I played very well at band rehearsal last night and this morning I am trying to figure out why. Not that I haven’t ever played well before but last night I played especially well. Within the first 10 minutes I realized that I was having a very good day and that just added to my confidence which then kept me playing a lot better than I usually do.
There were several things that were different last night so I’ll comment on each one.
1. The horns sat in the in the more traditional formation with 1st horn the farthest left which put me on the end and I could actually hear myself play. No trumpets blaring into my ears.
2. I used the loaner yellow brass Otto horn. This horn is so easy to play it’s amazing. I didn’t miss any attacks, the intonation was excellent and I got the high Bb, a whole note, easily in one of the pieces (4th horn part no less.) We were sight reading the music so I didn’t know this note was coming until right before it and I had no time to wonder if I was going to nail it or not. I just played it, nice and clear. It wasn’t until after I played the Bb that I actually comprehended that I played a Bb. I wonder how many times amateurs miss the high notes because we worry about them too much.
3. I used my new Laskey mouthpiece. Playing well can easily be attributed to new mouthpiece euphoria so if that did it, the crash next week won’t be fun.
4. I practiced very early in the morning to put as many hours as possible between practice and rehearsal. Usually I practice around 10 am on rehearsal days. This time I practiced at 7 am. Hopefully this was not the reason I played so well because I won’t be able to practice that early in the morning on a regular basis.
5. A combination of some or all of the the above. I’ll know more when I practice today.
6. None of the above. It’s possible that I would have played equally well with my Hoyer and my other mouthpiece sitting in front of the trumpets and practicing at 10. If that’s the case, and it would be very nice if it is though I’ll never know for sure, I’m becoming a better horn player and that’s a really good thing.