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Trumpet Psychology

A photgraph of Keith Stead holding his trumpet.You can have the best technique in the world and the best teacher in the world, but without the correct psychological approach your playing is going to fall far short of the mark.

Those high notes that sometimes you can get and sometimes you can’t, could be an indication that your psychological approach is at fault.

I’m not a psychologist, but I do have a lot of experience playing the trumpet and know that there is more to it than just technique. While studying trumpet and piano at the Royal College of Music for four years I observed some of the country’s finest young players, and witnessed what it takes to be the best of the best.

Being able to bring off a difficult passage or reach that high note sometimes - on a good day, when you’re feeling fine, you’re not too hot or cold, and the girl or guy you have a crush on has just accepted your invitation for a dinner date - is not good enough in the world of a professional musician.

Correct technique and approach is vital, but more is needed – determination and confidence.

As you approach the high note or difficult passage when the pressure is on, you have to know that you can do it. Assuming you get it right every time you practise, this time is going to be no different.

So, for every trumpet player out there, practise often, practise intelligently, making every note count every time you play, letting those difficult passages flow effortlessly, and those high notes sing out.

To achieve this you need quiet confidence. This is different from an arrogant ‘I’m the greatest’ type of confidence. It’s an inner confidence that tells you not only that you can do it, but you will do it, and will do it with ease.

I saw on YouTube a video of Maurice Andre playing Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No.2 – one of the most demanding works for the trumpet. He exudes confidence with every note he plays. For him it is not a struggle – it’s a joy.

Adopting a positive mental attitude – along with a copious amount of practise, of course – will take your playing to a whole new level.

This, in a nutshell, is trumpet psychology, albeit easier to write than actually to do.



Just arrived on this site:

Jan. 30, 2018. Turntables are making a comeback, with many on the market to choose from. This month's article, Choosing a Turntable, can helps you make the right choice.

Dec. 30, 2017. This month I've updated the article Harry Beckett in Concert.

Nov. 27, 2017. After evaluating the Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 2nd Generation USB Interface for several months, I can now post this in-depth review.

Oct. 30, 2017. The KORG SV-1 Keyboard Image Gallery has been updated this month with a brief description added to each photograph.

Sept. 25, 2017. This month sees the addition of a new piece of music - Heaven's Door.

Aug. 29, 2017. This month I've added a small selection of old photographs to a new page entitled Gallery - Archive.

July 26, 2017. The question I attempt to answer this month is Why Pay For Music? Leaving aside the legal argument there is much more to consider. Read the article to find out more.

June 28, 2017. This month features an article on how to make DIY Acoustic Panels that don't need attaching to a wall with screws or glue.

May 29, 2017. New this month is a selection of six Royalty Free Radio Jingles.

April 30, 2017. After a half-year break from adding new material to this site, I've added an article / review on Headphone Holders.

Jan. ~ Mar. 2017. New posts coming soon.


Sometime Somewhere...


A relaxing Smooth Jazz CD. Listen to extracts of all 12 tracks now.


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