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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Practice Schedule in the General forums; So the end of marching band is near and soon I'll have more time to practice. Does anyone have a ...
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    Practice Schedule

    So the end of marching band is near and soon I'll have more time to practice. Does anyone have a great practice routine they could share? Ideally I'd like to go back to practicing 3 to 5+ hours. Thanks!

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    Moderator Utimate User Vulgano Brother's Avatar
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    Re: Practice Schedule

    Spalding's Double High C in 37 Weeks has some good exercises, as does Total Range by Charles S. Peters, System for Brass by Louis Maggio, Systematic Approach To Daily Practice For Trumpet by Claude Gordon and ASA-Technik by Rolf Quinque.

    The danger comes in using these methods exclusively (as Spalding urges) and blindly following their version of what the embouchure should be--strictly the opinion of the author (although Quinque has perhaps the best generic description).

    To improve, we need to tire ourselves without exhausting ourselves, so at the end or our routine we should feel like we've done something. Richard Shuebruck's Trumpeter's Daily Stunt (and his lip and tongue trainers) is an excellent way to start. Add to that Walter M. Smith's Top Tones for the Trumpeter and you'll add some excellent range studies. Max Schlossberg's Daily Drills and Technical Studies for Trumpet is another must have for development.

    The Harold Mitchell Trumpet Method, starting with book three, is like a big 'ol multi-vitamin, presenting new challenges each lesson, and can be frustrating and gratifying at the same time.

    Point is, high notes are fun, and range can be developed, but we're supposed to be musicians. We need an extremely large skill set in order to do that, one that includes, but is not limited to range.
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    Re: Practice Schedule

    Thanks! I obviously want to develop my range more but I also want to focus on other aspects of playing. I googled some of the books you mentioned and I couldn't find Spalding's Double High C in 37 weeks, Total Range by Charles S. Peters or Richarad Shuebruck's Trumpeter's Daily Stunt.

    Also: When I don't practice as much my range seems to improve dramatically. Does anyone know why this is? The tone is lacking when this happens.

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    Pianissimo User PatMurphy's Avatar
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    Re: Practice Schedule

    Quote Originally Posted by mandyg233 View Post
    So the end of marching band is near and soon I'll have more time to practice. Does anyone have a great practice routine they could share? Ideally I'd like to go back to practicing 3 to 5+ hours. Thanks!
    I got the following from Mark VanCleve's book, "How to practice".
    Don't drive yourself. When you are tired, quit. Make it fun. If no fun then as is being stated here, you are just wasting your time if you are not engaged in listening to every note you are playing. The thought of 3-5 hours is scary to me. I have to work a 40-50 hours week and I am no spring chicken.
    I find 10-20 minutes at a time. Take a break 20 minutes. Each time I pick up the horn again I can feel the stronger chops. I try to start my routine early in the morning for 15 minutes. Then 2-3 other times during the day. By dark I am strong and ready to play. I also buzz a mpc I keep in my car, on the way to the gig.
    I have a short warm-up I do every time. I concentrate on my MOSTLY my tone. Dynamics- play low loud, high soft. As for the Double and triple this and that, not as important as control of the tone
    Mostly, Have fun, play music! Works for me!
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    Pat Murphy
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    Re: Practice Schedule

    Since school (and marching band) started, I've barely had any time to practice. I went from practicing all summer to barely at all during school (so I haven't done 3 hours in awhile!) And of course it's not all at one time. What I would do was practice 30-40 minutes and then have at least a 20 minute break, sometimes longer. Really with this post I was just looking for practice schedules and what particular exercises that work for people since I want to revise my routine.

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    Utimate User tobylou8's Avatar
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    Re: Practice Schedule

    When you kids grow up and move out, you'll have plenty of time!
    Knowledge is freedom, and ignorance is slavery - Miles Davis

    The difference between a beginner and pro mouthpiece is practice - tobylou8

    Nobody has learned how to play the trumpet. It's endless. - Maynard Ferguson

    Don't be afraid to try something different. The Ark was built by an amateur and the Titanic was built by a group of experienced engineers.

    By the inch it's a cinch, by the yard, it's hard!

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    Pianissimo User PatMurphy's Avatar
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    Re: Practice Schedule

    Quote Originally Posted by tobylou8 View Post
    When you kids grow up and move out, you'll have plenty of time!
    Except when you have a family the size of mine (32 folks) I always have someone in the "spare" bedrooms
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    Pat Murphy
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    Utimate User gmonady's Avatar
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    Re: Practice Schedule

    I would choose a schedule that best fits into your schedule. I do not think practicing 5-6 hours is a requirement and is actually rather excessive. Building (the key is gradually building) up to 1-2 hours a day would be ideal for routine muscle building and control; that and actually thinking through your practice session. Total concentration needs to be committed to the session. That is why 1-2 hours again would be ideal as the brain can easily be focused for this duration of time. It is hard for me to envision how you can optimize total concentration on a practice session for 5-6 hours.

    Now an EXCEPTION to my above line of reasoning would be if you have a musical career that DEMANDS 5-6 hour performance sessions within a typical work week. In that case, you will need to build muscle stamina up to a 5-6 hour practice session. To me; however, this amounts to no more than a mindless work out to achieve endurance.

    I think a practice session needs to be so much more than this in order to progress. So if you can get warm-ups; technical exercises (scales; patterns; modal progressions; range building; rhythm rudiments, etc.); pieces required to work on for the moment within 1-2 hours, then you are golden.
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