The Practice Room Is Not Real Life

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by B15M, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    When I play at home everything is perfect. The stand is in the right place and the lighting is just right. The heat is on.
    I warmed up properly and play.

    In the real world there isn't enough room for the stand so it's not placed properly. The guy in front of me is blocking my view of the conductor. (maybe a good thing?) The room is cold. I couldn't warm up properly or I did and now it's been a long time. Tacit for the first two movements. I have to play the last movement and it's long with nowhere to even breath never mind take the trumpet away for a rest.

    Shouldn't we practice how we play?
  2. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    Welcome to the real world of orchestral playing.
  3. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    Yes, you should practice how you'll be playing -- some of the time. A good part of our practice time should be spent in developing tone/range/technique such that no matter what our playing situation, we will always be able to play with the best tone/range/technique. That sort of development needs an ideal practice situation so that we only have to concentrate on the trumpet issues.

    But it's good to practice how we will be playing in the real world so that we can get used to it -- so move your stand really close, open the window so you're cold, play a little and wait (read a magazine or a trumpet book) and then play as if you've just sat out the first two movements and have to start the next movement. And once you've begun, then don't stop, just as if you were in performance.

    We need both kinds of practice.
  4. Khora

    Khora Piano User

    Sep 17, 2006
    New York
    You should both practice how you would like to play, and also practice making everything work in less than ideal circumstances. Practicing is mostly about you and your instrument; once you can play the music really solidly, it doesn't matter so much that the stand isn't quite right or the temp not great or the lighting not ideal.

    As for long blows, there isn't any reason not to practice the music the way it really happens. Pick up your horn cold and play the whole movement if that is what will happen in performance. Practice whatever it is the music demands.!
  5. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    Good idea, Schwab. However, I've found that it's never the external world which is my bugaboo during an audition -- it's the internal gremlins. Those nagging thoughts like "boy, he must be so tired of hearing this piece so often" and "I know I'm not living up to his expectations" and "that last person that I heard through the door played this so much better than I'm playing it, who am I trying to kid?"

    If I could just find a way to master those thoughts, my auditions would have all gone so much better. I like to think I'm past that now, but when I step in front of any size audience to play, they keep coming back like horrible nightmares. "Remember when you cracked that A last time? Well you'll do it again, I just know you will -- waah-ha-ha-haa!"
  6. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    If your prepared , nothing like these small annoyances should really bother you that much. Ive played award diners where sometimes there would be up to an hours wait between sets , and we would open that set with Maynard's Bird Land, it's not easy but you do get used it.
  7. johnMak

    johnMak Pianissimo User

    Dec 1, 2008
    Ridgecrest CA
    I practice at home in the guest/sewing/storage room, WITH THE DOOR CLOSED! to keep the peace in the home for sure.

    As a comeback player, I'm not the best, but getting better. I had to start from the very beginning on the method books, book one page one.

    For me, I take up the offer to go with my wife when she wants to spend some after hours, time at the office...(she works at the church offices) I go with her, so I can get time in the sanctuary practicing songs.

    The small. cozy room at home is great to practice with. I have the music stand extra wide stand for my sheetmusic. I have the scales and key signitures ect...on the wall.

    I get things done too, but to hear the horn in a different setting as the chapel is awesome, I brought a CD and put it in the sound system and recorded my practice...Oh boy do I need practice, practice...but I do sound better than last years recording of my playing...I can hear the improvements.

    To play in a group setting as mentioned in the original post is anohter step I need to take. One talent night I did a song with a piano next to me, for the life of me I can't remember doing must have been too tramatic for me..:-(

    One step at a time, I guess.
  8. johnMak

    johnMak Pianissimo User

    Dec 1, 2008
    Ridgecrest CA
    For work, I often drive( roundtrip 250 miles) to Death Valley (2 or 3 times a month) and that area has a lot of OPEN space.

    I have entertained the thought of bringing my cornet one time and setting up the stand and play a tune or two...

    JUST TO HEAR WHAT IT WOULD SOUND LIKE in the great outdoors.

    Maybe I should wait till it rains, and try it that way? ;-)
  9. tptshark

    tptshark Pianissimo User

    Jun 4, 2005
    Hong Kong
    I have on occasion had students take a quick jog/brisk walk around the building, then come in and perform. Provides a reasonable approximation of nerves. If they can perform well in those conditions then when nerves strike in auditions/performances they are able to recognise and deal with the symptoms.
  10. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I’m all in favor of fair working conditions when practicing, but when it comes time for the rehearsal/gig, I want to be so pumped up and excited about what I am playing that environmental comfort/discomfort becomes a far distant second to the music.

    If we pamper ourselves like a dome-playing NFL quarterback, we are due for disappointment. If our image becomes that of a highly talented linebacker, we’ll love to play in the rain and the mud and the snow.

    Don’t imagine the gig to be like the practice! Imagine instead, the practice to be like the gig!

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