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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Excuses? in the General forums; DISCLAIMER: This is intended as a question but will also include a personal rant. I am sitting in the student ...
  1. #1
    Pianissimo User Principaltrumpet's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    north texas


    DISCLAIMER: This is intended as a question but will also include a personal rant.

    I am sitting in the student union at school waiting for my next class to start at 10am. I have been here for 45 min waiting while the schools wireless connection was undergoing some maintenance. I started to think about practicing and how I do so little of it. I just wasted almost an hour of what could be great practice time. I always seem to make excuses. Right now I dont have my horns. As I was leaving the house I was gonna grab them but I thought to myself "Josh, you dont want to leave those sitting in the car. you could take them to class, but you have so much to carry with you already." So I grabed my laptop threw it in my backpack and took off leaving them behind.

    My thought is this issue destinguishes the bad from the good and the good from the great. I dont think I would find Manny, Phil, Maurice, Wynton, Andrew etc. sitting around day after day in college looking at their horns wishing. They were practicing. It is personally frustrating and the sad thing is that I am the only one that can do anything about it. Here are the questions.

    1)Why do you all think that there are ppl (I know I am not alone) that have big dreams and goals, absolutly love what they are doing but dont put in the time in the practice room.

    2)What do you all do when you have a spare 45 min or hour. How do you make sure you have your equipment available.

    Any tips on getting in more practice away from home would be appreciated.
    Last edited by Principaltrumpet; 06-16-2008 at 10:46 AM.
    Yamaha "Chicago" C
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    Joshua C. Ritchie

  2. #2
    New Friend dovod's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Ottawa, KS

    Re: Excuses?

    I wish I could find 45 min or an hour any more. Before my son was born, I practiced at LEAST 1 hour every day. I wish, more than anything that I had time to practice 1 or 2 hours a day again. Though, back in high school, when I had reason to practice, I never did so. Now I just want to practice because I have grown to love my horn even more as I grow older. Even though now I have no one to play with or anything any more.
    so, i know i didn't really answer your questions, but that is because i kind of ask the same things. I guess the only advice I can give, is if you love it as much as you seem to, then try to think "is there any chance, what so ever, that I might have a few minutes to play?" and if you think there is any chance at all, make sure you will have a horn near by.


  3. #3
    Pianissimo User
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    Feb 2007

    Re: Excuses?

    1) You can do anything you want, but it requires you to sacrifice boredom, this is not an easy sacrifice.
    2) If you don't do it, you're telling me you don't want it
    3) I given my TV away and boy do I now have time to practice even with 2 children under 5 and not at school, I find 3 to 4 hours a day. 10 or 20 min focused time here and there add up.
    I might have listened, but did I hear

  4. #4
    Moderator Utimate User Vulgano Brother's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Parts Unknown

    Re: Excuses?

    Joshua, welcome to the club. Practicing can become one of those obsessive/compulsive addictions.

    Welcome to the club!

    Practice fingerings, tonguing away from the horn; look around you and figure out the right soundtrack--is it a Mahler moment, or Mozart?

    The "equipment" is between our ears, in our musician brains, souls or whatever--we just need the hardware to train our muscles to coax the sound in our head out the bell.

    We can make music the whole day long without making a sound.

    Welcome to the club!
    "A tool good enough to be so used and not too good"
    C.S. Lewis That Hideous Strength

  5. #5
    Forte User stchasking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Re: Excuses?

    Walter White lectured on this at trumpet guild conference.

    He uses a silent brass and plays long tones. I would modify that to suggest you get a pocket trumpet and a silent brass. Then look at Walter White's web site. Walter practices on the airplane.
    Ingrid Jensen participated in the lecture so ask her for more details.

    How is your National guard gig? You can come here and fill sand bags.
    "I was performing professionally at age 17 and have never had a real job." Allen Vizzutti

  6. #6
    New Friend
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    Sep 2007

    Re: Excuses?

    Having specific things you know you need to work on always helps me practice more. If you have to think about what you are going to practice then that is time when you could say, nah...later. And it doesn't need to be complicated, but if you know ahead of time what you are going to do it becomes much easier to just do it. If you're in a time of low motivation just tell yourself something like, "even if I don't feel like practicing I'm going to play through my major scales and then put it away." Or something like that. You'd be surprised how much more practicing this will translate into over the course of a year. Don't tell yourself you need to practice for 45 mins, just do 5.

    The practicing paradox for those who "should" be practicing:

    Thinking "I have 45 minutes free right now, I really should be practicing" often translates to NO practicing.

    Instead say "I have 45 minutes, I'll just play for 5 and then do something else." This will usually get you to practice 5 minutes, which is 5 more than 0, and because you have started the activity there is always the chance that momentum will take over and you might accidentally do more... oops...

    It's not about how much you think you should be practicing, it's about how much you acutally do... So if thinking "I'm only going to practice for 5 minutes" gets you to practice more than saying "I really should practice 3 hours a day", then which is the better thing to think...?

    Have fun practicing...

  7. #7
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: Excuses?

    that is a million dollar question. If there was a pill for dedication or common sense or passion......................

    I can't speak for you, but I really believe in the 80/20 principle. It takes 20% of ones energy to accomplish 80% of the job and 80% of our energy for the last 20%.

    Most players are VERY happy with 80% because there is a great amount of pleasure in that playing level (nobody will classify themselves as 80% though) and not so much neglect of your environment (girlfriend/wife/kids.....).

    When and if you tackle the last 20%, some serious soul-searching is necessary. You better be able to live for a while with the axe as your best friend. Joy and frustration are only seconds apart. The greatest players have something special in that respect - something we can't practice or "learn". I really believe that the "American Dream" does not apply to things artistic. You can achieve a very high level of competency through hard work, the last bit depends on inspiration that may or not show up in ones lifetime. If that inspiration comes at the wrong time, it may destroy ones life. The frustration of not meeting ones own expectations has driven some to suicide.

    Lack of practice could just be a subconcious safety net. If the shoe does not fit.................

    On the other hand, a size 12 boot is very often all that we need to get off of our duff and make a serious impact on the music world!
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  8. #8
    Piano User Bloomin Untidy Musician's Avatar
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    Jan 2008

    Re: Excuses?

    1)Why do you all think that there are ppl (I know I am not alone) that have big dreams and goals, absolutly love what they are doing but dont put in the time in the practice room?
    Good question. You are certainly not alone. My answer is
    FRUSTRATION!!!!! I have been in a situation when playing is like banging your head against a brick wall. Despite the best of intentions i practised very little, without rigour or intelligence and nothing progressed for about 2 1/2 years. Bloomin frustrating! For me, i had to entirely escape that environment and do some serious bottom of the shoe searching. I discovered that teachers can give advice, but they cannot teach you how to play. We can certainly listen to the sound advice of a good teacher, but executing it on the instrument is another thing. That takes patience and intelligent practice.
    How do you get to that level of practice? For me fresh, new, and exciting musical challenges fuelled by passion was the answer. I was a practice room trumpeter with little self-confidence. Once i taken a deep breath and joined a couple of bands, and got a new teacher with fresh ideas the fire was relit. Now i am nearing obsessive, and although i am no Wynton Marsalis, i find that new musical challenges helps nuture my practice regime, and maintain my interest.

    May the force be with you

    Nanoo, Nanoo

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