Weekly Trumpet Tips 2/17/15

Trumpet Shadow

The Shadow

Welcome to Weekly Trumpet Tips:

(1) What Really is “Talent?”

(2) 2 Words that Can Kill Progress!

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Tip #1 – What Really is “Talent?”

The word “Talent” to a great many of us can instill thoughts and images of someone who was born with a natural ability to do what they do well.  Whether that be play music, sports, write, act or create something we can often shut ourselves down by comparing our own talent (or perceived lack thereof) to someone else.

I think it’s important that I remind us all that words were created to help describe something – a picture gets created in your mind when you hear it and you have immediate understanding of the word.  A great example of single words would be, “CAT.”  Most likely the second you read that word, an image of a cat popped in your mind… if you have one, most likely YOUR cat popped into your mind.

Where I’m going with this is quite simple really… someone invented the word “talent” to describe ones ability to do something at a higher than average level.  It DOES NOT, however, put an image in ones mind of the work that had to go into achieving this higher level.  Often we assume that they just picked up what ever it was they do and were instantly good.  So let’s redefine the word “TALENT” here and now.

Talent = DESIRE!

Think of something that you were pretty darn good at quickly… it can be anything!  Trumpet playing, cooking, writing, etc.  If you really stop and think about why you got pretty good at something quickly, it usually has to do with how much interest there is in the subject and how much desire to do that something you have within you.

So my first tip for you this week is to try and always remember to not get hung up on words!  Words are merely descriptions that send messages to your mind and show you images / pictures for understanding and clarity of communication.  Nothing else!

Tip #2 – 2 Words That Can KILL Your Progress!

I hear this a lot from younger players and I want to address it because this sentence I’m about to share with you has been used by most everyone at some point or another and relays the idea that there is some sort of magical “destination” to what we do.

“When I get GOOD ENOUGH, I’ll be able to X!”

The words “GOOD ENOUGH” signifies some sort of closure or ending.  My Grandmother when cleaning the house would say, “Good Enough!” and go hang up the mop, etc. I don’t believe that our musical journey has any true “destination” or completion to it.  We complete concerts, we complete recitals and we complete recordings of where we’re at in that space and time.  But… our journey should never be complete until our last breath has been taken.

Setting goals in your playing is great, but waiting for some magical thing to start happening or setting a goal to be able to play something or do something well enough before you go out and execute it is stifling.  You could be waiting forever… because most of us judge ourselves very critically.

Sometimes the best way to instill growth is to throw yourself into the fire.  If you’ve never played in a small coffee shop with one other person, it can be EXTREMELY unnerving the first hand full of times!  There has to be a first for everything, and many times that first experience will inspire you to keep practicing and moving forward.

Todays second tip… never settle for “GOOD ENOUGH!”

“Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them — a desire, a dream, a vision.”

– Muhammad Ali: American former professional boxer

Have a GREAT week!