Get to know your horn

It's late, so here I'll keep it short for now. Your goal as a trumpet player is to eventually become "one" with your trumpet so that you can make any sound that you can imagine actually come out the bell. There are two steps involved. First, you must have a concept of what you want to come out of the bell. This comes from extensive listening to great players. Then you must actually execute what you imagine, which requires have a deep understanding of you horn. The best way to really get to that point is to improvise. Just make stuff up. At first what you want to play and what actually comes out of the horn will probably be fairly different, but it will get better. Besides the obvious benefit of eventually being able to play whatever you want, you will find that almost all other aspects of your playing improve.

Ravel - Piano Concerto in G

Many people consider this excerpt to be one of the most difficult in the standard repetoire. The excerpt is in two parts. The first part is here. The thing that strikes me immediately is how badly I rush several of the quarter notes at the beginning and especially the half note in the 3rd bar. It will be back to the metronome on this one. The half note is also out of tune. I need to concentrate on making sure that every note is clean, as there were several little clams. In general I am pleased with the style and overall feel, but it needs some real work before it is performance ready.

The second part is here. I have worked on this one much less and it really shows. Besides the sloppy beginning I think that the most noticable problem is the intonation of the high Gs (the note at the end of the 1st, 3rd, and 4th phrases). I also drag a little bit at the ends of the phrases that end on the upbeat of 4 instead of going up to the G. Except for a beat or two that got slightly out of control near the end I think that the last section is fairly good.

The way to fix all of this except for the intonation is by slowing it down and working with a metronome. This is actually how I have been working on it, but obviously I need to continue. I would love to know what you think.