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Trumpet Discussion Discuss You gotta have balance! in the General forums; Over the past 3 weeks, I have done nothing but play at US Army troop return ceremonies for those finishing ...
  1. #1
    Pianissimo User Bugleboy21's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Fort Eustis, VA

    You gotta have balance!

    Over the past 3 weeks, I have done nothing but play at US Army troop return ceremonies for those finishing up a tour in Iraq. Typically, we've been playing 6-7 standard marches in a row, twice per flight (once at the airfield and once at the parade field). On average, there are 2-3 flights a day, most times back to back. Did I mention that we don't rest on the trios? Our conductor doesn't like that. Since all I've done is play outdoors on military marches during that time, I have noticed a harsh quality in my sound that I don't like at all.

    I had a day off today and looked at my practice log from before 3 weeks ago and realized that I wasn't getting a well rounded approach to playing for an extended period of time. So, I did nothing but open up my collection of lyrical studies and vocal arias and just played as many as I could until a good sound appeared. It did, and hopefully tomorrow morning (at 5am) it will be there next to the airplane. I remember reading an article by Phil Smith or David Bilger explaining the importance of practicing techniques that aren't currently being used. Mozart for this weekend's series=practicing more contemporary works or something physically challenging, like Bach. Scheherazade=anything but multiple tonging, but nothing to harsh. Get the idea? Of course you try to prepare for upcoming stuff, but once you're performing it, it's time to practice something else with the limited practice time you have during a busy work load. I wanted to get some other pro's opinions on balancing practice content with a busy concert schedule. Could ya'll hook me up? Thanks!
    Sergeant First Class Laurence C Dean
    US Army TRADOC Band
    Fort Eustis, VA
    You have to be a SMAT Boy to transpose well! -William Vacchiano

  2. #2
    Mezzo Piano User eisprl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Halifax, NS CANADA

    I can relate

    I can certainly relate. The band I play with plays from 8am to 3pm everyday (marches marches MARCHES!!) Many people believe that this band is the ruiner of chops! I don't agree. People get so tired of rehearsaing all day that they don't take the time to do enough personal practice. Marches all day + no personal pracice = "parade chops". of course I am not presuming that you do this. Even those who do take the time to practice come back to rehearsals in the parade mind set. What may help is to do a nice wram down at the end of the day (long tones etc etc) quietly. That's what I do and I come back the next day ready to play with no sacrifices to my sound.

    Plus our band has the tendancy to accept people who think it's ok to just play loud all the time (a lot of ego in this band unfortunatley - they want to be heard and called the best) If the dynamics are respected then you should have nothing to worry about. (I know it's hard sometimes in marches)

    That's all I got, this may/ may not have been helpful.

    Eric S.

    oh ya, you may be interested in getting a BERP and use long tones on it during any time off. I don't know , maybe you can find a better use for it. I was told to get one while i was on boot camp. It helped.
    Eric Sproul
    Practice is like filling a leaky bucket

    Bb: Paul Mauriat, Yamaha
    Flugel: Hub Van Laar ACK
    Mouthpieces: monette, yamaha

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