Less is more??

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by NYCO10, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I play a lot of Bach and chamber music. Most of it is not in the loudness range where you have the option of doing what is necessary...... In quintet or big band, I can help my embouchure along with a bit more force and everybody else cooperates. If I bury a soprano, then I have a problem.

    2 weeks is what it takes to have my body enough out of the picture that my mind can concentrate mostly on the music. It is very similar with a broad range of my students. Their playing after a couple of days off does not go to hell, but getting through a 60 minute lesson with me is a real challenge. After 2 weeks, things are pretty much back to normal.

    That is my 2 week experience. I can see where a semi pro or very active amateur could get through after only a couple of days back on the horn. That is not what I mean though.
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Fair enough - serious amateur...semi-pro...I'm not quite sure what category I would have fallen under during that time. I was not teaching, but I was either rehearsing or gigging almost daily, and if I wasn't doing either of those, I was practicing. Gigs and rehearsals ran the range of concert band, big band, brass quintet and ceremonies. (see: Marches. Lots and lots of military style marches)

    The band I was in was better than your average bear when it came to Army bands too - it wasn't the US Army Field Band or Pershing's Own, but it certainly wasn't the 82nd or 101st Division bands either. We were a solid band with a lot of pro-level players, and I'd like to think I held my own with them - you either had to come up to that level, or get your butt chewed repeatedly if you didn't or couldn't. Sort of a sink or swim kind of thing, although not everyone was lucky enough or good enough to be in the brass quintet or big band.
  3. crazyandy88

    crazyandy88 Pianissimo User

    Nov 3, 2007
    Fayetteville, AR
    I have experienced this phenomenon of "super chops" after a few days off. It is a very temporary increase in range and most likely, after enjoying your new range for a day, you will have hurt your chops and the next day you will feel like your lips are made of wood. Also, I have noticed that even though my chops feels better after say a 2 day lapse, my accuracy and tone are crap...meaning I sound bad. If on sounds bad...what's the point?

    MTROSTER Piano User

    Jan 25, 2007
    Yes I have had similar experiences. During my comeback period my teacher said that on occasion I would reach a period when I felt my progress had plateaued and I was getting frustrated with my lack of progress. He told me to put away my horn for three days and then go back to it. It always worked for me and on occasion I still do take a break. I know this sounds like heresy to many players but if it works........:thumbsup:
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2010
  5. NYCO10

    NYCO10 Pianissimo User

    Feb 20, 2010
    United Kingdom

    I was literally just thinking about this! my chops are still going great and feeling stronger everyday! i did a good hours session yesterday and felt a bit fatigued afterwards, i thought i was going to have a bad day today!:-( BUT with an extra 10mins of low notes and pedal tones after that thought i put it in the case slapped on a bit of chop saver and bingo! today my chops feel even stronger than yesterday! i think that if i feel the fatigue is starting to build up over a couple of sessions i will take a few days off. Like you said before my break i felt my progress had plateaued and i was getting frustrated! a break is definitly the answer!:thumbsup::play:
  6. RichJ

    RichJ Piano User

    Jan 16, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    If things feel better after time off, it probably suggests that you need to break your practicing into smaller chunks and avoid practicing in an abusive manner. I've felt what you are feeling before.

    Also, some people are better able to take time off than others. Those who are more relaxed can get away with more than those who rely on a brute strength approach to playing.
  7. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I think that there is a strong mental aspect of it too. I know that sometimes I'll get into a rut with something, and taking a break from it allows my metal and emotional batteries to recharge where that activity is concerned. I notice it most with my drumming, but applies to trumpet as well.

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