Tips for a good practice routine

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Passion, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. Darktrumpeter

    Darktrumpeter Pianissimo User

    Aug 11, 2004
    NJ, USA
    While I will not say that my way is the best way or even better than yours, here are my thoughts on how my practicing differs from your own;
    By first session am I to take it that this is your "warm-up". If so, I would recommend cutting down on the time for that. For most brass players it seems that they are warm in a matter of minutes (approximately 5-8). The key to this concept is that by being warm does not mean that you have played through all of your warm-up routine, but rather that you feel that your lips are ready to play whatever you need them to. And since I mentioned it, I would highly recommend against having a set warm-up routine. A couple years ago my warm-up was the same thing day in and day out. What ended up happening was that my lips got so used to these excises that they could play them just fine, but my chops were not actually getting warmed up and I ended up doing a bit of damage to them before I started mixing up what I played in the warm-up. (Remember: Variety is the spice of life) Personally, my warm-up usually consists of first getting a buzz on the mouthpiece and buzzing some portamentos/slides of 4ths and 5th to loosen up. Then I take out an easy vocalise (i.e. concone) and go through it switching between singing, buzzing, and playing (in time for the most part). This gets you chops matching pitch and slowly gets them working. Then I do some simple lip slurs, bends, pinging scales, clarke, or whatever I feel I need to do to get my chops fully warmed up.

    Your breaking up of what you are covering everyday seems just fine if it works for you.

    A good thing to keep in mind when practicing is to try to lrest as much as play to keep your chops fresh.

    As for sight-reading, it is just one of those things you get better from doing it often. There are a lot of short songs towards the back of the arbans book, which are good to practice with. Something that I have been told when it comes to sight-reading is that that it is better to hear a wrong note at the right time than a right note at the wrong time (aka rhythm is the key thing to have while sight-reading a piece).
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The only thing that you need to change here is the order. Technical studies go to the END. Your MUSIC deserves the freshest chops possible. Move 2 and 3 to the end and 6 and 7 to place 2 and 3. Music is why we play and always deserves a very prominent position in the schedule!
  3. Keith Fiala

    Keith Fiala Pianissimo User

    Feb 21, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    My best advice (humble opinion at work here) is to stop focussing on the amount of time that you spend practicing and start focussing more on WHAT needs to be practiced daily. I.E. tonguing, sight reading, flexibility, etc.

    All too often we focus on numbers (time) vs. thinking about the goal for the practice session. Trusting the process and actually doing the studies is what will get you to improve. I can spend 5 hours a day mindlessly blowing and call it practice... but go nowhere.

    Keith Fiala

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