Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by jabbott, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. stevesf

    stevesf Piano User

    Jun 23, 2010
    San Francisco Bay Area
    You mentioned the operative word. Muscle.
    Like training any muscle you would not want to do the same excercises every day. One day work it hard and focus on strengh and endurance. Then the next day focus on speed and agility. Then the next day perhaps a light or soft practice...and so on and so forth...
    To build a muscle, rest and recovery is just as important as working it hard.

    As far as how long you should practice I guess that depends on the cumulative whole of how much playing you are doing.
    For example if I am performing a lot or involved in a taxing job (i.e. lead/commercial work) my practice sessions are fairly short and more or less just maintenance. If I am only doing light work or just performing weekend jobs my practice sessions tend to be a little longer and in depth.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011
  2. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    I am by no means at the level of many contributors here but on this subject, from my personal experience, I'll say the following:

    I have noticed decent progress in all aspects of playing when I consistently stop playing before getting tired. It requires a keen awareness of the signs and symptoms of fatigue, a big one being the quality of sound. One that is often more difficult to pick up is the insidious, increasing MP pressure. Whenever that happens, I know it's time to take a break. It is much more difficult to respect this discipline on "good" days, not only because playing is more satisfying but also because the sound does not degrade as much or as fast, and because, on these days, a little pressure goes a long way.

    When I wait until I get noticeably tired to stop playing, I tend to have a following day that is not quite as good, albeit not too different. Proper rest periods then become even more important. I suspect that long plateaus that I have experienced were partially caused by regularly getting to that point, but other factors were involved too (such as lack of proper air support).

    Playing beyond the point where my lips/embouchure is noticeably tired has brought nothing but grief. I have not experienced any benefit whatsoever by doing that, and I suspect that it was a major cause of significant setbacks, which reduced the average progress, over a long time, below what it could have been.

    For me, playing beyond fatigue is quite detrimental. Perhaps when one reaches higher levels, there can be some benefit, but pretty much all the methods I've seen caution against doing it.
  3. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    Replace the word practice with the concept of play - play your scales, play your arpeggios, play your arrangements. Play is always (hopefully) fun - but what you have is a mental block - don't practice ...... play.

    This is a concept I offer to new players and I ask their parents to always talk of playing - it might help. Sometimes your playing sucks, but mostly it should be enjoyable. I have been using Arbans for a while now and I see that the elements have musical integrity and pleasing rythms and expressions - play stuff you like if you can. But play. I have allocated the 1st hour after I come home from work as the minimum, I kiss "the girl" on the lips, and then the trumpet - two pleasurable experiences.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I work with rewards. Just like training a dog - being a good boy/girl means getting a treat. Set goals like 4 scales per week, lip slurs, tonguing exercizes. All stuff with measurable success. - Got through - get a nice dinner, massage or something else special. Be tough on yourself, but fair. EARN those treats!

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