Getting back from time off?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Tiscione, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. Tiscione

    Tiscione New Friend

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    Andrew,

    I hope you haven't been asked this question in this forum before, but how do you approach coming back to the horn after some time off? Do you just head back into your practice routine as normal or do you ease back into things? How much time do you give yourself to get back into it before your season in Toronto starts or even a festival like Sun Valley (which, as we found out last year, can be one big trumpet exceprt night after night)? Thanks!
     
  2. amtrpt

    amtrpt Pianissimo User

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    Hi Mike,
    Thanks for the question. I usually try to take about 6 to 8 weeks off the trumpet every year. Sometimes I can't get that much time, but I try. For me it's a matter of re-charging. I am just coming back from a 17 day break. What I try to do is ease my way back into it. For instance this time I started playing about 40 minutes the first day and increased that every day by 10 until I got to around 80 minutes. That was 4 days ago. Today I'll practice twice for the first time so I'll probably do about 2 hours. I stick with the same kind or routine that I always do, I just lengthen it to get in shape.
    As far as how long I need I can usually get back into pretty good shape in five days. This time there is no rush so I will do it slower.
    I think the most important thing about taking breaks and coming back to the trumpet is that we have a chance to really lose some bad habits. I always start back thinking about the things that I want to do differently in my playing and addressing them from the start. Kind of like I know now what I didn't know then. Tension is an excellent example of this. Whenever I take a break one of my goals coming back is to play more relaxed.
    I hope that's helpful.
    Best,
    Andrew
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2008
  3. MJ

    MJ Administrator Staff Member

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    Andrew, 6-8 weeks over the course of a year. So are you talking about a day or two here and there and maybe a week all adding up. Or will you take 2-3 weeks off (or even more off at a time).

    I was scared to take that much time off. Don't know why but I always felt like I would never be able to figure the thing out again :-(

     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2008
  4. amtrpt

    amtrpt Pianissimo User

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    MJ,
    You should try thinking of it from the opposite view point, like an opportunity. It's a chance to come back fresh without any baggage. I try to take big chunks of time off because I'm better able to start fresh that way. Sometimes I take days here and there, but I don't really think of that as time away from the trumpet. those are more like necessary days off to keep my chops working. Having said all that as always it's most important to find what works for you. This may not be for everyone.
    Andrew
     
  5. MJ

    MJ Administrator Staff Member

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    Ya I really like what you are saying here Andrew and I'm impressed you can do that. As you said it might not work for everyone. I have heard rumors of your ability to do this and come back and play big rep.

    I don't know if it is a mental thing or physical thing for people like me but if I took that kind of time off and tried to come back I think my poor mental state regarding the "comeback" might out weigh the benefits of starting fresh. Something I would need to work on.


     
  6. amtrpt

    amtrpt Pianissimo User

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    MJ,
    I should have also said that what you are describing is more the norm than what I do. There is no hard and fast rule.
    I should say where this came from for me. In about 1997 I was very ill. I had a problem that required a lot of surgery and as a result I had to take a lot of time off from the San Francisco Symphony. In fact I took months off the trumpet. During that time I was talking to Mike Sachs a lot and he said that I should think of this as an opportunity to shed bad habits. I took his advice and when I started playing again that's how I approached it. From that point on my playing has never been the same. Everything about it improved for me and so I have never stopped taking time off and "re-charging". This was originally something that came from necessity and turned into a habit for me.
    I would love too hear from some of the other professionals and moderators on this. Tiscione, you should add your two cents.
    Best,
    Andrew
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2008

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