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Trumpet Discussion Discuss I Think I Finally got "it" in the General forums; I've struggled my entire collegiate career grasping the idea of using reckless air to play and to stop worrying about ...
  1. #1
    Pianissimo User dsr0057's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    Denton, TX

    I Think I Finally got "it"

    I've struggled my entire collegiate career grasping the idea of using reckless air to play and to stop worrying about what I'm playing. For the past 4 years I've been super inconsistent and it really wasn't until this semester that I finally started to see major improvements in practice and performance quality. I'm really excited.

    I'm wondering how long it took you to get "it." When did your playing finally click into something that wasn't trying but just free flowing?

    "Always strive to be what you can be, don't settle to be what you are." - Dr. Bowman

  2. #2
    Mezzo Piano User ltg_trumpet's Avatar
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    Jan 2009

    Re: I Think I Finally got "it"

    I don't think I understand. But then again... Maybe I just haven't got it yet :)
    super collegiate tri-tone (raw brass)

  3. #3
    Pianissimo User
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    Feb 2011

    Re: I Think I Finally got "it"

    I struggled with the same thing in when I was in high school. I was incredibly inconsistent in my playing, I would play great in jazz band then not sound half as good in concert, at first I thought it was endurance issues since some of the stuff was pretty high, but then I finally realized that I was just trying to hard. I guess I felt that jazz didn't half to sound perfect and relaxed while I felt classical had to be perfect and tensed up. Once I stopped trying too hard my playing became so much better and consistent as everything- tone, range, articulations, note accuracy, intervals, and rhythm improved greatly and things just became so easy.
    Last edited by rainbowboy023; 02-17-2011 at 07:00 PM.
    Blackburn Bb...............Schilke Piccolo
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  4. #4
    Forte User Kujo20's Avatar
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    Sep 2010

    Re: I Think I Finally got "it"

    I got "it" after I was handed the lead book for "Guys and Dolls", "Seussical the Musical" and then was moved to the lead part in my ol' high school's top jazz band...(thanks a lot Mr. band director). This was in a period of 1 year.

    Needless to say, at that time in my life this was quite the challenge for me and my chops. But it worked out in the end. My playing improved BIG TIME after that year.

    1914 Holton Revelation Cornet
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  5. #5
    Moderator Utimate User Vulgano Brother's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    Parts Unknown

    Re: I Think I Finally got "it"

    It wasn't until graduate school that I figured it out. Was working on the Hindemith Sonate at the time, and I'll quote from a April 26, 2008 post:

    Hindemith's Sonate is another piece that owns me, but not from the first hearing. It took a really nasty break-up with the girl that I worshiped (and still do 30 years later). Suddenly the piece made sense, and I could express the feelings I couldn't articulate. These feelings call for my absolute envelopes of dynamics, not just loud and soft, but sighs, sobs, and above all, silence. An absolute silence, devoid of sound, yes, but also devoid of motion and volition. Anger and pain at the same time....
    It was then that I realized that composers (the good ones, anyway) are trying to communicate something, and the best communicate the profound. After that it became a real joy to tackle new works with my Sherlock Holmes hat on. What is the composer trying to say? How can I best convey that? The intuitive part of me really enjoys that, and over time I could play a new piece the right way the first time.

    The other aspect of "getting it" came with my first orchestral position, learning to "mind-meld" first with the principal player and later across the entire orchestra.

    The combination of these non trumpet-specific aspects of musicianship I've found just as important as acquiring technique.

    Good thread, dsr0057!
    "A tool good enough to be so used and not too good"
    C.S. Lewis That Hideous Strength

  6. #6
    Forte User larry tscharner's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
    dubuque iowa

    Re: I Think I Finally got "it"

    Ive never had a major breakthrough like the one you speak of, so I guess like ltg tmpt mayge Im still pre-epipophonic (hows that for creative spelingg). But I have been able to play with more confidence and thus much more sucess after I got some better equipment. I realise that it was not the new horn but the mental boost that did the trick. So much is controled by the mind and supprisingly little is physical and thats why trumpet players are constantly "fiddeling" with their game. Relaxing and having fun playing is hard to do and necessary to my sucess as for you too. Congrats and best wishes.
    Larry tscharner!
    M J Klashen The Yankee 1923
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  7. #7
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: I Think I Finally got "it"

    Life has its ups and downs. The smart players have the discipline to push other things out of the way and run with the ups.

    I was in high school during my first "click". I started skipping Phys Ed to be able to practice more. Without having attended Phys Ed once in a half year period, I got a B on my report card.
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  8. #8
    Utimate User gmonady's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Dayton, Ohio

    Re: I Think I Finally got "it"

    I hope we never finally "get it". The final "get it" is when we stop trying to progress. I liked the comment above 'during my first "click"'. The key to that phrase is the word "first". I believe we progress in a series of clicks. May the clicks keep coming so that we never FINALLY get it, as the final click is when the top to the coffin closes.
    1940 Olds Super Recording
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  9. #9
    Fortissimo User veery715's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    Ithaca NY

    Re: I Think I Finally got "it"

    VB's post is wonderful! Musical maturity often depends on having lived and loved and lost. We hear young phenoms all the time, but it is a rare youthful performer who emotes well through a performance. Technique has no age barrier, but learning to play it with feeling usually comes much later.
    Nothing is more contagious or tenacious than music. Once you are exposed it gets inside you and you can never get rid of it. It is also non-discriminating. It can be Ride of the Valkyries, In a Gadda da Vida, the Jeopardy 15 second thinking tune, your most disliked commercial jingle - it doesn't matter. Once triggered, off you go, like it or not.

  10. #10
    Utimate User trickg's Avatar
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    Oct 2003

    Re: I Think I Finally got "it"

    I think Rowuk stated it best by talking about "clicks" - when things just start to click and the learning curve angles up sharply. I have several "clicks" that I can define.

    My first happened when I was in 7th grade, in my 3rd year of playing. It just started to make sense, the music became easy, and I had a big jump in technical ability that included gaining usable range past top of staff G, and I could play High C.

    The next big jump occurred my Freshman year of HS, and I attribute that to just spending a lot of time on the trumpet. I'd go in early and play before first period band. After lunch I was back up in the band room, usually blowing through pep band charts. Then came 6th period Jazz band and show choir on alternating days. (I was in both) After school I was back up there again, playing and doodling around the horn, and then some nights we'd have pep band. Just a lot of time with the horn on my face, and even though I wasn't practicing in any kind of structured way, my technique continued to improve anyway.

    The next click came as a Junior in HS, and wasn't so much a technical click as a musical one, and was probably brought about by the angst I felt after I got dumped my the first girl I was ever head over heels for.

    The next really big click came about 6 months after I got to my first Army Band assignment. I was playing every day for hours a day, and I found myself in the brass quintet and the band's big band. Between the two, the level of focus and chops necessary to play in those ensembles pushed me to a technical level I haven't seen before or since.

    So, did I "get it?" No, not really, but there were marked "clicks" along the way.
    Patrick Gleason

    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"
    "At my signal, unleash hell."
    - Maximus Decimus Meridius

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