Too tired to practice?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by mctrumpet98, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. mctrumpet98

    mctrumpet98 Pianissimo User

    Sep 29, 2011
    Down Under
    I've been busy. Lots of stuff has been going on and today is just another one of those days where I am too tired to play anymore trumpet. I've already done 1.5 hours today. I've basically done all my technical and warm up stuff (which I do every day without fail). It's the musical pieces I play that get the cut when I get tired.

    Have any of you ever felt like this? Is it fine to take these breaks occasionally? Does it affect your playing? Is it worth pushing yourself to play trumpet even when you are really tired?

    And out of curiousity, does anyone else feel exhausted temporarily after practice sessions? Not as in a little tired, but properly buggered?
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    You could try alternating hard and light days, to give your chops time to recover, and practice the musical stuff on the light days. If push our chops to the state of exhaustion everyday, they'll never recover. It is OK to get them tired, but try to avoid exhaustion--over-practicing can be as dangerous as under-practicing.

    Good luck!
  3. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    Kind of depends on what your goals are ... not a working pro or a student working on being a pro ... then it's a whole different ball game. I imagine alot of amatuers would kill to have an hour and a half daily to run technical stuff.
    Sometimes we just aren't motivated and when you get through a sesson you are glad you did ... but this sounds like you have alot of other things on your plate and aren't enjoying playing. If you haven't had a check-up with your local doc lately, you might consider that.
    I do back off the playing when my schedule gets full... does it affect my playing? yep, but I am not going to beat myself up over ... life's too short.
  4. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

    Jun 22, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Mix it up...

    Good sense here, Dave. While I have not experienced the fatigue the OP describes, as a hobbyist I sometimes wonder about my practice priorities. Here is the question; is it proficiency on technical exercises I am pursuing or music making? In line with what prior posters have written, maybe mixing up the routine would be helpful.

    Last night I was running through a few carols on the cornet. My wife made comments to the effect that the carols resembled Arban's exercises as much as songs; point taken! I may start beginning my practice sessions with music making and finish with technical stuff for a while. Perhaps such an approach would be an attractive alternative for the OP.

  5. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    Sleep! Cure for most tiredness I'd say. I remember driving to where I practice in the evening instead of getting an "early" (it was after 9pm), and thinking I'd just grab a nap for a "couple of minutes", I woke up 2-3 hours later when the car got colder. I didn't play that night.

    Another time many many years ago at Uni I did 72+ hours straight without sleep a few times. After one of those sessions I fell asleep (microsleep?) while riding my bicycle home (crashed into a hedge, was okay except for ego).


  6. BrotherBACH

    BrotherBACH Piano User

    Oct 5, 2010
    I love this thread. I hope there are many posts. I seem to suffer from the same thing lately, and good questions have been asked. Personally, I tend to overdo warm-up and technical exercises at the expense of music. These tend to focus on physical things, and I can get caught up on them because that is where my head space is, i.e., perfecting slurs, double tonguing, hitting a higher note. The much harder component of playing is sight reading, playing rhythms correctly, thinking musically and playing from the musical mind. My teacher keeps emphasizing that if you play from the music mind, singing in your head, the physical things do fall into place and you could do things that you could not do in a technical exercise.

    Here may be a solution that was given to me as an example. Use one of the earlier studies on Hering Progressive Etudes as your warm-up; perform them. Then, you can work your way through the back half of the book for something more difficult. When there is something that is technically difficult about the piece, take that section of piece and turn into a brief technical study with lots of repetitions to perfect. Then move on. Just before you are ready to be done, you might want to finish with some long tones and pedals to loosen up from the long tones before putting the horn down. You can get a great practice session with this strategy.

    You can do the same thing with any musical piece you want to play. It can be music and a technical study at the same time. Not only is this my teacher's approach but I have an e-mail from Micheal Sachs who suggests the same thing.

    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
  7. Branson

    Branson Piano User

    Jan 16, 2011
    You have the same situation we all have. We are in a field which requires regular maintenance and after a while this gets to be a chore.

    I have three different practice sessions, all of which are basically the same and address the same issues. When I get bored with one, I switch over to another.

    Something else that you should be aware of is the fact that by the end of the day we are usually ready for rest, not more work. Try practicing in the morning before work and I think you will find that you will do better.

    Still another trick which works wonders for me is to have my practice routine on recordings where I listen to myself play XX exercise, then I play it live with a click track. Not only do you rest as much as you play, you are able to listen to yourself on the recording and spot problems (intonation, articulation, tone, etc.) that you usually miss when playing.

    You're normal, you just have to work around the problem.
  8. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land

    Be careful - a more relaxed approached - alternating days of technical and lyrical stuff may very well work. I got to this point some time ago and I have had a real issue getting back into a workable routine. Oh, lots of stuff has happened, like retirement - where I thought I'd have plenty of time - and kids starting new jobs - and all those things I put off till retirement, bike riding with the mates, getting fit, losing weight ..... and the trumpet has suffered. I'm back into to it now, but even the Christmas carols are not up to scratch - it was the pitching that went first - I really have to work hard. Tone has stayed, fingering is so-so. I'm in bad shape - but I'm working on it. Don't go there with me - it isn't any sort of fun because you know what is possible.

    Don't take me as an example - other than a bad one
  9. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Re: Mix it up...

    I divide my daily routine into 3 equal parts, 30 minutes each -- embouchure studies, technical studies, and music.

    I agree that making music is the goal. Because of this, for most of the past year, I flipped my routine around, and started with music each day.

    Great advice.

  10. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    Wow!!!! --- we are supposed to have a daily routine for the trumpet???? personally, I get tired because I have a job that has "physical labor" attached to it, so my whole body gets tired on some days ((also as I approach the 50 year mark in a couple of years)) -- I just don't have the stamina that I did 20 years ago. NOW on trumpet playing, I find that I typically do an hour and a half a day, sometimes 2 hours. BUT occasionally I just SKIP a night. Now that doesn't always mean I don't play -- but sometimes, I just do a short warmup, maybe play a simple song or two -------------------------then put the horn down. NOW my mind sometimes says """""your ruined, you'll suck playing tomorrow, you will lose the edge, your endurance will suffer, etc."""" ------------however the day after, usually the trumpet has a bit more pep, and so does the brain and body ----YES, I DONT LIKE TO TAKE A DAY OFF, BUT A LOT OF TIMES I SEE THE VALUE IN DOING SO!!!!

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