Practice Routine

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trmptnegle, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. ebjazz

    ebjazz Pianissimo User

    Aug 12, 2005
    SF Bay Area
  2. trpt2345

    trpt2345 Mezzo Forte User

    May 21, 2006
    Morelia, Mexico
    Get a good teacher and do what he or she tells you. Remember when you practice to have a goal, he who aims at nothing will hit it every time. Address all the issues every day in practice, e.g., tone production, flexibility, air flow, articulation, phrasing, etc. The single most important factor in learning an instrument is good individual instruction and consistent effort. There are no short cuts. Good luck.
  3. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    What are you doing at 11pm? Midnight? 1am? You're young, you've got physical and (hopefully) mental resilience. Look at your schedule and then go find a time to sign up for a practice room (if you need to at your school) and get a key to the practice rooms and then make yourself practice on a daily basis no matter what. Your course load isn't nearly what a 40-hour work week is, and tons of us who are adults working full-time jobs are able to make the time and still have rich family lives.

    Don't "find the time" -- MAKE the time! What you'll learn in personal discipline will spread far beyond just your trumpet playing (which will improve dramatically if you make daily practice as important as eating).
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
  4. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    Time allocation is a state of mind - I put myself through two concurrent degrees at university whilst, bringing up a young family, learning the trumpet and associated practice routine, and working a 40 hour shift work week. Not having the time, is a very poor excuse as far as I'm concerned - you will be astounded how easy it is when you get the hang of it - mind you, your wife (girlfriend) will need to be an angel like mine.
  5. Dupac

    Dupac Fortissimo User

    Aug 19, 2008
    Bordeaux, France.
    Hem, Ted, ... Was she reading what you were typing ? ROFL
  6. trmptnegle

    trmptnegle New Friend

    Aug 12, 2010
    luckily for me I dont have girlfriend at the moment :) and I've been making time. It's been I guess around a month now of me dedicating time everyday to practicing. It's been a slow process, but I'm noticing improvement in my tone (at least I think so) and the ease with which I can hit high notes. I used to be more of a push player, ive gotten to the point where high G, Ab, and A's come out easily, depending on the day, Bb's-B come too. I'm ready to see more improvement, obivously it'll take more work on my part, but I'm ready!
  7. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    THAT is what I've had in my head, but haven't really been able to put into words! In all seriousness, would it bother you if I quoted it in my forum signatures? (not just here, but the drummer's forum as well?)

    To the original poster I think in some ways you are trying to put the cart in front of the horse. You are asking about what exerices or method books you should use, but the truth is, you need to first assess what it is about your playing that needs the work, and approach your practice with that in mind. (My opinion of course) There might be some things you do that really need a lot of work, and others that you might actually do fairly well. The ideal is that you should be fairly strong in any and all of the following areas: (in no particular order)

    Sound production
    Finger technique/tonge synchronization
    breath control

    I have found that sometimes the most blindly simple exercises, and stuff that I create on my own without an actual written page in front of me, work as well as anything and cross-apply to all of my playing. Having said that, there are exercises that are also great to work on. An example of this are the first 3 studies in the Clarke Technical exercises. Just those three can be used as written, or slightly modified (tongued and double tongued, for instance) and will take you a long way.

    So the thing you need to do is to assess where you are with each of those things listed above, and then find exericises that address each of the things you need to work on, and it needs to be approached in a systematic way. For example, working long tones is a good way to address breath control and sound production. Tonguing up and down scales at varying tempos is a good way to get your fingers and your tongue synched up. That kind of thing.
  8. kctrumpeteer

    kctrumpeteer Piano User

    Dec 23, 2009
    If you want to truly get better then you need to get private lessons from a qualified instructor. Most music stores will offer lessons for a reasonable price but if you are at a college you can possibly get signed up with a better deal of taking lessons, etc through a class or through something in the music department.

    From my personal experience that person giving lessons will be able to evaluate where you currently on and almost like a personal trainer will give you homework / exercises to work on that will have goals in mind for improving your abilities.

    So that in itself should be a priority is that you have to figure out what your goals are and then create a plan to get there. Once again that is how a professional giving you private lessons will be able to help.
  9. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I completely and wholeheartedly disagree with the above post.

    At best, an instructor can keep you on a straight path, bring an efficiency to what you work on and can maybe keep you from developing bad habits, but ultimately the work and any resulting improvement comes from the player. All they are going to do is expose the student to the knowledge in a structured way, and anyone with half a brain and some self-discipline can do much of that on their own, or by picking the brains of other players they are around.

    There is a thread on here about Bobby Shew being self-taught due to the fact that he never really had much in the way of formal lessons with an instructor, and if you were to look around, there are a lot of folks - gigging, money making players - who have done the same thing. I'm one of them - I had a total of 6 months of formal lessons (less if you include all the lessons my instructor canceled or just skipped out on) in the 6 months I spent at the Armed Forces School of Music. The rest of it was learned at the Gigging School of Hard Knocks. I've gigged (outside of my Army band experience) and gotten paid to do brass quintet, solo liturgical trumpet, big band, Latin Band and top 40-cover band work. I've never had a problem either finding or keeping a gig so I must be doing something right.

    You don't NEED an instructor to become a decent trumpet player. The OP has already stated he was first chair in HS and is average (meaning he's decent, just not the best) among the players in college. He can go a LONG way by himself if he can do some honest assessment of his playing, identify his problem areas, and get to work with some no-nonsense, practical practice to address those issues. Believe me, I've played alongside of many college educated players - guys who had lessons for the duration of their time as players - who weren't anything special. I was once told by an ex GF I had at my first assignment that when her man rolled in (college educated trumpet player who got stationed at another band first, but was scheduled to show up at ours) that I was going to lose my spots in the brass quintet and big band to this guy. Didn't happen. It would have if he had been a better player than me, but he wasn't. (He was a really nice guy though and they did resume their relationship for a time, even if he didn't oust me from the ensembles I was in - does that count for something?)
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
  10. kctrumpeteer

    kctrumpeteer Piano User

    Dec 23, 2009
    Yes the player has to practice and play and work on getting better so it is ultimately up to the trumpet player on how much work he wants to put into getting better. But the original poster basically said that he already played with a group and playing in college and now found himself not as good or more 'average' because he was now surrounded by a better group of trumpet players so he could either spin his wheels or seek advice.

    No DUH... obviously.... but that is not a bad fact I would say those are all very valid reasons for wanting to get lessons... ultimately what you are still saying is that an instructor can point you in the right direction and then you have to decide on taking the advice and actually working on it. I get a lot of my improvements and experience by playing with a small brass group, but having someone to take lessons from helps tweak and improve my technique as well.

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