Monday, June 14, 2010

Getting Extra Input

Here's a suggestion for the summer. If no trumpet guru is available or within driving distance, don't put improvement on hold until the fall. Look for some help outside the box. The best advice can come from those who do not play the trumpet. Hard to believe, but true. Singers, woodwind players, string people, guitarists included, and percussion folks share the stage, so you might want to know what they listen for. A yea vote from each of them would be a nice goal. It would also go a long way to improve relations between instrument groups that often tend to feud with each other.

Arnold Jacobs' studio always had a steady stream of non-tuba players visiting in order to receive his expert counsel. Great music-making transcends any one instrument. How tragic to graduate from a school many of whose faculty are never consulted simply because theirs is a different department. It might cost you something to arrange a hearing, but it could be worth it. Money is no object. Take the initiative.

You may opt for a cheaper route. Invite your non-trumpet friends to sit and listen to your audition, solo, etudes, whatever. You want to play for critical ears that won't accept your being sharp on C and G. They don't buy it. Nor are they sympathetic to your chronic fatigue. They expect you to play what's on the page, no excuses. Be hungry for their honest critique, not flattery.

It's American Trumpet Idol! The jury has their checklist: stage presence, intonation, expression and sense of drama, dynamics, phrasing, confidence, etc. In short, should they invite you to return for another round? Does your performance get high marks? Does it communicate? Will the jury stand and applaud, or do you only receive a few courtesy claps. Your mission is to be a crowd pleaser.


Unknown said...

Well that sort of puts one in a "Do I suck or not?" predicament. But as a trumpet player, I suppose I would need that kind of critique, since I'm going into my senior year of high school, looking for college auditions and such.

Unknown said...

By the way, do you have any suggestions as to what to do in my routine? I practice 3 hours a day, I do some Schlossberg, Clarke Studies 2,4, and 7, and I practice other materials as well. But I want to make sure I'm prime and ready for my college auditions come fall.

Unknown said...

Oh and one more thing...I had talked to Alan Siebert months ago, I even sent him a tape...but I had decided not to attend CCM as an undergrad because of the distance and money. I live in Altoona, PA, and I've been playing for 8 years. I've heard you play, and you're one of my role models of being a good Christian and trumpet player. Perhaps we can talk sometime?