How’s my playing?

Jay who writes the Horn Logic blog posted in Evaluating what you think you knowthis extremely useful, yet somewhat depressing, list to characterize ones’ playing capability. It’s a bit depressing for me because it’s quite a reality check. “I have to learn all that!!!” On the other hand, it’s a great tool for keeping track of ones’ progress subjective as it may be.

I’ve filled in my ‘numbers’ resisting the urge to just puts 1’s in the entire list. In Jay’s list a 1 is a beginner and a 10 is a professional. I’m going to add a 5 as a mid-point and equate that to how I remember (almost 40 years ago) I played as a high school student. I have no idea if how I think I played back then bears any resemblance to how high school students play today. There are a few terms that I wasn’t sure how to rate so they have question marks.

_6__ Sound
_3__ Technique
_3__ Scales
_4__ Sight-reading
_2__ Endurance
_?__ Articulation variance
_1__ Articulation cleanliness
_3__ Dynamic control
_3__ Dynamic variance
_6__ Tuning/Pitch
_4__ Consistency
_2__ Rhythm (Inner metronome)
_2__ Flexibility
_4__ High range
_6__ Low range
_1__ Double tonguing
_1__ Triple tonguing
_2__ Agility (Fast runs)
_4__ Legato playing
_3__ High loud playing
_2__ High soft playing
_2__ Low loud playing
_3__ Low soft playing
_5__ Bass clef
_4__ Musicality
_4__ Breath control
_6__ Practice habits
_3__ Music theory
_1__ Orchestral rep knowledge
_1__ Solo lit knowledge
_2__ Performance anxiety
_2__ Memory
_?__ Efficiency
_2__ Finesse (Light playing)
_?__ Sustain (Blocks of sound)
_1__ Lip trills
_?__ Lack of tension

Now you can see why I find this list a bit depressing. I have a long way to go. I’ve probably been hard on myself since I tend to do that. I think this is probably a good list to review with ones’ teacher. They are likely to be more objective both the first time through and when evaluating progress.

Horn Dilemma –>

2 thoughts on “How’s my playing?

  1. Hey There,

    Thanks for reading my blog! I too looked at my results and felt a little overwhelmed by the results. Then I took a step back and realized that there are some simple things I can do to fix even the most complicated problems…AND, I re-assured myself that I didn’t have to fix EVERYTHING today 😉

    I’m glad I found your blog. I’m loving reading about horn players all over the place, and their thoughts on playing the instrument and not letting it make your head hurt, haha!



    • Hi Jay,
      I enjoy reading your blog too! Even though the list you posted is a bit overwhelming, it’s an awesome list and one of the best things I’ve seen posted on a blog in quite a while. I agree completely that the key is not trying to fix everything at once. It’s probably best to tackle one or two things at a time and move on once they’ve gotten better.


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