Extending practice time

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by hhsTrumpet, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. hhsTrumpet

    hhsTrumpet Piano User

    Dec 3, 2011
    Even if you put a lot of effort and time into practicing, there is a limit to how long your chops last. Do you have any tips on how to extend your practice time, so you can practice more?
  2. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    practice alot more often, but for shorter duration.
    Ten 20 minute sessions is great spread throughout the day.

    Quit before you feel fatigued.

    Also remember that when you are resting it is beneficial to your playing. It is just as important to NOT play to keep your chops in tip top shape.
    There are other things you can do with the horn off your face that will improve your playing... transcription, theory, composition, arranging, ear training, listening to other...

    Even just getting away from music completely for a little will make your mind fresh and ready to go when you come back tomorrow.

    JNINWI Piano User

    Apr 26, 2011
    Breath and compress air properly, reduce the chop pressure used to as little as necessary,
    utilize your oral cavity correctly. Accomplish these and you can play all day with little to no fatigue.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Endurance is a function of your body, soul and brain being synchronized. Practicing more is not the answer. Getting your body and brain involved in every note is the secret.

    The first step is to figure out what you are doing right and what needs help. I mean posture, breathing, ear training, understanding the style of music. I do not mean range or technique.

    Once we learn to play WITH the music, things get easier. Once we are making music, it is more fun to PLAY more which leads us to challenges that we PRACTICE for. After we have reached some basic capabilities, the development steps become obvious.

    Playing softly is generally a good first step to having more endurance. Being careful about (always) getting a big breath is useful too. Never playing a brainless note is another real sign of maturity. Making every note count is not only reserved for the pros.

    Endurance, range, style are holistic characteristics. If we concentrate on "technique" we do not get connected to what is important.

    JNINWI Piano User

    Apr 26, 2011
    Rowuk….Excellent piece of advice…..”No… Brainless… Notes” An easy place to be, but once you commit to this the benefits are huge. Thanks for this advice !
  6. mrsemman

    mrsemman Piano User

    Apr 8, 2010
    The old trumpet adage, "rest as much as you play", comes to mind. While resting, go through the music. Work on the tempo, keys, etc. and then try to sing the piece. Getting the music into your head is as important as the chops. Then go back to playing. You will find that the time has flown by and your chops are still in good shape.

  7. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011
    Sometimes we have to take a mindset like this and view it through the looking glass: black is white and white is black.

    Instead of figuring ways of extending the practice time why not look for ways to avoid over training? I'm not saying with 100% certainty that you are over training. However this is the general condition of the most serious and aspiring trumpet players.

    So: Consider what your over-all performance capacity is. This takes time to understand. Again, WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING YOU PLAY! You don't have to write "War & Peace" by Tolstoy. Just jot down what you did the last week, this week and what you intend to play next week and beyond. Then ask yourself these questions:

    1. Am I meeting my playing commitments with enough energy? Or am I barely surviving the ensemble performance?

    2. What kind of draw down or penalty do my chops PAY in the following day or days after a heavy engagement or set of performances?

    3. Are there any months ahead when I can expect to get really burned out from a cumulative load build-up? Christmas holidays, college juries and graduation times are well know for huge draw down on the chops.

    Answer these three questions and you may just find out that you need to practice LESS rather than more. Or to re-figure your future practice sessions. Planning them so they don't add to the drawn down beyond the body's capacity to recover.

    Let's say the wind ensemble, jazz band concerts and freshman juries all fall within the same two week period. Consider not practicing at all during those times. Or to work only on your fingers, key changes and related musical stuff. Not chops.

    Then read my recent topic about letting the mouthpiece do more of the work. Or something similar.

    Just increasing the pure length of your practice time could be the worst thing you could do.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
  8. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    A lot of good advice so far. Practicing in shorter time spans will actually help to increase your endurance. developing efficient chops with intellegent practicing is critical. But one other thing is to play with good playing habits. Posture, proper air use and a relaxed stable embouchure are just some of the skills one needs to be succesful onthe horn.

    JNINWI Piano User

    Apr 26, 2011
    Practicing in shorter time spans has never increased my endurance. If I need to make it through a tough 4 hour gig, like the one I have coming up next week, 4 nights straight, 4 hours a night, tough lead book with solos, I need to increase my practice time to get the endurance up to par to make it through the evening with all my chops left at the end of it. It’s one of those books that if your not ready for it, it will eat you alive. I’m not a pressure player and use air to make it happen, but still need to increase the practice to increase the endurance. It would be great if less meant more for me. I get tired of looking at the basement walls, but never get tired of practicing : ).
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The practicing more or less is really a function of how far along one is as a player. If testosterone is the governing factor, then less can be more. If a player is practicing intelligently, then some body use improvement could be the best route to less tension and waste. Many high school players that I have worked with simply had crappy breathing and little sense of style. Everything was excessive work. Endurance for them came by making what they play more logical.

    I really liked Local 357s take on not "overtraining".

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