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Refine and Repeat really works!

September 12th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

I’ve been playing amateur-level trumpet for about (cough) thirty years now, but the greatest improvement in my playing might have happened in the last few months.

Why? Because I’ve placed my trumpet and flugelhorn, out of their cases, in the path to my desk at home, so about every other time I walk past them, I play one of them. There’s the repeat.

As for the refine, I can recall the words of Chase Sanborn, from whom I took a lesson a few years ago: make sure every note is played well. To that end, when I play a rough note, I stop, go back a bar or two, then play it again, but with attention to technique this time. As a result, my intonation (pitch) is better, my articulation (attack & release) is sweeter. Since I’m getting more comfortable on the horn, I’ve also been able to rise above basic technique on occasion (see here and here), relax and occasionally get melodies out of my improvisation. Hey, flashes of adequacy!¬†Of course, I still need to work on consistency, repertoire and unfamiliar chord changes, but I’m actually starting to sound like someone worth listening to on occasion.

That’s the thing isn’t it? Maybe you can play the darn thing, but would anybody sit and listen to you?

More practice? More practice.

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