Art            Lip               Welcome                  to my universe
I‘m a: singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist/trumpetplayer, producer/performer, photographer/visual artist, science fiction writer
© All works and content under Creative Commons License BY NC ND

Tutorial

The Mainstream Soloist

Practicing - Advanced

Without any doubt - there are many roads leading to Rome - but some of them are very long and winding however. Personally I always kept to a mix of acting under orders of my own recipes and disrespecting them. But since I do obey those rules conistently, I have become twenty times better in the course of a half year than stepwisely in decades before. That as a preliminary remark. After all: A good, suspenseful and and diversified solo is build on long tones, middle- fast riffs and some interspersed pick-me-ups in highspeed. And of course it makes a difference, if the soloist only has to fill a short episode of a piece, or if he plays a melody or theme - and - if he got one (a theme) - if he quotes it in the solo in parts or not. Most people discover some special tricks for gimmicks soon that are specific for their instruments and then stay on the same level of craftsmanship for a very long time. Because the tricks work:) I remember very well how it felt practicing keyboard in earlier times - and everybody knows that from his own experience: One knows, one is supposed to play these fast "gizmos" also, so one gets faster and faster. Result: everthing is plastered with fast riffs -  one is stuck in a real "riff-swamp". And suspense is gone! One has to free oneself out of this phase at all costs - 50% of all musicians are stuck there for the rest of their lifes. I managed to escape that trap on the keyboard years ago -  on trumpet I'm always in the state of surpassing the swamp in fields where I am discovering new terrain and trying to gain new knowledge - on other fields I'm already the captain of my play. Well - trumpet is significantly harder to master than keyboards after all. Learning an instrument is like learning to drive a car. At the beginning you can't change gears or even confuse gas and brake, everthing is jerky and you are in a continuous stress situation, because you have to consider the jungle of traffic signs and the rest of mankind in the streets too. And most of all you have to consider the tyrant at your side - the driving instructor, who will get more money if you fail the test. Since he can sell more instruction time then. These buddies really try to handicap their innocent victims, many of them! Well - there are rumors about the existence of honorable people too on planet Earth. Phase 1 (concerning every kind of learning - but I will stay at the driving example for the moment now) is hard, then the juvenile wanna-be racer enters the "I-can-master-everything crazyness" (phase 2), then he gets more composed (phase 3), and finally he becomes really good (phase4). Back to our musician: As long as he doesn't master his scales yet - I repeat like a mantra: in all keys(!!!) - he is in phase 1. Then he gets into the "I-choke-you-with-a-riff-invasion state" (phase2), then he liberates himself out of there by applying suppressional force to his desires at the start,  gradually becoming cooler and calmer in the course of the process then(phase 3). And finally we have our master (phase 4). The primary goal of the advanced musician is therefore to get from phase 2 to phase 4 - or every effort was in vain. Those who are honest to themselves may remember - at the beginning of their career some things were sounding "cooler" on their old recordings (if they didn't already delete them) than on newer ones. Contrary to the fact that they didn't really master their instruments at that time. What did happen back there? They ran into the "riff- swamp" after the start, they stuck to instrumental techniques, they lost expression on their way. Problem identified? Solve it!! Okay - I tell you how I practice personally now: When I am in top shape (you hopefully know yourself good enough to be aware when you are) I am approaching the "duty" - the totally-new-to-me - where I know I have to work on hard still. I pre-made a specially customised audible exercise pattern via pc for the aimed-at purpose before I started practicing at all of course. Let's suppose, I'm learning to move less clumsy in Harmonic Minor. Means: the riffs are "there" basically - now I need fluency. Trumpet challenges with the special obstacle, that the power needed to master high registers is nearly twenty times higher than the force needed for play the lower registers. (The same rule applies to singers - depending on the vocal style. The vocalist who wants to present the complet 'm intentionally not talking about opera singers - the vocal style cultivated there has evolved in the Middle Ages. Since there existed no loudspeakers at that period, singers were forced to fill the halls by the power of their voices alone. To achieve that, a highly specialized vocal technique established over the course of the centuries that is used in opera halls today still. We remember (partly embarassed maybe): the same law applied to orators too, whose performances are sounding quite theatrically in our contemporary ears now when we listen to old sound archives). Therfore, as a trumpet player, you are playing the lower registers quite fluently soon - the higher registers are a lasting battleground for a daily fight that never really ends. As an additional hurdle, the higher registers are only used for emphasizing on every instrument - so they are not trained as a side- effect automatically in real existing daily play over real existing songs. Since of all that - in practical exercising our trumpetist has to fight for the high registers twenty times as much as for the lower ones - after he has mastered the lower tones of course - the available muscle power of the blower has to be managed thoroughly. I personally do it that way: 10 minutes warming-up in easy registers - 5 minutes in high registers. Break. After all one can neither practice a  100m run all day long - not without having a break. Next key. This one isn't running fluently yet, parts of the muscle power pool are used up already. So - easy register for 10 minutes. And then 10 minutes for the next key again. When I continue practicing next time, I will also exercise the high registers of that keys - everything else is done in the manner above. This way I play through all keys two times a week. While doing that, everything that I already can handle is exercised less, everything that is not working yet is practiced significantly more! Break: I stop training and do something completely different. Late in the evening around 10 o'clock on the same day I feel like playing around freely a bit. I'm practicing using a mute of course - it would be quite impossible to exercise without that in a house close to average neighbours otherwise:) My 750 hip hop beats from the internet are waiting. Last time I made a note which one was the last track. I start with the next beat in the row now and play the way I feel. Now comes something  I M P O R T A N T - it's valid for the "duty part" of the practicing schedule too - but I didn't mention it specially before: I play wrong tones and make mistakes of course - again and again! I cannot play 750 tracks from memory obviously! Naturally much hip hop material is sounding quite alike - but some of this stuff from the cellars of New York - is definitely genuine and sounding different. Okay: played the wrong. Stop!!!!! This, exactly this, incidently born riff - is exercised now! It had been running much faster in my head than my fingers could follow? Then it will be practiced by continuously slowing down the speed until it runs perfectly!!!! I cannot stress enough how important this is! When it finally runs fluently in a slow tempo, I exercise it faster and faster again until it reaches the speed that it was aimed-at when I first wanted to play it. And if it turns out then, that everything works - with the exception of one part of the riff only - then I go back to slow speed! I do not stop before I can play that riff five times in a row without making errors! Only then - the free playing goes on. Okay - I'm listing all important points related to practicing here again in outlined form: - exercising at regular intervals with a lesser expenditure of time is superior to occasional practicing that consumes much time - the new learning matter is practiced slowly until it runs fluently - if you don't reach your targeted speed on the one day - then you'll reach it on another - but: precisely! - there are no limits for free improvising: aside from the familiar riffs, constantly new ones are created as they currently match - and also new experiments are done, trying things never tried before and if the newly discovered riffs don't run precisely: then this is not ignored. Exactly T H A T is exercised then. Everthing else in this tutorial is "pearls before swine" - if practicing is done the wrong way.

Next

© All works and content under Creative Commons License BY NC ND

Tutorial

The Mainstream Soloist

Practicing - Advanced

Without any doubt - there are many roads leading to Rome - but some of them are very long and winding however. Personally I always kept to a mix of acting under orders of my own recipes and disrespecting them. But since I do obey those rules conistently, I have become twenty times better in the course of a half year than stepwisely in decades before. That as a preliminary remark. After all: A good, suspenseful and and diversified solo is build on long tones, middle-fast riffs and some interspersed pick-me- ups in highspeed. And of course it makes a difference, if the soloist only has to fill a short episode of a piece, or if he plays a melody or theme - and - if he got one (a theme) - if he quotes it in the solo in parts or not. Most people discover some special tricks for gimmicks soon that are specific for their instruments and then stay on the same level of craftsmanship for a very long time. Because the tricks work:) I remember very well how it felt practicing keyboard in earlier times - and everybody knows that from his own experience: One knows, one is supposed to play these fast "gizmos" also, so one gets faster and faster. Result: everthing is plastered with fast riffs -  one is stuck in a real "riff-swamp". And suspense is gone! One has to free oneself out of this phase at all costs - 50% of all musicians are stuck there for the rest of their lifes. I managed to escape that trap on the keyboard years ago -  on trumpet I'm always in the state of surpassing the swamp in fields where I am discovering new terrain and trying to gain new knowledge - on other fields I'm already the captain of my play. Well - trumpet is significantly harder to master than keyboards after all. Learning an instrument is like learning to drive a car. At the beginning you can't change gears or even confuse gas and brake, everthing is jerky and you are in a continuous stress situation, because you have to consider the jungle of traffic signs and the rest of mankind in the streets too. And most of all you have to consider the tyrant at your side - the driving instructor, who will get more money if you fail the test. Since he can sell more instruction time then. These buddies really try to handicap their innocent victims, many of them! Well - there are rumors about the existence of honorable people too on planet Earth. Phase 1 (concerning every kind of learning - but I will stay at the driving example for the moment now) is hard, then the juvenile wanna-be racer enters the "I-can-master- everything crazyness" (phase 2), then he gets more composed (phase 3), and finally he becomes really good (phase4). Back to our musician: As long as he doesn't master his scales yet - I repeat like a mantra: in all keys(!!!) - he is in phase 1. Then he gets into the "I-choke- you-with-a-riff-invasion state" (phase2), then he liberates himself out of there by applying suppressional force to his desires at the start,  gradually becoming cooler and calmer in the course of the process then(phase 3). And finally we have our master (phase 4). The primary goal of the advanced musician is therefore to get from phase 2 to phase 4 - or every effort was in vain. Those who are honest to themselves may remember - at the beginning of their career some things were sounding "cooler" on their old recordings (if they didn't already delete them) than on newer ones. Contrary to the fact that they didn't really master their instruments at that time. What did happen back there? They ran into the "riff-swamp" after the start, they stuck to instrumental techniques, they lost expression on their way. Problem identified? Solve it!! Okay - I tell you how I practice personally now: When I am in top shape (you hopefully know yourself good enough to be aware when you are) I am approaching the "duty" - the totally-new-to-me - where I know I have to work on hard still. I pre-made a specially customised audible exercise pattern via pc for the aimed-at purpose before I started practicing at all of course. Let's suppose, I'm learning to move less clumsy in Harmonic Minor. Means: the riffs are "there" basically - now I need fluency. Trumpet challenges with the special obstacle, that the power needed to master high registers is nearly twenty times higher than the force needed for play the lower registers. (The same rule applies to singers - depending on the vocal style. The vocalist who wants to present the complet 'm intentionally not talking about opera singers - the vocal style cultivated there has evolved in the Middle Ages. Since there existed no loudspeakers at that period, singers were forced to fill the halls by the power of their voices alone. To achieve that, a highly specialized vocal technique established over the course of the centuries that is used in opera halls today still. We remember (partly embarassed maybe): the same law applied to orators too, whose performances are sounding quite theatrically in our contemporary ears now when we listen to old sound archives). Therfore, as a trumpet player, you are playing the lower registers quite fluently soon - the higher registers are a lasting battleground for a daily fight that never really ends. As an additional hurdle, the higher registers are only used for emphasizing on every instrument - so they are not trained as a side-effect automatically in real existing daily play over real existing songs. Since of all that - in practical exercising our trumpetist has to fight for the high registers twenty times as much as for the lower ones - after he has mastered the lower tones of course - the available muscle power of the blower has to be managed thoroughly. I personally do it that way: 10 minutes warming-up in easy registers - 5 minutes in high registers. Break. After all one can neither practice a  100m run all day long - not without having a break. Next key. This one isn't running fluently yet, parts of the muscle power pool are used up already. So - easy register for 10 minutes. And then 10 minutes for the next key again. When I continue practicing next time, I will also exercise the high registers of that keys - everything else is done in the manner above. This way I play through all keys two times a week. While doing that, everything that I already can handle is exercised less, everything that is not working yet is practiced significantly more! Break: I stop training and do something completely different. Late in the evening around 10 o'clock on the same day I feel like playing around freely a bit. I'm practicing using a mute of course - it would be quite impossible to exercise without that in a house close to average neighbours otherwise:) My 750 hip hop beats from the internet are waiting. Last time I made a note which one was the last track. I start with the next beat in the row now and play the way I feel. Now comes something  I M P O R T A N T - it's valid for the "duty part" of the practicing schedule too - but I didn't mention it specially before: I play wrong tones and make mistakes of course - again and again! I cannot play 750 tracks from memory obviously! Naturally much hip hop material is sounding quite alike - but some of this stuff from the cellars of New York - is definitely genuine and sounding different. Okay: played the wrong. Stop!!!!! This, exactly this, incidently born riff - is exercised now! It had been running much faster in my head than my fingers could follow? Then it will be practiced by continuously slowing down the speed until it runs perfectly!!!! I cannot stress enough how important this is! When it finally runs fluently in a slow tempo, I exercise it faster and faster again until it reaches the speed that it was aimed-at when I first wanted to play it. And if it turns out then, that everything works - with the exception of one part of the riff only - then I go back to slow speed! I do not stop before I can play that riff five times in a row without making errors! Only then - the free playing goes on. Okay - I'm listing all important points related to practicing here again in outlined form: - exercising at regular intervals with a lesser expenditure of time is superior to occasional practicing that consumes much time - the new learning matter is practiced slowly until it runs fluently - if you don't reach your targeted speed on the one day - then you'll reach it on another - but: precisely! - there are no limits for free improvising: aside from the familiar riffs, constantly new ones are created as they currently match - and also new experiments are done, trying things never tried before and if the newly discovered riffs don't run precisely: then this is not ignored. Exactly T H A T is exercised then. Everthing else in this tutorial is "pearls before swine" - if practicing is done the wrong way.

Next

Art Lip                Welcome to my universe