So what really gives you better endurance?

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

  1. garrett786

    garrett786 New Friend

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    There are lot's of things you can do to build up endurance. I practice longer than I can. Play even when it feels like you can't play above the staff. Then when you can't play another note, you stop. Rest, then start playing again. The next day you will find that you can play much longer.
     
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Aren't you still in middle school or something? Given that I have been playing trumpet close to 3x longer than you have been alive, forgive me if I take your advice on the matter with a grain of salt. Endurance is not something you can build up in a matter of days.

    Good endurance is something that eludes many people for years, and it's often not a simple matter of just playing harder or playing more. Even if you push and push yourself, if your fundamentals aren't strong, or if you have some major embouchure problems, practicing more could actually be detrimental to your endurance.

    I'm just glad that I've gotten to a point where I can maintain my chops with fairly simple practice concepts and exercises that don't require that I spend hours of time on the horn a day.

    Ah - here we are:

    The kind of endurance I'm talking about is the kind of endurance required to get through a night at a real gig where the band might play 40+ songs, and the playing requires range up to and beyond high C. (2nd ledger above the staff) I'm not talking about the kind of endurance it takes to successfully navigate through a 5th grade band class. I don't say this to be condescending, but rather to point out that at your age and stage of playing, you really don't have a clue what I'm talking about or what this thread is about. At only 3 years into your trumpet playing efforts, it's likely that you've barely begun to develop your chops.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  3. kcmt01

    kcmt01 Mezzo Forte User

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    We were asked recently to add some waltzes to our song list, so I decided to add "Wives And Lovers" and "Bluesette". "Buesette" will give your chops quite a workout. By the time I get it memorized, I'll be a better player!
     
  4. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    During my first stint as an Army Bandsman where I was part of a regular, working Army band, playing 2nd and 3rd parts on marches were chops builders for us. We typically structured the parts for cut down bands where we only used 4 trumpets like this:

    1 - First part
    2 - First part
    3 - Second part
    4 - Third part

    The two guys playing first would trade off. For instance, both would play the intro and depending who was going first, the other guy would fade out at the beginning of a stanza and then come back in right before the repeats so you weren't pounding your chops through a whole march.

    However, for the 2nd and 3rd parts where the writing was lower and a bit a less demanding in terms of range, they would have to play the whole march from top to bottom. It was just a ton of playing and that built up the chops pretty well.

    I have often wondered whether if put back into that type of environment and that amount of playing what would happen to my existing chops. I would tend to think that my accuracy would tighten up, but that it could be detrimental to my endurance for the type of playing I do now.
     
  5. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

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    Its all about mastering proper technique. Once you do, then practice is about keeping it fresh in your mind and body. Patrick, I'd say you are at that point for the type of work you do. I'm not completely there yet, but getting closer every day. FYI - I play in a rock band, a quintet and a couple of big bands, not to mention freelance stuff, etc.

    My endurance has improved over the past year primarily because I REALLY pay attention to my posture and breathing. I strive to always stand tall (or sit tall in quintet), but at the same time be mindful of not playing tense. This is something Manny liked to talk about - play as if you have a string coming out of your head holding you straight up and down, but with relaxed limbs.

    For breathing I always like to take really deep breaths, which tends to keep me from using too much mouthpiece pressure. For notes "up there" I have noticed that using maximum lung capacity and then using my whole body to firmly "squeeze" my lungs, as one would squeeze hamburger between your fists, firmly, but not too much, this approach seems to "supercharge" my air stream for high notes.
    In other words, if you are shaking are in pain, you're squeezing too hard!

    The other exercise I think has helped me is the one that Nick Drozdoff showed on youtube where he was playing scales without using the valves via minimal mouthpiece pressure and allowing some buzzing to leak out. It seems to "focus" the chops.

    my 2c,

    Greg

    PS - Sorry, but I must also say that playing an efficient horn (Harrleson Bravura Bb and C) really does help my endurance. Because, when I am playing Forte but only using the effort of playing mezzo-Forte, I can play longer without getting tired.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Greg, I'd say that I'm a long way off from "proper" technique, but I'd agree that I have found a balance point in technique that is necessary for the gig I play. If I was doing the kind of playing you do, I'd definitely have to rethink my approach. Then again, if I was doing that kind of playing, out of necessity, I'd be spending a lot more time on the horn anyway.

    By the way, I REALLY appreciate what you just posted. You talk about some mental imagery that likely goes a long way toward promoting proper playing technique - sort of a back door method to doing things the right way. Sort of an anti "paralysis through over-analysisA" kind of thing so that instead of cripling yourself by thinking about the actual mechanics of playing, you trick your body into doing things mechanically correct through mental imagery.

    I like it!
     
  7. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

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    K.I.S.S., right?
     
  8. guyclark

    guyclark Piano User

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    I think Greg has a good point about having a good breath in you before you start playing!

    I know that this is the part of my playing where I'm weakest! I realize that I seem to breathe in a shallow manner when I'm not playing, and only take a big breath when I need to do so! Unfortunately, I carry this into my playing as well, and (unfortunately) pay the price in terms of both phrasing, and endurance.

    If I remember to breathe deeply before an entrance, and do so frequently, I do much better than when I forget. It's something I work on, and while I've compensated for it pretty well, so that few would notice my improper breathing from my playing, I feel a great deal better if I breathe better!

    true confessions...

    Guy
     
  9. kcmt01

    kcmt01 Mezzo Forte User

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    I came very close to fainting once in church. I was breathing in okay, but somehow didn't exhale the dirty air first before a long phrase. It was pretty scary.
     
  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    I've come close to fainting dozens of times - it's not really an endurance thing though - just an air thing that usually only happens when I'm slightly nervous for some reason.
     

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