Friday, September 06, 2019

Aunt Gloria's Hat Boutique!

Old lady clerk: "Why hello! Welcome to Aunt Gloria's Hat Boutique, home of the finest headwear in Cincinnati. What can I show you today?"

You: "Well lady, my teacher said I need more style, more color, and more personality in my trumpet playing. It was strongly suggested that I get accustomed to wearing different hats. So here I am." 

Very well then. Let me show you four hats that should definitely impress your professor. 

How about this one over here? Full disclosure however. This one is not very popular. I've had no sales in recent memory. Young folks especially are not interested in wearing this hat for some reason. One student complained that it "creeped him out", saying it "stifled his artistic creativity."  However, try it on. I'm told it works wonders when it's worn daily. And I think it will go nicely with your ears. It's our lovely PERFECT INTONATION HAT!

Now walk this way, and I'll show you another. This is our coveted BEAUTIFUL SOUND HAT. Its amazing, but if you don't keep it on, quite frankly, your sound will stink badly. All sorts of junk will quickly pollute your tone. Here, try it on. Oh my! Yes indeed, you look gorgeous!

The next hat is a strange one, a bit of a chameleon actually. It will morph instantly from sharp and prickly, to suave and smooth depending on the music you are playing at the moment. It gives you subtle finesse as well as cutting-edge boldness! Your playing will take on shades of vividness you never knew you possessed! Put this on when you feel faint of heart, and watch what happens. This hat is my favorite, the CLEAR ARTICULATION HAT.

Now let me show you our best selling hat! These are flying off the shelves. However I must warn you that there is a disclaimer that is usually ignored. Side effects of overuse include high likelihood of injuries such as: swollen and/or split lips, loss of front teeth, strained esophagus, back problems, bowel blockage, and in some cases, severe infertility. But never mind that. This hat does wonders for your ego! Wear this as you enter the warm up room at your next audition. Fellow competitors will marvel and gawk with envy at your nonstop screeching power! Yes, you guessed it, our HIGH NOTE HAT.

You: "Gee, thanks, Aunt Gloria! I'll take all four." 

Aunt Gloria: "You are quite welcome. Remember, never go hatless!" 

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

All notes on display!

Imagine that all the notes you played today were on display in the window of your local jewelry store. Your advertisement reads: TOP QUALITY GEMS - REFINED, POLISHED, PURIFIED, READY FOR PURCHASE, AVAILABLE IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES - BOLD, BRAZEN, BRIGHT, SPARKLING, RADIANT! 

Ideally, a crowd of gawking passersby are standing amazed and eager to purchase large bundles of your valuable notes. "Wow, honey, look at those! They're gorgeous! Each one of them is perfect!"

Your job is to flood the market with an endless supply of solid-gold notes, always keeping in mind that cheap junky notes just won't sell. A daily commitment to refining and polishing is simply what you do. Being able to display a great product is worth the painstaking effort. Few are good at it because few have the clear vision and patience required. Rarely do you hear students carefully preparing each note, one by one.

What constitutes a high-priced note? Each has great quality of sound regardless of size. Each is clear and well-defined, with accurate pitch. Each great note fits properly into its phrase.  Fuzzy edges and unfocused tone are immediate disqualifiers.  If listeners were taking melodic dictation, they must easily be able to notate what you are performing. Your music critics will honestly use adjectives like clean, clear, vivid, solid, secure, stunning!

When your brain is programmed like that, your embouchure will start to cooperate, and your product will improve dramatically!