Granted, long tones, flexibilities, tonguing, are all important for healthy playing, and all help the body / brain zero in on the correct “Mechanics” to be able to repeat these notes. It makes me wonder what other players are thinking out there when someone writes a post about poor endurance, poor range or poor intonation, or “ I have a solo at a high school concert in 5 minutes and can’t play the double triple whatever and need to know WHAT to practice…HELP !!! etc…. or how to improve it and what you read is play this scale, play that arpeggio, then stand on your head for 5 minutes while deep breathing, then lay the horn down facing North/East and go wash the dishes but DO NOT dry them, THEN while holding the horn upside down play this scale and………. You get my drift here.
In my experience with the horn, it’s not about WHAT you practice……all that gets you is bad habits, too much pressure, poor to bad breathing technique. For instance, in the beginning, your told to “Play this exercise” and because you do not know anything about playing the trumpet you use all the bad habits to play the exercise, pressure, poor set, un-supported breath, and all these habits were learned when I first started playing, because the people that put a trumpet in my hands did not know how to play correctly either. (Guaranteed income for a teacher anyway !! )
My playing really turned on when I started listening to the players that could lead me in the direction of correct “Body Mechanics” when playing. Eliminating those long learned bad habits, pressure, poor breath, using un-needed muscle groups, correct oral cavity set-up, etc…. The biggest lesson I learned was that it has nothing to do with WHAT you practice, and has everything to do with HOW you practice. Learning to listen to your body and what it does to correct muscles for proper sound, and trusting that ! This is how I teach my students.
I realize that many people that are on this site do not have availability of a teacher for various reasons, distance, cost, availability of a knowledgeable teacher, I’m sure the list goes on and on as to why they do not get lessons. And most important, teachers have to SEE what the student is doing so they can help them make the correct changes to their playing. So I was wondering what the thoughts would be to adding an area here on TM that talks about HOW to practice, correct mechanics, proper breathing etc….
There are so many incredible players on TM that I’m sure could add to this. It may help those people that wish they had someone to at least provide some guidance to correct practice. I’m not talking about forum lessons or anything close to that at all. More about how you get your brain to tune into the sensitivities needed for the correct “Body Mechanics” to play correctly. Once you understand this it kind of puts you on the right path to learning to play correctly. I think I’ve seen Rowuk call it “ Automatic playing behavior modification”. Others on here understand this also. Then when you get a student that writes a post needing a Double / Triple whatever in the next 5 minutes you can say, Go here and start reading !!
Just my thoughts…….