Delayed warmup reaction?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by BHSBrass, May 21, 2008.

  1. BHSBrass

    BHSBrass New Friend

    May 20, 2008
    Hiya, I was wondering if anyone could perhaps give me some insight on a problem I have been running into recently.

    When I begin my practice session (30-60 mins) I usually have trouble producing a strong solid sound, and my range is pretty poor. This continues for most of my *first session* of playing.

    I usually end up putting the horn down for a few hours or so and bam when I pick it up again 3-4 hours later after a 3 min warmup or so I am blasting high c's and getting a very dark, centered tone.

    Any idea on what could be causing this?:dontknow:
  2. siarr

    siarr Pianissimo User

    May 18, 2007
    Hollywood, FL, USA
    Coupla questions... 1) how long have you been playing? 2) what do you do for your warm-up routine? You may be trying to do too much before you're really warmed up.

    I've always found that your first practice session is best devoted to running through a fairly gentle warm-up routine, working your way to the upper register gradually and not too loudly, including lip slurs, pedal tones, chromatics, etc. . This is even more important if your chops are really cold or you haven't played much the day before. Take rests between individual routines. Let your chops warm up naturally. Of course, there are days when you may have done a lot of playing within the last day or so, and you feel more ready to go with less warm-up, but still, don't start screaming right away or try stuff that might stress your chops before you're decently warmed up. Then when you pick up the horn later, either to practice or play a gig, your chops will feel better and you won't need as much warming up. Your second session is the time to really PLAY!

    Of course, the best solution to this and any other problems is to find a good teacher who can listen, watch and evaluate your particular playing approach and counsel you from an experienced perspective. I hope this helps - good luck!

  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Blasting high Cs? That is probably your whole problem! Beat up your face one day and you will pay for it on the next!

    We always get back to the same thing, if your practice is not intelligently structured, you only get a small return on your invest. If you get smart, your development becomes more "predictable".

    Even although I prefer a "gentle" start for my trumpet day (my non trumpet day too!), it is not necessary. I have my range and tone after a couple of notes - unless I had a gig that beat me up the day before.

    I consider an intelligent routine to be critical. My "standard" suggestion is 3 equal parts: first long tones and easy slurs, then tunes or repertory and finally etudes and technical studies(played primarily piano or pianissimo). That specific order is important! The first part gets you going, the second part is the reason that we make music and should NOT be played when we are tired and the etudes and stuff at the end are for improving our basic skills.

    I find your phrase "I am blasting high c's and getting a very dark, centered tone" interesting. How do you determine that your sound is dark and centered, especially if everything else doesn't work as planned? Granted for younger players a High C is a milestone, as is a centered tone. If a good routine (instead of brute force) led to those characteristics, then the rest will come with time. If "blasting" was the tool, then frustration will come sooner or later.
  4. BHSBrass

    BHSBrass New Friend

    May 20, 2008

    Forgive the misunderstanding, what I ment by that phrase was that during the rebound sessions much later, I find it much, much easier to fill my instrument and get a tone that stays on pitch and holds a full sound, at least compared to the slightly airy, / slightly shrill sound I get during the warm up. Oh and about the blasting high C's, I dont really go around playing high C's at my leisure, rather my range is comfortable with going up from low F sharp to high C in my studies when earlier I start to strain on say some scale excercises during the inital warmup.

    Thanks for the insight from both replys!

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