Imagination Applied To Trumpet Practice.

Discussion in 'EC Downloading' started by dbacon, Aug 13, 2005.

  1. dbacon

    dbacon Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Scottsdale, AZ.
    I hope you don't mind me starting this thread but I suspect it's one you'll find interesting.

    So often as brass players we "warm-up" to "practice" to "perform!"

    A great Jazz Trombone player (Ed Neumeister, in Vienna now and was in N.Y. for many years) once told me he likes to go right to "perform" the first thing everyday. He performs his warm-up as an improvisation. He may play many of the same things we all do, long tones and lip slurs etc. But he improvises from the first notes of the day.

    Over the years I've experimented with this and find I can do some interesting things when performing for an imaginary audience.

    Pick a tonality (say, minor pentatonics) and create a melodic phrase similar to the Cichowicz Flow Studies. Play and rest but get your mind into the meditative state that we all like to be in when we perform. Do this melodic pattern in all minor pentatonic scales with the sound you really want coming from your bell, one that you'd want an audience to enjoy. Follow with slur's through the harmonic series (lip slurs), those are easy to create yourself. Pick a scale (say, Natural Minor) and improvise a tonguing pattern with single and multiple articulations, cover the range of the instrument and play as if every note was in front of your friends that came over for your daily recital.

    End with a spontanious composition for un-accompanied trumpet. Pick a style you like, be expressive or combative or however you feel but get into the music.

    Rest, sight read, listen to music, practice what ever really needed work (my slurs are not even today!).

    Anyway, try improvising some part of your routine and pretend you are performing. And they all love everything you play!!!!! :whistle:
  2. ecarroll

    ecarroll Artist in Residence Staff Member

    Jul 13, 2005
    Spot on, Dave.

    One of Bud's oft repeated nuggets is to always practice as if you're performing.

    I always suggest that my students follow a simple guideline when practicing:

    1) Make a plan
    2) Execute the plan
    3) Evaluate the execution
    4) Make a new plan based this evaluation
    5) Execute again with revisions
    (Repeat steps 3-5 until it comes to a fast boil. Stir and serve)

    The point is that all practice/performance must start with the head, not with the inhale. Freely improvising combines all of the above.

    Many thanks and I look forward to watching this for more comments. . .

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