Folks, I posted this on TPIN as an oblique reference to a post I felt compelled to address. I, in fact, did not directly respond to original poster but to a repsonse someone made to his response (it was very good). In any case, I got some off-list emails from foks who read TPIN that compelled me to post this here as well. So FWIIW coming from me...


Everyone has a bad day now and then. I mean EVERYONE! I have
heard legendary players (true legends who shall remain nameless here), who have had discernably off nights.

I think the way they handle it is to NOT CARE about an off nght!
I don't mean to imply one shouldn't want to do well. However, if you
miss something or things just ain't working the way you expect thme to or the way folks expect you to, forget about it! The trick is NOT MINDING or
caring about the off nights. Let me try to elaborate.

If you miss a note, just forget it and move on. Don't rumintate
or judge yourself because of it. It was momentary transient thing and it
is gone along with the moment. Move on to the next one with a fresh
sense of positive anticipation. If you're bummed out about some note you
missed in the past, you're going to set yourself up for missing it again
in the future. By ruminating on a bad moment you are unconsciously
defining yourself as a failure of sorts and you're going to do it again.
If you "don't care about MISSED notes" and care more for making fresh
music, you will miss fewer notes. You will also recover peacefully over the
ones that get away from you.

If practice sessions on which you are stiving for some progressive steps are
becomign discouraging, you can use a similar approach. Quite
worrying about that high note you can't seem to get. Become very introspective about what you need to do to adjust. Get into your head, but keep it positive and reflective. In this way you be alert to the moments when you are getting it right and you'll be in a better postion to repeat that move
again. If your feeling discouraged, you are expecting failure and your
expectations will certainly be realized.

There is a fine line with being cocky and humble. You want to
play with a sense of almost cocky abandon, but, IMHO we all must have a
sense of humility about what we are EXPRESSING. Again alertness is

Whenever problems with ones playing progress tries to
discourage, LOVE your way out them. You love to play. You love the music. You love to share that music with an audience about to be uplifted by your art. You love to practice. With all that love going on, there should be no room for discouragement.

When I saw the previous post o nthis matter, I felt compelled to
babble a bit. I've been through it. I understand. Try a different way of
thinking. You'll be fine. The repsonse I read was also very nice. I hope
my $.02 worth here helps a bit.


Nick Drozdoff
"No Man Is An Island"
NYTC Stage 1
Eclipse Flugelhorns
Jazz Player Radio