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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Tips for a good practice routine in the General forums; While I will not say that my way is the best way or even better than yours, here are my ...
  1. #11
    Pianissimo User
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    NJ, USA

    Re: Tips for a good practice routine

    While I will not say that my way is the best way or even better than yours, here are my thoughts on how my practicing differs from your own;
    By first session am I to take it that this is your "warm-up". If so, I would recommend cutting down on the time for that. For most brass players it seems that they are warm in a matter of minutes (approximately 5-8). The key to this concept is that by being warm does not mean that you have played through all of your warm-up routine, but rather that you feel that your lips are ready to play whatever you need them to. And since I mentioned it, I would highly recommend against having a set warm-up routine. A couple years ago my warm-up was the same thing day in and day out. What ended up happening was that my lips got so used to these excises that they could play them just fine, but my chops were not actually getting warmed up and I ended up doing a bit of damage to them before I started mixing up what I played in the warm-up. (Remember: Variety is the spice of life) Personally, my warm-up usually consists of first getting a buzz on the mouthpiece and buzzing some portamentos/slides of 4ths and 5th to loosen up. Then I take out an easy vocalise (i.e. concone) and go through it switching between singing, buzzing, and playing (in time for the most part). This gets you chops matching pitch and slowly gets them working. Then I do some simple lip slurs, bends, pinging scales, clarke, or whatever I feel I need to do to get my chops fully warmed up.

    Your breaking up of what you are covering everyday seems just fine if it works for you.

    A good thing to keep in mind when practicing is to try to lrest as much as play to keep your chops fresh.

    As for sight-reading, it is just one of those things you get better from doing it often. There are a lot of short songs towards the back of the arbans book, which are good to practice with. Something that I have been told when it comes to sight-reading is that that it is better to hear a wrong note at the right time than a right note at the wrong time (aka rhythm is the key thing to have while sight-reading a piece).

  2. #12
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Re: Tips for a good practice routine

    Quote Originally Posted by Passion View Post
    I already made it into Honor Band, in fact I just got back from it 2 days ago. It was so fun and awesome. Over 300 people auditioned, and the auditioner and my highschool band director said it was really competitive to get in this year for trumpets, but overall the auditioner said trumpets had the best audition tapes he's ever heard in his experience of doing Honor Band for 13 years. My band director also told my Mom that I was really talented, and everyone says I've improved vastly over just a summer and should continue playing.

    And I dont mean practicing only 30 minutes a day, but sessions of 30 minutes.

    Would this be a good daily routine?

    1st session- 10 minutes of slurring and pedal tones. 10 minutes of long tones. And the rest of 10 minutes should be me resting in between so my mouth doesn't get tired.

    2nd session- 15 minutes of double tonguing exercises. 15 minutes of practicing a song or variation of song with double tonguing.

    3rd session- 15 minutes of triple tonguing exercises. 15 minutes of practicing a song or variation of song with triple tonguing.

    4th session- Trying to remember a scale, and then practicing exercises with scale in Arban book.

    5th session- Practice sight reading for 15 minutes, and rythem exercises for about 15 minutes.

    6th session- Practice and learn some new song like an etude or something. Maybe take time to learn some popular song to play for family or friends or something.

    7th session (If necessary, is an hour session, which means there will be no 6th session) - Practice something I have to perform like for a solo like school concert, college audtions, or something.

    I dont really practice the music for school unless I have a solo because we do that stuff everyday, and it's really easy even being 1st chair. I'm sure ill have to in college though, but for now I really don't need to, or want to.

    My schedule will change when I get to college, but this is all I can do for now on school days. Plus, Mom says Im not allowed to practcie after 9:00 PM so this is all I can do for now.
    The only thing that you need to change here is the order. Technical studies go to the END. Your MUSIC deserves the freshest chops possible. Move 2 and 3 to the end and 6 and 7 to place 2 and 3. Music is why we play and always deserves a very prominent position in the schedule!
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  3. #13
    Pianissimo User Keith Fiala's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Austin, Texas

    Re: Tips for a good practice routine

    My best advice (humble opinion at work here) is to stop focussing on the amount of time that you spend practicing and start focussing more on WHAT needs to be practiced daily. I.E. tonguing, sight reading, flexibility, etc.

    All too often we focus on numbers (time) vs. thinking about the goal for the practice session. Trusting the process and actually doing the studies is what will get you to improve. I can spend 5 hours a day mindlessly blowing and call it practice... but go nowhere.

    Keith Fiala

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