Keeping your horn and lips warm and ready...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by HSOtrumpet1, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. Hoghorn

    Hoghorn Pianissimo User

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    The music I play is very demanding and most times the 1st song outa the starting gate has me in my upper range. You wouldn't start your car, cold, and put the peddle to the metal, and Personally I can't do that with my chops either. I have a home made quiet mute that I carry at all times and when I am in an environment that won't allow me to warm up normally, I use the quiet mute, I can play right up to the performance without distracting anyone, and it keeps my chops and horn warm and ready for action !!

    Hoghorn
     
  2. oldlips48

    oldlips48 Piano User

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    Mar 1, 2007
    In my experience, whenever I do something physically demanding (and I would certainly put trumpet playing in that category) I find I go through a "Bell curve" (no pun intended):
    1) I can perform the activity adequately, but perhaps not at my best,
    2) I get "in the zone" and everything clicks,
    3) I begin to fatigue and performance begins to decay.

    Rowuk and Solar, I can understand that at your level of expertise you can pretty much pick up the horn and jump right in, but don't you feel more comfortable 5 minutes into the set?

    Agreed that "needing a warm up" is a psychological barrier. Once you're to the point that you feel more natural with your horn in your hands than without, warm up is moot. But wouldn't there still be a period of physiological acclamation?
     
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Oldlips,
    to be honest, when I am making music I don't have time to think about my chops. When the horn is screwed to my face, I only have the job at hand on my mind. I practice that way too. The only time I allow myself to analyse (that word does start with anal, doesn't it?) is when I am playing long tones. Come to think of it, my playing is more mental than physical too.

    I had an orchestra gig tonight - Johann Strauss, Lehar, Kalmar and the like. I have a cold, cough and stuffy nose that disappeared for about 2 hours (except for the break). The drive home was hell!

    I am not advocating cold turkey quit warming up. Habits are what make us consistently good (or bad). Building habits takes weeks, months, years. If you want to, you will get there! Don't start changing things during playing season unless you live near me. I enjoy getting the extra work when the competition wastes themselves..............................

    I always take extra mouthpieces to gigs too. I always find some clown willing to take a chance on sounding bad....................... :evil:
     
  4. Hoghorn

    Hoghorn Pianissimo User

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    Wow rowuk, you find people (clowns) willing to try a different mouthpiece on a GIG ??
    You couldn't pay me enough to do that !!

    Hoghorn
     
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    hehehe,
    there is something about a Monette mouthpiece (or a couple of different sizes)............................ Everyone wants to see if they are really worth the money and if everything is better immediately. :evil:
     
  6. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    At my level of skill I once thought that I needed to warm-up to best meet the need, but rarely found the opportunity because the band generally fitted into a programme, and time was of the essence. The Band Director is NOT a brass player but his entire back line crawled up his ribs and convinced him to arrange the running sheet to have the slow lyrical (easy) stuff in the early set, and at the end, and the more demanding material in the middle - seems to work for us in that any need to warm-up is dealt with in the pattern of the presentation.
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    change it to this order and quantity:
    20 minutes of long tones and EASY slurs (no tongue to get the sound started - play VERY softly)
    20 minutes of easy tunes Play these also softly and beautifully.
    20 minutes of etudes, rest when you get tired before continuing.

    You will get better MUCH faster ANDS your musical qualities will advance in step with your technique.
     
  8. john daniel

    john daniel New Friend

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    Sep 20, 2005
    appleton, WI
    A couple of practical suggestions:
    1. Learn to flap your lips silently. It is possible.
    2. Learn to play in the double pedal range "ppppppp". This is also possible and very effective for keeping the lips ready to go.
    3. A good and thorough warm up should last several hours. The only time I seriously have to worry about the lip not responding after extended resting is if I haven't been playing that much over the previous 24 hours or so.
    4. Don't let it get in your head. If you can sense an unresponsive lip, just play the first few notes a little louder and tongue a little harder. Put your bell in the stand if necessary.
    John
     
  9. JRFIII

    JRFIII Pianissimo User

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    Feb 20, 2008
    New Jersey
    Ok, My $.50 worth of input.

    If you do better with some sort of warmup and no room is available, go to your car and do as much as you can of your normal routine that gives you confidence. then enter the buliding.

    When playing outside in cold temperatures, (E.g.: Below 40 degrees farenheit, roughly, or with winds driving extreme chill factors) I actually keep the cup of my mouthpiece in my MOUTH. Rim against teeth, lips holding it in place. Looks crazy and like you are a little steam engine puffing out moisture from the boiler, but it works for me. I breath only through my mouth. It doesn't help keep the horn warm when standing at attention and waiting for the speech to be over but you can start in with confidence and no "shock" to the system of a cold mouthpice against lip. It also forces my lip to be stretched as I hold the MP in place so it isn't artifically cramped or tight from the cold when we start the piece. So some may say I'm crazy but it has worked for me for years.

    (I hate lint in pockets, so my mouth is lint free...LOL)

    Warming up in general is a rarity for me, similar to the situations that Robin and others have posted. Though I don't get paid like some do, I still expect that any time I want to to pull my horn out and play a familiar melody, riff, etc. . . I can do it and have it sound spot on. Repetition and muscle learning take one a long way once one has confidence in their abilities and acknowledgement of one's limitations.

    When do I "warm-up?" When I do it's actually a mini-rehearal because I am an amateur player. So sometimes before a gig I am running through a few parts to remind myself how I want it to go later in performance. In other words, I hit the parts I don't know or haven't practiced to the point that I truly "own" them. Yeah I know, "An amateur practices until they get it right, a professional until they can't get it wrong. . ." or something like that. So I am an amatuer and this is a hobby for me.

    Good luck with all the advice, and I hope you find things that work for you in this thread.
     
  10. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

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    Indianapolis, In
    When I am faced with a situation where I can not warm-up, I will assemble the horn with the mouthpiece and quietly blow warm air through it. This in turn warms up the instrument and then with a warm horn I don't have to worry about being necessarily flat on a cold instrument and having to constantly adjust to be in tune with the group. Of course, I have already played at home or in the hotel before going.
     

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