Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Darts, anyone?

Which best typifies your playing, a game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey, or Darts? Do you tend to stab blindly in the dark when you play, or are you working on the skill of directing each note to its target? Thankfully trumpeters, like dart players, don't wear blindfolds, so there is hope.

Too often instead of a poised, focused approach on the trumpet, we hurriedly grab a few sips of air and then proceed to lunge viciously in the general vicinity of the notes, hoping to fasten them to some target. Valiant attempts? Yes. Bulls-eyes? Not likely.

Here's the game: Your air stream must simply meet the phrase head on, and remain focused for each note. So, take a good appraisal of the phrase, breathe accordingly, and release your air directly onto its targets, not above or below. If the notes were candles, you want lights out with one breath. It's probably not going to happen with a blindfold on. If you're still thinking pinata, you're in the wrong game.

You want to impress your listeners, observers, and yourself with your accuracy and control. Again, your air must meet and support all of the notes. We're not talking over-thinking each entrance or analyzing ourselves into paralysis, just putting enough air on the notes, period.

As you prepare to toss that dart towards the center of your dartboard, observe your natural instincts, and do likewise when you have horn in hand. An unfriendly game of darts anyone?


Anonymous said...

I try to teach this everyday, and your eloquent words remind ME of how to do it.

Phil Collins said...

Thanks, Jason. Much easier to write about than to do. I remember you had very little trouble with this.

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