Friday, April 11, 2008

What a Way to Start!

It's been a whole week now, and I'm still hearing Michael Sachs making those flawless entrances. After his recital, masterclass work, and Q & A at the OH ITG, he continued to play gorgeously on Charlier #2 and #6 as he play-tested several new Miles B flat trumpets. Every beginning all afternoon was clean and secure. Although he was talking and occupied with leading the class, that did not distract him from doing what he is paid to do every time he picks up the horn - execute music.

Alright guys, this quarter we'll be raising the entrance bar! You all heard him do it. Now go and do likewise. You don't need spoon-feeding and brain-surgery mindsets. Let's just do it. Figure it out. I remember asking Mr. Vacchiano to give me a detailed description on how to make an attack. I even had pencil and paper ready. He looked a bit irritated and said, "Well, the tongue and the air meet at the same time." That was it! I think he sensed that was all the detail I could absorb.

As simple as a perfectly executed attack may sound, it certainly requires a ton of diligent practice, obviously. One could make a game of trying to refine the entrance process for quality and consistency. Pick it up and play the first note of your piece, hundreds, thousands of times. Good news: you can't get tired playing only the first note. Hey, if it's just the air joining the tongue, it can't be that hard. Get started!

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