What are essential skills to practice?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpet Playa, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    6,786
    3,551
    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    It sounds to me like you are already well on your way, so my advice to you would be to continue working on what you are working on, but to also be honest with yourself about how each aspect that you listed is shaping up. My thought at the moment is that no matter what you know intellectually, if you can't do it technically it's almost of no consequence. If there is anything in your technique, whether it's articulation, flexibilities, sound quality, etc, that is not up to the same level as the other, make a point to work on that specifically and give it extra focused attention.

    If you can play Arban's Carnival of Venice and make it sound decent, I'd say you are ahead of the curve of a lot of players. There are parts of that tune that I still don't play well and I've been a working trumpet player for a long time. Keep in mind, for about 98.5% of trumpet playing, you probablyt won't need that kind of virtuosic technique.

    Good luck with it and keep us posted.
     
  2. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    939
    210
    Aug 14, 2005
    All of those skills are essential to practice and devlop, but none of it will do you any good without these:

    -musicality - you lean music by playing music (not exercises). So be sure to include actual musical performance and study in your routine.

    -ear training - you need to be able to hear music. Practice ear training. Transcribe solos, get a pianist or somebody to play you material for dictation, etc.

    -rhythmic development - learn to groove with different meters, tempos, and feels. Get a handrum (or a set of traps) and spend time playing rhythm.

    bigtiny
     
  3. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    6,786
    3,551
    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    What is "a set of traps" - are we going into the woods looking for beaver and raccoon? ;-)

    When I was in HS, I fiddled on percussion equipment quite a bit - mainly snare drums and a drum kit (I think that's what you mean) and had several pairs of drumsticks. I used to pull them out and just sort of tap along while listening to music. 7 years ago I started playing drums for my church's worship band, and the positive affect it has had on all aspects of my musicianship has been astonishing.

    Next time you are in a music store, pick up a set of sticks if you don't already have them - get a set of 5As from any brand. Those are a nicely sized general set of sticks that are great for just tapping around, or you could even play a snare drum or drum kit with them. A neoprene mouse pad actually makes a pretty fair practice pad.
     
  4. hup_d_dup

    hup_d_dup Piano User

    339
    27
    May 28, 2009
    Tewksbury, NJ, USA
    You have self-identified the two most important skills to work on. Why? Not because they are musically more important than any of the other things you have listed. Rather, you see them as a chore instead of an opportunity to expand your musical vocabulary. You need to figure this out, and turn it around!

    The harder you need to work, the more it should be a joy. When that happens, you are on the road to excellence.
     
  5. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    6,786
    3,551
    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    ^^ When my son was starting to really come along as a guitar player, he was having an issue with tremolo picking, aka "double picking" for some of the music he wanted to be able to play, specifically "System of a Down" songs. Identifying the fact that this was a weak point for him, he sat there for roughly a month, working almost nothing else, building it up, slowing it down, building it up, slowing it down, and working his fret hand in there as well. He worked it to the point to where not only could he play those songs at tempo, he was able to shred through them way faster than the recordings.

    Once he could do that, it unlocked so many more songs to play, and the more he played, the better he got, and the more he enjoyed playing. He truly loves playing guitar, and to think that the biggest boost there came from about 1 month of hard work on an essential skill...I mean, why wouldn't you put in the time on that if that's what it was going to take to bring you up to a whole different level of ability?
     
  6. Mark B

    Mark B Pianissimo User

    214
    1
    Aug 20, 2010
    Redlands, CA
    That's a great point, guys. Work hardest on the thing you hate doing the most. That's great advice for just about anything you do in life.

    Mark
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    16,611
    7,952
    Jun 18, 2006
    Germany
    The best way to move ahead is to find more opportunities to perform. The practice room monster needs the perspective only given by live performance.

    I don't know you or your playing, but 6 hours of practice daily and you are asking questions about what is good? With that amount of time most things should be pretty obvious if you have learned to listen. The human body gives us so many clues.

    I often question the ability to stay focussed for extended periods of time if you have a job, school, college or close friends. Staying focussed is key to getting better.
     
  8. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    939
    210
    Aug 14, 2005
    A 'set' of drums is often referred to as a set of 'trap drums' Buddy Rich's childhood stage name was 'Traps the Wonder Drummer' or something like that.......

    bigtiny
     
  9. Satchmo Brecker

    Satchmo Brecker Piano User

    493
    78
    Jul 19, 2010
    Just to expand on that a little... way back in high school when I played sax I did like I think alot of kids do, which is work on the easier stuff. I got good, but always in the back of my mind I'd think "but what if I have to play in Db...they'll find out I'm not that good".

    Now as a comeback/sidestep trumpeter only doing it for enjoyment I'm making every effort to work the hard stuff, in every way. So for example when I'm warming up running through a few scales, I start with Db, not C.
    I work chromatics endlessly, and hit the harder combinations (like D/Eb/E) over and over and over.

    And I have to say, my confidence is so much higher, and I actually look forward to practicing more since I'm not "hiding" anything.
     
  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    6,786
    3,551
    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    I guess you missed the fact that I was giving you a hard time and trying to make a joke - you really didn't need to explain it. ;-) I knew exactly what you were referring to and why it was called that, although calling it a "set of traps" or a "trap set" is not used much at all anymore. These days us drummers refer to it as a drum kit, simply a kit, or sometimes a drum set.
     

Share This Page