Saturday, February 27, 2010

Playing Horn is Like Golf

From a come back player:


We were watching a movie about golf tonight during dinner. The theme of it was that everyone has their own swing, unlike anyone else’s which they have to find in order to play well. That led me to think about how I had been experimenting with thinking about Mozart One, 1st movement. How was I going to play each note: pitch, how to tongue it, what fingering to use, where was I coming from, where was I going? The piece represents a milestone for me for reasons I'll explain some other time.

It was an exhausting experiment. It took me forty minutes to get through the piece. Then I played it through with out stop, and found that I had decreased the number of errors, chipped notes, etc by at least half, and those errors were because I hadn't sufficiently internalized the decisions I had made during the earlier practice.

I am starting to think that the really great players do the same thing, but do it so quickly, as to make it seem that they are "naturals." Someone once told me that there is less difference between the results that amateurs can achieve versus professionals, than how long it takes them to achieve the same result. I always liked that, because it gave me hope that with sufficient effort, I could achieve the results I desire. Needless to say the horn is providing a daunting challenge to that aspiration.

Well, some aspirations take longer than others. I tried a trill in einsetzen tonight, and the best I can report is that I think it is possible. Lest you laugh, that is a huge leap for me. I never thought before BE that I could play above the pedals in einsetzen. BE is showing me that the operative part of the word "assume" is the first three letters. That's what you make of yourself if you don't ever challenge what you think you know. I love the quote you have about the person who thought the concept was stupid, and then found out who was really stupid. Been there done that.

I also learned today that I haven't spent nearly enough time earnestly working on lip slurs. Is it too late for New Year's resoulutions?


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