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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Practice routines and material in the General forums; I feel this is such an obvious topic that it must have come long before now - but certainly not ...
  1. #1
    Pianissimo User
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    Jul 2005
    Manchester UK

    Practice routines and material

    I feel this is such an obvious topic that it must have come long before now - but certainly not as long as I've been on this forum. So Here goes, some questions:
    how long do you practice? is it limited by stamina or other factors (eg day job, family etc)? do you break up the routine and organise it over days, weeks (months??)? what do you practice? do you set goals, are these time dependent or not? How much work do you need to do just to stay where you are or to push yourself onwards?

    heres my 2p (2c) worth:
    Practice and making the time to do it has now become something of an obsession - I try to aim for ~30 min during the day (round lunch) doing a warmup routine (long notes, chromatics pp cresc, finger exercises) then some schossbergs, Clarke setting up drills (good for fingering and finger-tongue coordination) and maybe a Caruso exercise to finish, but i never push it too much. I'll try to aim for ~1hr when i get home, doing flexibilites, some Arban and other studies, more Clarke, scales (different key every day round the cycle of 4ths, major, minors, diminished, augmented, modal studies) always working on articulation and control. Some long note practice. I'll normally put the horn down for a few minutes at a time and do someting else like....reading Trumpetmaster! . Occasionally I'll do some improvisation practice but i tend to go about this in a much more casual manner. At weekends if I have the time I'll stretch this over the day and maybe do more. If I have a gig I never practice on the same day but always do the warmup. I find progress is slow but sure, I set goals like increasing range, endurance but never push it because it has been happening and will continue (i hope).
    "I was minding my own business when something says to me, "you ought to blow trumpet." I have just been trying ever since." - Miles Davis

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  2. #2
    Pianissimo User
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    Jul 2005
    I start around 5:00 P.M. with BE for 45 minutes then an hour break.
    At 6:45 I start my real practice with Bill Adam's warmup and then I work on 5 main things with various books:
    1.Technique- Arbans, Clarke, Irons, Schlossberg
    2.Range- Arbans, Bartold, Clarke, Hering
    3.Flexibility- Arbans, Bartold, Cl;arke, Schlossberg
    4.Accuracy- Develop Sight Reading, Hering, Schlossberg
    5.Sound- Concone-Shoemaker, Hering, Schlossberg, Arbans, Bartold

    Sometimes I throw in a little of Bill Adam's routine. After that I spend another hour or so practicing Lyrical Phrasing, Tonal Fullness, Projection, Intonation, Breathing and all playing styles(jazz, legit etc..)

    For everything it usually takes about 3 hours and I get finished around 9:00.

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  3. #3
    New Friend
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    Sep 2005
    emory, va, usa
    I have really enjoyed the new Tony Plog Method For Trumpet books. They are a great break from the usual, Clarke, Arban, etc., and a lot of fun to work on. Matt
    Matt Frederick
    Emory, Va, USA

  4. #4
    Piano User
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Toronto Canada
    I really enjoy playing from the Harry James Method book. I find it thorough, fun and challanging.

    I normally run scales in most major keys as a warmup, and then play a few favorite pieces for speed, accuracy, and sight reading abillities.

    Most of my studies are geared towards improv as I mainly play Jazz. I dont really bother to much with classical studies anymore cause I had them comming out of my ears for 5 years when I started playing long ago.

    Rick AKA Trumpet Man

  5. #5
    Utimate User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    I have been reading with interest the many posts about warm-ups and I've come to a concluson: it's very difficult to come up with a warm-up that is really 100% tailored to your specific needs.

    What I mean to say is that even if you have two orchestra players that play second trumpet in a good orchestra, they are each likely going to need different things from their warm-ups. If you have two lead players from well-known bands, each one will have different needs. The first trumpeters from two regular brass quintets will have different needs.

    Let's consider:

    How old are you?

    How much lung volume do you have?

    How are you feeling today?

    How hard was the gig last night?

    How much do you focus on what you're doing when you warm up?

    On and on...

    You truly have to have a sense of what you need to happen by the time you're done. What do you want to be able to do after an hour? A half hour? Fifteen minutes? Five minutes?

    What sort of sound will an hour of what you do produce? How fast will you be able to tongue after twenty minutes?

    Yes, everyday will be different as far as what you need to do for your job/school/fun but there has to be a basic expectation upon which you can rely. Oh, and then there's this: Do you really need to warm up or is what you're doing more like practice? Do you need to warm-up before you can produce a vibrato or is that just an ever-present part of your sound? Can you pick up the horn and play smickety-smack licks and bomba$$ hits right away?

    Is YOUR warm-up neccessary or a mental obligation? One of the reasons I ask is because I think it's good to have a good work ethic but I often am concerned about trumpeters that may be wasting valuable "chop time" without realizing they could get to it quicker and with confidence so that they could play more and work less.


  6. #6
    Mezzo Forte User Clarence's Avatar
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  7. #7
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    Jul 2005
    Good point on the warmups Manny. I know I should probably use different warmups for different situations like you said, but it is more convient to use the same warmup every day.

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  8. #8
    Mezzo Piano User gregc's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
    New York, U.S. of A.
    Manny, you have a point. Sometimes I feel as I spend 1/2 my time getting to the point when I'm ready to work. Then poof, before you know it, I'm done. Gotta get 'there' faster.
    .... or add more hours to the day*


  9. #9
    Forte User
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Northern New York
    So, Manny, I tried getting pretty much right to brass tacks (so to speak) today with a significantly shorter warm-up period than usual. I wanted to try that and see how much warm up I really need, and how it benefits me.

    From that, I found that I'm one of those who really needs that time (mentally at least) to help get focused and ease into my day.

    My warm-up usually consists of some breathing excercises, work on the BERP, lately I've been doing leaddpipe buzzing alot, whisper tones, then sopme flow studies and Schlossberg long tones, lip flexibilities and finally scale studies (either Clarke or, latley, Arban interval studies). Maybe this is more of a practice session than a warm-up, but I find if I eliminate various elements as I did today my focus is not there; I kind of just wandered about during my session from this thing to that with no clear objective.

    I guess all players are different; and as you said, each player's needs vary from day to day depending on how much/hard things went the day before and where one's mind is during the session. The key is, I guess, knowing what your body/mind/chops are saying and then listening to that and knowing how to adjust to it/what to do about it.

    * After some thought, I might try that again for several day is not a real scientific INVESTigation. One benefit is that I DID get playing faster. There are many things that pull me around during the day...many of them unexpected. Maybe tying in Ed Carroll's "make a plan, execute the plan, evaluate the plan, make a new plan" approach can be incorporated to alleviate wandering. Might try this with band rehearsals, too, just to see how the kids react and if there is any change in performance/rehearsal intensity level. If anything, I will find for me the benefit or lack of benefit of an extended warm up.
    "Roses have thorns; shining waters mud. Clouds and eclipses stain the moon and the sun; and history reeks of the wrongs we have done. After today, after today, consider me gone."- Sting

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