So what really gives you better endurance?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trickg, May 25, 2010.

  1. Back at it

    Back at it Pianissimo User

    Feb 12, 2010
    Western, NY
    Great observations trickg! As Clark stated it's "when we practice, how we practice and what we practice." Efficency efficiency, efficiency!!! We need to play to develop the embrochure but it is most important to play smartly. When we are efficient everything is easier and we can develop faster, although it does take a long time to become efficient and a virtuoso player. I'm certainly still in the process as a comeback player but have discovered these very important efficiency ideas from the famous players like, Clark, Gordon, Vizzutti and others. Efficiency is based on air flow. It is very important to have an appropriate set up with mouthpiece and horn to have good airflow for some, I was one of those and found a combination that woks and the air is now moving and endurance has skyrocketed. For me it is not hours and hours of time but the quality of time spent on my practice.
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    That was the point I was trying to make. For me it's less about the amount of time I spend playing my horn and much more about how I utilize that time. I think that after years of doing this, I've just figured out the right combination of stuff that helps me to play efficiently, none of which is connected to a specfied or lengthy amount of time. Granted, continuity does seem to play a part in it - I can't just take a two week layoff and roll into a gig and expect to nail it down, but as long as I've practiced daily for 4-5 days prior to the job, I can go in and play well and have good endurance. Keep in mind that the stuff I play isn't particularly high by some people's standards - I have written Cs (2 ledgers) and Ds and Ebs above that here and there, but the majority of it is high C and below.

    Grayson, also I think there is a connection to being in better shape and having better endurance, but there was a discussion about this a while back where the contention was that trumpet playing and your general fitness were not necessarily related. This from people who are decidedly not in shape but still have good chops anyway. As I see it, being in shape can only help.
  3. Arthur Magazu

    Arthur Magazu New Friend

    May 26, 2010
    Stow, Ma.
    the answer is simple... you have learned how to blow only took me 30 years to figure this one out...LOL
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    it IS about the time that you spend. You DO need a big chunk to cover all of the stuff necessary. Once that big chunk is intelligent, then things really start to move. You discover that when you have the time to invest.

    I really believe that if one is pretty accomplished, 2 hours/day is required just to maintain. If the player has less time than that, they need to make some value decisions about what can suffer - range, fast articulation, flexibility, raw power. Sometimes the players life becomes rotating priorities. I have been living this for the past 30 years. My practice time is based on what is next in the calendar.
  5. mchs3d

    mchs3d Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 30, 2005
    Provo, UT
    You know what they always say: rest as much as you play. I think it is very true for building endurance.
  6. Glennx

    Glennx Pianissimo User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Many, many years ago when I was in music school someone reported a conversation they had with a trombone player that had just come off a tour with the Buddy Rich band. As I heard it, the guy's chops were so abused he could hardly play a note. I think our teacher's comment was along the lines that "...if you're playing correctly, that kind of daily workout makes you stronger - but if you're not playing correctly..."

    So playing correctly on top of a solid, well-and-long-established foundation has got to be key, right? And clearly 'correctly' has got to include 'efficient', which seems to be something that such diverse but outstanding players as Rowuk, Vizzutti and Thompson and many others are emphasizing. My teacher (who toured with Kenton before switching to bass trombone) always reminded us that so often it's not what we're not doing that gets in the way of progress, but what we're doing too much of and shouldn't be (whether that's tension, pressure, analysis, whatever).
  7. Alex_C

    Alex_C Piano User

    May 30, 2010
    Gilroy, California
    This sounds very encouraging for me. I live on 5 acres and do a ton of physical work around here.
  8. Paul Du Bourg

    Paul Du Bourg Pianissimo User

    Oct 27, 2006
    Took possession of JA's Jazz Improv. Vols 1-3 last week.

    Played Vol 1 examples 1-20. After an hour at CD tempo felt like my face was going to fall off so stopped.

    6 years of trying... humbling once again.


  9. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I never said that I was pretty accomplished. I get the job done for the party band I play with, but I've never been a cut above. Back in my early days as an Army Bandsman, I kept hitting my head on my personal ceiling as a player to where I tried and tried to push my technique past a certain place, and it just didn't happen. I think that at that point in my life, I had maximized my potential from a technical standpoint and simply did not have the capability to go beyond that. That might sound defeatist, and maybe with the right teacher I could have found ways past it, but I was doing what I wanted to as a player already so I never really pursued it.

    So, having said that, I don't think that I "need" 2 hours a day to maintain - I need about 1 hour so that I can continue to play the gig I have and do well with it, although 1 hour is bare bones minimum. There are times I spend 2 hours or even a little more with it, but rarely more than that. You've got to figure that it takes a fair amount of time to cover the most basic of the basic when it comes to air utilization, articulation, sound production and flexibility, and that's without even touching a piece of music.

    I think you and I are mostly on the same track though - my thoughts on the matter and why I started this thread was to make the point that you may not need to be playing 4-8 hours a day to have good endurance, and that if you are doing certain things correctly in the practice room with a streamlined routine, a player can have good chops and endurance even if they are playing for much less time - 1-2 hours a day.
  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I thought I would post an update to this thread.

    I took nearly a week and a half off of the horn. I didn't mean to do that, but with everything else going on in my life, playing trumpet got shelved due to some other things going on:

    -- had a gig on drums I had to prep for
    -- had family out over the holiday weekend
    -- had church music to prep (playing drums)
    -- other misc family stuff

    So, I look up and realize that it's Wednesday before a weekend gig and I haven't played in over a week. So, I got out the horn, and started up with my routine. I took it pretty light on Wednesday, cranked up a bit more on Thursday night and hit it pretty good on Friday - did about 1.5 hours on Friday night. I warmed up at home Saturday prior to heading out for the job.

    The end result? I had a great night on the horn. Plenty of chops, plenty of endurance, and I was still drilling it at the end of the night, and I felt pretty good about it overall.

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