Trumpet Manual FBQ

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Brass Basics Manual 2005-2006 Trumpet By Jay Michalak Introduction Hi everyone and welcome to Brass Basics. By compiling this manual, chock full of the most up to date philosophies of brass playing, I hope I can give you some of the tools you need to reach your goals. Brass Basics The best way to improve at what you are pursuing, regardless of what it is, is to understand what is you’re doing, then work your butt off. I have known many different people throughout my life and career, and fo
    Brass Basics Manual 2005-2006 Trumpet By Jay Michalak   Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKMHi everyone and welcome to Brass Basics. By compiling this manual, chock full of themost up to date philosophies of brass playing, I hope I can give you some of the tools youneed to reach your goals.I have known many different people throughout my life and career, and for the most partthey have been good, hard working, intelligent and motivated. However, not everyone Iknow has made it as far as they dream or hope to. Some do. What differentiates them?Those who make it, undeniably, have a steely work ethic. They choose a harder path inlife than those around them. These people also continually pursue a deeper understanding of what they do. With their understanding, they are able to identify whatwill make them better - “THE FUNDAMENTALS” - and that’s what they work on.Working smartly and effectively , it can even be relatively stress-free! I recommendseveral books that describe effective and beautiful ways of learning:Zen in the Art of Archery. Herrigel, Eugen.Effortless Mastery. Werner, Kenny.The Inner Game of Tennis. Gallway, Timothy.The Inner Game of Music. Gallway, Timothy and Barry GreenPlaying any instrument is a mind-bogglingly complex task. We will look at ways toisolate the fundamentals of playing in ways that will help your understanding of how itworks. I will also give you a wide variety of ways to pursue your development throughsolutions and understanding. We will start, however, by looking for an understanding of what it is we are doing –  we are performing art .A lot of this manual may be seriously long winded, but everything is in here for a reason.The topics included are derived from my years of experience and study. I have beenlucky enough to study with some of the best brass players and teachers in the world. Iencourage you to read and reread the information here. It will not sink in fully rightaway…the task of developing your understanding will take time and vigilance. I hope byworking on these concepts, you can look up in time and genuinely see tremendousimprovement not only in yourself, but also in the groups you play in!     Brass Basics Introduction The best way to improve at what you are pursuing, regardless of what itis, is to understand  what is you’re doing, then work your butt off.  Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKMLet’s start off by looking at the act of performing and understanding what goes into it.All art forms are centered on one basic human activity –  Communication. Whether it’s painting, sculpture, dance, music, or theater, an artist creates something that an audiencethen experiences. The artist has poured their deepest inspiration, emotions, feelings,thoughts, beliefs and principals into their work, which are then communicated throughthe medium to the audience. It’s truly an incredibly personal and sensitive thing.As musical performers, we are in a unique scenario. Each time we step on the stage, our art is created again, communicated to new and different people each time. Think of it asa gift you are giving to the audience…you have worked on it, nurtured it, even sufferedfor it, and now you are giving it to them for their enjoyment. They will applaud, theywill cheer, and they will cherish what you gave them – a great moment in life. That’s the power of art.The best performers are ones who make every single note a musical statement. Nothing isever done thoughtlessly. A great artist will slave over what might not seem to beimportant. They may play a half note a hundred times looking for just the right way to play to fit how they feel the music should go. Often times real meaning is buried deepand the only way to find it is to dig until it hurts.A great phrase that captures this sentiment is “Max It Out.”It can be used in millions of ways, but truly anything you doin life can be thought of in this way. Max out a musical phrase.Max out your potential for becoming a great brass player by practicing individually. Max out your effort during every rehearsal. Remind each other often. Max it out and leave no room for regrets! Brass Basics Performance Performing Effectively requires preparation. Preparation includes groupcohesion, personal skill development, practice performance and mastery of what is being performed. Most importantly, it requires personal investment  and a willingness to share who you are with other people. Max It Out!  Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKMOne of the things I find funny about performing ensembles is that they rarely do much todevelop their group’s ability to excel in performance situations. I would suspect many of you have your own ways or methods of dealing with the intensity of performance, and Ihope I can teach you a few more things from my own experience as a professional.So you’re at a show waiting to go on, you’ve done warm-ups, and everything is feelinggreat and ready to go. How do you spend that last 10 minutes or so that we inevitablyhave to wait around? What you do with that time can have a huge impact on your  performance. Here are a few suggestions I have found to be very effective at elicitinggreat performances. 1. MAKE SURE YOU STAY WARMED UP!!! In the amount of time it takes to leave warm-up and head to a performance, Iguarantee you will be less than ideally ready to go unless you take measures tocounteract this.- Keep blood flowing to your lips by buzzing them lightly, flapping them outor stretching them gently.- You can buzz quietly in your mouthpiece by covering the hole at the end of the shank with your pinkie finger.- Do a few breathing exercises from our routines, focus on deep breathing.- If it is any colder than 20º, the temperature will affect the intonation of your horn – keeping moving warm air through horns until the last possiblemoment. Don’t forget to empty your spit valves (more water when it’s cold)- Don’t forget about your body! A little stretching of the torso, arms and legscan help keep you loose. 2. Creating Focus There are lots of ways of getting focused for performance; here are few reminders:- Keep in mind the task at hand .Ideally you should be thinking only of what you are about to do. Block out the temptations to think about the party afterwards, or what you’redoing the next day at school or at work. If you find yourself drifting,gently bring your mind back into focus. Don’t get down on yourself for drifting - it happens to all of us especially when you’re excited. Helpeach other out. If you see someone seeming not focused, give him or her a friendly “have a great performance.”- Visualize tricky spots in the performance. The best way to prevent “stupid” mistakes is to think ahead. Always beanticipating. We don’t always do this automatically. Even times whenwe try to remember, in the heat the battle we still forget. A good way of  providing a mental trigger is to do some visualization. Brass Basics Showtime – Focusand Nerves
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