Taking A Day Off

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by nestbeast, May 13, 2010.

  1. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    My warmup changes from day to day, based on how my chops are feeling when I first pick up the horn. Some days my first notes feel dialed in, I have good focus and flexibility, and on those days my warm up is pretty brief. Other days I take a bit more time because my chops will feel stiff. At most, my warm up is probably less than 15 minutes.
  2. kadleck

    kadleck Artist in Residence Staff Member

    Feb 28, 2006
    new york
    There are so many factors. For me, age is a big one. I need roughly 30+ minutes to warm up now (I'm 45). When I was in college I needed much less time. I can't help but think that beating up my chops day after day for years has made it so that I need more time now. Maybe it's in my head, but I don't think so.

  3. guyclark

    guyclark Piano User

    Feb 28, 2008
    Los Gatos, CA
    HI, Guys!

    The more I think about it, especially after two orchestra concerts and a brass band rehearsal this past weekend, (at which I was suprised to find out I'm playing soprano, but only had my Bb with me!) I think that warming up, for me, anyway, is mostly a matter of "refamilliarizing" myself with my horn, and fitting it to my body.

    I consider the instrument as a part of my body. Prosthetic, yes, but a part of my body, nonetheless.

    Warming up. for me, is similar to stretching when you get up in the morning, or taking a few practice shots with a tennis racquet, golf club, or baseball bat: just to get the balance and the "feel" of the instrument back into your brain/spinal cord system.

    This is how I've rationalized it, anyway!

  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Practice enough so that you KNOW what you have to do - then do it. All of the talk does not get YOU closer to YOUR body and mind.

    There is no reason to argue about a universal solution that only works on 10, 20, 30% of players.

    Age has been a factor for me too. Things are easier now than they were 20 years ago. I had more power back then, but needed it too.
  5. kadleck

    kadleck Artist in Residence Staff Member

    Feb 28, 2006
    new york
    I'll have what you're having, Robin!
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    German beer, french wine, italian cars and swedish meatballs - desserts come from Austria. Cheese snacks from Switzerland. Nothing from the UK I'm afraid.................

    Would it be out of place to say that I bought a Monette in 1997? That for sure increased the fun factor and reduced the work.............
  7. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    One thing we really haven't addressed is the time from warm up to playing, i.e., how long is a warm iup good for? One poster mentioned he warmed at at home and not to confuse his 5 minute warm up at the gig with his actual warm up.

    So how long is a warm up good for? I imagine some players have a major warm up, followed by a minor one closer to actual playing time.

    I also imagine warm up relates to the first number. While I observed Maynards guy's warming up about an hour before the concert in the holding room,(some played a good bit, others just fooled around) Maynard's style was to use Blue Birdland as an opener. Yes, it had some high notes, but essentially seemed like a warm up piece for the band. In fact, if you listened to the band during it -it often sounded like a warm up.
  8. Arthur Magazu

    Arthur Magazu New Friend

    May 26, 2010
    Stow, Ma.
    For me the fatiuge is phsycological.. not muscular, I screw off a day now and then just to give my brain a rest.. I always come back better than before.. enjoy a down day now and then!
  9. JuJu Horn

    JuJu Horn New Friend

    Jul 25, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    I'm not 100% sure of the science I will leave that to Rowuk & co, but my experience is if things (your phyisical approach to playing) are set up and working without too much stress then a day or so out in a regulated schedule is not too harmful and if times have been heavy then it can be beneficial. You need to get to the point where you can read your body. I used to punish my chops in my time at collage and for a few years after (this is quite a while back now). Working all kinds of gigs, lots of loud shows with pop/rock artists as well as full on free jazz, Latin, African etc and my response the next morning was warm up, break practice, practice, practice. After quite a few years of trying to 'will' my playing to the next level all I did was kill my dexterity and endurance. I realised for me this was not the way forward. I did not change very much as i have always had a balance practice routine but what I did change was my thinking and approach to practice and recovery. I stopped pushing myself to work through the tired muscles and started to work with them. if I was tight/tired from the previous night i would do a much longer gentle warm up and then play something that I musically liked. Not practice but freedom. feel good sound, phrasing, something that allowed me to connect with the horn and for my sound to speak freely. this would create a musical and physical desire to play more during the day. After a good break 2 - 3 hrs I would play some studies and some drills depending on what I had to play that night. This second set of practice was focused and relaxed. this process has also allowed me not to get freaked out when I do not get to practice as there are times in our lives when life gets in the way. Can't say no to that great gig just because you missed practice yesterday. One teacher I had (ex principle of the LSO) once said to me as he was preparing for a recital "3 days of focused practice is all I need these days" I didn't understand at the time but now i do. He still practiced (well did a warm up) each day but he was no longer playing full time but he was so (body) aware that he could ramp up his playing to the next level with a few days focused preparation. Confidence is most important as a brass player and experience develops confidence. Trust the messages your body gives you. Fatigue (physical or mental) is damaging to your ability to play good music. Brass players who tell you they practice 8 hrs a day either have a face made of leather, learn too slowly or someone needs to tell them a brass body with a reed is a sax.
    play well
  10. kcmt01

    kcmt01 Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 25, 2009
    Polson, MT
    I used to act on stage quite a bit, and we ALWAYS warmed up our facial muscles before a show. It relaxed us, and made our facial expressions more vivid from the stage. I still like to use some of those exercises to warm up before I even pick up my horn. As far as actual warm-up, just a few pedal tones, lip slurs within the staff, and long tones in the staff and I'm ready to go. 5 minutes at most. If your chops are tired after a warm-up, then you're probably overdoing it.

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