I had really bad stage fright, even before people I know, which is getting a lot better now. Just still don't like it...
Others have suggested singing coaches - try also a voice coach, they encourage opening the diaphragm properly, and will show how it is done. This does often require some poking!
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Antoine Courtois C 125L
I may stick my foot in my mouth again, but having had very extensive abdominal surgery and diagnosed COPD, and continue in the care of a pulmonologist, I just relax and let my diaphragm do it's natural thing without my conscious concern. As for long tones, I start my ascent of a chromatic scale first at Bb below the staff and ascend as high as I can taking breathes in between as needed and then descend going as low as I can. After a few passes of this going higher and lower, I certainly am not focusing how long I play each note, but I feel each are in excess of a whole note. Too, I've no set number of repetitions in doing this, and continue by doing such faster and faster. Perhaps I don't do this perfectly, but I'm satisfied with the effort.
What I observe is that very few great professional players are anywhere near physically fit ... but utilize what they have to the maximum possible that they are able to when they perform. If we listen to them other than live, I don't think they'd divulge how many takes are required for their recording and I won't ask or tell how many it takes me. Still, none I know enjoy such more than I do.
While in high school band one of my fellow trumpet players was a smallish fellow ,he normally played like he needed to give his nose a good blow ,weak and woofy , he probably was about 5 feet tall and 100 pounds soaking wet ,one day our band teacher (who was 6'5" tall) told him to come to the front of the room ,we practiced in a half moon shaped room with stepped floor ,so here's this little guy up front of 70-80 of his band mates ,looking something like a Deer in the headlights
The teacher said face the band and back up to the wall ,he started the rest of us playing a tune and when this poor fellow started to play the teacher put his fist into his belly and pushed .
Now I have to tell you that even though he was scared ,,, he played louder than the rest of us ! ,,, well that is those of us who could play ? most where giggling to much to form an note .
You can ask your teacher some time when he has i minute to help you understand what he was getting at ,but i suspect he was trying to get you to put more pressure into the horn,NOT TENSION! just push a bit more .
By the way if you watch some very good trumpet players they do, lean-into the horn ,especially when playing loud or high ,you might give that a try ?
Stage fright causes tension ,that's a bad thing ,and it will get better for you the more you play in front of people .
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1929 Holton model 48
1940 22B Conn NYS late model
1956 18B Conn Director Coprion
1967 15B Conn Director (my first)
Kantza, have you tried asking your teacher to explain what he is getting at in more detail?
Presumably he is not doing it for the fun of it?? So, perhaps you could ask him right at the start of a lesson; tell him that you are not extirely sure that you get the point he is making and ask him to explain it?
Just a thought.
Is it true that cannibals won't eat clowns because they taste funny?
I'll ask my teacher again on the next belly-push session
Maybe I just have to stop thinking about the "why" and the "how"...
Regardless of the greater arguments about breathing, there is a traditional school of thought
that believes that the airstream must be supported from the diaphragm.
You (and apparently your teacher) have missed the point about his pushing your belly while you
play. The point is not to knock you off balance -- your diaphragm has nothing to do with overall
balance -- but to see if your airstream, and hence your playing, are interrupted by the push.
What your looking for is to be able to play something, have your instructor push or interfere with your
diaphragm, yet still have your playing not affected.
<disclaimer> Obviously if I wind up and punch you in the stomach like Marvin Hagler, your playing will be
affected. This kind of 'test' is only valid within certain reasonable limits.
I wouldn't have kept at this if I didn't just get a huge kick out of it. I got to a point with my last band where I really didn't even want to rehearse anymore. I felt like we should be sight-reading much more music in rehearsal, rather than agonizing over stuff that certain people had just failed to adequately prepare and beating the same old charts to death, and I felt like our number-of-gigs vs. number-of-rehearsals should have been much closer to equal. I mean, really, we go to school year after year, and the concert bands and jazz bands only play 2-4 gigs per YEAR??? Meanwhile, the marching band is out there EVERY WEEK in the fall, PLUS learning drills, with over twice as many performances for the year, plus a parade or two along the way. I never understood why nobody on a faculty ever saw a problem with this, LOL!
If I can play in front of people "enough", it becomes practice in itself - and there is certainly no better environment for the physical conditioning required to play lead than actually playing a lot of lead gigs! Maynard talked about this on several occasions, saying that performance was his practice routine from very early on. So, if you don't like playing in front of people, I'd have to counter with saying that you're probably not doing it enough to reach that point of critical mass (or 'addiction', LOL) where the jitters subside a bit and you learn to depend on that adrenaline/endorphin kick for a sound that sizzles! If it was easy, anybody could do it, right? But they don't, now do they? Most of the time, you find yourself doing something that nobody else in the room can do at all, so do yourself a favor and seek out opportunities to play in front of people, OWN IT, and blow them away!
Bach Strad (1980) 37 w/1st valve trigger
Buescher True-Tone LP 9 (1926)
Getzen Eterna (1985) 4-valve flugel
Bestler valve trombone
Getzen Field Trumpet
Getzen Titleist soprano bugle (1979)
too many other bugles in the collection to list
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