My new favorite practice tool for under $1.00

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Jimi Michiel, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. Jimi Michiel

    Jimi Michiel Forte User

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    I warmed up today by playing through my Arban's book (arpeggios, scale studies, etc) and was thinking about how much better I am at the keys that I like than I am at the keys that I don't like. Even having favorite (easier) keys doesn't sound like a good idea. So I decided to start practicing only the keys that I wasn't as comfortable with: D#, Gb, B, etc. But wasn't very fun and didn't last long. So here's what I came up with:

    [​IMG]

    By using a 12 sided dice to select keys (and exercises) at random, you have an equal chance of playing any key and, in theory, over time I should become equally comfortable in all keys. I think the trick will be to NEVER just play an exercise because it's easy, try to use the die as much as possible. I think this is really going to work well for me as I'm not one for sticking to a strict practice regimen, but I do need a methodical way to attack my problem of being uncomfortable in some of the more difficult keys...

    You can get 12-sided dice from any game or hobby store. I picked up a few (as I will inevitably loose them, and also to give to friends and students) and they were all between $0.75 and $0.99. Not a bad investment for something that I think is really going to help my practicing.

    -Jimi
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2007
  2. RG111

    RG111 Piano User

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    Not to sound like a smart***, but why not play in every key every day? Thats even cheaper!

    Roy
     
  3. Jimi Michiel

    Jimi Michiel Forte User

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    Roy,

    I know what you mean, but there are a couple of reasons why this works well for me:

    -I'm not a meticulous person. I don't keep a practice diary. If I don't hit every key one day, there is no way I'm going to remember which keys I neglected (and need to hit twice) when I practice the next day. The dice ensure that, over time, every key will be given equal treatment.

    - Transposition/site reading. One of the most best things I've done to help my transposition and site reading is to play duets with friends in random transpositions. Inevitably, however, common transpositions (Bb, C, D, Eb, F) are chosen at random more often than less common transpositions (Ab, G, B). Choosing transpositions at random, with B coming up just as often as F, makes the excercise a little more difficult.

    -I'm a trumpeter. I like new equipment, even if it only costs $1. What do you think the chances are that someone will read this thread and next month in the ITG Journal there will be an ad for "Trumpet Practice Randomizers, only $19.95!" ? We're trumpet players, looking for gimmicks is what we do :D

    -Jimi
     
  4. cornetguy

    cornetguy Mezzo Forte User

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    My brother's Clarinet teacher did a similar thing. He had a Corn King hat with poker chips in it. Written on each one on one side was a Major key and on the other side was the minor key a tritone away. At every lesson he would have the student pull a couple out of the hat and those where the scales, arpeggio studies etc for the day. For the teachers out there he also had one that one side was "student choice" and the other side was "my choice" He did that so the students would have to keep sharp on all scales etc in the practice room. but he didn't have to spend half the lesson on just that and could cover etudes, solos etc.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2007
  5. RG111

    RG111 Piano User

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    Good points, Jimi!!!!

    Roy
     
  6. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

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    Great idea. A simple way of using the old flash cards that teachers used to torment us.
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Any mathematicians out there that can prove that a 12 sided object will give truely random results when thrown at a table from a random height, with random air pressure and humidity?

    Just kidding!

    Even seeing something like that in my trumpet case would remind me to play things that are less comfortable.

    I would need a 36 sided one for minor keys though, and getting modal dice (today the gray dice for dorian mode starting on G#....................)is also necessary. And then I would need dice to pick the random dice for my random practice. AAAAAGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Scales is probably the reason that I did not actively pursue a career in jazz............... They are not really hard, there are just sooooo many of them.

    What scale does Mr. Arutjunian (this spelling is used in Germany and comes close to the pronunciation!) use in his concerto? I have never been able to name it.

    Jimi, just ignore me, I am in a crazy mood today! Great idea!
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2007
  8. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    I like both the idea of practicing every key every day and the random element that flash cards can provide. Using 1-12 will create a random tone row, and the opportunity to play in different sequences than the normal chromatic, circle of fifths or expanding patterns. Good for the ears and the chops, and drives students crazy!
     
  9. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

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    Last edited: Sep 21, 2007
  10. Jon Kratzer

    Jon Kratzer Pianissimo User

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    Why argue semantics? His name was writtein cyrrilic so the only true way would be something like'Арутюниан' ..except spelled correctly. I'm sure someone out there knows it ;)
     

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