Practice routines

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Cornyandy, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

    Jan 9, 2010
    East Yorkshire
    We often on here suggest that new and improving players have to have "a solid practice routine" and indeed I believe in that myself, the routine itself helps me to focus on what needs to be played and I vary it a lttle but essentially it is based on Clarke, Schlossberg, Flexibility studies, Arpeggios and scales

    I wondered if we could perhaps put together a fairly definitive practice routine to help new and improving players (obviously to be used in conjunction with tutors if applicable but there are people who teach themselves or get such useful input frm teachers as one word "practice")

    I was thinking of something along the lines of Dr Marks now famous "Basics Sheet" but a "Practice sheet" if you will. Can you imagine the wealth of experience on here all drawn into one almost definitive practice routine.

    Of course we might create a monster but it would be worth a go
  2. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    Well - "A camel is a horse designed by a committee".

    Be that as it may, I'll get things started off by suggesting categories in this order:

    Getting the air working.
    - could be as little as a few deep breaths or some nice, deep yogic breathing.

    Getting the lips moving.
    - Although some will recommend it here, I have never done much buzzing and it doesn't work well for me.
    - - instead, I play a long tone-ish ascending scale C-C and then Laurie Frink's, "An Integrated Warmup", which contains some Chicowitz flow studies and other exercises to get the lips moving.

    (Long tones, a category many would add, and place it here. Personally, I prefer long-toned melodic exercises, concentrating on slow moving tone exercises and I would include them with the other category when I play etudes, etc..)

    Fingering exercises.

    Flexibility exercises.

    Tonguing exercises.


    Range work.

    Etudes, Studies.
    - Clark, Arban, etc.

    Repertoire and improvisation work-outs.

    Warm down.

    (caveat - I actually play the "Balanced Embouchure" exercises and do them either before or after I play Laurie Frink's, "An Integrated Warmup". I don't mention it above because I doubt that it's a category, per se, that most would include.)
  3. Jerry Freedman

    Jerry Freedman Piano User

    Mar 4, 2005
    I have often thought that BE could mix well with Caruso/Frink as long as does BE with attention to timing, how is it for you
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I might add to this excellent "Getting Started" menu, that once you are ready to advance, combine these in the series with "false fingering" techniques. This really opens up areas you would never think you could go. I had for a long time done this, but have expanded on it significantly when going over the exercises in the Book: "the art of Jazz trumpet" by John McNeil, pages 72-75.
  5. Dupac

    Dupac Fortissimo User

    Aug 19, 2008
    Bordeaux, France.
    I'm ahead of you, I do naturally false fingerings, no need to work on technique... ROFL
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    False fingerings can take your technique to places you would never thought you could go. And since you are way ahead of me... I gotta kick it up a notch just so I can stay in your wake!:thumbsup:
  7. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Great question by Andy, although I realize there likely will be no single answer for everyone.

    For me, it's a balanced routine that focuses on 3 areas.

    30 minutes - embouchure exercises (Clarke, flexibility, octaves, flow studies, lyrical studies, tonguing)

    30 minutes - technical exercises (scales, jazz patterns)

    30 minutes - music (mostly memorizing and practicing jazz standards)

  8. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi cornyandy,
    Here's something that Wynton put together that has some of what you might be looking for:

    Wynton Marsalis practice routine & tips

    Three hours will allow you to cover all aspects of playing, but 45-60 minutes is enough for one sitting. The quality of the practice is more important than the length of time it takes.

    Practice has several basic objectives: sound, slurring, tonguing (single, double, triple), phrasing. The Arban book [Arban's Complete Conservatory Method for Trumpet (Cornet), published by Carl Fischer, 192.] is set up that way.

    Try to get as rich and pure a sound as you can -- an "unbrassy" sound, the kind with no metal in it. Louis Armstrong is a good example. His sound is really bright, but not brassy. It has a core that is warm. During the first 15-20 minutes play long tones, soft, from second line G down to low G. For the next 30-45 minutes work with pages 5 and 6 in the Max Schlossberg book [M. Baron, publisher], varying the dynamics and the tempos. Try to play through every slur, getting an even, round sound on every note, and getting over the breaks in the instrument. Also, exercises 59 and 60 in the Schlossberg book are good to strengthen your lips.

    Take a break.

    Use the Second Study (page 8) in the Herbert L. Clarke Technical Studies [Carl Fischer]. Work on velocity, with a metronome, in major and minor keys. Slur some, tongue some, and double tongue some. Also work on the "kah" syllable. Go straight up the scale, starting with the middle C (exercise 32). In the Arban book there is a series of exercises to work on your single tongue attack. Number 19 on 28 is especially good. Try to get a nice round attack with some "pop" in it.

    Then you can open an etude book. Theo Charlier: Etudes Transcendantes [Leduc] is good for advanced players, or the Arban book for others. Do some double/triple tonguing exercises. That's another hour on tonguing.

    Take a break.

    Now deal a little more with slurring, but not too much; you don't want to kill yourself. Work out of a book like Advanced Lip Flexibilities [Charles Colin, author and publisher]. Then do some phrasing exercises out of the Arban book.

    Finally, play some characteristic studies from Arban, or etudes from Charlier or Schlossberg. When you play these etudes, or any exercise, always go straight through without a stop the first time. Then go back and practice the places you had difficulty. Play everything -- no matter how trivial or trite it might be -- with dynamics and sound and musical expression.
    Hope this helps
  9. Rapier

    Rapier Forte User

    Jul 18, 2011
    The most ridiculous thing I ever heard in a Brass Band rehearsal was from the Solo Horn player. After cocking up his part for the umpteenth time, the MD said, "you'll need to do some practice on that at home". To which the player replied, "I don't practice. I only do this as a hobby". Glad I was just helping them out and not a member.
  10. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Ridiculous ... yes. Uncommon ... no.


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