Welcome to Weekly Trumpet Tips:
(1) Tackling New Challenges
(2) Practice Approach Reflects Much About Us!
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Tip #1 – Tackling New Challenges
As it is in life, it is in playing music (trumpet) and this week’s tips will reflect that. It’s VERY easy to fall into a comfortable and familiar pattern that actually stunts any further advancement in growth. Musically, I got very comfortable with playing lead in a big band and passing by any chance to solo over chord changes. As I dove head-first into that world, I felt like a beginner all over again… the same nervousness that I used to feel when I first played in front of people! But now it’s because I’m attempting to travel through unfamiliar territory.
This weeks first tip for you is to not let the comfort zone keep you stuck in your same position. If you truly want to be a great musician, keep pushing yourself and challenging yourself to do things you’re not comfortable with – soloing, playing lead or playing in a small group setting (less places to hide). IF you’ve done all that – try a musical theater gig… that’s a whole other level of push!
Tip #2 – Practice Approach Reflects Much About Us!
What exactly does that mean? If you take a look at how meticulous you are in the practice room (or aren’t) it’s probably a reflection of how we do other things in our lives outside of music. A prime example I gave a student this weekend was, when I was a kid I loved to build plastic model cars. The first several cars I “attempted” to build, I rushed through… in some cases, I didn’t even wait until the glue was dry before I moved on to the next steps. So needless to say, most of my models came out a mess that didn’t stay together for long.
This was my modus operandi in the practice room as well! Being completely impatient with myself if I couldn’t get something new in a pre-chosen amount of time I would rush forward. As I learned the art of patience in practicing and saw marked improvement in my playing, I noticed the same in other areas of my life as well. Take a look at what you do in the practice room and see if it mirrors anything else in your life… I’ll bet you’ll be amazed. I was!
It is not good enough for things to be planned – they still have to be done; for the intention to become a reality, energy has to be launched into operation.
– Walt Kelly – 1913-1973, Animator
Have a GREAT week!