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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by 1stTrumpet, Jan 7, 2010.
Some good stuff in here. But, what is missing is the value of rest. Sounds as though the questioner is a young dude and rest may not be seen as that important. (It didn't to me back then.) Since I am an old dude now, I have found that I have to put space between my workouts--both macro (aerobic and nonaerobic) and micro (trumpet practice). Overworking produces strain which is counterproductive. I fall into the trap of not putting my instrument down for a few minutes and then coming back to it. In a few days my chops become non responsive. However, if I put some time in between exercises than strengthening is less problematic. I have read somewhere on this site that a good rule is to put the horn down between blows for a time equivalent to the time it was on your chops. So, consider adding to your routine some rest periods. Even put in micro-rest periods when doing what is sustained blowing. This imitates most of the music we play--it is not sustained indefinitely. As someone else implied (Rowuk), you need to practice in a way that may mimic what you will need to do when actually performing and then do 50% more.
To the OP, rather than try to digest pages and pages of "stuff",
I would suggest that you watch Nick D's video on Embouchure:
YouTube - Embouchure Design Revisited
Mimic what he is doing in his video, especially the first parts.
When you are able to play "buzzed scales" you will find that you have corrected a lot of inefficient habits. The bonus is that when you correct your incorrect playing habits that your endurance will increase very quickly without having to spend hours and hours playing tedious lip slur exercises.
Now, I'm not saying lip slur exercises aren't useful. What I am saying is that spending hours and hours doing exercises with a 'bad' embouchure is a very frustrating and ineffective way to improve your endurance.
If you get your "chops right" first, then endurance may not be an issue at all and you can then focus on other areas of your playing.
It seems we all know someone who doesn't seem to practice much but can go out and play a 4 hour gig without losing their chops. I know someone exactly like that, in fact this guy plays as well at the end of a gig as he does at the beginning with incredible range and power - but I digress.
The reason people like that can pull it off (other than to frustrate the rest of us that can't do that!) is because they have a very efficient embouchure that doesn't fatigue easily. So, following the instruction of Nick D. and others, first get your chops in order before spending months (or years) on exercises that can't "fix" the problem.
G'day Solar Bell. THAT'S what I'm talkin' about!!!!!
Thanks a bunch guys, this topic helped alot
Then I have a question, too, on this subject: Can you achieve endurance practicing only 30-40 minutes (with breaks), even if you practice every day?
Yes - to a degree. If you keep the horn to your face for longer periods of time and then rest once your lips barely produce sound. For example, I'll take Jamey Aebersold's Volume 3, track 2 (which is 5 minutes long) and I'll run it twice back to back. By the time the 10 minutes is up, sound isn't really happening. By giving your chops a healthy break, you're building. I've found 2 things to be very beneficial for endurance - not using lip tension and release to ascend / descend through your range - rather, use your abs to speed up and slow down the air. The other is by playing for longer periods... most of us don't keep the horn to our face when practicing for more than 30 seconds to 2 minutes. So when we have to play for longer periods, fatigue takes over. Constant conscientious consistent practice.
Just my personal findings in my own practicing...
Practice does not only build muscles but (mostly unconsciously) leads to better technique, too.
Endurance does not only require strong muscles but - mainly - efficient technique.
Don't try to overdo endurance practice. If your embouchure hurts, stop playing and rest. If you have a daily practice routine, eventually your "comfortable" playing time will increase, making your endurance better.
I don't really understand conventional endurance practice. if you constantly play exercises intended to make you "play through" feeling tired, all you're doing is teaching your muscles to be tired.
As for the mouthpiece, I would stick with a mouthpiece that is comfortable, in tune, and good-sounding. and i mean STICK WITH IT. Like Rowuk has said many many times, you cannot accurately measure success with a mouthpiece in a matter of days, only a matter of months or probably years.
Yep. Practice on achieving an efficient embouchure. Don't practice with the idea that "I must spend X hours playing so my chops stay strong".