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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Overpracticing in the General forums; I'm a high school player, and for the past month I've been playing at least 3 hours a day, including ...
  1. #1
    New Friend
    Join Date
    Jan 2011


    I'm a high school player, and for the past month I've been playing at least 3 hours a day, including the lead part in my high school jazz band (which doesn't go above a high C because frankly the we aren't good enough to play hard charts, but still). Over the past few weeks, I've noticed a definite decrease in my ability, including a decrease in range (from a weak high C to barely being able to get out an A) and a very very marked decrease in endurance. Things that were not difficult a while ago are now undoable.

    I haven't changed my practice rountine at all, and I've been making sure I use the bucket trick to make sure my air support is solid. I've also cleaned out my horn, in case there was a blockage. Further, I feel my chops just "give out" when trying to play high(er) for extended periods of time. All of this leads me to believe I need to take a few days off the horn to recover, because I think I am overpracticing.

    What are your thoughts? Is this a case of overpracticing, or something else? I'm thinking of taking Saturday and Sunday off, because I have no playing commitments. Is this advisable?

    Thanks for your help. I would be happy to provide any more information if needed.

  2. #2
    Mezzo Forte User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Los Angeles

    Re: Overpracticing

    Ah, so THAT'S how I lasted so long in high school without practicing much!!

    Seriously, you can easily overdo things at your age. Your chops are only a few years into development and they simply cannot be overtaxed, and if you're like 90% of the players I knew in hi school, including myself, pressure was our pal. Take a couple days off, rethink how you approach the instrument, not how the instrument approaches you, as in, comes in at you, mouth first! Bring your chops TO the mpc, not the other way around, and gently, and work to play that way everytime. It's a lifelong deal, but worth the thought going into it.


  3. #3
    New Friend
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    New England

    Re: Overpracticing

    When I was in high school, I was pretty much in the same boat. For me, the best way to keep my chops fresh was to have a relaxed day every week or so. If you're normally practicing about 2 hours a day, try cutting down to 1 hour on sundays. Everyone is different, but this general premise worked well for me during my high school years.

  4. #4
    Pianissimo User
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Re: Overpracticing

    I am a high school player that encounters the same problem. I was suggested to just condense my practice routine every now and then. My teacher said that you still want to practice everyday.

    Also be sure to take plenty of breaks while practicing and don't try practicing 3 hours in one sitting. I got the tip from a trumpet clinc and it seemed to do miracles. I like to do two hour sessions when I have the time. I take a 3-4 min. break after every 15 minutes.

    Good luck man I wish I sometimes could practice all day without getting tired.
    Last edited by hichez; 02-25-2011 at 04:03 PM.
    "Pinch harder and use less are I guarantee the high notes will come out."

  5. #5
    Forte User
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Re: Overpracticing

    Quote Originally Posted by Galois View Post
    I'm a high school player, and for the past month I've been playing at least 3 hours a day.
    So prior to that I assume it was much less?

    Sounds like your chops are adjusting to the new workload.

    Keep it up. 3 hours a day sounds about right for a serious high school student. Break your playing time into smaller blocks.

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