Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by jonathansedlacek, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. jonathansedlacek

    jonathansedlacek Pianissimo User

    Jul 23, 2011
    hi everyone
    I have a friend, and he is always playing arpeggios, buzzing on his mouthpiece, buzzing on his mouthpiece, playing these exercises and just a bunch of other practicing routines, and they don't seem to be helping, I mean, he is not really getting better from what i can tell. I also play the trumpet and, when I practice, I don't really do these things at all. I was just wondering, how to practice, should i do these exercises, and if so, what exercises should i be doing.
  2. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    Here's the short answer...Work on mechanics about 2/3 of the time, and playing melodies the other 1/3. Mechanics are long notes, scales, slurs, interval exercises, multi tonguing, and so on. Apply the mechanics to playing "real" pieces of music, concentrating on being musical, playing with a good tone and technique, keeping the tempo, observing dynamics, etc.
  3. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Do what your teacher tells you. If you don't have one, you should get one. Or go to your band director for assistance. With so little info about you, it's impossible to give you credible advice. You may need Rubanks book one or you're in need of something more advanced. Nothing "wrong" with what your friend is doing. If it's not done properly or just for show around his mates there will be little improvement.
    Basics should be:

    -Scales major and minor. When you get proficient, play them for 2 octaves
    -Long tones
    -Lip slurs
    -Lip buzzing/mpc buzzing
    -Chromatic scales
    -Pedal tones
    -Playing music by ear
    -ALL of the above without excessive pressure

  4. Pete Anderson

    Pete Anderson Pianissimo User

    Feb 27, 2008
    It's not about what you practice so much as it is about HOW you practice. I always like to say, you could spend all your time just playing Mary Had a Little Lamb and eventually become a great trumpet player if you were practicing thoughtfully, played it in all keys and registers with varying articulations, etc.

    Maybe your friend has just hit a bit of a plateau, or maybe he's not practicing very thoughtfully. By that I mean is he actually paying attention to what he's playing? Plowing through scales and arpeggios just for the sake of doing them is not going to help you improve as much as if you take your time, correct problems, etc. For instance: play a C major scale. Was every note perfectly in tune? Was your sound consistent all the way up and down? Did you move from note to note smoothly? No? Ok, try again and do it better this time. If you think it WAS perfect, then listen better! Consider recording yourself and playing it back at 1/2 speed.

    Obviously if you practice everything this way you will never get past your warmup, and obsessing about this stuff when actually playing music will make you sound boring. But when it comes to doing technical studies, I think mindlessly plowing through is pretty pointless.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  5. bach37

    bach37 Pianissimo User

    Dec 1, 2011
    Sounds like he is not practicing correctly or just trying to show off.
    1) Get a good teacher.
    2) Get a good teacher.
    3) Get a good teacher.
    Can't go wrong that way.

    You can try some of the stuff I practice every day.
    I start by blowing the pipe.(No buzzing for me) Then all of Clarke #2. Chicowitz flow studies. All of Clarke #1. Then Schlossberg I mix those up a bit so it's not as mundain. Then James Stamp warm ups #3b and 6 all exercises. Then I get my toungue going with E.F. Goldman ex 1 and 2. Then off to Arban with p13 ex11-27, p80 ex10-24, p138 ex35-38, p140 ex41-43, p162 ex 26,32,33,36. P42 ex18-21.
    Just some of what I practice on the technical side of things. I make sure to take a lot of breaks. Basically play one rest one. Then I take a 20 to 30 min break and its off to the melodical side of things. Hope this helps.
    Oh yeah and get a teacher.
  6. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    I am not sure I know what you mean Pete about it's not what you practice but how. This kid will never play "Mary Had A Little Lamb" the way you described without learning the basics. Is practice always fun? No! Is it mandatory to be a good player? Yes! Practice is all about doing things for the sake of doing them and they should be done thoughtfully. It used to be called discipline. :-)
  7. Pete Anderson

    Pete Anderson Pianissimo User

    Feb 27, 2008
    Two people spend an hour doing Clarke studies. One of them does it while watching TV. One of them uses a metronome, drone, records himself and listens for things he could improve on....

    Which person do you think is getting more benefit from that hour of practice? :-p
  8. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Duh! The guy watching TV cuz he's learning to improv to all the CSI theme music!! ROFL
  9. chrisryche

    chrisryche New Friend

    Oct 26, 2009
    Starke, FL
    As you can tell from all the different posts that everyone develops their own practice routine. You should have one and if you don't, develop one as soon as you can. You need to spend time doing the "boring" stuff first--at least most people would say "boring". I find it still a challenge after almost 30 years of playing a play perfect scale in tune with the right attack, tone, and release on every note. Camp Kirkland says the first thing you should do every day when you take your horn out of the case is play all 12 major scales. You need to incorporate lip slurs into your routine for flexibility. Some single tonguing exercises and ones with intervals are good to include as well. Then add double and triple-tonguing exercises, always resting throughout. This should be about a 30 minute time period. I then like to work on difficult passages in my wind ensemble and quintet music and/or work on some technical studies from Clarke and Charlier. To wind down my playing session I love to play out of the Bordogni Melodious Etudes for Trumpet book. This book is great for developing all of the things essential for solo playing.

    Whatever books and whatever exercises you choose is totally up to you but by all means DO THEM--even if you don't see results immediately. Marathon runners don't get up off the couch one day and decide to run a marathon. They work on running a mile, then two miles, then 5, and so on. It takes time. I find myself after not having played a piece of music for months or even years going back to it, playing through it, and thinking how much easier it is to play now versus back then. I like to believe it my fundamentals that have gotten better over the years which makes all-around playing that much easier!
    tobylou8 likes this.
  10. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    uh oh... I do my clarke stuff while watching TV, but I also use a metronome.... does that count??

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