Welcome to Weekly Trumpet Tips:
(1) Dream Killers
(2) Practice The Way You Eat an Elephant!
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Tip #1 – Dream Killers
We live in a world filled with murderous thieves that may not even be aware of the fact that they are vampires – creatures that suck the life and dreams out of you. WAIT – before you leave the page thinking this is going into the pits of hades, read on…
Our dreams and desires – the stuff that makes you stop in your tracks, sends tingles throughout your body and brings a smile to your soul are like delicate newborn babies! They require your full and undivided protection from nearly everyone! ESPECIALLY the dream killer vampires… as they come cloaked as relatives, friends, parents, siblings… the list is nearly endless. You need exactly ONE person to believe in you, what you’re doing and what your dreams are! YOU! Everyone outside of you doesn’t matter. The dream killing vampires out-number your supporters 1000 to 1!
I bring this up today because I spent a large part of my life watching these vampires suck the life out of my dreams once I divulged their presence to them. Hearing things like, “The music business is too difficult!” “You’ll starve!” “You’re not naturally talented enough!” Etc.
Yet – something inside of me kept rebuilding… reconstructing my dreams and my purpose. When I finally stopped sharing my hopes, dreams and goals with others and started believing in ME, I noticed that they would grow stronger and become less “hopeful” and more “reality.” I stopped feeling sorry for myself and spent more “quality” time in the practice room. I was letting their dream sucking messages stop me from even trying to improve – now – I use their messages as tools to drive a stake into their meaningless words.
What’s really interesting to me though is – the better I’ve gotten and the more opportunity that has come my way, the less I hear from those that were once cloaked as “friends.”
So today’s first tip for you is to protect your dreams – whether it be playing professionally, being a super star, becoming fabulously wealthy or what ever it may be… believe in it and believe in yourself. NO ONE has the right to tell you what you can and cannot accomplish. Head down, do the work you know you have to do and never give up!
Tip #2 – Practice The Way You Eat an Elephant!
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! Simply put – most people look at a skill they are working on (double tonguing, range, triple tonguing, improvisation, etc.) as this nearly insurmountable mountain that they will never cross… and that is the first step to failure. I like to define failing as “giving up” rather than making a mistake. Making mistakes is called “learning” not failing!
My approach to working on my most difficult or weaker skills is to put them in my practicing every day. But not let them consume my practicing every day! In other words – I practice improvisation… but I don’t just only practice improvisation. I made the fatal mistake of getting stuck on ONE skill in the practice room and let it nearly destroy me! RANGE! That’s all I ever worked on for a great many years… therefore my reading and other vital skills gravely lacked! I also started to feel defeated most days as I was always looking for another “best” range day in the practice room…
Tip #2 is simple… practice your major scales by warming up on them slowly. ALL 12! Not just the easy ones you can play. If you spend 5 minutes per day going through them (ALL OF THEM) in 2 weeks time you’ll have them committed to memory and will never need to “practice” (learn) major scales again. Apply this same tactic to learning minors, modes, etc. Then work on licks (improvisation) or work on passages that are extremely difficult and require double / triple tonguing! The difference between your first day of 5 minutes and your 15th day of 5 minutes will be massive! As long as you are consistent!
You must walk through the forest to see the beauty within and beyond!
Have a GREAT week!