Seeking practice advice

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Eclipsehornplayer, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Fellow TM’ers,

    I’ve posted out here a time or two about a few things. I’m curious to see from the wealth of folks we have out here if anyone can help me with a problem I’m having.

    I play in a community band in the trumpet section, more to the point the third part of the trumpet section. I’m content here for now, but find my self with a unique problem.

    I’d like to think that most players are like me in that when you get a piece of music you want to strive to play it correctly.

    Having said that, I find it extremely difficult to practice my 3thd part Trumpet/Coronet parts at home away from the band. As you know 3thd part seldom ever has the melody and if it does it’s not for long. Especially if a piece is in cut time I find it difficult to practice it as nothing I’m playing seems to make sense without the other parts happening at the same time.

    It basically becomes an exercise in counting rests and playing “um pahs†till you puke. So does anyone have any suggestions on how I can practice my pieces so that when I’m in the band setting and the music fits together and makes sense, I’m playing it correctly?

    I tend to get bored with it and pick up a solo book of songs and play through them instead.
  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004

    Make sure you know the rhythms with a metronome and the notes you have to play. Check for intonation.

    For those rare melodies you get, practice them well. Are you playing in tune? Check for the intonation.

    When you have satisfied the responsibilities you have to your band by knowing your part cold, reward yourself by playing all the solos and fun stuff you want. You've earned it! You'll become a better player by playing music you enjoy. It balances the grunt work.

  3. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    Whenever possible, get a recording. Follow along and sing your part so you arrive at the first rehearsal with a good sense of how your part relates to everything else.
  4. cornetguy

    cornetguy Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 12, 2005
    Saint Paul, MN
    all of the above. Plus make sure you practice playing trumpet everyday. You know, long tones, flexability, articulation, scales, technique. Always listening to yourself and making sure that you are playing with the best sound you possibly can.
  5. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Yeah, I know what you mean. When I was playing Latin Band, I had a heck of a time trying to practice my parts (2nd trumpet) outside of the context of the rest of the music. What did I do? NOTHING! :lol: I "practiced" at the rehearsals and gigs. ;-) While I realize this is not ideal, it got me to the point where I learned faster and read better, and I did them well enough that I was ok at the gig.

    I agree about trying to find recordings. That's how I practice drums for the Praise music I play.
  6. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Manny, Glenn, Cornetguy, and Patrick

    Thanks for the tips I'll try hard to keep these in mind as I'm trying to develope a better practice ethic.

    It's just so hard to practice something that makes little to no sense without the other elements of the band.

    The recordings thing is a good idea. I was able to do this when we played Leroy Anderson's Sleigh Ride for our Christmas Concert.

    I have a CD of the Boston Pops that they play the same arrangement on.

    Thanks again for the tips.
  7. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    I'll toss one idea more into the mix.... see if you can convince the rest of the section to get together once in a while for a sectional! It sure helps put things in context when you've got the other two or three parts to work with and it won't hurt the section intonation without the distraction of having the rest of the band playing too. I'll bet your 1st or lead would appreciate the chance to help in getting the support they need.

    "Been there, done that!"

    Of course, if you have the opportunity to join a small ensemble (small trumpet choir, quintet, whatever) then you can also mix the parts up and see how the supporting parts fit in. But if you can't, then see para 1 (above).
  8. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Thanks Toots,

    I don't know what kind of support I can could get for that but it sure sounds good to me.

    I'm close to the youngest member of the section (37) I think we may have one member younger. So most of the section are guys that are just hanging out so to speak and they are all very talented players. I'd say that I'm the weakest player in our section of 9 trumpets but truth be told the other 3thd player is a little weaker then me only because he sometimes has trouble with his eyesight. Of course he's 82, but non-the-less he's a very good player; he has been playing for 72 years. The guys seated to my right are all exceptional players with the first 4 chairs being guys who play a lot in other groups Big Band, ARMY etc..

    So I don't think that these guys will want to get together for a sectional practice but I will ask and post to let you know how you suggestion worked out.

    Lastly, I'd love to get into a small ensemble. I play regularly in my church just me, the organist and the choir. I had the chance to get together with 4 other trumpet players of variying talent to do some Christmas stuff and man was that a blast!!!

    Thanks for the suggestions, Best to you!
  9. brian moon

    brian moon Forte User

    John try making a recording of the band at a rehearsal and play along at home. It will sort of like being there. you'll even get ticked when they keep stopping for the clarinets.
  10. trumpet blower88

    trumpet blower88 Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 15, 2005
    Flagstaff, AZ
    I've had that same problem lately as well. I mess up one chair audition and get stuck playing the 3rd and 4th parts. Now, I can't seem to practice because it just dosn't make much sence alone. So now I'm practicing less than before, and without that practice I won't be able to move back up to the 2nd chair area... Quite the paradox...

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