too dependent on warm-ups

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

  1. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    A good warm-up offers us about eight hours of "protection," and there is no substitute. None. Zilch.

    That being said, apart from fluttering the lips and getting some good breathing going, the Heimat tone concept of Gerald Webster is extremely good for those (hopefully rare) situations where a "normal" warm-up is impossible.

    Gerald Webster discovered that when we play a medium high, medium low, medium loud tone on our mouthpiece first thing in the day, the same pitch will come out, our personal "home" tone, or Heimat tone (he discovered this while touring with Edward Tarr in Germany, thus the German name). "Personal" means just that, each person has his/her own Heimat tone -- there is no "good" "bad" or "ideal."

    Knowing our personal Heimat tone, we can start the quickie warm-up from there, expanding up and down, using mouthpiece or trumpet, and quickly focus in on our natural playing center. We can play with confidence because we know where "home" is.
  2. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    I play everyday --- my warmups are now minimal (usually a couple of scales, some octave leaps ---) maybe a long tone or two ---- just a few minutes. ((several years ago though --- I had the same problem, as I seemed to need a warmup for 10 or so minutes ----------------------------- playing everyday helps me.
  3. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    With COPD it's more an evaluation for me to play any note I more or less randomly choose for as long as I can. Then with just a pause I run a chromatic scale up as high as I can and then back down as low as I can go ... call it whatever you want, it's just part of my regimen whenever I take an instrument out of it's case, fit it with a mouthpiece and put it to my lips.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I have a different take on this! If our playing falls apart due to not warming up, there is a reason, and it is NOT the warmup. Here is a couple of reasons:
    1) you simply don't practice enough. We are creatures of habit and if you are practicing correctly, at least an hour a day, you develop patterns available for instant recall.
    2) you practice sub optimally. Practice builds patterns. If you beat up your chops while practicing, of course they are not available the next time that you play until after some kind of meat tenderizing routine
    3) you are psychologically dependent on a warmup. This is a very controversial point. We all know that shit happens. If we show up to a gig late after getting stuck in traffic, we have to perform immediately. If our body has been properly trained, but the brain says that this won't work, we crash.
    4) our diet sucks for playing trumpet. If I eat a whole bag of potato chips at night, my lips are "stiff" the next day due to hydration issues. If I drink black tea, the tannic acid makes my lips tougher. If I drink cognac or whiskey, my blood pressure goes up and that affects how my blood flows and how adrenaline can affect heart rate.

    So, the moral of the story is, that if we are serious about the trumpet, we do what we should, when we should, then we won't have to when we have to!

    I suspect a bit of each issue that I described. In the last 40 years of teaching, none of my students have EVER needed a warmup to play well. That does not mean that a warmup is useless, it just means that it is not a dealbreaker.

    Judging from the way that the thread owner posted, I think that irregular practice time, unintelligent use of the chops and some dietary issues all contribute to the symptoms reported. The solution is to reduce the effects by practicing MUCH more, with a lower impact style of playing. Lots of soft playing would probably help fastest.

    Rule number one: the show must go on! If you "need" a warmup, then you, at least for the time being have to work out what is necessary. At least you care enough not wanting to suck during lessons. Let's see if you care enough to not suck at practicing and lifestyle to fix the problem!
  5. Msen

    Msen Piano User

    Dec 28, 2011
    I live in the Horn
    God forbid if show went two!!! Good lord, oh my!!!
  6. Ed Kennedy

    Ed Kennedy Forte User

    Nov 18, 2006
    Bobby Shew has some practical advice:

    Clinic with Bobby Shew

    Personally, I use Bobby's method when on a tight schedule, mostly in the car on the way to the gig. Normally I do a Stamp warmup that takes about 15 minutes. Anything else isn't warm-up it is practice.
  7. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    I warm up for about a minute, five at the most.

    Mike Williams, 28 years as lead player in the Basie band, warms up about 2 hours!

    I have been with him many times, and he does a solid two hours, and most of it is at G up to and above double C.

    And that is before a four set Basie gig!!!
  8. jengstrom

    jengstrom Pianissimo User

    Oct 17, 2009
    Rochester, NY
    Sorry. Major senior moment. What do you expect from a fellow upstater?

    I typically let each note take 2-3 beats, thinking about tone quality and relaxation while I do it. The nose breath takes 3-4 beats.

    Yes, bending is great, too. If I have more time, I will do some of those, mimicking each series in this warmup. Then I'll do the series, with bends, based on 3rd space C. Then, starting on low C.

  9. Msen

    Msen Piano User

    Dec 28, 2011
    I live in the Horn
    Warm up before the lesson starts, so these 5 minutes or warming up during the lesson are enough to get you going.

    This teacher sounds weird saying you have to warm up less, so that you don't depend on it. Are you sure the teacher ment exactly that?

    Is the teacher a trumpet player or a philarmonic instructor that teaches everything from tuba to sax to kazoo?

    Sometimes, mostly because of good practicing, I feel that I don't need that much of a warm up. But I still do it
  10. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    I warm up on the drive to wherever I am playing. I do Moeck's warm up and it's served me well these 8+ years. While I can play "cold", I don't like to. As far as being "mentally dependent" on it, well I play with my mind and body in synch so I don't see it as an issue of weakness to want to warm up.

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