Serious help needed!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by ADDER, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. ADDER

    ADDER Pianissimo User

    May 25, 2008
    London UK
    Hi all.
    I really need help on what to practice.
    Let me give you some info on what's happening in my life.
    I'm currently studying to become a London black Taxi driver and all my time is taken up trying to learn the 25000 streets of London plus the 10000 points of interest in London, I started playing the Trumpet just over three months ago because I had played it as a kid and loved it, I get just under two hours a day freetime from my studies to become a cabby so I really need some kind of routine that will maximize those two hours.

    I've been a musician since the age of 14, Guitar, Keys, Bass, vocals etc.
    I have a very good ear and a limited amount of theory. (I can read but slowly)

    Thing is, all I seem to do in the hour and half or so I get to play is go over songs I have worked out by ear, ie 'Alfie' by Mr Bacharach... although I'm getting quite good at playing that....

    A tutor is totally out of the question at the moment, I just don't have the funds until I get my cab licence in June 2009, (I will then get a good tutor)

    I have the Arbans book but have no idea what I should be practising from it.

    I try to start off with Long tones, then slurs then a couple of scales but I always end up playing 'From Russia With Love' or something else...

    I have no structure to my practice...

    Can anyone help? I just need some kind of routine that will help me improve.
    My range at the moment is Low F# to A above the stave.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. MJ

    MJ Administrator Staff Member

    Jan 30, 2006
    Can't you use a GPS for the Taxi?
  3. ADDER

    ADDER Pianissimo User

    May 25, 2008
    London UK
    Not if you want to work for THE best Cab service in the world....
  4. fraserhutch

    fraserhutch Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 23, 2004
    Novato, CA, USA
    Would that make you Black Adder?

  5. Bach219

    Bach219 Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 25, 2008
    I say keep doing what your doing, long tones, slurs.... And try using that Arbans book. Everthing in their is practicible.

    Good Luck!

  6. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005

    What you want to do is to touch on the relevant areas of practice within whatever time you have.

    There are several areas of practice we can start with:

    -scales (major minor) - I'm making the assumption that you know the fingerings of the horn and have some sort of range (at least an octave)



    -musical development

    Now, let's assume you have 1 hour a day to practice. I would recommend starting out with a regimen similar to this:

    -10 minutes long tones. This can serve as your warmup at this point. In a comfortable range, play long sustained tones. Try to play in tune with a good sound (you might not be able to to start off with, but try anyway. It's important to ALWAYS be aware of intonation and sound). Make sure you breathe properly. Rest as much as you play.

    -start learning your major scales in all 12 keys. You can combine the scales with the long tones above. Pick a scale a week. Practice up AND down. Later when you feel like you know the scale(s) practice them a little faster. Practice them in thirds, fourths, practice them with an increasing range...just keep evolving these studies over time, but at the beginning - keep it simple. Pick a scale a week and use it for long tones.

    Strength and flexibility.

    -10 minutes lip slurs. Look in the Arbans toc, you'll see slurring exercises.

    -10 minutes interval studies. See Arbans.

    Generally with the Arbans studies, pick one or two a week and just practice them until you really have them down. If you feel like you have one of them down, practice it faster.

    -10 minutes - play tunes, etudes, stuff from the radio, whatever amuses you. Try to be methodical about this and make it useful practice. Try to play whatever you're playing musically. Try to play all of it, if you're doing something from a record for instance. Approach it like study.

    I've listed 40 minutes of practice, but you should also rest while practicing, so the regimen above should take about an hour and fifteen minutes. That's not a lot by professional standards, but if you do this kind of structured regimen every day, and approach it seriously, your playing will improve.

  7. ADDER

    ADDER Pianissimo User

    May 25, 2008
    London UK
    Cheers Bigtiny.
    That's exactly what I needed.

  8. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
    Adder you can buzz while driving...if that's allowed. It may help you to build your endurance on your way to the next customer
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The pencil trick when driving will also help. I second bigtiny's recommendation. Just for the sake of argument, there is NOTHING wrong with taking a day or two off from your chopbuilder program per week and just playing tunes instead.

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