How much practice is too much practice?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by cvtrpt619, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. cvtrpt619

    cvtrpt619 New Friend

    Sep 14, 2009
    Sometimes i find my self practicing a couple of hours a day brofre a performance date thinking its going to help my playing, but instead my lip feels tired.
    any recomendations? do you practice the day before a show or not?
  2. ska

    ska Pianissimo User

    Sep 12, 2009
    I think you should stick to your usual practice regime, because you may "startle" your lips if you suddenly practice wayyy too long while earlier you ve been practicing alot less. To put it simple, let s say you usually practice an hour, so now you suddenly jump to 2 hours, I am pretty much sure you can deduce something out of it :p.
  3. ChaseFan

    ChaseFan Banned

    Mar 25, 2008
    Would you run a marathon the day before a marathon to get ready for the marathon?

    How much is too much will vary from player to player.

    If your lip feels tired for the day of the big performance,
    that says that you played too much the day before or you played the wrong type of material (too much high register, too loud, too much fast tonguing, or too much fast fingering).

    But not practicing at all the day before is also bad.

    So there must be some middle ground for you as an individual
    which involves the correct type of material and the correct amount of playing the day before a big performance.

    Since it does vary from individual to individual,
    only you through trial and error can determine the correct type of material and the correct amount of playing the day before a big performance.

    But I have read more than one music guru state that it is helpful for a player to alternate light days and heavy days whenever possible so that the embouchure has time to recover and to re-build.
    And a big performance is a heavy day, so the day before it would be a light day.

  4. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    For me, too much or too little practicing before a performance hurts me. (Then again, I'm a comeback player, still trying to get back to where I was 20 years ago.) I sort of do the opposite, and take it just a bit easier the day before I have a performance.
  5. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
  6. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    I practice on gig days - sometimes three or four hours! However, I NEVER practice more than 45 minutes at a time and there can be as much as an hour between sessions. I really break the practice up. I find I rarely get tired on even the longest of gigs by practicing this way.

  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I think the question pretty much answers itself. If you are tired at a gig, you made a mistake. We practice not only to increase our skills, but also to get to know ourselves better. If you don't have yourself figured out, you better start paying more attention. Most people that hire do not have much patience with players having trouble with the obvious.

    I NEVER practice on concert days except for maybe a light warm up. Why should I? I have nothing to prove and my playing gigs deserve 150%. If I am not ready a couple of days before a concert, I am just taking unnecessary chances.
  8. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    First, there is NOBODY who hires me who doesn't think - KNOW - that I give at least 150% on a gig. My practicing on gig day is what I do. Your NOT practicing on gig is what YOU do. The point of the thread is not right and wrong but what the individual needs to do. Doc Severensin has a widely known reputation for practicing complete practice sessions before every gig. If Doc does it, that's good enough for me. MY thoughts were that HOW one practices is as important, if not more so, than how much. This is why I urge short spurts of 20 minutes to 45 minutes followed by breaks. I've also urged folks to keep the practice at mf and softer on these sessions. You'd be amazed at how much you can play on ANY day by dong this. You never have to be afraid of your chops pooping out. If I were to offer any sense of added balance here, it would be to consider the gig you're going to. If I'm going to a slamming blasting crass rock and roll gig, I might keep the sessions down to 20 mintues a piece, and definitley not many high notes. If it was going to be a nice civilized brass quintet performance, I might rachtet things up a bit.

    On Saturday night I played a grueling big band gig - MANY double high C's expected of me as I was hired to do a sort of Cat Anderson thing. I practiced a long day, but did many short spurts and only spent 5 minutes out of 3.5 hours in the upper register, just to get my form locked in. Well, on Sunday, I played a smaller band on which I was doing the solo work on the second book doing a mellower Marty Paich book. So, I adjusted my pre-gig warm up accordingly. Oh, I do put the horn down a couple of hours bfore the gig itself. My practicing is done in the day.

    CV, you have to get to know yourself as other posters have said. However, in the long run, this is music not athletics. You'll get better and beter at this with the 10,000 plus reps one of the other posters cited in another thread.

    In the end, practicing is not something to be afraid of, if done properly and efficiently. It's fun! Just use your head when you do.

    This is what I do, anyway. It works for me.

    RobertSlotte likes this.
  9. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land

    If I were being over-analytical I suspect that this would be a self defeating argument - yes I know picky, picky :oops:. No offence intended and I certainly take your point - "horses for courses" - of course. Bottom line - do what works for you. ;-)
  10. bigdanv

    bigdanv Pianissimo User

    Jan 13, 2009
    I would also suggest chopping your practice into shorter sessions. However, to be able to play three+ hours a day without being too tired the next day, you have to be used to consistently playing three+ hours a day. Making the jump from one hour to two or three in one day is not going to work for most of us. Increase your practice gradually.

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