Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Not Enough Ears

The problem with your practice is that there are simply not enough ears in the room.  Only two is not working out so well for you, is it. That's because they're yours. You need a few famous listeners hanging around your practice room every day.  Will they like what you're doing?  Decide whom would you like to serenade, and play for them accordingly.  Don't be wasting your notes.  Someone is listening.   

Arnold Jacobs did his warming up just down the hall from Maestro Fritz Reiner and numerous other famous visiting conductors.  Why?  Because he wanted the reminder that all of his notes mattered.  Someone important was within earshot.  Don't blow it!  As Mel Broiles used to say, you need always to be performing in the practice room, or else you might not be able to turn it on at show time. Play to impress, or don't bother.

You want the audition to be just another day at the office, don't you?  Great playing is what you do, not what you hope to do someday.  You absolutely don't have to wait four years to get some document that declares you a Bachelor, or a Doctor, or a Performer, or an Artist.  Your only creds are the notes you consistently crank out of that horn.  Are you listening?  

1 comment:

Phil Collins said...

I might add that "showing off" is not what this is about. Rather, we need to be able to wisely break down a passage in order to quickly improve it, ie. playing very slowly, etc. Any fool can show off. Great players perform, yes, but more importantly they know how to practice. Can you teach by how you practice? Will someone learn by listening to how you study a piece?