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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Too much practicing?? in the General forums; The majority of your practice time should be learning "how" to play the trumpet. Develop a practice schedule that will ...
  1. #11
    Pianissimo User Rushtucky's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
    Indianapolis, Indiana

    Re: Too much practicing??

    The majority of your practice time should be learning "how" to play the trumpet. Develop a practice schedule that will bring results. If you have 30 minutes to practice each day, 20 minutes should be on warm-ups, technique, lip slurs and scales. That leaves 10 minutes for solos, etc. If you have 60 minutes each day use the same proportions. If you have 2 hours, do the math and continue with the same proportions. The most important thing to remember is to REST as you practice. Play 10 minutes, rest five minutes and let your lip recover and yes, drink water as you practice.

    The point is that if you can physically play the trumpet, you can learn to play the music.
    One thing that I can not stress enough is to do Long Tones. We've all heard how important it is to play long tones and how good they are for us. With few exceptions I don't know anyone who does them (except for my students-"hopefully"). Trumpet player get bored too easily and rarely do them. So when you do your scales, do them in long tones. You will be doing two tasks in one.
    Indianapolis, Indiana

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    Leopold Stanislaw Stokowski

  2. #12
    Forte User nordlandstrompet's Avatar
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    Apr 2008

    Re: Too much practicing??

    Quote from the trumpet book "Perfecting your practice for peak performance" by Mick Hesse?
    Last edited by nordlandstrompet; 03-23-2009 at 12:27 PM. Reason: sp
    If you can not stand up as a good role model, please sit down!



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  3. #13
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    Mar 2009

    Re: Too much practicing??

    muscle building happens when you don't practice - practice tears it down - so practicing all the the time is not going to help you - and you are just going to have to face that fact. There are lots of things that can help you become a better trumpet player - like listening to really good recordings of other trumpet players, reading articles about how to improve your playing, learning to play piano, working on arranging......... are all good ways to start. Hey, I was once told that drinking from a straw and even KISSING helps build the embouchure - (though I am not sure how much fact could be found to back this up). The fact is the best players practice alot but know when to stop - and they also know how to practice - make sure you are properly warming up (lip slurs, long tones, clark studies, etc....) and cooling down (pedal tones works best for me). Just playing does not always constitute practice.

    You should also ask yourself if you are already blowing off auditions when are you going to start blowing off performances? All this practice is probably a way compensate for nerves your confidence might benifit by getting private lessons with a good teacher, and your playing will also.

    Good Luck and keep up the hard work..........just be smarter about it.

    Happy Notes come from trumpets

  4. #14
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    Mar 2009
    New Mexico

    Smile Re: Too much practicing??

    They say "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" so I thank rushtucky.

    For those who might be interested in finding out more about my book "Perfecting Your Practice for Peak Performance" (the book quoted above, without giving credit please go to

    Mick Hesse

    Here is the full quote from my book:
    A Practice Concept
    Knowing how and what to practice is key to your success. Only you know how
    dedicated you are to the process and the goals that you have set for yourself. A
    good teacher can guide you in the process, but ultimately you are the teacher!
    Hard work and patience are absolutely necessary to success and knowing what
    and how to practice are very important. I believe that knowing how to play the
    trumpet will allow you to play anything you want to play. With that in mind
    you need to set goals and have a strategy to succeed.

    The majority of your practice time should be learning how to play, and your
    schedule should reflect that philosophy. If you have 30 minutes to practice each
    day, 20 minutes should be on warm-ups, technique, lip slurs and scales. That
    leaves ten minutes for solos. If you have 60 minutes each day use the same
    proportions. If you have two hours, do the math and continue
    with the same proportions.

    The point is that if you can physically play the trumpet, you can learn to play
    the music. Keep this practice concept in mind as you pursue your dream.
    It’s within your reach!
    Last edited by Studio1023; 03-23-2009 at 01:20 PM. Reason: wrong word

  5. #15
    Piano User
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    Jan 2007

    Re: Too much practicing??

    As a doctor, I can say that you are suffering from dehydration. That can be very dangerous, as it can creep up on you and have nasty consequences. I have to agree with the other posters that it is simply too much practice. You could permanantly damage yor lips. Take it easy.

  6. #16
    Mezzo Forte User
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    Jan 2009

    Re: Too much practicing??

    Quote Originally Posted by RHSbigbluemarchingband View Post
    Okay i am a perfectionist ......... i practiced for well over nine hours. i dont know how i practiced that long but ...... i am still thirsty............
    RHS, Being a perfectionist normally hurts everyone in some way, no matter what it is they are working at, or on.

    I would say your band director should let you take your trumpet home, but confiscate your practice mute! Am I right? Are you practicing in a condo for nine hours w/a mute? I assume this is the only way you could get away with it w/o causing much disturbance, depending what it is your practicing. I know some forms of practice attracts a crowd and some repels.

    A mute is able, in a way to desensitize you to your instrument; the extra back pressure alone can burden your larynx and make you see cross eyed! Imagine firing nine rounds from a gun with a silencer attached to the end of the barrel. Now, remove the silencer from the end of the gun and fire. You would notice immediately the power, the energy, the impact of the force you hold. But if then after you always shot with a silencer you might soon forget how much energy it actually takes to fire because it's always muffled to a "whf".

    With or w/o a mute you're packing probably more energy into the trumpet with a mute (because of the extra back pressure) and your teaching yourself the results are a minimal effort on your part because what is coming out of the bell is so quiet. "i dont know how i practiced that long but....." , you said.

    Your body will tell you one way or another, if enough is enough, or, if there was too much salt in the food at the restaurant. But I know if you keep that practice mute off most of the time, there will be others telling you "enough", for you, if your "ringing" ears don't get the message across. Then maybe you won't over do it.

    I read all of these posts and one recommended, since you love playing music so much, spend some of that time to learn piano, too. Great advice. Anything else if you can't get on a piano, a harmonica will do, or a recorder, and also many books on theory as recommended is a good idea, spend some of these hours reading theory. Soon you will notice in some strange way how music is mathematical, and what a new understanding you will have. If you "grasp" a formula to the Circle of Fifths, I hope you will explain it to me!

  7. #17
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    Mar 2009
    Wahiawa, Hawaii

    Re: Too much practicing??

    Quote Originally Posted by RHSbigbluemarchingband View Post
    Okay i am a perfectionist when it comes to trumpet playing nd it normally hurts me in someway. i have over done it so bad that i have had to miss two auditions because i couldnt play. well lets just say that my band director at this point tells me not to bring home my trumpet so that i dont practice. Turns out on saturday i practiced for well over nine hours. That is a shocker considering i am a freshman girl. i dont know how i practiced that long but the only thing that stopped me was it was eleven o'clock nd we live in a condominium building . Well now its the next day and i am going insane. my chops are fine but over the last twenty-four hours i have drank one gallon of water is this a result of my trumpet playing? i am still thirsty this has never happened before anybody have any answers?
    Well when I was a freshman (I'm a junior now), I did the exact same thing (but I'm a guy lol). Just remember that practice is preparation for concerts and auditions. So I would say that you must force yourself to NOT practice, it's painful, but from experience I can confidently say that it works.
    On the up-side, you must be a ripping (good) player haha!

  8. #18
    Mezzo Piano User
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    Nov 2003
    Houston, TX

    Re: Too much practicing??

    First I would just like to say BRAVO for your dedication to trumpet playing. Secondly, I would remind you that Rome was not built in a day. As others have said, you are young and have your whole life ahead of you. Relax and take it one day at a time. Back when I was in the Army, I rarely had the time to practice and played most gigs with hardly a warm up. I have spent the last 2 1/2 years trying to undo the damage that did to my chops over a 13 year period with some pretty decent results. Now days I set goals for each of my practice sessions and when they have been attained, I put the horn in the case and don't pick it up again until the next day. The only thing I would disagree with that has been mentioned here is the drinking of sports drinks while playing. Most of them tend to be loaded with sugar(check the label) and can be damaging to your horn. As for your tone being the same at the end of your session as at the beginning, please be aware that you may have altered things without knowing it to keep it the same tone. By that I mean you may have added pressure or any other number of variables that can affect your playing. To monitor these things as you play, I recommend practicing in front of a mirror. Given your dedication I am sure you want to be the best trumpet player you can be but remember to be humble in your approach. As someone once told me when I was a young trumpet player, "There will always be someone better". Good luck with your playing and remember that it's HOW you practice and not HOW LONG you practice.
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  9. #19
    Piano User Bloomin Untidy Musician's Avatar
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    Jan 2008

    Re: Too much practicing??

    Practice will only ever achieve chop maintenance, if it isn't done in an intelligent, and disciplined way. If your chops hurt at the end of your practice session, you are doing it wrong; tired yes, but sore, definitely wrong. Check out the last posts of Adam Rapa. He describes the ease and lack of tension within his blow quite beautifully. IMHO Trumpet playing is not power-lifting, unlike athletes chop pain, no gain!

    An old friend of mine used to practice about 4 hours a day, but never really progressed much. In fact he failed a couple of his exams. Time is worthless unless it is utilized in a concentrated, intelligent way.

    P.S. Check out Raphael Mendez clips on trumpet technique on you tube. He has some interesting thoughts on trumpet playing.

  10. #20
    Piano User SpiritDCI08's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    Fort Campbell, KY

    Re: Too much practicing??

    If you can play for 9 hours straight then you must have some endurance. I'd think about Drum Corps if I was you. On the other hand it is really unhealthy for your playing. Trumpet playing and sports have alot of things in common, one of those being practicing to much is bad for you and will affect you at the meet/game/audition. Try limiting yourself to only 3 to 4 hours a day.
    As for the water, I grew up with a grandfather that was a doctor. He would always monitor everything I did to make sure I was healthy. He'd yell at me for drinking way to much water all the time. I run cross country and I am constantly thristy. But can I ask you something, have you ever heard of Hydro Asvicciation (sorry for my lack of proper spelling). Most people only think it applies when you drown, but they are wrong. Drinking to much water is harmful for the human body, and I'm suprised you didn't vomit it out. You are watering down your system making it harder for your organs to get their nutriets as fast as they need it.
    The average human requires 8 glasses a day
    The average athlete/trumpeter requires 10 to 15 glasses a day

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