I thought I'd go a step further in responding to the inquiry into developing
the Mental Imagery, in this case for the right internal sound.
I find there are three basic phases to developing a clear mental image, for
Trumpet, or for anything else.
Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 09:43:44 -0400
Subject: [TPIN] (no subject)
NOTE: For those who think that my first reply was to "heavy", please do
not read further
The three phases are:
Here's how it works...
The first thing is to fuel the imagination. The intent is to identify a
goal; to get an outcome in mind. There are several ways of achieving this.
One way is to do what some call brainstorming. That is, just think of ideas.
A good seed question might be: "If there were no limitations, what type of
trumpet player would I be?" This type of questions helps one get beyond the
mental border/boundary of "possibility".
For the record, all things are possible (some are less probable, some are
less valuable, but all are possible)
BTW, I think one of the great values of this list is that the realm of imagination
is fueled by the suggestions of trumpet players from all over the world.
In my pursuit, I had not thought to set my chops at G atop the staff. When
I saw Pops' recommendation, I tried it, and achieved a desired result. Would
I have come up with that on my own? Yes, over time (and depending on how
much I worked on my imagination, a long time). But the suggestion gave me
a head start on the mental process. How do I know I would have come up with
Once I have imagined a goal, the next step is to transfer that goal from
the conscious realm, to the sub-conscious realm, to the unconscious realm.
This is done by meditation. Now, I'm not talking about sitting still repeating
the syllable "Ohm". There is a value to that, but that is not what I'm discussing.
By meditation, I mean focusing on the goal and repeating it to yourself over
and over again. That also means thinking about every facet of the goal.
Some good questions for this process are:
"What will achieving the goal mean for my career?"
"How will others around me respond once the goal is achieved?"
"What is it going to take to achieve this goal?" (This is where Pops suggestion
would have eventually shown up if I was doing this by myself. Thanx
again Pops for the head start) etc. Once the answers are determined, begin
to speak of the outcomes in terms of them already being a reality.
"When I play, my audience is able to hear multiple 'colors' in my tone"
"When I take a breath to play, the air fills my lungs from the bottom to
"Once I committed to practice at least 4 hours a day my results begin to
You could even imagine yourself being interviewed after you have achieved
your goal, and the reporter asks you how you came to achieve such a brilliant
The whole point is that you become so familiar with every aspect of your
goal, that you can discuss it automatically, reflexively like blinking the
eye to avoid a dust particle. The practice of repeating this process over
and over makes it a permanent. We all do it. Take walking, for example.
Once we've learned to walk, we don't think about it until our ability to walk
is inhibited or lost. In fact if you think about it while you're doing it,
you will probably lose your stride.
It's now on automatic.
Meditation accomplishes for the mind, what performing repeatedly does for
the body. You may stumble. you may wobble. But eventually you gain your
footing. Then you begin to hop, skip, jump, and run.
This is the fun part (for me anyway). Once you start to get the goal ingrained
in your mind, it will literally become a part of you. Your body will begin
to make adjustments to carryout the goal that has now been implanted in the
unconscious area. And when you do something contrary to your goal, your body
will reject it, like a sneeze expelling the irritation that came into the
It's like holding your breath. If you hold your breath for too long, your
body will shut down, causing you to pass out, so that the body can resume
normal breathing without your conscious interference.
The key to all this is, spending the time on steps 1 and 2. Step 3 just
"Wait a minute...nothing just happens."
I know. I know. It doesn't "just" happen. But rather, because the goal
has become a part of you, it occurs at the same level as digestion. Digestion
is a complex process, but it operates without your intervention. Because the
process is engrained.
"But, I didn't have to imagine digestion, then meditate on it, then let
it happen. It has always happened."
True, you were born with it already in motion. But, the way to get other
activities to that same level of operation is Imagination, Meditation, then
You may use other terms to describe this process. You could certainly use
less words to describe this process. But the process pretty much works this
Most of us, though, don't actively pursue this process. We allow it to
occur mostly from the input of others, rather than by our own focused effort.
We just do what our friends do, and the habits become ingrained. We just
say what others say, and the attitudes become engrained.
Why not actively engage this powerful process, rather than let it lie dormant.