Musical habits?

musicteach

New member
I wanted to talk about "habits" that we all have. We ALL have them, some maybe good, some maybe bad. Since it's getting on to spring time--although you'd never know it as it was snowing here earlier--I thought maybe we could talk about spring cleaning some of those nasty habits!

But before we get into that, I really wanted to talk about DCI. If you're a DCI fan, sponsor, parent, participant, staff, judge or any one else involved with the program, seriously, great job. If you're not, don't you think it's time you supported the NFL of music? I'm proud to sponsor DCI, often sponsoring at least one of my students who march (mostly with Carolina Crown). It's a great organization, teaching leadership, music, respect, team work, hard work, and strength to youth.

ANYWAYS

Let's talk about some nasty habits musicians tend to get themselves in. I've been teaching music for twenty years, and I've seen some pretty interesting all be it bad habits.

I think quite possibly my favourite one I've seen over the years is the trumpet on the side trick. Instead of playing the standard trumpet with the valves going up (the way it's s'posed to be!) the player has some how managed to turn the instrument on it's side. Now this in itself isn't that big a deal. Obviously, it will play the same way. It does however create problems with your wrists, when they're bent and contorted in different ways. That's really a simple solution, just rotate the horn back to the upright position. When you're playing an instrument, your posture is important, especially has horn players.

That goes into the next one. I'm picking on trumpet players, so forgive me. The "classic" trumpet player slouch. You're sort of slouching in your chair, horn is pointed at the music stand.

Just a couple examples. For me, when I was in high school/college, especially when playing the lower of the family, I had this incredibly bad habit of just dumping my spit valve wherever I pleased, didn't look or anything before hand. So I ended up dumping spit on peoples' shoes quite often! I've gotten better, but that's one of my bad habits!

Does any one have any bad habits they'd like to share and improve on?
 

teddy

Duckmeister
Yes, I guess bad habits apply to all walks of life. I found that when playing classical guitar I would lean on the instrument, thereby pushing it forward off my lap. Even using a foot rest to raise my left foot did not stop this happening. The answer, sit more upright. Simple.

teddy
 

JHC

Chief assistant to the assistant chief
I got a roasting from a new teacher (Flute) for tapping my foot. Dizzy Gillespie worked his slouch out with a 45 deg bend in the Horn.
What is 'DCI' I have never heard of it?
 

John Watt

New member
That is more than just an appropriate introduction to this thread.
You hit my bad habit I'm going to break right on the head.
Blatant self promotion. Forget it, it's dead.
From now on I'm just going to retread,
back to just inspiring and putting peoples' heads through,
dancing and prancing around to have a good time myself.
Coming soon to any stage or behind any mike near you.

musicteach! This spitting on people's shoes thing shows an unrequited punk side to you.
Or..... call it valve palaver, if you must.
 
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JHC

Chief assistant to the assistant chief
I would call it a blatant disregard for others.
 

JHC

Chief assistant to the assistant chief
At least you do not have that problem with Flute, which is why Flute players are the elite of the wind section that of course includes the buffoons on brass
 
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musicteach

New member
That's alright, JHC. I'm quite good on flute too! Although, you know of course, that us string players are clearly a higher form of Nature.
 

JHC

Chief assistant to the assistant chief
That's alright, JHC. I'm quite good on flute too! Although, you know of course, that us string players are clearly a higher form of Nature.

Ah yes a violin (Nigel Kennedy) player can make many facial expressions to look sad or inanely happy while playing try that with a Flute!
My Favorite teacher (Flute) a real good looker so obviously female played at her dads funeral she played his favorite song "Danny Boy" I often think of her I could no more do that than fly to the moon, I am just an emotional old fool.
 

Krummhorn

Administrator
Staff member
. . . female played at her dads funeral she played his favorite song "Danny Boy" I often think of her I could no more do that than fly to the moon, I am just an emotional old fool.

I did the same thing ... as an organist, I played for the funeral's of both my parents ... two of the most difficult services I have ever played in my life. One was at my home church, and the other out of state while on a vacation trip.

"Danny Boy" is a unique piece ... I played it as a postlude on March 17th :)

Back to the topic though ...

Yes, I do have many bad habits I seem to have acquired over the years ... one was very sloppy pedaling at the organ console. Over time it was getting worse ... I would do all the Gleason book pedal exercises to no avail. I was taught to never watch my feet while playing, so the intervals between notes are learned by feel and from playing repetition. Nothing was working ... the bench had been at the same distance/height for just years.

Finally, in complete desperation, I decided to re-adjust the organ bench ... moving it a little closer to the console ... VOILA ... found the "new" mark and marked it with a permanent black marker on the floor.

So, one bad habit has been resolved ... there are many others that need improvement, one is closing my mouth while playing. I never knew that it was open until my wife mentioned it to me awhile back.


I just could not figure out what was going on, missing certain intervals that I had played by rote for umpteen years. Finally, I tried re-adjusting the organ bench distance in relation to the console ... VOILA ... I had for years kept the bench further back, bu
 

John Watt

New member
Playing at my youngest brothers' second wedding shouldn't have been a problem,
not because I borrowed an old Martin D45 instead of a banjo,
but because like Mozart I played too many notes, and for one instance, one song too many.
I was getting into the room's acoustics, and this very nice guitar, jamming in one key,
trying to keep it down and respectful in the background, not the usual me.
But afterwards, my mother got down on me, saying "You shouldn't have played Suicide is Painless",
the theme song from M.A.S.H.
To cut a long story short, the marriage only lasted a few years.

Looks like Krummhorn needs to adjust his keyboard level.
 

JHC

Chief assistant to the assistant chief
John there is part of your post that requires re phrasing
 

John Watt

New member
Unlike Mozart, I got accused of not sounding the same at the end as I was at the beginning.
Something tells me EddieRUKiddingVare got accused of not being on the same instrument.

If I did have a bad habit, just because twice in my life other musicians commented on this,
it was bending up and sustaining the first note of my solo so I could change effects or guitar settings.
I know, I know, sounding like Jimi's "A merman I would be, moon turn the tides away"
while soloing to "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain",
might sound wrong to visiting rock dignitaries,
but you should have seen the Niagara Falls crowd go wild.
 

John Watt

New member
Okay, okay, yeah, if I had another habit that got more comments,
it was wondering what Jimi Hendrix would have done.

Jimi, a third verse.

"There once was a girl whose heart was a frown,
'cause she was crippled for life and couldn't speak a sound.
Until one day when she took her wheelchair to the shore,
and to her legs she smiled you won't hurt me no more.
But suddenly a sight she'd never seen before
made her jump up and say,
look, a golden winged ship is coming my way.
And it didn't have to stop, it just kept on going.
And so castles made of sand slip into the sea, eventually.

Me, a Facebook response today.

There once was a man that life didn't get down.
He plugged in his guitar and always got around.
Until one day he took a Strat from the store,
and to his songs he smiled it's time to record.
But suddenly a Marshall he'd never seen before
made him jump up and say,
look, all my effects are working together today,
and so innovative artists who find offshore fame,
have hassles slip away, as we all can see, eventually.
 
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Okay, okay, yeah, if I had another habit that got more comments,
it was wondering what Jimi Hendrix would have done.

Jimi, a third verse.

"There once was a girl whose heart was a frown,
'cause she was crippled for life and couldn't speak a sound.
Until one day when she took her wheelchair to the shore,
and to her legs she smiled you won't hurt me no more.
But suddenly a sight she'd never seen before
made her jump up and say,
look, a golden winged ship is coming my way.
And it didn't have to stop, it just kept on going.
And so castles made of sand slip into the sea, eventually.

Me, a Facebook response today.

There once was a man that life didn't get down.
He plugged in his guitar and always got around.
Until one day he took a Strat from the store,
and to his songs he smiled it's time to record.
But suddenly a Marshall he'd never seen before
made him jump up and say,
look, all my effects are working together today,
and so innovative artists who find offshore fame,
have hassles slip away, as we all can see, eventually.

I like both but thte facebook one is great.

Me on a different instrument- who know's I'm not even sure.....

Tried the trick of using cigarette paper on the bridge of my strat to get a banjo effect- and I'd have to report not bad indeed.

Didn't work so weill on my custom tele with SDunks or my Yamy classical with fishman but was a treat on my Ibanez with Fishman pickups

Next try some effects wah wah maybe???
 

John Watt

New member
Ah, I gotta say, ah, for wah-wah.
And that's an ah from before analog and synthesizers,
when a wah-wah pedal is what seperated you from previous musicians.

Imitation squelch, when squelch was a hot option for home stereo centres?
Just plug in your wah wrong, your guitar in output and your amp in input.
And no, I won't get into a what song did Jimi use this in thing.
That could take forever.

By the way, if I ever made a rock video for a new original song,
I won't be rubbing my guitar up against a Marshall stack, stripper or fireman's pole, no,
that's so old.
I'll be out late at night under the bright phlorescent lights,
rubbing the notes out of my guitar with a bank's ATM unit,
trying to get, uh, shake a new deposit loose.
I'm going to make that machine not just display my name, but say my name,
yeah, say my name, does anybody know me?
 
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