Thoughts on my daily routine

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Starkly, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. Starkly

    Starkly New Friend

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    Please give me your opinion about my daily routine. I'd like to know if I'm missing some area that could help my playing...


    1 min - buzzing

    2 mins - buzzing/playing back Clarke 2's slowly (G, G#, F, A, E)

    5 mins - Double tonguing exercises. Improvisation and basic Arban's

    5 mins - Clarke 4 (endurance)

    10 mins - Break

    2 mins - Stamp

    5 mins - Lip bends

    5 mins - Soft chromatics to peak of range, to build corners

    10 mins - Break

    10-20 mins - Solo piece (with occasional 30 second breaks...)

    Hopefully you don't tell me to do a lot more since I'm busy as a student :) Thanks.
     
  2. tjcombo

    tjcombo Forte User

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    You're busy as a student? Well I'm busy as a businessman and share your time management problems.

    I'm sure that you'll get plenty of advice from people far more qualified than me to comment, so please take my comments as peer to peer, although I may have spent a longer period of time trying to master our wonderful instrument.

    In terms of a practice routine, you and your teacher are best placed to sort this out. Your mileage will vary from the experience of each and every other student.

    The thing I don't get from your post about the routine is any sense of passion for learning to play and love of playing. You may well improve your playing for some time on this routine, but I suspect from your comment that you know you're not putting in the practice time that you need to keep improving. Once you fall in love with playing the trumpet you'll find time, stealing it if necessary from other parts of your life, to spend with your horn. When this happens, the idea of spending 1 minute doing this and another minute doing that will seem silly to you.

    And now I'm going to sound like the old codger that I am :-) ... If you think you're busy as student, wait until you have a job, a partner, kids etc.

    Best of luck with your playing. FWIW I used to watch the clock whilst practicing when I was 12yo :-)
     
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  3. Starkly

    Starkly New Friend

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    Thanks a lot. Very helpful. Just for the record - everything I wrote I do practice on a nearly-daily basis. I did my best to give rough, rough approximations of how long they take to distinguish a few petty Clarkes versus an entire 10 mins of it. I used to time myself when my parents were forcing me to practice, but I stopped long ago. It's actually strange to me - most of my musician friends go on about how they dread playing exercises after exercises, but I enjoy them (at least for an hour...that's when my attention span gives).
     
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    1 min - buzzing

    2 mins - buzzing/playing back Clarke 2's slowly (G, G#, F, A, E)

    Eliminate the first three minutes, not sure it adds any value to the practice session. If you want to buzz, do this on the way to or from classes; however, when you have the horn in your hand, it's about getting down to business. So in the 3 minutes you just saved, you can ADD long tone slurs with horn in place. Look at this as the ankle stretch runners do prior to starting their work out.


    5 mins - Double tonguing exercises. Improvisation and basic Arban's

    Be kind to your muscles, including your tongue. You want to start out of the gate double tonguing your tongue. Was it bad to you or something? Be kind to your tongue! The Arban's basics however is good.


    5 mins - Clarke 4 (endurance)
    Yes, good


    10 mins - Break
    See, if you didn't start out with buzzing and double tonguing, you would not need this break... QED



    2 mins - Stamp
    What?



    5 mins - Lip bends
    Hmmm... I guess I'm OK with this.



    5 mins - Soft chromatics to peak of range, to build corners
    Nothing wrong with chromatic but not sure what effect that has on building corners. I use them to build finger dexterity.


    10 mins - Break
    See, again, should not have started with the buzzing and double tonging.



    10-20 mins - Solo piece (with occasional 30 second breaks...)
    Now this one I like!


    The ending. Try tonal slurs from Clarks or Arbans in a lower comfortable range for about 10-20 minutes.

    Hope this colorful advice helps and not blue you away.
     
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Having a routine is a good thing! Just make sure that you factor in your growth and keep challenging yourself.

    I'd start with Stamp, and the bends for the warm up section, then go to the solo stuff while still fresh. For the second part I'd suggest building chops, playing without the clock and stopping an exercise when quite tired but not yet exhausted--double and triple tonguing, lip slurs and trills, and Clarke.
     
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    My thought on your routine is that it's too routine. I had a lot more success improving overall when I broke my practices into separate days where I'd really work one particular discipline for the entire practice session rather than trying to do everything every time.

    As it stands right now your routine is 45 minutes worth of work and 20ish minutes worth of rest, bringing you to just around an hour overall, which isn't bad - I can do my maintenance work in roughly that amount of time. However, I think you might be doing yourself a disservice by only allowing yourself 5 minutes worth of articulation work over the course of your routine. As an example, I'm of the belief that if you took one day and did 45 minutes worth of work on articulation exercises, ultimately you'll make more progress in that one day, provided you put this in a routine where you work it every 3rd to 4th day, than you will by only doing 5 minutes every day. This isn't to say you completely ignore other disciplines on that day, (touch on everything during your warm-up period) but your focus for work that day will be articulation. The next day you might work on long tones, the day after that you might work on flexibilities, and the day after that you'll put it all together with reading, etudes, and so on - wash, rinse, repeat.

    When I do articulation work, I also tend to do a lot of scales, and I mix it up with some Clarke studies or stuff out of the Arban's book. The whole point is to really get control over your articulation and to get your fingers and tongue really synced. You can't do that in 5 minutes a day.

    I don't tend to do a lot of prescribed or written exercises - I make up a lot of stuff around scales on the fly and tend to leave my reading for when I'm working on music. Think about it - broken down, what is trumpet playing? When you really break it down, all trumpet playing is a combination of certain elements:

    1. Sound production (Day 1 - work on long tones - don't use a book or exercises - really dig in to what's going on between you and the horn, and REALLY focus on your sound)
    2. Articulation (Day 2 - work on articulation studies - you can use exercises, but making up tonging exercises on the fly around scale patterns can also be effective)
    3. flexibilities/lip slurs (Day 3 - work on flexibilities - lots and lots of lip slurs - again, you don't need a book to work on those things)
    4. phrasing (Day 4 - work on music, etudes, etc)

    Rotate those, and I'd be willing to bet that you'll get further faster than you are with your currently routine. Use some of the same stuff - Arban's, Stamp, Clarke, etc, but keep your focus on a single discipline. Keep your breaks - you need breaks - but keep your focus on those things. Try it for 3 cycles/12 days, and if you don't think it's helping, go back to your current routine. It's not a bad routine, but it's not how I would structure it.
     
  7. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Hi Starkly,
    The one thing I'd add are lip slurs. These are the things that separate the big dogs from the little ones.
    slur these valve combos for a minute each:
    0, 123, 13, 23, 12, 1, 2,
    Hope this helps
    Dr.Mark
     
  8. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    When it comes to doing lip slurs, I tend to do them chromatically when doing valve combinations, but I find that doing arpeggios is also helpful.
     
  9. jimmyblue

    jimmyblue New Friend

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  10. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Hi jimmyblue,
    You stated:
    "You have a routine, but do you have a goal?
    I'm' sure I catch hell for this advice, but what the hell".
    ---------
    This is absolutley important. Without a Point Of Focus, you're spinning your wheels in the sand.
    Listen to JB, Figure out what it is you want to attain with the trumpet and go for it.
    How to get there? Get a hero? Someone who you would want to sound like?
    Know what you want and by dogging your hero (and I mean eat, sleep and show all the signs of obsession) you'll get there pending you use proper mechanics, a sound practice routine and don't forget, opportunity and luck.
    Good job JB
    Dr.Mark
    Dr.Mark
     

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