Getting My Act Back Together

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trickg, May 1, 2004.

  1. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    While I agree that getting enough rest is important, the reason that my chops are suffering is because I don't practice enough, plain and simple.

    The last few years my practicing has been for maintenance and learning new music. I really haven't taken the time to work on my technique in quite a while, and over the last six months or so, much of my practice time has been devoted to learning tunes behind a drum kit because I have been serving as the drummer for my church's praise team. Because of that, my technique has slowly eroded to the point where although I can still get through a rock band or big band gig ok, there is no way I would take a legit gig for pay. It isn’t really a matter of strength in my chops, but a matter of fine control.

    I got back on the horn last night, but I’m not sure that taking a day off was such a smart idea. I hit a point with my chops where I decided that it was best not to push them because they just weren’t doing what I needed them to do. Sometimes you have to know when to quit and I made that decision about 30 minutes into my practicing last night. I figured that there was no point in pushing my chops past fatigue if they weren’t responding so I stopped after my long tones and some basic articulation exercises. I’m sure it will be better tonight.
  2. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 27, 2003
    I find it easy to get sloppy playing the rock/commercial stuff. Spending just a little time playing Charlier, or Clarke or Arban, focusing on articulation, intonation and control seems to keep me grounded. I'd drifted away and hadn't played legit in several years, then a church gig came up this Easter. Playing those classic studies got me back in shape fairly quickly.

  3. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Quote: "I find it easy to get sloppy playing the rock/commercial stuff" - dcstep

    YES! I totally agree, which is why I'm in the predicament that I'm currently in.

    My practice has always been performance oriented. I have never been able to practice for the sake of practicing. I have alway practiced with a particular performance or piece of music in mind, which is why my legit playing is so off these days. The last legit performance that I had was playing trumpet at a friend's wedding in 1999.

    I'll get it back to where it needs to be, and then my playing will be much stonger overall. I'm already looking forward to the effect that this increased practice is going to have on my regular Big Band and rock band gigging.
  4. Dr G

    Dr G Pianissimo User

    Nov 9, 2003
    I'm not sure of the application in this situation but, as there are some mental aspects involved, I would suggest you at least consider taking a day or so off and go fly fishing.

    It can be quite enjoyable to see whether you can outsmart a fish, the intellectual effort [and the physical coordination also involved] will take your mind off the trumpet for a while.

    Who knows, when you get back, it may have all gone away.

    Find a place where no one can hear what you say when you either wind your line in a ball or lose the fly in a bush [or elsewhere]

    Good Luck!

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