Practicing Longer?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by garmeth, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. garmeth

    garmeth New Friend

    Dec 4, 2010
    Hey guys I've been wanting to really improve my playing. I went from bad to 2nd best trumpeter at my school from freshman to sophomore year but now I've pretty much stagnated ( due to lack of controlled practice). Now I've been inspired by several players, but the most peculiar to me is Rafael Mendez.

    after listening to his Moto Perpetuo ( My God) I started researching him and it is rumored that some days he would practice over 12 hours, and to the max 18 ( not sure if I believe 18 but w.e.)

    Moto Perpetuo performed by Rafael Mendez - YouTube

    So with my new inspiration, I've decided to start practicing and practicing a lot. I'm hoping to put in at least 2 hours a day and make a high chair at the all state convention for my senior year of high school. I started to practice, and realized that my chops die, FAST. How is it possible that a player like mendez can put in 18 hours and my playing deteriorates RAPIDLY after just a few minutes of playing. At my level of skill is it not possible to practice for a long period of time?

    I think part of the blame goes to the fact that marching band destroys my chops and now our band is practicing some songs to perform at the pearl harbor anniversary and that includes tons of marches and chop busters ( I rest mid song frequently to not completely destroy my chops).

    Aside from that, I'm not sure how I can maintain my lips to practice longer. Any tips?

    -Thanks in advance
  2. Mark_Kindy

    Mark_Kindy Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 11, 2010
    Gainesville, FL
    I am no expert, let me say that first. However, I do have some tips that will help your chops.

    First, let me say Mendez is a great player to look up to.

    Endurance is something that you'll really develop over time as a player. I myself can only handle about 5 or 6 hours a day at this point, after 7 years of playing. I believe that you should be careful not to overdo anything that you are told can help.

    As well, endurance is also helped by the efficiency of your playing. Often younger players are still developing air/breath support, so I suggest you work on that. Most instructors I find suggest working on Cichowicz flow studies as a warmup routine, that helps get your air flowing properly, and will reduce the need for as much facial tension. As well, learning to softly play the Clarke studies helps your lips to learn how to maintain an efficiently sized aperture that will respond properly to increased airflow.

    Beyond this, I can offer no more suggestions than to keep practicing, but again DO NOT OVERDO. Often times we'll try to rush things and the result is bad habits, and I've had my share and more. Best of luck

    Addition: ALWAYS look for an instructor in the area to assist you in any studies you pursue. Sometimes you can not realize some detail you are missing, and not make progress because of it.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    The trick is to stop practicing before exhaustion (the exception being tonguing exercises), rest, and start in again. Endurance is built by many repetitions of low-impact exercises.
  4. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    20-30 minute sessions... lots of them through the day. If you want to learn about Mendez, then you need to come to ASU and see Hickman... he is the expert!
  5. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Going from 30 minutes to 2 hours will more than likely hurt you. I know lips and other muscles are somewhat different. However this analogy fits. You don't go from bench pressing 125lbs to 500lbs just cause you want to be like Arnuuld (if you don't get that reference, your way too young!). You have to build endurance. Get a productive 30 min session to be normal, then try to expand to 45 min, then 60 and so on. And if you have the time, as jiarby suggested, do several a day, if possible.
  6. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    ROFL "I will be backkkk!!!!!!" --yup endurance comes from SLOWLY building your muslces up -- like running, and weight lifting. And NOT causing injuries to yourself because a Mendez reportedly plays 18 hours a day.. I have reports that Doc Severensen does 6 hours a day. So maybe that is all that is needed to be a consumate professional even in to your 80's. My take is that =-- no matter how long it takes you to get that endurance, if that is what you want -- you will get it.
    dont forget a few things in this quest. You need rest within the practice (between sets) and after practice, you need proper nutrition (lots of protein for building muscles in the face) --you need persistence, and you somehow need to listen to your body --- meaning if your sore in the face muscles, it may actually be beneficial to take an easy day, or actually a day off --- which seems contrary to your goal -- but it may be necesarry to rest, recooperate, so you can actually be stronger the following days.
  7. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    C'mon man! If you're going to quote ARnuuld, you gotta get it right! It's, "Iuuull be baack!" !! ROFLROFLROFLROFLROFLROFL
  8. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    If they don't have the guts, I call them girlie men.
    Arnold Schwarzenegger
    Claiming Democrats in California were delaying State Budget by catering for special interests

  9. DCIGene

    DCIGene New Friend

    Jan 3, 2010
    Great question. What you don't see is the amount of rest he also puts in that 12 hours. That's not going to be 12 hours of face time. Practice does not have to be actual playing. It can involved playing, recording, evaluating, journaling, listening, etc. I am sure he puts plenty of face time in, but if you add up all the little rests during the day you will see he probably rests almost as much as he plays.
  10. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Excellent point!!!

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