Reasonable Expectations?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by john7401, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. john7401

    john7401 Pianissimo User

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    After coming back from vacation, that week I practiced 20min a day. Then going into the next week I started on 25min and took a day off after I had a long marching band practice. Then I recently split my warm-up and actual practice and am doing about 15min warm up and 20 minutes playing followed by a 5 minute warm down.

    Do you think it is reasonable to be adding 5 minutes of practice a week? Could I go more? Should I go less?

    I know I'll have to feel it out and see what my lips feel like too though. I just want to be very careful about making sure I don't start over practicing. I figure at 5 minutes a week though, by next summer I will have added 4 hours and 20 minutes of practice a day which is plenty.
     
  2. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

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    I think 5 minutes of practice a week is a little bit light, BUT I also think that 4h20 of practice a day is A LOT of practice that won't be an easy feat even if you slowly ramp up to it.

    Length of practice isn't as important as setting goals and strictly sticking to them. I go for quality over quantity.
     
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  3. john7401

    john7401 Pianissimo User

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    Thanks. At what point do you think I should split up the actual practice time into more than one session rather than doing it all in one sitting?
     
  4. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

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    Multiple sessions in a day are very effective and the rest periods in between serve to better rejuvenate your chops. Three 20 minute sessions a day are what I try for these days. I do buzzing/pedals in the morning, more pedals and then some Clarke and some bebop scales later, then music of both classical and standards in a 3rd session which usually goes to 30 min of playing. I STILL rest during those sessions too, so a 20 min session is usually 30 min.

    Breaking things up like this fits with having a day job and family demands.
     
  5. john7401

    john7401 Pianissimo User

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    Ok thanks.
     
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Only 20 minutes a day? I know some people who take more time than that to warm up.

    I think that as long as you are resting properly between activities within your practice session, and if you break it up into multiple sessions throughout the day, provided of course that you aren't mashing your lips to death with too much pressure, you should be able to handle a lot more than 20 minutes, and it shouldn't take you that long to adapt to it.

    You are only going to get out of it what you put into it after all. While it's probably a poor comparison, look at how much time per day a high school athletic team will spend practicing when you combine all the activities such as conditioning, drills, scrimaging, playbook study, and anything else the coach wants them to do. Some teams are spending 3-4 hours per day, and that's what it takes in order to be successful with it.

    I have read countless posts over the years talking about the importance of finding a good teacher. It's the same concept as an athletic coach who assesses players strengths and weaknesses, and assigns drills or activities in order to improve them as players and a team.

    At the same time, as musicians it's important to think about the quality of the work we do as well as the quantity - try not to think about how much time you are spending and focus on improvement of specific skills. Break your practice into multiple sessions per day if you can, and if you feel your chops starting to get tired, rest.

    Dedication, hard work and focus - those are the things that are going to get you where you want to go.

    EDIT: It just occurred to me that I kind of ignored the original question and thread topic about "reasonable expectations." To answer that, depending on what kind of time you have available, I would say that you should be able to pull off two to three 30-40 minute sessions a day without much problem. You might have to push yourself a bit at first, but your chops will quickly adapt if you aren't abusing them with how you are playing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
  7. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    You will never get a correct answer for this question.
    Why?
    My reasonable is different than your reasonable which is different than Solar Bell's reasonable, which is different than trickg's reasonable.
    --
    You need to determine what is reasonable.
    Experiment and tell us what YOU find as reasonable. There's the correct answer.
     
  8. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    I disagree with that to a point - there are certain parameters where virtually everone falls into for "reasonable." I think that anything between 30 minutes to 2 hours would be considered reasonable for anyone, and I think that virtually anyone serious about playing trumpet could work up to that. Expecting anything beyond that on either end is where things might be unreasonable for some people. I probably won't get to where I'm playing and/or practicing for more than 2-3 hours per day because for the life that I currently live and for my playing requirements, that's just not really necessary. There was a time though where it wasn't unusual that I had the trumpet in my hands 5-7 hours in any given day.
     
  9. john7401

    john7401 Pianissimo User

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    Thanks for the help. When I do start practicing more though my lips do have a different feeling as an effect from the playing that I can feel when I first put the horn to my face the next day and the more I practice more the longer it seems to take me to warm up. Sort of a used feeling but just some kind of sensation in the lips. However once I get into things it doesn't seem to effect my playing at all. The feeling seems to come alot easier if I did quiet practice the day before. This isn't something I should be worried about is it?

    I got that feeling today from yesterdays practice when I only spent 25min of practice mostly on quiet Arbans stuff so I'd hope that it is nothing.
     
  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    I think it's simply that your face and lip muscles and soft tissues are letting you know that they did some work the day before. That's not necessarily a bad thing though and even the greats deal with it. There's a section in Don "Jake" Jacoby's book where he talks about the stiffness of chops the day after a hard day of playing or gigging. His recommendation was to simply keep blowing without doing major adjusting until the sound and feeling come back like they should - I'll have to check the quote when I have the chance to see just how he said it, but it makes sense.

    Consider though, if you went out and ran for 25 minutes today, even if it was a light jog, wouldn't you have to warm up and stretch before your legs felt right before you could run the next day? There are arguments that the muscles of the face and lips are not like muscles in the rest of the body, but the lip tissues still have to deal with the mouthpiece being on there. Like it or not, playing trumpet, even though it can be made to feel natural over time, is not a "natural" activity, so it makes sense that you have some stiffness or funny feeling the day after practicing.

    Just keep after it - it's perfectly normal and soon it will just be another part of your trumpeting endeavors.
     

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