Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 10:38:48 -0600 (CST)
From: ('Pops')
Subject: Re: Conquering Fear

   Whoever told you that you were having range problems due to psychological reasons may have been right on target.

    By far the biggest pressure that we face is mental. We worry about everything. Are we using the right horn, mouthpiece, embouchure, breathing technique, stance, ect. Am I wearing my lucky shirt? Will my chops hold out for 6 hours? Will I hit the super R# at the end of that chart "scream my brains out" ? This is very tiring and the nervous tension can be more demanding than the playing. We have all seen players worry themselves to the point where they did mess up. What can be done?

1. Don't worry. To mentally dwell on the possibilities can do nothing to help. So think of something else.

2. If it is NOT broke don't fix it. I get tons of e-mails about mouthpieces.  My first question is always what's wrong with your current mouthpiece. I get a lot of answers  that say ' Nothing I was just wondering if....'.  This constant changing for no reason is self defeating.

3. Spend more time practicing than complaining about / analyzing  your skills.

4. Practice skills that you can't do well. Don't play the same thing over and over. I realize that it massages your ego , but it does not improve your playing.

5. Always warm up. A warm up is just that warming up the muscles to work. It is not showing off to the rest of the section . I've seen people warm -up / show off so much before a performance that their playing suffered as a result.

6. Don't be stuck in one mindset. There should not be low note players and high note players. You better BE a trumpet player expressing a MUSICAL thought.

7. Don't MAKE it hard. Oh look I have to play a super R in 26 minutes. Worry worry mess up worry. Play the notes in front of you and ignore the future. It may sneek up on you and really scream.

8. It can't be a high note because it's still on the paper not the ceiling.  If you think it is high and hard to play it will be. ( read
this 1000 times to let it sink in. ) If it is still on the paper it is NOT high.

9. Don't try to hit a note. You play notes.

10. If you make a mistake so what. A mistake will not hurt a show or even a song. If you worry about it you can snowball it into a really bad time.


   A collection of some past posts & information about my book.