Practice Positions

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Comeback, May 1, 2015.

  1. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

    Jun 22, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Do you prefer to sit or stand while practicing? Lately, I have been standing, not so much for musical purposes as for fitness interests. Like many older guys (I am 62), it is easy to spend lots of time sitting. I have decided, for now at least, to not make trumpet practice one more opportunity to shine the seat of my pants. I have made some personal discoveries in the process.

    It is not uncommon for arm and shoulder issues to develop in men my age. So it is with my right arm and shoulder. Years and years of construction trade work and athletic competition and coaching have taken a toll. I suppose surgery should be a considered option, but, no offense to our fine MD members, I do not care to walk that path until forced too. What of those discoveries? Well, my breathing seems to be better, which has a positive effect on my sound, endurance, and range. Also, my instruments get sorted out. Among my Bb's, the Getzen Classic has distinguished itself. It is the lightest of the bunch and seems to provide me the most favorable ergonomic characteristics. Playing it produces less fatigue and provides greater comfort; I simply get more enjoyment and satisfaction from my trumpet time.

    I invite you to share your thoughts about this topic.

  2. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009

    You probably spotted the research about excessive sitting and poor health that was in the news about a month ago. According to it, standing is better for you. Sitting is how I do most of my practicing, and yes, it is because I am lazy. I have always felt that I played better while standing and have had to work on our jazz band trumpet players to get them to stand while performing.

    Seems like when I was a Allstate (solo) many many years ago they had us stand while we played. Seems like it was the same for my son more recently.

    If you do sit, I was always taught (whether I do it or not is another story) that when sitting to sit on the front 1/3 of the chair, back straight and away from the chair back, feet flat on the floor.

    Let's see what others have to say.
  3. Tjnaples

    Tjnaples Piano User

    Aug 30, 2013
    Sitting or standing I use the Alexander Technique. Have the hips under the spine and the head on top of the spine all the while not raising my head (trumpet goes sharp). I have my visit to the Monette factory a couple years back to thank for learning about this incredible difference in playing and sound! Here is a good explanation/example:
  4. Dennis78

    Dennis78 Fortissimo User

    Feb 1, 2015
    I almost always stand, just feels natural I guess
  5. J. Jericho

    J. Jericho Fortissimo User

    Mar 16, 2011
    I sit when I have to, and I can do it properly, but I much prefer standing; it allows me to fill my lungs more fully, and it just feels better, less restrictive, and, as Dennis78 said, it feels natural.
  6. Old Bugle Boy

    Old Bugle Boy Pianissimo User

    Jan 8, 2015
    North Yorkshire
    When we were young lads 50 odd years ago, learning the bugle in our Army Cadet Corps of Drums, we were told that playing while sitting would cause a hernia(!) Mind you, our aim back then was to blast holes though the walls, break all the neighbours' windows, and most importantly, knock the local rival Sea Cadet buglers out of the water - volume was everything. Anyway, right or wrong advice from then, I prefer to stand while practising.
  7. ExtraTeeth

    ExtraTeeth Pianissimo User

    Nov 13, 2008
    Perth, Western Australia
    No doubt about it, I can breathe better standing.
    But then I should practice as I'm required to play in band and orchestra which is seated.
    In reality, my practice setup is a barstool which is a compromise that allows pretty good breathing and spinal alignment.
  8. Tjnaples

    Tjnaples Piano User

    Aug 30, 2013
    Sitting or standing, if one is doing the Alexander Technique it should not make one bit of difference.
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    We have to practice both because we need both. There is a difference however because the geometry of the body changes. That difference should, as TJNaples posted be insignificant. Many times it is not due to lack of proper posture and practice. I would add that the Alexander technique is not the only path to success, but it is a readily accessible and dependable one IF we have an instructor who is carefully monitoring our behavior until we "get it". I consider Alexander Technique to be even less DIY than trumpet playing.

    Other good things to improve posture:
    Martial arts

    Getting a checkup is as easy as finding an instructor OR getting a massage and noting where tension has collected and how much work it is to relieve it.
  10. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    When sitting, ensure that your hips are higher than your knees.

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