Over the past 3 weeks, I have done nothing but play at US Army troop return ceremonies for those finishing up a tour in Iraq. Typically, we've been playing 6-7 standard marches in a row, twice per flight (once at the airfield and once at the parade field). On average, there are 2-3 flights a day, most times back to back. Did I mention that we don't rest on the trios? Our conductor doesn't like that. Since all I've done is play outdoors on military marches during that time, I have noticed a harsh quality in my sound that I don't like at all. I had a day off today and looked at my practice log from before 3 weeks ago and realized that I wasn't getting a well rounded approach to playing for an extended period of time. So, I did nothing but open up my collection of lyrical studies and vocal arias and just played as many as I could until a good sound appeared. It did, and hopefully tomorrow morning (at 5am) it will be there next to the airplane. I remember reading an article by Phil Smith or David Bilger explaining the importance of practicing techniques that aren't currently being used. Mozart for this weekend's series=practicing more contemporary works or something physically challenging, like Bach. Scheherazade=anything but multiple tonging, but nothing to harsh. Get the idea? Of course you try to prepare for upcoming stuff, but once you're performing it, it's time to practice something else with the limited practice time you have during a busy work load. I wanted to get some other pro's opinions on balancing practice content with a busy concert schedule. Could ya'll hook me up? Thanks!