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Clear Mental Image

Developing Audiation before playing

I have heard of musicians, pianist especially, who can look at a piece of music (on a place ride for instance), hear it clearly in their head, and memorize it. I tend to jump into playing a piece before I can do this. Now it is a skill to be developed, but we can begin with simple steps before demanding an unreasonable task on a first attempt. As trumpet players we know fingerings, and often press valves with a general idea of how something should sound, and then meet in the middle. Rather, let's develop a clear mental picture of rhythm , then tempo, then pitch, then style. Listening to recordings, planning the breaths as a part of each phrase, and using a tuner or piano are all valuable tools. However, when do we start testing this mental picture on the horn, we must be willing to continue to refine the mental picture.


Honestly, I am not sure of a good time table for introducing the horn. I'm just experimenting in my own practicing. I worked on my mental picture of one piece last week (esp. rhythm and tempo), and this week I am going to develop the pitch as well. Part of this will be working with solfeg, the mouthpiece, and some playing of one or two phrases on the horn. However, we must continue to take a step back and make the mental image even clearer. Once we start working on the horn, we need to be humble enough to set it aside and work on developing the clarity of our mental image again. This will more likely be for a particular passage, interval, or phrase. This is a process, and will not be perfect this time. I hope this tool will be helpful in learning a solo slower, yet quicker. slower initially, but quicker overall. This tool is for efficiency.


Time to keep exploring,


Adam C White