How to get in shape after a 20+yr. hiatus

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by garageguy, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. garageguy

    garageguy New Friend

    Feb 26, 2010
    After playing trumpet for many years, from grade school thru college and beyond, life got in the way and I stopped playing in 1986. Then about two years ago, I picked up the horn, dusted it off and started to play again. In the process, I have dabbled on and off, playing in church and community bands. Needless to say, after such a long lapse, I found myself to be terribly out of shape and have been frustrated by my lack of endurance and range. I'm getting to the point now where I'm not satisfied at all with my skills and am trying to build up endurance and get some of the range and technique I used to have back. Can anyone recommend a structured practice regimen / and trumpet method book that will help keep an "old guy" like me on track? I know regular practice is the key, but I find myself drifting back and forth / in and out of different practice routines and to date have been unable to make a whole lot of progress rebuilding my chops. Thanks.
  2. jason_boddie

    jason_boddie Piano User

    Dec 26, 2008
    Jacksonville, FL
    Arbans, and lip slurs, long tone, pedal tones. These have worked for me after a 16 year hiatus.
  3. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Hello, garageguy - welcome to Trumpetmaster. You have joined a very large segment of the members of this forum - the 'comeback players club'. Many of us have had a rest period of 20, 30+ years - the record here as far as I know is 53 years. So, you are in good company.

    It is interesting that based on the comments posted here, the level of frustration with progress seems to correlate highly with the level of skill that one had prior to the layoff. I personally never reached a particularly high level so even after 35 years off I regained something close to my previous ability within 6 months or so. But, whatever level you had, it will just take time and daily practice to get back.

    As far as a regimen goes, there are many threads here that deal with this question. I turns out that it is largely the same as for new players - except possibly reading music and some other fundamental things. So, if you go to the top blue bar and click on SEARCH and type in 'comeback' or 'beginner' (search will only handle one word at a time) - you should find lots of threads. Even if you just scroll through the pages of this section of the forum, you should recognize some titles that relate. In the meantime, I'm sure you will receive some detailed advise from others.

    Good luck and welcome back.
  4. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Sounds like you have hit a plateau.
    Here's some things that can be done without buying anything:
    1)Lip slurs on the 7 combos:
    Do bugle calls using these valve combinations-0, 123, 13, 23, 12, 1, 2
    Do bugle calls on 0 for a while then 123, then 13 and so on.
    When you do your slurs, make sure they sound (LTS) light, tight, and strong (something doesn't have to be loud to be strong). Not sloppy.
    2)Work on tonguing: Do your scales (pick one of the 12 major scales) and single , double, and triple tongue) Be sure that each note is (again) light, tight (notes are round and not edgy) and strong.
    3)Play your favorite songs but think lyrically. ALWAYS sing through the trumpet! You'll know when you're singing, you'll get goose bumps.
    4)Chances are you have a cheap recording device lying around. Record your practices and listen to them when you travel in your car. That way you can hear whet you're doing and sincerely work on improving your exercises.
    5)Have fun!! Remember, it's called playing the trumpet, not working the trumpet.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2010
  5. ogauge47

    ogauge47 Piano User

    Dec 26, 2008
    Metro Detroit, Michigan
    the first 4 pages of the Arbans, exercises 1-3 in the Clarke book are great for getting back in playing shape
  6. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    ogauge47 sez:
    the first 4 pages of the Arbans, exercises 1-3 in the Clarke book are great for getting back in playing shape
    Absolutley!! Ogauge47 is giving you great advice. Those are great pages to get you back into shape!
  7. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    Everyone here has given you great advice. However, if you really want to get back in shape get to a good teacher and do what they say.
  8. ozboy

    ozboy Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 17, 2007
  9. garageguy

    garageguy New Friend

    Feb 26, 2010
    Thanks to all for the great advice! I can't believe my good fortune to have found this group of trumpet enthusiasts. I appreciate the input you have all provided.
  10. SFPat

    SFPat Pianissimo User

    Sep 20, 2009
    I'm similar to CBK in that I never achieved a high level of proficiency in my first go around so my expectations on my comeback are tempered. I've been back at it now for more than four months and focus on tone and endurance with lots of Arbans, scales, long tones, and slurs. I also play through a hymn book as well as a lot of my daughters piano music to practice transposing. As a byproduct, my range has increased to high C though I haven't focused on range. I'm up to about 1 1/2 hours of practice per day on weekdays and up to 3 hours per day on weekends. Next step is to join a community band.

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