Practicing everyother day.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by nestbeast, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. nestbeast

    nestbeast Pianissimo User

    Jul 31, 2008
    Cultural black hole
    I am so grateful for all of this great information from other players. I have studied with many good players and non of them ever mentioned any of this to me.
    I decided to break my playing down into heavy days and light days. The light day(today) was spent playing from the Mitchell Trumpet Method Bk1. I have had this book for several years and never touched it until today. What a great book. I got in 21/2 hours and my chops felt great.
    Tomorrow is my "heavy" day. I will work on Lesson I from the Maggio Studies. I studied with Carlton MacBeth, very briefly, 30 years ago. I am definitely going to watch my fatigue levels tomorrow.
    Thank you all so very much.
    Peace and many gigs.
  2. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    thanks for getting back to us .. when you become famous don't forget where you heard it first .... your little green square!
  3. Branson

    Branson Piano User

    Jan 16, 2011
    Each post has merit and I have nothing new to add except that the “rest as much as you play” is a very good idea.

    Here is something I have been working on for increasing the upper range.
    Start with a Clarinet duet book- Selected Duets for Clarinet (Compiled and Edited by H. Voxman).

    1.Once you have warmed up, start playing the top part. Play one duet and rest as much as you had played. Check your watch!
    2. Continue until you START to feel fatigue>
    3. Retrace your duets but this time play the lower line until you are back to duet #1,

    The benefit of this is that you are playing higher than you might have and by retracing your second parts back to the first duet, you are playing low notes which will relax your lip. On the second part, try to play all of the low pitches for the ones below our F# will help you relax your lip. This is just another form of play and rest for your chops.

    You will notice that each day you will be able to play further into the book which will help you gain more strength as well as become more comfortable seeing and playing the higher notes.

    Let me know how it works for you.

    Bruce Chidester
    Branson Trumpet Ensemble
    The Trumpet Blog - Your Source for Everything Trumpet
    Trumpet Ensemble Music
  4. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA

    to answer your original question. I am a comebacker for 2 yrs now - who built up to 3 hours a day over the last year, and the range is to DHC. BUT after feeling very fatigued for many weeks at the end of January. The last 2 months I have been - ratcheting down to an hour and a half or so on long day, and taking a every other day off. ---that light day is either nothing or only 20 minutes or so of light playing in the low reg. Anyways I found that my high range (High C to DHC) is more consistent in clear tone, and easier to play. However with the days off - the endurance has diminished at all levels.
    So there is a balance I hope to find someday -- but yes -- some of us have the same problems -- I think that is normal.
  5. nestbeast

    nestbeast Pianissimo User

    Jul 31, 2008
    Cultural black hole
    This is good information. I will try to incorporate this system.
    Thank you much.
  6. nestbeast

    nestbeast Pianissimo User

    Jul 31, 2008
    Cultural black hole
    I have always tried to force myself to practice eventhough I was fatigued. The result was that I was killing my muscles. Now, thanks to the good advice I have received here, try to "listen" to my body. When I cannot play a G in the staff comfortably and with a relaxed sound; I know that its time to stop.
    Its funny that I have studied with many good players, Las Vegas leadplayers to symphony players, and no one has ever discussed how to practice or when to STOP practicing. I don't think that they knew and they were pros.
  7. nestbeast

    nestbeast Pianissimo User

    Jul 31, 2008
    Cultural black hole
    I have just purchased the James Stamp Warmups/Studies and the Flow Studies by Chickowitz. Are you familiar with these? I was introduced to some of the Flow Studies at a small trumpet festival.
  8. Scatmanblues

    Scatmanblues Pianissimo User

    Jul 19, 2010
    West Texas
    It's more likely they knew it so well they took it for granted and never even thought to mention it. People who have learned a skill to an extremely proficient level have internalized the fundamentals that underlie their technique to the point that they happen unconsciously. Thus, what they "think about" when they playpractice is often 2-3 steps "above" the level of basic skills.

    That's why successful professional athletes rarely make good coaches -they aren't good at teaching the fundamentals. The same can hold for musicians.

  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    You know, you can travel from Newark to New York City by going south - it just takes a lot longer and has some hinderances.

    I disagree with the premise that practicing every day, or every other day has much of anything to do with anything. It is THE DIRECTION and QUALITY of your practice that allows you to follow the straight and narrow. If you have always had a problem, maybe that needs to be fixed instead of compensated for by something unrelated.

    My suggestion would be to get some local, professional advice instead of going further south. Finding the right teacher is almost like finding the right wife/husband. A bit of luck and perserverance are needed. Even with moderate habits, an hour a day is possible without tearing down the face!
  10. Kent

    Kent New Friend

    Apr 25, 2007
    Vancouver, BC
    I have been working at finding the right balance between work, rest and results as well. I do take lessons and they are progressing well. The one thing that I have discovered though is that I have been carrying allot of tension in my body and found ways to reduce it through exercise, breathing, etc. However, I hit a "wall" about 5 weeks ago and my chops just had no energy and endurance: range, tone, tonguing all suffered. It dawned on me that tension in my face and chops might be an issue and forcing things in practice weren't the way to go.

    With my teacher, I have now been warming up with a didgerido as per "Pops" Mclauglin's advice and have found that I was simply working too hard and fighting against the air. The harder i worked and the more I ignored the fatigue and tension, the more I suffered. The more I come to understand about playing the horn the more I realise how important it is to work smart and not just hard.

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