soft playing

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by wrigrn, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    Playing soft with focus and tone is hard. I think it's easier with strong breath support, maybe even more necessary than with louder playing. BIG breaths help me with soft long tones.

    Turtle
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    A daily routine is NOT the practice session. It is a group of exercises designed to maintain sanity by giving you a daily reference.

    If you are tired at the end of a daily routine, it is too long - or not very well put together.

    Practice sessions for building new skills come AFTER the daily routine. I have a ratio - at least 1/3rd of the entire practice time is TUNES.
     
  3. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    I usually do scales like that - F, G, A, etc. and in 2 octaves - sometimes 3 if I am able. also double and triple tonguing the scales will help build endurance.
     
  4. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

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    wrigrn, I've had some of my students use the 1st Clarke study as a warm up. The important thing is to not start with #1 as written. I have my students start in the middele register with #12 and work backwards #11, 10, 9, etc. Then after #1 go to #13 and work up #14,15, etc.. Important: play as soft as you can WITH A GOOD SOUND! Striving to play softer as you gain more control. SUPPORT the air column. Don't play any higher or lower than you COMFORTLY can. Feel free to e mail me questions as needed.
     
  5. wrigrn

    wrigrn New Friend

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    Thanks Bob ! I'll try it. I have played enough over the years to know things about dynamics etc.but on the come back trail, I worry that if I play loud enough to get my good sound, I'll use too much pressure. Maybe I always did and just wouldn't admit it. Thanks again , and anything else will be appreciated.
     
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    So basically what you are saying here is that the daily routine is your maintenance regimen, and that the remainder is for building?

    A question that I'm curious about, do you always improve as a player (technically speaking) or do you sometimes even regress in spite of your practice regimen? Just wondering.

    To the OP I say to continue on with what you are doing and add the Clarke expercises. Just keep it in perspective, don't use exessive pressure and listen to your body/chops to know when you need to back off and give it a break. You need to push yourself to rebuild the foundation, and like any workout, you'll be tired by the end of a good one - my opinion of course - there will be some who will disagree.
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    What I am saying is that it is critical to my method of teaching to get players to find unity daily. That means that they, through a series of individualized routines can find a state of playing that it relaxed, vibrant and repeatable. As most of my students are not pros, they do not have their regular daily playing with great ensembles and rooms. When they discover a good, functional routine, a world opens up that allows them to improve when time allows or maintain when it does not.

    Soft playing CAN be a benefit, but only when accompanied by a big relaxed breath, good posture and a player in tune with themselves. It alone is not good for anything except frustration for players not yet ready. Extremes at the upper and lower dynamic levels require more than many players are ready for.
     
  8. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Robin, I wasn't questioning what you were saying at all - I agree with it in fact. I was just curious if you have peaks and valleys in your playing is all, although I understand that with your work ethic toward daily practice, your bad days are probably only noticeable to you. That's all I was asking - just a matter of curiosity. For me personally, I do have ups and downs in basic level of technique, but it's pretty much 100% associated with whether or not I'm doing daily maintenance and practice to improve. (As I type this, I'm actually taking a short break from practice, and I'm working to be more diligent toward making sure that I practice daily.)
     
  9. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    in my opinion -- I have a relatively "usual" practice regimen that keeps my level of playing and it is usually (1 - 1 1/2 hr a day) -- but I don't show noticeable improvements unless I push the envelope to a more rigorous practice, resting, and pushing some more -- then I might take an easy "light" day to rest the chops -- BUT pushing for more (longer and higher, more tonguing, faster, whatever) is the only way I improve range and endurance -- otherwise my playing remains more or less the same range and the same endurance --- with very slight increases ---
     
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Patrick,
    I didn't think that we were in disagreement. Your post just made me think and I thought there was some unclear stuff.

    I think that my playing is pretty consistent, albeit I only train what I need next. Seldom do I need my fastest tonguing, loudest and highest playing all at the same time. If I need the natural trumpet, I prepare that, a cornetto needs different preparation, a symphony concert yet another. I don't have enough time to keep everything at its peak so I would say if you rate my usable range, it varies by at least a 4th in the course of a month, if you rate my multiple tonguing, it can vary by 20% in speed in the same time period. My sound really changes based on the horn that I am using. Chamber performances on historic instruments (this weekend) are much more intimate for me than Dvoraks 8th symphony (coming up in 2 weeks) or a Johann Strauss operetta program the week after that. The groundwork for a rennaissance CD cames after that followed by Brahms 4 and a couple of big band gigs in August.

    So my consistency is not absolute. I am hitting a moving target with enough repeatability that I get rehired. I do have very "unmotivated" days. Then all I play is my daily routine and a couple of tunes more. The really frustrating days in my life are not due to the horn, rather to dumbness on my part as well as others around me. The mirror is my friend for most problems however. I NEVER complain or make excuses at a job or rehearsal.
     

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