Practicing trumpet again after long layoffs..

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by rbdeli, May 29, 2009.

  1. rbdeli

    rbdeli Mezzo Piano User

    May 8, 2009
    I gave up the trumpet as a professional career choice about 25 years ago. Since then, I've picked it back up for fun, on and off. I've gone months at a time without playing a note. On those occassions when I've got inpsired and started playing again, it's required a lot of patience to refrain from trying to do too much too quickly,especially when it comes to my range. Invariably, my motivation would wear off as I realized that playing at an advanced level required too much work - more than I had the time to devote. This last time I've tried a different approach.

    About two weeks ago, I joined this forum and started playing again but with a much more patient approach. I have completely stopped worrying about the higher notes and only concentrated on making the best possible sound with the lower notes. For a week, I never played anything above C on the staff. I play songs an octave down, if I had to, to keep it below C..
    After two weeks, I decided to explore notes above C, and was amazed at how little effort it took to get to the F on the staff, then G, A, B and high C. Also, I am not getting fatigued the next day after practicing. The good-day, bad-day problem seems to have leveled off quite a bit. When I get tired, I go back to work on playing low notes and songs and exercises an octave down.

    More than anything else, I'm having more fun by taking it less seriously and not putting the pressure on myself that I need to develop my range all at once.

    What are your thoughts on this? Has anyone else found progress through patience and better sound and range by working on the lower register?
  2. Dupac

    Dupac Fortissimo User

    Aug 19, 2008
    Bordeaux, France.
    Yes ! Same problem and found the same solution ! With the help of my daughter's piano teacher (an old polish lady) who always repeats "It's better to play music than to play the piano !"
  3. rbdeli

    rbdeli Mezzo Piano User

    May 8, 2009
    That is very wise advise. If I were a teacher, I decided my goal would be to make sure sounding musical is the goal of every lesson and practice session. Too often, I just went through exercises like a machine, without any regard to the quality of sound and goal to become musical.

  4. Mamba21500

    Mamba21500 Piano User

    Feb 26, 2009
    I do something a lot like this, at the moment I'm playing the Haydn and Hummel trumpet concertos, so what I do is play the Haydn in Bb first, then when I get tired I play the Hummel which is an Eb version, so it is much lower, by doing this I can play for hours a day, whilst when I was only doing the Haydn I struggled with half an hour of playing it!
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    if we are just playing for ourselves, we have the freedom of doing whatever, however we want. Common sense will keep us out of trouble.

    It is more of a problem when we join a wind band, conveniently miss rehearsals until a week or two before the concert and then try to cram months of dedication into the couple of days available. In this case, common sense or a guilty conscience are of no help.

    It is cool to figure out what is best and most logical. It would be cooler if that worked in real life. The best casual players that I know, are the ones not stuck to a rigid, common sense system. They are the ones that put the mouthpiece in the horn and blow. I firmly believe if you can't get at LEAST 30 minutes a day in, a system doesn't help. In that case, you must free yourself of all thoughts of what is possible and just play. In the back of your head somewhere, there should be a spot that keeps reminding you that you are letting your band colleagues down by not regularly playing!
  6. rbdeli

    rbdeli Mezzo Piano User

    May 8, 2009
    You've hit the nail on the head, rowuk.

    I have no reason to rush, push or strain myself to get better. Before, it was ego that got in the way: Remembering the types of things I used to be able to do when I practiced 3-4 hours a day, and thinking I could regain them with 30 minutes to an hour cram-practice sessions each day. It not only didn't work - it wasn't fun.

    Maybe I can get proficient enough again to play in some sort of non-professional group or organized setting for fun. I won't make any goals or set expectations for myself this time. Then, just maybe I'll stick with it and not give up for the umpteenth time. ;)

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