word here is 'we'.

    Other than pure solo work, it was never about my own personal performance. How can that mean anything in the context of an ensemble? Okay, you have to audition (failed a few, passed a few), but once that's over it's a team game isn't it? I don't recall ever feeling that I was in competition with the musicians around me, and if I had done, I can't see how that would have done anything but harm.

    36 posts and not a mention of what was in the interest of the band. Only 'me'. I found reading through this thread a little depressing :-(
  10. Branson

    Branson Piano User

    Jan 16, 2011
    If four other trumpet players played the solo better than you did, lets face reality, you either didn't know the music well enough or you have an issue playing under pressure, or both.
    Fortunately both problems are solvable.

    If you are able to play the solo perfectly ten times in a row you might have prepared it enough to do OK.

    The next level would be to play it ten times in a row perfectly in front of your parents.

    If you can play it perfectly ten times in a row in front of your trumpet competition, then you might have it down.

    Once you have it down ten times in the original key try transposing it up a step and start all over again.

    Once you have that down ten times in a row perfectly, start playing it half speed and then double speed.

    Too many students feel that they can play a piece well if they can just get through it. THAT IS NOT LEARNING A PIECE. At that point you are just STARTING to learn it.

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