At this time I again heard from the man who had previously brought many errors to my notice. One day he came into my room and listened to my rendition of the solo. When I had finished playing it, he again admonished me, "Why don't you play it in a brilliant style?" You play every note, but use only one quality of tone, as though you were a machine, and not as a soloist should play. Put some "ginger" into it! By the way, he was our drum major, Will Manson, a fine looking man with a military bearing. When the band played a concert, he was our third alto, but his knowledge of fingering on the alto and his musical education were rather limited. Knowing this, it made me angry to think that he had the audacity to criticize my playing so much, and yet his finding fault made me work twice as hard, just to show him some day that I would reach my goal. In that way I believed I could square all differences between us.
I tried his suggestions regarding brilliancy of tone, and found that it took so much effort and wind that when I come to the finish of the solo my lips just "petered out", and I could not make a proper climax. Here was another phase of cornet playing which I must work on. It seemed to me that there were so many angles to the study of the cornet, and so many different styles, that I must begin a regular routine of practice to cover them all. Although it appeared to me at times that I was not progressing, I really was gradually improving, and this gave me more confidence. I reasoned that I must practice for endurance, and not tire my lips with too constant playing. Alternating short rest periods with those of playing kept my lips fresh and pliable, and enabled me to finish a days practice with more ease and comfort than ever before.