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Posted on July 27, 2004 by 

I have a problem with nerves at tryouts.

That is something that EVERY trumpet player faces. After years and years of being one of the most respected players in the world Harry James still was on the verge of being ill before EVERY performance. He played wonderfully anyway.

Here are a few facts to ponder:

1. The competition is also nervous. Most put up a brave face and even kid around. This puts you in the same boat as them.

2. I never heard of a player being shot by a judge. Lighten up they want to hear you play. They have all been where you are and because of that common bond they are pulling for you.

3. Just like on the highway speed kills. I would rather hear a piece played a little too slow with good tone and control than watch speedracer hit the wall and crash.

4. Tone and feeling always beats no mistakes. Music is expressing an emotion , typing is hitting all of the right keys.

5. The listener will never remember a wrong note. They remember the feeling.

6. Breathe

7. Breathe

8. Have fun and enjoy yourself. The more you enjoy your playing the more others will.

9. Think bassoon. Think about a light touch.

10. Never cheat a note. No matter how short every note has a start, middle and end.

Have fun and do what you enjoy.