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Trumpet Discussion Discuss The usefulness of facetime in the General forums; Originally Posted by Pedal C I've always thought "facetime" usually meant just noodling around, or playing without any purpose. With ...
  1. #11
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: The usefulness of facetime

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal C View Post
    I've always thought "facetime" usually meant just noodling around, or playing without any purpose. With or without music, a study, scale, or tune can be good practice, but I think facetime is purposeless playing. Playing just to put in some time without thinking about what you're doing or what you might try to accomplish. Playing a tune you like is never's what the trumpet is for! Haphazardly playing a Clarke study or something without any mental focus, just to say you practiced today is what I would call facetime. Time that you're using the chops, but not the brain.

    We're all guilty of this from time to time, but if you go to the trouble of getting the trumpet out and playing it, why not just do it right and try to accomplish something!

    I agree. I understand facetime to be playing while paying attention to something else - like watching TV or reading a book at the same time. I maintain that this does more harm than good. I did not say that the trumpet is not physical. I said it is more mental. Any working pro will tell you that one needs BRAINS to get through a 4 hour gig. They will also know how much concentration is required to do the job correctly regardless of the length.

    I am aware of the claims of the Nintendo Generation and their ability to multitask (television and computer at the same time, studying with a walkman playing, trumpet and reading, telephone and driving............... I read this phenomena differently. Those that have a need for continual stimuli are afraid of being alone, of silence, of being confronted with ones own thoughts. A very sad development! This also shows an inability to CONCENTRATE on the job at hand.

    Facetime as I just defined it is destructive. Music digs down to the soul. Silence is a VERY big part of getting to know ourselves and the depth of our creative ability. Give me a break with excuses for 50% trumpet methods. Doing nothing is better than doing something badly.
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  2. #12
    Piano User
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    New Hampshire

    Re: The usefulness of facetime

    If that's what facetime is then I agree completely that it is a bad thing -- to play any instrument while not paying full attention does no good. Especially on an instrument where the combination of muscle interactions is so complex as on a brass instrument -- if a person isn't paying attention all the time, focusing on that muscular interaction, then it can get out of balance and be harmful (squeezing the mouthpiece into the lips for that high note because we didn't think ahead carefully enough to take a proper breath and let the air-flow do the work for us, for example).

    And while I multi-task (listening to music while I repair instruments, for example), I think people have misinterpreted the application of that concept. Playing a musical instrument is multi-tasking already without also having extra things to pay attention to like watching a TV or reading e-mails on a computer screen.

    The human brain does have only so many ways it can divide its attention and still do a good job at all the things it's doing, and when one is playing a musical instrument we're already dividing our brain in many ways:
    1) the part of the brain that is controlling the breathing;
    2) the part of the brain that is controlling our physical interaction with the instrument (holding, fingering, posture);
    3) the part of the brain which is either conceiving the music to be played, as in improvising, or which is reading the printed music and turning that into commands to be relayed to the breathing section of the body as well as the hands/tongue/embouchure for proper playing of the music;
    4) the part of the brain which is listening to our playing and giving us feedback regarding tone and interpretation;
    5) the part of the brain which is interpreting that feedback and adjusting all the other aspects of playing accordingly;

    That's a lot of subdivisions of the brain -- that's a lot of multi-tasking and it's all part of playing an instrument, forget about adding outside things like computer screens, TV or reading a book, whatever.

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