Hours of practice

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trmpt_plyr, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. trmpt_plyr

    trmpt_plyr Pianissimo User

    Jun 12, 2009
    How many hours of practice is recommended every day? Is it okay to go over?
  2. DanZ_FL

    DanZ_FL Pianissimo User

    Jun 16, 2009
    Clearwater, Florida
    Twenty four is ideal, but most of us have to settle for something less.:-P

    Seriously though, I think a couple of hours of practice -- not counting ensemble, etc. -- is a good target for someone dedicated to being the best they can possibly be. More is good, as long as you can keep your focus and not push yourself into playing with bad habits (too much pressure, poor airflow, etc.).

    I'm not a teacher though. This is just my personal opinion. When I was in college at IU, the best players I knew would routinely try to get three hours a day in.
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Some teachers (in Europe and USA) advise not practicing more than 1.5 hours a day, to insure sufficient recovery time. However, guys that practice six or more hours are not uncommon--Maurice Andre, Doc Severinsen....(even Vulganion occasion). The key is "common sense," which seems to be something most of us give up when we take up trumpet!
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I separate PRACTICE and PLAYING.
    I do not normally PRACTICE more than 2 hours per day. My concentration for learning new things or perfecting what I have is pretty much limited to that.

    On days like today, tomorrow and Sunday, playing rehearsals and concerts can add up to 5 hours or more.

    One concentrated hour is more advantageous than 4 hours of "face time".
  5. Veldkamp

    Veldkamp Piano User

    Mar 29, 2004
    the Netherlands
  6. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    It's not so much what you do but how and when you do it. Hours of just chop time will not bring any improvement. I suggest a good private teacher who can show you the right material for you and show you how to work with it. So much of the time i end up showing my students " do it like this or make it sound like this". You can't get that by just reading about it.
  7. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    As a comeback player, I need a lot of guidance in this area. So, I need to know more about why "just chop time will not bring any improvement". If I use a basketball analogy, I realize that I must practice freethrows, dribbling, passing, setting picks, etc. but at the same time, scrimmages build stamina and improve cardiovascular condition so why does not "chop time" build chops even though it may not improve a specific task as much? I must admit that after 15-20 minutes of long tones, slurs, and other basics, I just want to play some tunes. Must I stay away from that?
  8. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005
    Practice time, like everything else about playing the trumpet is highly subjective. =:-) However, there are some common sense guidelines that might help:

    -when practicing, always rest as much as you practice. That is, if you practice an etude for 10 minutes, rest for 10 minutes.

    -never continue practice if your chops are unresponsive, or hurting.

    -number of hours of practice != playing better. Practice smartly. John McLauglin once remarked in an interview how he practiced a couple of hours a day and that he had observed players who practiced 6-8 hours a day. "However, during those hours they never really stopped and corrected problems or did anything to improve, they just kept playing through a huge regimen with no real improvement." Practicing is about efficiency.

    -it's better to practice a little bit most days, than to practice several hours on one or two days.

    -organize your practice sessions. Figure out topics to practice and decide before hand how much time you can spend on each one (the idea is NOT to insure that you spend huge amounts of time on each subject, but to organize your practice beforehand). Keep a practice log and review it at the end of the week, then make adjustments as needed. For example, you might come up with something like this:

    Warmup - 10 minutes

    Technique - Arbans pp42-43 - 15 minutes
    Arbans pp123-124 - 15 minutes
    Clifford Brown solo - 15 minutes

    Etudes - Bosquet #9 - 10 minutes
    Jazz etude #7 - 10 minutes

    That's a pretty good spread of work in an hour and change.

    -if you're short on practice time, alternate different practice topics between practice sessions. Don't try to cover everything on the same day.

    Hope this helps,

  9. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    Bingo, while just a lot of chop time will let you play longer, it won't help you play better. To improve you have to work on improving the specific skills needed to play.
  10. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    You might want to read Wynton Marsalis' Practice Routines & Tips which can be found on the web. I think it can be found on O.J.'s trumpet page.
    Hope this helps

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