Welcome to Weekly Trumpet Tips:
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!
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Tip #1 – Summer Lessons Can Equal BIG Change
During my high school years, I saw players of different instruments come back after summer break (and a TON of shedding) absolute MONSTER players! Don’t get me wrong, they were good before, but seemingly almost over night, these players had a remarkable turn around in their craft. Whether it be soloing, rhythm, sound, range, feel, etc. It was noticeable!
As we approach summer break for 2013, don’t feel like it’s the end of something… but rather your opportunity to dig in, practice diligently, and make head way. Continuing lessons, starting back with lessons, or trying a new teacher can be great ways of putting you on the path to impressive change upon your return!
Just because school is out and you’re not having to go through the routine that you’ve just created over the last 9 months, don’t let the horn collect dust under your bed!
Tip #2 – Consistency!
I have a sticky note pasted to the inside of my mind, and it has one single word written on it! CONSISTENCY! In everything we do in life, it always requires consistency… whether you’re going to the gym, on a diet, building a savings, paying off a car, etc. Nearly all activity requires consistency from us.
My goals over the last several years has been to address the weaknesses in my playing. Things that would keep me from working, being a good candidate for a gig, or just be something that scares me stiff!
My biggest hurdles have been time and rhythm (reading), and improvisation. My focus has always been sound, range, and endurance. I was never able to pull myself to “consistently” work on the hard stuff. Now here’s the ironic part – the more I work on the other “weaknesses” the better my range, endurance, and sound become. I found ways to incorporate working in “the fun stuff” as I was trying to leap the hurdles of fear. In turn, my playing improved.
Here’s a great example that I’ve been incorporating with my improv stuff as of late! Without scale and chord knowledge, improvisation will never reach its full potential. So, I have been working arpeggios and scales 2 and 3 octaves. I’m working the full range of my horn (or, me to be accurate), and I’m building my database of consistency over scales and chords. Something I always shy’d away from.
Just remember one word – CONSISTENCY! What ever you are working on, just be sure to do it daily. It doesn’t have to be hours and hours each day… but it does have to be “each day!”
“Fortune favors the prepared mind.”
— Louis Pasteur: French chemist and microbiologist;
contributing founder of medical microbiology
Have a GREAT week!