what to people consider to be "big" hours of practise?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by tonidimitri, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. trpt2345

    trpt2345 Mezzo Forte User

    858
    4
    May 21, 2006
    Morelia, Mexico
    If you're efficient, I think three hours a day is a huge amount. That was the info I got in grad school, not just from Barbara but also Vizzutti (an Eastman grad who hung out a lot) and Vinny. Six to ten is way more than I've ever heard of. Three good hours, not goofing around, but focussed and goal oriented. I think it's way more important how you practice than the length. Barbara always told the story of Thomas Bonecutter, a trombonist she knew in college who only did two hours a day but it was a very intense two hours with no interruptions. Out of grad school he got a gig with the Met Opera orchestra.

    Michael McLaughlin
     
  2. Clarence

    Clarence Mezzo Forte User

    Age:
    59
    797
    3
    Jun 23, 2005
    san diego
     
  3. PH

    PH Mezzo Piano User

    Age:
    62
    545
    0
    Dec 2, 2003
    Bloomington, Indiana
    ..............
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2007
  4. TrumpetEd

    TrumpetEd New Friend

    18
    0
    Feb 26, 2007
    Green Bay, WI
    As for the question, I stand corrected. His initial question was about "big hours", but I was reading his post in which he stated, "wondering what the average of what most people put in", so I guess I misunderstood the question. I cannot nor will I attempt to speak for anyone else, but I played as a professional for about 15 years before settling for a job with steady pay and great benefits to support my family, so I think that I can speak with experience when I talk. I agree with Clarence about trumpet playing being serious business, especially if it's how you make your living. Many of the top players out there truly don't have that much time to practice, but I guess I'm talking about guys who are always working. If you have a 4-hour big band gig playing lead one night and you just played another gig or recording session earlier in the day, you're not going to want to keep pounding on your chops. The muscles do need some rest time. A lot of guys will pick up their horn and do a few exercises, but they aren't going to want to wear themselves out when they know they have a 4-hour gig coming up. Years ago, many of the pros in Los Angeles would also sit in with rehearsal bands, college bands or any other opportunity to keep up their playing and reading chops. Anyway, as for the original question, I guess I misinterpreted it. My bad.
     
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    16,611
    7,955
    Jun 18, 2006
    Germany
    If we just want to define "big hours", I would say that 6 hours is the border between a full day and "big".
    Clarence is right in the respect that you have to pay your dues, but his "dues" are different than Mannys'.
    If I define practice as a period of time dedicated to improving a particular aspect of playing where analysis plays the largest role (the only way to get better is to work on what we have not yet mastered. This requires a plan of action and measurement to see if we have accomplished our goals. This is true regardless if I am working on range or learning jazz changes!). I am of the firm belief that more than 4 full hours of PRACTICE is not productive. When I make creativity the top priority, I do not have the analytical control and that to me is no longer "practice" - it is performance even if I have no audience.
    It has always been useful for my playing to dedicate time to analysis OR creativity. They get in the way of one another quite often, so separating them helps to optimise the results!
     
  6. trpt2345

    trpt2345 Mezzo Forte User

    858
    4
    May 21, 2006
    Morelia, Mexico
    Anybody ever seen the book "Trumpet Profiles" by Louis Davidson? It's a questionnaire sent out to famous trumpetrs everywhere and from every field. One of the questions is Howmany hours did you practice each day as a student? How many as a pro 1)on a performance day 2) on a day with no performance. The responses vary greatly. Nobody said six to ten. Cat Anderson said four hours a day, gig or no, who was the only one not to vary between on and off days. Andre, one hour a day when performing , 3 or 4 when not. Vacchiano half an hour on gig days, an hour on off. Same for Bud, who said he did two hours a day when a student. I maintain what you do is more important than how long the session is:if you practice incorrectly you'll get worse, not better.

    Michael McLaughlin
     
  7. PH

    PH Mezzo Piano User

    Age:
    62
    545
    0
    Dec 2, 2003
    Bloomington, Indiana
    .........
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2007
  8. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    5,915
    10
    Sep 29, 2004
    USA
    Right, Michael... I was thinking of that very book when I wrote my post. Also, personal conversations with both Maurice André and Doc Severinsen had them both practicing about 4 hours on the days when they were seeking to better themselves as players.

    The only time I practiced 5 to 6 hours a day was when I spent a week in Chicagoland working with great teachers as part of my own independent, professional improvement quest. I didn't do that every day, just a couple out of that week. But the other days I probably worked about 4 hours a day. I was working on redoing my articulation and understanding breathing as applied to brass playing (no, I don't want to write about that anymore... I've written enough about it).

    In other words, I had specific goals in mind and gave energy to the work by isolating myself from home and my job for a week. The following year I got the job here in Minnesota after narrowly missing getting the Boston gig.

    It really is about focusing on a particular technique or set of problems and executing methodically. I think your brain is only capapble of handling so much IF you're truly concentrating. I don't count mindless playing as time well spent if you want to be a musician.

    For clarity's sake: are we including performing in this playing time? I'm not. I'm talking strictly practice apart from performing.

    ML
     
  9. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    5,915
    10
    Sep 29, 2004
    USA
    I sincerely doubt it.

    I would tend to think it's all the improv skills in all the keys you have to cover. Intelligently done, that would have to take a lot of time to learn tunes and patterns in so many keys. Also, it's been my experience observing that jazz players warm up for a much longer time than classical players.

    ML
     
  10. JunkyT

    JunkyT Pianissimo User

    133
    1
    Jan 6, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    That is very interesting to me...intuitively, I might have thought the opposite.

    Care to hazzard a guess as to why the warm-ups vary by genre?

    Incidentally, I had an amazing lesson with Laurie Frink yesterday (full report forthcoming, as soon as I can digest it all!), and she said she thought that for me, 2 hours a day was plenty. Can't tell you how happy I was to hear that! ;)

    I say whatever works for YOU, go with it. How much Manny or Clarence or Bud or Andre practices has no bearing on my (or your) development as a player.
     

Share This Page