Weekly Trumpet Tips 1/11/11

Welcome to Weekly Trumpet Tips!

“About Face” is out and available!!!  All the waiting, struggle, and energy was WELL worth it!  I’m very pleased with how the book turned out and know you will be too!  About Face is ALSO now available in E-Book download form!!!

It’s available HERE!!! (Click on image to see full size)

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!

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 now also have t-shirts!  Check out our new t-shirt design!  We have the “adult version and the school friendly “student version!”

Here are your weekly Tips!

Tip #1 – Habits Of Excellence!

This is a continuation from last week, and will go forward for all 7 topics…

If we’re going to set habits, we might as well make them positive and beneficial vs. something we’re going to have to go back and fix later because of repercussions from laziness or not being clear.  My favorite way to think about that is from the movie Jurassic Park when they were using frog DNA to fill in the blanks.  What kind of information is getting left out because of it?

If we approach our habits of excellence in the following categories, we can certainly improve not only our habits, but our outcomes.  We’ll look at each one in depth over the next seven weeks.  The following seven categories are from Gerald Klickstein’s book “The Musician’s Way.”

1) Ease

2 Expressiveness

3) Accuracy

4) Rhythmic Vitality

5) Beautiful Tone

6) Focussed Attention

7) Positive Attitude

Expressiveness is something that we should seek to create in everything we play.  Wynton Marsalis, urges “Treat everything you play on your instrument as an important piece of music, even if you’re just warming up.”  The only true way to become an expressive performer is to become an expressive practicer… simply raising and lowering volume isn’t going to do the trick.  You must increase and decrease volume by which the musical line dictates.  And by making strong beats truly strong, and weaker beats weak, we can start to “feel” the emotion not only as performers but as listeners.

All too often inexperienced performers don’t listen to the message they convey, so at best they tend to sound like a science professor or a REALLY boring insurance salesman with no expression or excitement at all.  SNORE!

Tip #2 – The Darker Side of Hope!

I wanted to share with you this week, something that my wife had passed along to me.  When I first read the title (above), I thought “uh oh, now what?”  But as I read the article, it made very good sense of how we can either produce hope or live in hope… hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

I want to talk about hope…

Hope can be a form of scarcity. There are those who live in hopeand those who produce hope. What does it mean to be a producer of hope? People who produce hope are creators. People who live in hope are those who just wish and wait for things to change.  Hope is essential because without it life would be a daunting task.  However, there is a dark side to hope that very few people talk about. The difference is in what we do or don’t do with hope.

For most people, hope is characterized by waiting for other people or events to change so that we can be happy or get what we want. In this respect, hope is like the dark side of positive thinking.  Positive thinking rarely brings about change because it is a passive activity.  Hope then becomes a waiting game.  What people fail to understand is that hope is only a small part of the equation for success. Without action, hope leaves you in a negative reinforcing cycle of expectations, disappointment and stagnation.  Hope is the longing and wishing for things we think we don’t have.  However, the energy we put into wishing and waiting actually prevents us from receiving what we want.

Hope can be a prison. It is a conditioned belief that there is nothing we can do but sit back and “hope for the best”. The dictionary defines hope as “the desire for something to happen while expecting or being confident that it will come true”. This is nothing more than a waiting game. Many people create a dream and then wait for a sign from heaven that they are on the right track. When the sign fails to come, they give up and go off onto some new adventure, again waiting for a sign that this is finally “it”. We are conditioned to wait. We wait for the bus, we wait in line at the grocery store and the bank. In school we raised our hands and waited to be called upon, etc.  We wait until our parents, teachers or some other adult tells us that it’s okay to do what we want to do.  People that are into hope feel powerless. Powerlessness is a conditioned pattern.

Why is it that we can read about people who overcame great odds to accomplish some fantastic feat, but we can’t manage to get to an appointment on time? We are powerless because of heavy traffic, kids won’t cooperate, or some other excuse. If we really faced the truth of the situation, we would see that this supposed powerlessness is a clever disguise to keep us resisting what we can do in the moment.

Dr. Robert Anthony

“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.”

Dolly Parton

Have a GREAT week!