too dependent on warm-ups

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Kantza, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. Kantza

    Kantza Pianissimo User

    May 28, 2012
    I have a frustrating problem, when I don't take my time to warm-up properly I'm not able to play as good as I do other times.
    Sometimes I can't even hit some notes (in middle range), having the feeling that my lips don't want to co-operate/vibrate properly, which is ridicolous.

    So when I go to the lessons from my teacher I always play worse then I'm able to, and make less progress due to that.
    At home I take 10-15minutes warm-up time. But in the lessons it's maybe 5min, probably less...

    My teacher says that I just have to warmup less at home, so that I'll be less dependent on it.
    For me, 10-15min of warm-up seems normal and needed to me, I just want some opinions on this.

    To be honest, I don't want to cut in my warm-up...

  2. mgcoleman

    mgcoleman Mezzo Forte User

    Jun 22, 2010
    Everyone is different, so no one specific answer is true for everyone. You will hear of some who have very short and very long warmups, along with varying interpretations of what constitutes warming up. So...

    I know from experience that I need do a minute to two of descending long tones, a series of lip slurs and that's it.
  3. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    I have never heard someone recommend warming up less. As Mgcoleman says, each and every person is different. Some players warm up longer than I can even last with my chops, and they are far better players than I am. They are not "dependent" on warm ups, they just play at their best when they do it that way. This comes with years and years of playing. I warm up more now than I did in the past, and find it very helpful giving me more endurance at each session.
  4. jengstrom

    jengstrom Pianissimo User

    Oct 17, 2009
    Rochester, NY
    I love to warm up for at least 15 minutes too, but my teacher just proved to me that you really can teach an old dog new tricks (I've been playing for almost 50 years).

    Try this: In a relaxed fashion, with the beat at about 50/min (give or take) play

    G-Gb-G (2nd line)

    Leave the horn on your face. Nose breathe between each series. Do not relax your embouchure or relieve pressure during the breaths.

    This takes about 3 minutes. When you're done, rest a couple minutes, do some horse flaps, and you're good to go. I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't try it.

    If you have the luxury of warming up more, you can add anything you want, but in a pinch this really works.

  5. shooter

    shooter Piano User

    Jan 12, 2007
    I quit warm-ups. They crippled me psychologically. Whenever I went somewhere to sound TAPS, I would be scared because I wasn't "warmed up" and it would negatively affect my playing. Now, I just pick up the horn a play what I need to play.
  6. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY

    How do you get 3 minutes out of that at 50bpm? How long for each note, and how long for the nose breath between? I assume you are not bending the notes, but that is another very good warmup.
  7. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    My initial morning session (I don't call it a warmup) takes about 45 minutes and always starts the same. long tones on a low C for as long as it takes for me to feel centered. Sometimes only a few minutes. Sometimes 10-15 mins. LOL
    Then I work the long tones down to F#, and up to middle staff G. I am always only worried about feeling centered and finding the core before changing notes. Eventually I start doing slow lip slurs in that same range... G down to low C and down through the valve combinations. C# up to F# and up through the valve combinations. Then I keep working the flexibilities higher and faster and I finish the first session around high C-D. Smoothness, fluidity, core sound is the guideline. If anything feels strained or thin then I slow down and spend more time lower.

    Next session usually articulation work and scales/arpeggios, Arban single tonguing, maybe the Charlier 16-18 as a tonguing workout. Rich Willey Clarke #2 book and Scale Force Intervals. That usually is spread across two or three 20 min sessions

    I do all this every day, and first thing after morning coffee and my wife leaving for work. I eat breakfast between the first and second sessions

    Then... the rest of the day I am good to go. By 9am I already have about 1-1/2 to 2 hours of solid practice in, and when I go do a rehearsal/show I only need 30 seconds of buzzing/flexis to be ready to play. No onsite warming up needed.

    I don't know if I am addicted to that as a warmup or not. Doesn't matter... I haven't had a situation when I couldn't do my routine to start the day.
  8. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    There's a difference between playing cold, and playing after a warm up. Typically on a gig day, I'll take a few minutes to warm up before I ever even leave for the gig, and it isn't much - I do some very basic long tones, flexibilities, and scales with articulation, just to get the blood flowing and make sure my fingers and tongue are synced. I almost never play at the gig prior to downbeat, and most of the time that's more than enough. I abandoned my extensive warm-ups in my early 20s in favor of shorter, more direct warm-ups. For me, I don't have to go through everything I might encounter during my playing day as part of my warm up - I just need to get the blood flowing in the chops, the air moving correctly, and the tongue moving in basic, generalized ways.

    I hope you get it figured out.
  9. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005
    That's one of the stupidest things I've ever heard a 'teacher' say.
    I can't play without warming up either. I have a standard
    15 minute or so warm up that I do daily. I also have a subset
    of that that I do when I've haven't played for a few hours and
    I then need to play a gig, lesson, or whatever.

    My advice would be to pay attention to the following:

    - make sure your warmup is not too long or strenuous
    - as with practice, rest as much as you play
    - during warmup, progress upwards range wise gradually
    - don't warmup at high volume
    - cover various aspects in your warmup to get the 'whole' instrument
    warmed up (some long tones, slurs, chromatics, intervals)

    Hope this helps,

  10. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    If that is what the teacher said, get rid of that teacher! That is a nice way to screw up your chops and mental aspect.
    Everyone must find a warm-up that works for them. If it takes you X amount of minutes, then that is how long you must warm up.
    Warm-ups are an experience thing and it is possible to play a few notes and be ready, but this would occur only after learning what
    it takes to warm up.
    Mendez would warm up for 45 minutes. Maynard would ofter play his mouthpiece on the way to a gig. Herseth mentioned that as he
    got older, it took him a little extra time to get going. I've worked with some of the top Chicago brass players and they all warm up with that mini-workout that works for them. (Some of the things they do to warm up were quite simple, some remarkable).
    Keep in mind that a warm up is also geared to getting your thought processes going as well as your air.
    Rich T.

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