Time Off From Trumpet

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by bamajazzlady, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. graysono

    graysono Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 22, 2007
    Hyde Park, Utah
    I like the adage about working out: for every day you take off you fall behind a day. So 2 weeks off = 2 weeks of practice to recover the same place you were before the time off. In my case two giant times off are measured in decades. But now that I'm retired, and 6 years recovered, I am practicing more consistently than I did when I was a teenager. And I can tell it is helping. But, I doubt I will ever be as good as I think I was back in the day.
  2. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

    Aug 9, 2004
    Santa Cruz County, CA
    I frequently go several days without touching a horn. I'd be better if I practiced every day, but I'm certainly not dying as a player.
  3. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    To pharaphrase Bill Clinton, "It all depends on, when you say 'death', what you mean by death".

    Long term? There are answers above which I think are good.

    Short term, when I was actively playing i.e. rehearsal or gigs 5-6 days a week for months at a time, I could lay off for a day with no consequences. Two days and I could feel it. Three days and it would take me about another 2-3 days to get back to where I left off.

    I was never a player who could leave the horn in the case for days on end and then take it out of the case and start right back where I stopped; one reason I switched to woodwinds. But when I was in university, I knew several very good players who basically took the entire summer school breaks off from playing and when they came back, within a week or so they were right back where they stopped - which was at a solid level. Although I wouldn't recommend it, I think this is individual to some extent.
  4. BachStrad1

    BachStrad1 Pianissimo User

    Apr 9, 2012
    Kalamazoo MI
    Obviously, it's best not to have the big breaks, but as for "death", please...You're never too old to rock & roll if you're too young to die. Coming back after a layoff isn't fun, but it's not impossible. You just have to remember that you can't do everything right away that you used to "back in the day". If you are not fortunate enough to be a pro and devote your life to trumpet playing, some time off is going to be almost inevitable as life has a horrible habit of getting in the way (stupid day job!). Just like any other physical activity start slow and build up and don't try to do it all in a day.
  5. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    The foregoing was yesterday, and the consequence today is GREAT better even than it has been and no need for hearing aid. Problem was impacted ear wax as has now been totally removed. So ends three weeks of not practicng and I've a lot to catch up on.
  6. Pat S

    Pat S Piano User

    Jan 28, 2012
    San Antonio
    Depends on a lot of things, I guess. I play as close to every day as I can get because I love to play the horn. If life forces me to miss a few days my playing suffers. If I made my living with the horn, or if folks were counting on me to hold up my end of a band, I'd feel more compelled to practice with more of a "work-like" attitude!
  7. Recursion

    Recursion Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 22, 2012
    Cape Coral, FL
    IMHO, that's totally false. Of course you'll lose something after taking a break. The analogy to "working out" sounds pretty darn close, but I also consider horn playing similar to riding a bike. Sure you're not going to bunny-hop logs and boulders after a 15 year break right away, but you can still pedal and brake whilst balancing yourself! I took a 30+ year break, and just started playing again this past June. Now I'm not going to say I sound like a professional, because I surely don't. And I only play about 10-15 hours a week, since I have a full-time practice and raise my twins as a single dad (and cook, clean, shop, and did I say clean?). Honestly, I can't play a single song start to finish without at least a tiny squeak or missed note (probably because I don't practice enough). This goes for "Fur Elise" to "Star Wars" to even "Twinkle twinkle... ." But I do play okay, and I'm not complaining after a couple months back on a horn. As for chops, I just took the chromatic scale up to E above the staff. If I can do it, anyone can! I think it's like anything in life: If you want something bad enough & give it the proper effort, you'll be good to go notwithstanding any time off.


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