Welcome to Weekly Trumpet Tips:
(1) Overcoming Bad Days / Gigs
(2) Ron’s Tip – Developing Your Own Style
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Tip #1 – Bad Days / Gigs
Yep… we are ALL subjected to a bad day, bad gig, bad chops day, etc. You name it – it can happen! So what can you do to limit the effects of a bad day so that it doesn’t show in your performance? Simple… keep pushing your limits so that they are beyond what ever the demands of the gig your on is. For example – if the gig calls for you to play lead and the lead book contains high G’s above High C, you want to be able to play those notes mad, tired, hungry, sick or near death! How do you accomplish that? In the practice room! Utilizing previous tips so that you keep pushing your useable / playable range to the point that you can eek out what ever needs to be there. I know this may sound like I’m impugning the journey to play a consistent high G, but it’s not much more overly complicated than this. It’s frustrating and can be a long journey – and believe me – my journey with this very thing has been long, tiring, hard and frustrating. But – nonetheless – worthwhile.
The biggest mistakes I made in that journey were over practicing range and not allowing for rest / rebuild time as well as not being too willing to keep pushing for notes that I couldn’t reach. For instance, when I finally got a solid Double C, I stopped pushing. I guess I was so happy with myself that I just sat there gloating (to myself) that I could finally “play” one in a line. BUT – I couldn’t do it tired. I got fed up with failing to be able to play them at the end of the night and started pushing again. It’s been nearly a year since that push began and I’m getting there… it could be as much as another year to go before I get full reliability at and above Double C… but without pushing (in a smart manner) daily, you’ll never get there.
Improvisation, reading, rhythm / timing, double tonguing and every other skill necessary on this beast of an instrument is no different! It’s a daily push so that you can play competently – even on bad days. And always remember – NO ONE is immune to them… they’ve just worked to push beyond what the demand of the gig is.
Tip #2 – Ron’s Tip – Developing Your Own Style
“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”