Endurance Exercises

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by neal085, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. neal085

    neal085 Mezzo Forte User

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    Since school started and the entire family is back on a regular schedule, I've been able to practice for close to a solid hour, Mon-Fri, in the mornings between dropping off the squids and hitting the office. I've been working a lot in Arban's, along with some of Clarke's Technical Studies.

    Working on a lot of stuff, setting aside specific days to hit intervals, tonguing, and one day a week for range/high notes, but I find that a significant hole in my game continues to be endurance. My question is two-fold.

    First of all, am I even putting in enough practice time to build endurance?

    If so, are there specific exercises or practice techniques that can foster endurance?

    As an aside, I just 'discovered' the Characteristic Studies in the back of Arban's, and those are quite fun and challenging. Page 295, I believe. Not sure why, but I somehow don't believe I'd ever seen them before last week. Weird.
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Endurance is a function of strength vs air vs tension.

    If we press our lips together too tightly, we waste energy (endurance) doing so and need to compensate by blowing harder. Not using more tension than absolutely necessary is THE CRITICAL parameter to building endurance.
    This is why it is important to practice softly and learn to let the lips "ignite" with a whisp of air. Naturally, practicing very softly means that we need to spend more time to get the total workout, but we are building fine motor activity not a 6 pack in the face!

    I teach using the Earl Irons lip flexibility book for range and endurance. It has not failed me yet!
     
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  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    We build endurance from many low-impact repetitions. Clarke studies are excellent for that, played pp or softer. Another approach is to play as many verses of your favorite hymns in a row as possible. Keep count, and mark your progress.

    We require two sorts of endurance--the type needed for a four-hour dance gig, where we do get some time to recover is one, and the ability to play a Philip Glass work, where the horn can be literally on your face for minutes is another.
     
  4. neal085

    neal085 Mezzo Forte User

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    For pretty much all practicing, I usually stop when I start feeling strain on my embouchure, and/or have to start forcing notes. I give it a few minutes, and resume. Is that an ideal approach for the exercises you mentioned?
     
  5. richtom

    richtom Forte User

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    Many great players rest as much as they play in practice. There is no need to punish your lip in a practice session.
    Soft, low impact playing with proper air flow builds chops. There is a place for the Schilke power exercises, but not non-stop.
    Here are just two points of Herseth's philosophy.

    • Always take 10 minutes or so off after the first 15-20 minutes of playing (the warmup).
    • Rest, like Bud. FEEL FRESH ALL THE TIME.
     
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  6. chapmand

    chapmand Piano User

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    I found my endurance increased when it became necessary for me to practice with a practice mute (I use the Yamaha silent brass).
    A bit like walking or jogging with weights on your limbs - the mute gave me a little more resistance and therefore when the mute came out - I felt that I could play much longer with more power. My 2cents.
     
  7. OldKing

    OldKing Piano User

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    My endurance improvement is at a glacial pace, but, it is improving. Softer practice, playing during a performance more efficiently (you can start to feel it when you're doing it right), and resting all seem to help. The Irons book does help tremendously, as does Caruso. One thing I picked up from my ever-so-brief stint with a personal trainer is to sip on water, I think that's been mentioned on here by the resident gurus also.
     
  8. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    I should have added that endurance is best practiced at the end of the session. Sorry. And I second the rest after warm up idea.

    By strain do you mean "fatigue" or "exhaustion?"
     
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  9. neal085

    neal085 Mezzo Forte User

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    So I warm up for about 5-10 minutes, take a short break (3-5 minutes), and then hit whatever I'm going to work on for the day. Actual working time is about 30-40 minutes. I take a 1-2 minute break every time I start feeling fatigue. On something moderately difficult, that's 3-4 exercises, then a break. On something moderately easy, that could be 5-8 exercises. By the end of the work period, my embouchre is usually exhausted. Not always, but usually. The last two weeks, I've picked a day to hit the Arban's Characteristic Studies. That's exhausting.
     
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    I think the key to endurance is not only practicing your personal routine that we have learned to develop by trial and error as to what we need in between performances to get us through the next performance, but more importantly, to use this routine every day. To me the ability to execute a practice routine every day is what keeps my endurance up to the performance demand I have created.
     

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