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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Basics in the General forums; I am currently finishing John Grisham’s, Bleachers , which I chose for recreational reading between semesters. A few days ago, ...
  1. #1
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    Jan 2007


    I am currently finishing John Grisham’s, Bleachers, which I chose for recreational reading between semesters. A few days ago, I was scanning the thread regarding practice sessions on fundamentals, entitled “Practice today?” which appears to be ongoing!

    Later that day, I sat down between sessions of my own to finish up a chapter of the book when I came across a phrase that jumped out of the pages. For those who are not familiar:

    Bleachers” is about an overly obsessive high school football coach named Rake who believes that losing is not an option. His career ended with thirty-four years of coaching, winning over four hundred games, thirteen state titles, etc. The plot is based on a group of unforgettable, record breaking ex-players returning to the small town thirty to forty years later for Rake’s funeral. In doing so, they all reminisce about their glory days. It’s really a great story.

    Rake’s genius was simple- stick to the basics, and work nonstop until you can execute them perfectly. Basics. Fundamentals.

    The forty or so football teams that Rake coached throughout his career did not spend two to three practices a day in the blazing sun, running up and down the bleachers, and again around the track because he wanted to see what the players had for breakfast earlier that day. He wanted to win.

    I choose to read recreationally to get away from the world and get lost in fiction, however, there’s always something that triggers my reality- and manages to improve upon it.

    During my winter break, which will soon come to an end, I recently found myself going through the motions of my fundamental practice routine and forgetting the importance and true meaning behind it. Basics bring the results; not because I “have” to, but because I “want” to [maintain, improve, win.]
    My approach to fundamentals has found its origin, and I am posting simply to share; however I would be interested to know, if you don't mind, what your approach is when you sit down to play.


  2. #2
    Piano User westview1900's Avatar
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    Nov 2005

    Re: Basics

    Nice Post. Thank you for reminding me of the need to go back to the basics.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2004

    Re: Basics

    My approach is visceral and intellectual, Rhonda.

    My ego will not allow me to sound ordinary if I have the capability to sound excellent. I know my strengths and know my weakneses. So, my practice feeds my ego and strengthens my inadequacies. I don't like having anyone hear me sound bad. It's not what they pay me for. My pride is my strength and my weakness.

    My pride makes me want to play my best. My pride can get in the way of working on the things that make me not sound good. It's the excellence of avoidance and Herbert L. Clarke warned all of us about that in his book. We must work on our weaknesses and reward ourselves with the dessert of the things we sound good at. The public deserves no less.

    So my approach is to play well all the time and to recognize what fundamentals will keep me at the top of my game. Fundamentals and musical execution. It's the difference between eating well yet taking the sour vitamins that keep you healthy as a supplement. As you age, the vitamins are different.

    It's about making the choices to merely tread water or to swim and enjoy the water.


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