Thursday, August 20, 2009

Trumpet - Natural Ability Vs. Tenacity!

Trumpet and cornet players are typical artists that are victims of misinformation and misleading necessities to be successful at their craft. All too often, trumpet teachers during the students trumpet lessons tell the trumpet players that they are lacking in natural ability and will have to work harder at this that or the other. Most often comments surround such skills as playing trumpet high notes, improvisation in jazz idioms, and musical style and approach.

I am one that does NOT believe that it requires a trumpet / cornet player (or any other artist for that matter) to be born with an extraordinary skill or "natural ability" that just needs refining. I am a trumpeter that has heard both sides of that idea! As a young player, I was really enjoying my instrument and my teachers and family would tell me that I had a "gift", etc. As I got into High School and started getting more interested in cars and girls, my practicing became more about trying to hit high notes with NO guidance as to proper technique vs. practicing skills that would help me grow as a trumpet player... that brought on comments about how you have to be "born with a skill", etc. Now that I'm older and have worked VERY hard on my current skill set, I've had people tell me that I have a natural ability once again... I can tell you that I don't! It comes down to absolute tenacity!

Maynard Ferguson was one that I got to spend a lot of time with in 2004 that was ALWAYS tagged as having a gift... he told me that it wasn't a gift, but rather a desire. Saying that his trumpet was his favorite toy as a kid!

So if you're reading this and feeling discouraged, step back a moment. Your lacking skill just requires more patience and tenacity from you... if you truly focus on your goal and practice slowly and deliberately, you can't fail! Proper guidance is a must!

That's why I wrote "Secrets to Efficient Brass Playing!"

Keep studying!

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