Staying in shape while on vacation

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Jazzy816, May 6, 2015.

  1. Jazzy816

    Jazzy816 Pianissimo User

    Jun 5, 2013
    Hi all,

    This coming summer, I will be taking two vacations, both lasting around 7 days in length. I am not the type of person who can take a week off and come back relativity close to where they left off. If I don't play at all for a solid week, my lips don't buzz as freely or respond very accurately and generally there is a cut in range (temporarily) until the lips get used to buzzing again. I don't forget how to play- it's just as if my lips forget how to buzz properly and it takes a good 2-4 days of practice to get back on track.

    I'm wondering what I can do while on these vacations to stay in the best shape (playing wise, that is). I would assume something that can be done is mouthpiece buzzing, but I was wondering if anyone has suggestions other than that (without bringing a horn obviously.. since most of the time spent staying in shape will be in a hotel room).

  2. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

    Jul 5, 2010
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    Get yourself one of those inexpensive plastic horns (either tromba, or warburton, or the ptrumpet) and a good practice mute. That way, you won't have to bother about damage to your main hooter, you can practice to your heart's content, and the cost will be manageable. I've tested all three plastic horns on the market now, and have ordered a tromba in blue as my caravan trumpet (everything else in the caravan is plastic, too...).
    That way, you are always prepared for a spontaneous gig (I've had some, and some even paid money!!).
  3. flugelgirl

    flugelgirl Forte User

    Jan 20, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I second a horn and a practice mute. I usually travel with my pocket trumpet and a silent brass, but pretty much any horn+practice mute combination will do. As long as I do my usual daily warm up (long tones, chromatids, Flexibilities and range - about 20 mins) I am still in pretty good shape at the end of my vacation. If I feel like it I may play a few etudes later in the day, but that short session helps me remember what everything is supposed to feel like.
  4. Sterling

    Sterling Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 22, 2007
    Marcellus, NY
    Pocket trumpet with a Denis Wick practice mute is the answer. Also think of a different mouthpiece, a Vee shaped cup to make you focus when time allows. My two cents!
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I would suggest that a week off from the horn (even with a 2-4 day recovery time afterwards) can have its advantages. We can use the extra time enjoying the vacation and a clear mind after the vacation can help the focus when playing again.

    Take walks, sit in a cafe, eat foods you've never eaten before, listen to some live music. There are a myriad of edifying experiences to explore while on vacation and these can impact our musicianship in a positive way!

    Much more appealing to me than trying to cram in playing time with a practice mute.
  6. anthony

    anthony Mezzo Piano User

    Mar 3, 2009 can Free Buzz your lips in the park while walking around. ...sometimes people around me think it's a bumble bee lol
  7. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    Exactly what I do.
  8. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    I use a pocket trumpet with a practice mute periodically to practice at work.

    When I go on vacation, I usually use a Harmon mute, but keep the TV on to provide a little background noise. I find that using a practice mute messes me up after a while, but that a Harmon is less likely to do this.

  9. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I have found in the past that most hotels above a certain quality class will have areas they will let you use to practice - usually conference rooms or other side rooms. If you can, take a horn - a plastic trumpet if you want to put out the coin, but I always just took my horn when I cared enough about it to worry about it.

    These days I'll often take up to a couple of weeks off in the down season of gigging. Yeah, it takes me several days to back in gear, but unless I have a gig immediately on the horizon, I don't worry about it.
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    There are different takes to "time off". If we reduce playing to maintaining muscle tone, buzzing, the pencil trick, even practice with a mute all can fill the gap. If we however take into consideration that playing is much more, there is a much greater demand to find ways to play without the mute.

    That being said, think about your first girl or boyfriend and being separated for the first time. Anxiousness grows during that period and we have a much more intensive time when we get together again. OK, a close friend does not require the fine motor control that playing the trumpet does.

    So, if you don't have a gig when you get back, you have options. You can accept the fact that you have no time and react accordingly. If you do have a gig right away, then there is no short cut. You need to take a horn and mouthpiece - and make arrangements to practice. Learning to play very softly was something that Herbert Clarke advocated. I agree.

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