I'm having a tough time

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by jazz9, Dec 5, 2007.

  1. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Can we practice too much? Yeah, I guess, but we can also drink so much water that we die. There is something called "overlearning" that is the key to being able to sit in a musical situation and play our fannies off. Practicing too much becomes an issue after we have achieved (and earned) overlearning, and practicing too much only occurs when the muscles don't have sufficient time to recover between sessions. If you are going to school, you probably don't have enough time in the day to be in danger of practicing too much!
    Have fun practicing!
  2. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    Jun 11, 2006
    Alan Vizzutti told an interviewer for ITG that from the time he started playing trumpet to the present he could count on one hand the number of days he didn't practice.

    The clue is not to practice for hours at a time but, to practice intelligent one hour sessions several times a day. During the session rest as required between exercises.
  3. BergeronWannabe

    BergeronWannabe Piano User

    Feb 6, 2007
    Oh...I can count on one hand the number of times I practice a week. I KNEW there was a problem! :lol:
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    You have gotten plenty of good advise and hogwash that should get you qualified for district and then for state.
    It may help you to take a look at the nuts and bolts of playing.
    Reliable playing is based on well learned habits. Our bodies have short, medium and long term recall abilities that are based on how DEEP these habits are rooted. Habits are developed by REPETITION. The more consistent and comprehensive your daily routine is, the easier it is when you miss a day due to whatever.
    The second factor is physical strength. You do need power to play and building muscles is the same regardless of which ones that they are: practice until you get tired- and then a bit more. Let the muscles regenerate and then repeat the process. Playing trumpet is less like weightlifting (few repetitions but with extreme load) and more like marathon (many repetitions with minimal strain). We do want to build habits and not oversized face muscles!
    One day without practice means two to get back into your old form, two days without practice means a week and any more than that is just guessing.
    You may need to seriously look at how important the trumpet is to you. Taking a chance like this one week before an important date shows that there are other things in your life tugging for first place. Anything in life that requires "winning" requires passion and dedication.
  5. jazz9

    jazz9 Piano User

    Dec 5, 2007
    Chilhowie, VA
    I can't tell you all how much I appreciate the good luck and advice you have given me. Referring to the previous comment, trumpet is pretty much my life. I am not nearly as good at anything else in the world, and I think you're right. I didn't think this weekend; I need to place more emphasis on trumpet and what it means to me. This could get me into JMU hopefully.
    Anyway, thanks again to everyone for all your help. I'll try to get on here and give an update for how I did.
  6. Bugler

    Bugler Banned

    Lots of good posts here and I think they point to this:

    When I studied with Jimmy Maxwell, he showed me "The memory curve".

    Let's say you practiced every day for a month. Today, when you pick up the horn, before you even blow one note you will be at 90%. After today's practice, you are back at 100%.

    Now lets say you take a day off. When you first pick up your horn after taking a day off, you start at 80% and it will take 2 days of practice to get back to 100%.

    Take 2 days off, you start at 70% and it will take you 3 days of practice to get back to 100%. 3 days off- 60%, 4 days to get back. And so on.

    In my own day to day life, I find taking a day off is good for the brain. In fact, I can take a week off and the only thing that suffers is endurance, but that's just me, and I wouldn't recommend it for anyone else. So to maintain endurance, I try to not take off more than 1 day a week.

    Hope that helps.
  7. Billy B

    Billy B Pianissimo User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Des Moines, IA
    I take one day off and I know it.
    I take two days off an the band knows it.
    I take three days off and everyone knows it.
    I try to never let more than 12 hours pass without playing.
  8. jhatpro

    jhatpro New Friend

    Oct 31, 2006
    Chicago area
    What seems to work for me and keep me from having really off days is to try to get in at least some work every day. I try to alternate heavy days with lighter days. If I have a performance of some kind I try to make sure the day before is a light day.

    Also, I find I have better luck if I use a digital timer to remind myself not to keep pounding away for too long before I rest. An interesting approach to resting as often as you play comes from Sergei Nakariakov whose father noticed that seven minutes is about the longest, uninterrupted stretch of trumpet playing required in orchestral literature.

    As a result, he coached his son to always take a break at the seven minute mark. I'm sure this isn't the only reason Sergei plays so beautifully, but it's undoubtedly part of it. If you're not familiar with his playing, check out his "No Limits" CD. Unbelievable!

    In parting, let me just say that when you have a really off day, don't panic. Just restart your engines easily with soft playing and trust your body to rebound. Good luck!
  9. jazz9

    jazz9 Piano User

    Dec 5, 2007
    Chilhowie, VA
    Yea, Sergei is awesome! I heard a recording of him early on and it inspired me to play more. Well, I have tried all of these things that you all have told me, and I honestly have to say it has helped. Today I picked up my horn and played terrible, but within 5 minutes I was busting out high C's and even up to E's with somewhat ease. I'm going to take the rest of the day off, but I sure do appreciate all of the good luck and advice! It's really refreshing to talk about trumpet with people who actually know what they're talking about. Thanks again for the great reception!
  10. skankin'dan

    skankin'dan Pianissimo User

    Mar 14, 2007
    I would have to disagree on some levels. Although taking too many breaks is unhealthy, I find that after playing a lot during the week, taking one day off sets me fresh for the next week. (Sometimes my mouth just gets so tired at the end of a week that I get sore way too fast).
    Also if I pick up a bad habit and I catch it right away, putting down the trumpet for a day saves me from having to fix it.

    Maybe it's something that some people experience and other dont, but that's what's happening in this end of town.

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