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Quit Playing?????


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Felix c
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Joined: 31 Mar 2005
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Location: Puerto Rico

PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:17 am    Post subject: Quit Playing????? Reply with quote

Dear Friends;
The reason of this post is to create a brain storming that help me in the decision to quit or recharge batteries to begin again. Well Im 42 Yo, playing trumpet since 14 yo. With a Comeback in 2001. My past trumpet teachers tell the Schilke way of Playing or play tightening the Body. This way of play has made me to invest in horns and pieces looking for the easiest way to play at Church and commercial. My situation is the following. Play at my Church, wheres there minimal challenge, and second trumpet in a local orchestra where the level is higher for me and with bad organization in direction and playing. Really; a big disorder and upsetting ambience but with nice dollar. Every Monday after the rehearsal , I arrive home upset. My Wife and son tell me that if this type of work get angry me, is better to quit it. Theres no other opportunity here in my area where I can feel better and improve.
Im taking class with an excellent Teacher that is player of the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra. Hes a Excellent person and player. Hes the Teacher that encourages to practice and improve. We meet once every 5 weeks (Sundays) in a travel on 100 miles abroad, one hour class. He teaches the Chicowicz style that encourage the use of air. This technique have help but I feel that is very hard to me because my way of Playing. So the problem its me. I practice one and a Half hour daily. My sound has improved, but my register after a G over staff is weak. I can hit, A, B and C with a lot of effort inconsistently. My teacher tell me that I play a lot Physically with late blow action and the skill is consumed soon causing a lot of tension, tired, weak notes and poor performing.
Really Im tired to Buy pieces, trumpets and resell with loos, hunting for the perfect combination of Large Bores, ML, Smaller pieces , medium ones Etc. I have not Try Medium Horns.
Well advises are accepted to be evaluated.
Lets thanks some great friends like Claude G. and Victor (Gigolaw) that are here always to hear me and encourage to not quitting. Really every day Im thinking that its not worthy to keep here or move to another less stress Hobby like reading.
Thanks for all your kindness
Felix
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richardwy
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Felix,

Stick with your teacher. Try it all his/her way and hang the consequences.

Forget all about the gear.

Find the fun again.

Anyone to play duets with?

Heck, do Skype duets!
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Jetrang
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just keep on playing but make some decisions.

When you get home from your weekly rehearsal and are frustrated/upset just quit it. Gigs like that hold you back in your development because that frustration lasts longer than 1 night, it will creep in your "fun" playing and that brought you to the point were you are now. (i had exactly the same thing)

Second, dont trust on equipment but on yourself, IF you have 15 $ to spend buy the book "Brass playing is no harder than deep breathing" written by Claude Gordon. It will give you some insight in a correct way to play without having you change embouchures/buy new trumpets etc.

And if you have any questions after reading that book you can ask them in the Claude Gordon section.

Be confident about yourself !
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Ed Lee
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Felex, It's just the wild horse you tame if you want to enjoy it. Equipment changes are only a step backward. Best you "make do" with what you can afford and have on hand. Personally, I'd walk if organization and direction were lacking, but exit gracefully without "burning bridges". The dollar doesn't buy grace in heavan or peace on earth.
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Mark Curry
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Felix-

we've all been where you are now, to a lesser or greater degree, and we feel your pain.

Your success is certainly not due to a lack of dedication or practice, I know that much, but you feel that you've "Hit the Wall" concerning your personal progress on the horn. We all feel that way from time to time.

I want you to consider Skype lessons due to the fact there is no "chop doctor" close to your home.

You obviously have the musical skills and the dedication needed to play in professional organizations. Now you need someone to show you how easy it can be to play.

As far as getting through your Monday night rehearsals without getting upset, try bringing your polishing cloth and a couple of Q-tips with you. When the conductor is being a pain or the other players are being difficult, do not react! Keep your mouth shut and clean/polish your horn. This simple technique has gotten me through several Very Tedious Rehearsals.

PM me if you'd like a recommendation for your Skype lessons.
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gjarrell
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Felix,
I think you've received good advice from other responders and I've nothing to add but this...I'm 55, playing trumpet since I was 9, and I'm never going to be a star, but I give myself credit for the effort and small successes. Like you, I practice about 2 hours daily and others don't get it, including my wife. She never complains or nags though. I'm just doing it to be the best I can be. For the lucky souls who have gifts that make success easier, there's thousands like you and me who work and work. And you need to give yourself credit for the dedication. A story - I went to practically every game of my son's small college football career wishing and hoping he would get to play. I think his playing time over four years amounted to less than fifteen minutes. There was no scholarship money attached to his participation on the football team. As he said himself, "you've got to want to play". After the end of his last season, he won the award, named for the man who they named the field after, for being the most dedicated team member - selected by the coaches. That was one of the best things that will ever happen to both of us. He was rewarded for his dedication, not stardom. I was rewarded because he learned that from me. I couldn't be more proud. You and I may never receive any award, so I think we need to look for the small successes. You may be creating a better impression than you realize. Take some lessons, practice, listen to good players, and be patient. Good luck.
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Pops
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When we start playing we use facial tension for everything.
Moving from low C to D or even up to 3rd space C feels ok and sounds ok.

However; Most people have a sound quality change going from 3rd space C to D, E to F and G to A.
Also using muscle contractions where actual technique works allows us to waste the strength. By the top of the staff you have NO muscles left to contract.

This will continue until you learn to replace the tension with another action. Many replace it with tongue arch against the teeth like a whistle. Others use a lip curl and others use other things.

It is important to work the replacement AND reducing tension at the same time because if you are tight the other things don't work well.
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robertgrier
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Mark that Skype lessons with a chop doc like myself would help a great deal. Also you need weekly lessons to make any progress. A lesson every 5 weeks is a nice check up but it won't help you improve. Plus with Skype lessons you can stay home.
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jhatpro
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love these threads about whether to quit because they motivate me to review why I play:

The sound.
The music.
The collaboration.
The equipment.
The hangs.

If none of those rings your bell then quit. It's not a character flaw to admit that something no longer makes you happy.
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JobyMF
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dont give up!

If your teacher sounds good (of course he does because you are studying with him)and he has experience in private instruction, then i think the best idea would be to work it through!


also learn from other great players across the world!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVREWJ4xfoI


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZiMWujoXac&feature=related
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gigolaw
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Joined: 22 Aug 2007
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Location: Puerto Rico

PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm aware of Felix concerns. We speak almost daily over the phone and discuss some issues like equipment, practice routine, embouchure, politics, economy, etc. Allways a refreshing experience to be able to talk to him. In fact, he is the only one I trust to professionally clean my trumpets. It would be a great loss if he decides to quit this wonderful word of performing music.

In case you need to know, Felix has a wonderful, big, round sound. His ear is very well trained. And specially, his practice habits are perfect. He knows what he wants. Whenever I need someone to criticize me, I send him a sound clip or, like I will do tomorrow, I travel to the other side of the island to meet him and get his opinion. Regretfully, he lives too far away for me, so weekly get togethers to play duets, is not viable; I need a partner like him, though.

So Felix's problem is reduced to high range, which is necessary even for a second trumpet in salsa playing. The problem can not be said to be just an embouchure one, it might also be his breathing habits, which he is already working on.

Like someone else said, he just need the way to enjoy his performance, block out the rest of the band members if they are not performing correctly, and keep up the good job.

I will talk to him personally tomorrow about this issues.

Thanks you guys!
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Felix c
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear friends:
I'm just check the post again after a hard week end. I appreciate all your kind and enthusiasm words. I have no read Victor comment before. Yesterday when I try one of your horns he was looking me carefully but never talks about.
Thanks to all I'm in Doubt
God Bless
Felix
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Norman
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Felix, a few years ago I was very close to quitting, for reasons similar to yours. Playing trumpet for me was a struggle, I practiced hard, but the results were not so good. Limited endurance, I struggled to go above the staff. It was like weightlifting... And all of a sudden I even started to get worse. I was already over 30 years old, and I realized that the way I played was incorrect, and was leading me nowhere. So I made the decision to change teacher. I attended masterclasses held by famous pros here in Italy, then I started to take lessons from one of them. I basically started from scratch... But after three years of work not only I could keep playing with my commercial band and in a big band, but I ended up playing first trumpet in the latter. Now I can get through a 2 hour concert or rehearsal playing first trumpet parts upper intermediate level (up to high Eb), with a good sound and musicality. But the most important thing is that playing trumpet for me is not exhausting anymore! I don't fear the horn anymore. I play relaxed, and I have fun!

Just do not give up, keep on looking for a more efficient way of playing, and don't be afraid to change completely. But also be patient, because it takes time.
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Felix c
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Location: Puerto Rico

PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Friends:
A month and so, I m returning. I wish to thanks all your support and help. All of you make this forum the best. Thanks again to be patient and kind with me. Presenting alternatives.
My batteries are half charged. I have read trumpet technique by Dr. Frank G. Campos what a Great Book!!!!!.
So lets begin again.
Hope hear from all of you again soon
Felix
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jhatpro
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great news, Felix! And glad you found the Campos book - it's one of the best I've read on trumpet playing.
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pepperdean
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Felix,

Those frustrations certainly resonate with all of us. You're truly not alone. However, the rewards are worth the perseverance. I moved to a rural area when I retired and I don't perform much any more but I play all of the time. I couldn't be without it.

Two things:

First, I reminded of the advice that turned the tide for me. Many years ago, as a conservatory student, I found myself very frustrated with my progress. This frustration became temper and I found myself about to throw my new Benge 5X at the nearest wall. Wow, that got my attention. I stopped practicing and went to visit a friend. He told me, 'stop focusing on the end goal, progress is made by the inch.' I realized that there is a high note, low note, tongue speed, or some other goal that we want so badly that we fail to see the progress we are making in the right direction.

Second, I'd suggest forgetting about equipment issues. Play what you have for now. You won't be able to evaluate horns and mouthpieces until your playing issues are resolved and the equipment will not play itself. I saw many students come to Carmine Caruso's studio and ask which mouthpiece or horn they should be playing. Carmine always said, "Let's learn to play first, then we can think about that."

Mark is correct about performance situations. When the group dynamic is not good, just think that you are doing a job and do it the best you can. Don't get involved or respond to the turbulence.

Best wishes,
Alan
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highbrasslass
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:37 am    Post subject: Stick with it. Reply with quote

I used to play very tight and my second teacher was big on air and playing relaxed. It took me 5 years of learning the new way before I was able to play high C's again, but now I am better than ever in every way, and wouldn't trade the frustration and time for anything. It take way more time than you can imagine to rid yourself of tension, but it's worth it. Sound is number one, range will come. I promise.
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tpsiebs
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pops wrote:
When we start playing we use facial tension for everything.
Moving from low C to D or even up to 3rd space C feels ok and sounds ok.

However; Most people have a sound quality change going from 3rd space C to D, E to F and G to A.
Also using muscle contractions where actual technique works allows us to waste the strength. By the top of the staff you have NO muscles left to contract.

This will continue until you learn to replace the tension with another action. Many replace it with tongue arch against the teeth like a whistle. Others use a lip curl and others use other things.

It is important to work the replacement AND reducing tension at the same time because if you are tight the other things don't work well.


Pops is "the Man".
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alithea1
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:27 pm    Post subject: breathing and such Reply with quote

Check out this book 48 etudes by Verne Reynolds. From the French horn etudes.
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Felix c
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

5 Months later update;
My friends
After some more situations; I decide from retire from the orchestra. Theres not the best place to perform. Then I decide to continues at Church every Sunday, continues practice and attend class with a nearer teacher that my original teacher refer me.
I understand orchestra retirement keep me out of the media but its better until another opportunity (???) arrives.
Thanks
Felix
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