Less warm up time needed?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Myshilohmy, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. Myshilohmy

    Myshilohmy Pianissimo User

    Jan 6, 2009
    What can I do so I don't need much warm up time? In my class in high school my teacher usually gives us a minute to play on our own before a test then we play in front of the class. Usually for me I don't feel warmed up for as soon 10-15 minutes, but that's with my own lip slurs. I gradually get higher lip slurs so it becomes easier to play a high C, I can't just get my horn out and play a high C like it seems like everyone else can. I really am looking for a solution to this, as it is killing my test scores and chair placement.
  2. tunefultrumpet

    tunefultrumpet Pianissimo User

    Apr 9, 2008
    New Zealand
    Being able to play well without prior warmup is a useful skill to learn. Professional players often have to play cold, eg. in an orchestra you could sit for 30 minutes and then have to play something challenging. Half of the battle is psychological....if you think you need a warmup you will not be confident if you haven't done one. So practice picking up your horn and playing a high C or a challenging passage without warmup. Getting in a 20 minute or so warmup early in the day, maybe before school, can also help set your chops so they don't feel shocked by playing cold later on. Good luck!
  3. Sofus

    Sofus Forte User

    Jul 26, 2008
    It´s not just a matter of muscles being warmed up.
    The "skin" on your lips need to be made willing to
    respond to playing (vibrate), which they usually
    are not until we´ve played for a while. So, warming
    up is also a matter of making our lip surfaces lean.
    This process you can help a bit on the way by applying
    some balm or fat cream in good time before playing.
    Which kind you prefer must be tryed out by you.
  4. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    It takes time to train yourself to have the whole range with very little "warm up." I used to have the same problem, and this is how I worked on it.

    The first thing I played was a slur pattern starting on third space C: C-E-C-G-low C.
    Then, with the second vavle, I added one partial on top: B-D#-F#-D#-B-F#-low B.
    Now first valve, I added one more partial (extending now to Ab above the staff).
    See the pattern? I kept going though all the valve postitions, adding one partial each time.

    I tried to play with relaxed free flowing breaths, and with very little effort. I don't exactly mean less pressure, but without any undue force. I played softly, and if the upper notes were a little weak, or sometime didn't speak, so be it. I specifically tried to keep from pushing on my upper lip to force the notes out. Eventually (over several weeks), I could do that pattern, starting with C-E-G-E-C-G-low C, so that the 1-2-3 combonation went above high C.

    Over the years, I've changed my warm up from time to time, and at one time or another used lots of pedals, low notes, mpc playing or scales, and FOR ME, extending from the middle register into the upper with soft expanding slurs is the easiest way to have the whole range of the horn work right off the bat.

    Anyway, I've obviously never heard you play, so if a teacher who knows your playing feels strongly about doing things another way, go with him/her!

    It's not a one day fix, so if you want to work on this, start slow, and don't force it. In the case of a playing test, I'd do this brief warm up at home before school, or at school before classes start. When you get to class, you shouldn't need much to get going again. An added benifit to being able to warm up quickly is that, eventually, whenever you pick up the horn throughout the day, you'll feel ready to play!

  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Assuming that you practice every day, take 2 days a week for the next month or so and practice without long tones, slurs or anything else normal. Jump right into the tunes section of your routine.

    I always "flap" my lips before my FIRST playing of the day. It gets the blood flowing.

    For band or orchestra rehersals, I make sure that my horn and mouthpiece are warm (Mouthpiece in a pouch in my pants pocket speeds this up considerably), and if time is there, I only play some pianissimo long tones or scales. No need to raise the noise level. Most important if you are sight reading something, is to look at where to breathe and eventually a passage or two that aren't "second nature".

    Once you learn how to just "jump in" to playing, you have freed yourself of ballast that slows the majority of the "non-working" trumpet players.

    If I have a solo concert, I do try and make time to get used to the room, Playing in a bigger hall also needs to be rehearsed more than once. In a band or orchestra, I just take it as it comes. Preparation should NEVER be the warm up before a concert or rehearsal. That is why we practice at home!
  6. Sofus

    Sofus Forte User

    Jul 26, 2008
    By the way; there are skin products containing Arnica,
    where Arnica is a substance enhancing blood flow in
    muscles. Chop Saver is one of these products, another
    is Snake Balm.

    While many people report of the benficial effects of using
    Chop Saver, warnings about Arnica as being able to give
    you an eczema can be read on the back of some Arnica
    containing products.

    Using A product containing Arnica COULD be a way to
    lean up your skin a bit and at the same time enhance
    blood flow in your lips, i.e. this COULD be one good way
    to be as ready for playing as possible without warming up
    on the trumpet.

    If you choose to try this, be aware of any reactions in your
    lips/lip surfaces.
  7. Pete

    Pete Piano User

    Nov 17, 2007
    Here's Bobby Shew's 5 minute warm up. The info has been presented in the ITG Journal at least twice over the past 20 years. I think that it is very effective in the situations that you describe. I use it all of the time.


    Bobby Shew:

    Don’t be “handcuffed” by your warm up.

    1. Learn to warm up without the instrument.
    * Don’t play on cold chops
    Meaning, don’t put the mouthpiece on your face without doing something to
    prepare them first.
    2. Become aware of a stable feeling in your chops.

    The Warm Up:

    1. Start each day with fluttering for about 30 seconds at a time.
    a. Roll or squeeze lips together to check the feeling after
    b. Keep doing this for 2-3 minutes.
    c. Rest for a bit to let the blood settle.
    d. Repeat the process until lips feel right.

    2. Buzz lips for a minute or so.
    3. Buzz mouthpiece for a minute.
    4. Play horn doing a scale or two, or arpeggio.

    Do this in your car, on your way to class, before a gig or before practicing.

    **Flutter after playing for a few minutes after a gig or practicing.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2009
  8. RG111

    RG111 Piano User

    Nov 12, 2003
    One other thing to try is warming up at home before you get to school. You might find that a minute or so of mouthpiece playing will bring it right back.
    Good luck!
    Roy Griffin
  9. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    As I read this post I had an "Aha" revelation! I have never felt warmed up. I feel ready any time I pick up the horn. Most warmups are either misnamed practicing or confidence building exercises on the part of some players. Let's not even discuss "Showboating":evil:
    I like to think of it as "Ready to play." This is the most important place to be in trumpet playing.
    I can fall out of bed and play, others may need a lot more time. That's the wonder of the trumpet, one size does not fit all.
    How do you know when you're ready? It will vary from player to player.
  10. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Whenever I don't enough time to do my warmup routine , mouthpiece buzzing some quick long tones and lip slurs usually helps get me ready , it only takes a minute or so.

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