Weekly Trumpet Tips 8/15/10

The Shadow

Welcome To Weekly Trumpet Tips!

Please always feel free to respond / comment on any of the tips listed in these weekly posts.  Your input may help clarify details for someone else! If you haven’t submitted a name for the new book, we’re still accepting ideas!

Check out the Chops Rehab and Jazz Improv courses.  These are designed to be 4 weeks worth of lessons to help the student gain insights and skills in each specific area.  We are currently running a “Back To School” promotion on Chops Rehab…

Here are your weekly Tips!

NERVES!  To Succumb or Prevail!

What rattles your cage to the point that you don’t perform logically?  Makes you sweat like you’ve been swimming and essentially perform less than what you’d hoped you could do?

For me, it’s soloing in front of the band!  I have spent so many years as a “sideman” and a lead player, that when it comes time to step out and be in the lime light, it causes me to lock up.

How do you over come things like this?  Do more of it… the ONLY way you will improve is to put yourself into more and more challenging situations (calculated).  At the time of your first attempt – it may feel like the world is collapsing around you, but what you’ll realize is that you’ve actually stepped out of your comfort zone and asked yourself to do something that is absolutely going against the grain of “common sense!”  Ultimately what is there to fear anyway?  Someone else’s opinion of you?  Think back to Charlie Parker’s story… as he was honing his improvisation skills and what absolutely lit a fire under him was a really bad experience at a jam session one night.

He had 2 paths he could have chosen… one was to give up, walk away and let everyone else’s opinion stop him.  OR – he could face his fears AND his dreams and overcome that which was outside his comfort zone.  You know which direction he chose…

So the next time an opportunity presents itself and it feels “outside” of your comfort zone, really think about it…

Rest as Much as You Play!

This phrase is commonly heard / read but rarely followed.  It’s very easy to keep playing past the point of fatigue as your facial muscles don’t have the same receptors as other parts of your body.  So by the time your range decreases and your endurance is cut more than in half, you’re fatigued past the point of a quick recovery.

A great suggestion is that after a heavy day of playing (4 hour gig, long rehearsal) take the next day and just do pedal tones.  Or – don’t play at all… just do horse flapping with your lips (very loose and slow total mouth vibrations).  By resting and feeding your muscles the proper nutrition, your less likely to have bad playing days.

“You need to overcome the tug of people against you as you reach for high goals.”

George S. Patton
1885-1945, American Army General

Have a GREAT week!