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Not like Riding a Bike


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vwag
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Joined: 17 Jul 2016
Posts: 62
Location: Denver, CO

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post, and I feel your frustration. I'm 11 months into my comeback after 30 year break, and I have tried to play nearly every day... and on days I can't play (when I travel for work) I bring the mouthpiece to buzz. It can become an obsession.

To me, what has been amazingly fun, is to find great tunes (which you've done), fail miserably, then hit them again after a month or two and be MUCH closer to hitting them.

You seem to be on the right path with Adams warmups, I like some Ken Saul warm ups as well. I think it's been nice to continue to mix it up, every day. Some days I focus on scales or thirds, others days lip slurs, some high note work, and other days tonguing. Every day I try long tones to try and even out my sound.

The most frustrating part is listening to all the real players out there who have played non-stop for 50 years with endless range and infinite improvisation skills. You just can't compare yourself to them, just appreciate them as pros and move back to focusing on solid practice.
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steveleblanc
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Joined: 23 Feb 2013
Posts: 50
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Not like Riding a Bike Reply with quote

Harry Hilgers wrote:
steveleblanc wrote:
.............Does any of this rant sound familiar to you guys? I'll feel better if I'm not alone I guess...................Just hoping I'm not the only one this wasn't easy for.................

Steve

Steve, from the previous posts in this thread you have now found out that this indeed "sounds VERY familiar" and "NO" you are not alone.

I am 73 and I started again last year April (I think) after a 10 or so (I think) years layoff.

My memory went south with my chops ....... ......

My initial practice routine was driven by that oh-so-familiar-impatience to get back to "the-way-we-were" in just a few days ......... and of course with very negative results ......

Then I started reading this forum resulting in me "wising-up-a-bit". Now I pretty much follow a combination of the different "words-of-practice-routine-wisdom-and-material" that have been given in this thread AND I do have a teacher.

So I have not added anything new here, except just letting you know that you are definitely not alone with your frustrations to making the beast work again .....

Cheers and Happy New Year.
Harry


Thanks Harry, I've become much more patient since the initial post here and I've been very much enjoying the practice time and improving slowly over the past 6 months or so.

So glad I came back and also found this forum. As quiet as it is sometimes.

Happy New Year!!
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steveleblanc
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Joined: 23 Feb 2013
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Location: Boston

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vwag wrote:
Great post, and I feel your frustration. I'm 11 months into my comeback after 30 year break, and I have tried to play nearly every day... and on days I can't play (when I travel for work) I bring the mouthpiece to buzz. It can become an obsession.

To me, what has been amazingly fun, is to find great tunes (which you've done), fail miserably, then hit them again after a month or two and be MUCH closer to hitting them.

You seem to be on the right path with Adams warmups, I like some Ken Saul warm ups as well. I think it's been nice to continue to mix it up, every day. Some days I focus on scales or thirds, others days lip slurs, some high note work, and other days tonguing. Every day I try long tones to try and even out my sound.

The most frustrating part is listening to all the real players out there who have played non-stop for 50 years with endless range and infinite improvisation skills. You just can't compare yourself to them, just appreciate them as pros and move back to focusing on solid practice.


Great response vwag, I've been taking a bit slower and realizing I am improving everyday and enjoying even small steps forward. It's all just about my personal enjoyment and vibe and I've been having fun.

I spend about 1/2 my time doing exercises and then 1/2 my time playing tunes, most of of the Real Book which is so much fun.

Thanks for responding.

Steve
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Dr. Manhattan
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Joined: 23 Jul 2016
Posts: 44
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:11 pm    Post subject: Comeback Players Reply with quote

Hello,
Glad you decided to make a comeback!
I am in the same boat as I have been doing the same!
This is a lot like riding a bicycle! I know this having raced bicycles for many years with a 10 year rest in the middle of that endeavor! Rest is extremely important in both Trumpet playing and Cycling (any endurance sport for that matter). Rest is just as important as practice/training. There must be a balance. Overdo the training and plahhhh! You can do damage to yourself and/or keep yourself from improving!
Even as I know this, I have to keep reminding myself to back off and take it slowly! That's when I see improvement.

Enjoy practicing and Cheers!
Michael
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rcsiletzky
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Joined: 18 Oct 2009
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Location: Wheaton IL

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wonderful stuff. I run into people who tell me they USED to play the trumpet and I always give them a hard time. "WHY WOULD YOU EVER QUIT?!?", I ask them . It's always exciting to hear about someone jumping back in!

I love all the comments about rest and would love to echo their advice. I'm also hip to multiple short practice sessions as opposed to one long session.

Something that has helped me pace my practice sessions has been recording myself. I make a point to ALWAYS record the first 5 minutes (I do have a routine) and listen back to the first note of the day! That recording is sometimes painful and I have since adopted some habits to help me mentally prepare for that first tone. I also talk to myself less during practice because it sounds a little bit crazy when I listen back

If I may make a comparison to looking at yourself in the mirror in the gym. It's not just there to satisfy your ego or to make you ashamed of yourself. It is there for you to watch your form, make adjustments, keep you safe and ultimately to help make improvements.

I hope this is helpful

Cheers
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John Mohan
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Joined: 13 Nov 2001
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Location: Chicago, Illinois

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Steve,

Don't worry, you are not alone. Anyone that takes that much time off the horn discovers as you have, that in this respect playing the trumpet is most definitely not like riding a bike.

When I and I think others use that phrase, we are not referring to strength and coordination coming back almost instantly after a long time off the instrument (though the coordination aspect will almost always come back much quicker than it took to develop it the first time around). But even then, we are talking about redeveloping coordination that originally took years, in months. And months are still a long time...

The similarity between learning to play trumpet and riding a bike is the fact that in both cases, a teacher can explain how to do either one until he is blue in the face, but that alone won't do much good. Without practice and the time necessary for development to occur, the student is still going to fall off the bike, or the trumpet at first. In other words, we don't learn to play by theory, we learn to play by feel. And to gain that feel (and required strength) we must practice, and practice, and practice.

Stick with it, practice the correct material correctly, and it'll develop. If you feel you need help with choosing the correct material and perhaps even more important, learning how to practice correctly, I and others are available to help.

Best wishes,

John Mohan
Skype Lessons Available - Click on the e-mail button below if interested
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steveleblanc
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Joined: 23 Feb 2013
Posts: 50
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you John for your encouragement. I've taken a good deal of your advice and have kept plugging away, make sure I play every day, and I continue to improve with range, clean tone, slotting of notes and I also work on many scales as I work with long tones and exercises.

I've developed patience with myself and I have only been at it five months, but it is coming along.
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steveleblanc
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Joined: 23 Feb 2013
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Location: Boston

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rcsiletzky wrote:
Wonderful stuff. I run into people who tell me they USED to play the trumpet and I always give them a hard time. "WHY WOULD YOU EVER QUIT?!?", I ask them . It's always exciting to hear about someone jumping back in!

I love all the comments about rest and would love to echo their advice. I'm also hip to multiple short practice sessions as opposed to one long session.

Something that has helped me pace my practice sessions has been recording myself. I make a point to ALWAYS record the first 5 minutes (I do have a routine) and listen back to the first note of the day! That recording is sometimes painful and I have since adopted some habits to help me mentally prepare for that first tone. I also talk to myself less during practice because it sounds a little bit crazy when I listen back

If I may make a comparison to looking at yourself in the mirror in the gym. It's not just there to satisfy your ego or to make you ashamed of yourself. It is there for you to watch your form, make adjustments, keep you safe and ultimately to help make improvements.

I hope this is helpful

Cheers


Good idea to record myself. I'll try a little of that. I like the analogy to a gym mirror.

Thanks for the encouragement. I'm having some fun and continue to plug away. I'm a man of a few too many hobbies to I am working balance into the equation.

I'm doing this for my enjoyment, pleasure and even spirituality, so I'm not putting lots of pressure on myself.
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Asteve33
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Joined: 19 Feb 2017
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:16 am    Post subject: Definitely not Reply with quote

Definitely not like riding a bike, but you just gotta give it some regularity and it will come back. Can't emphasize enough the importance of good form too. That will just provide the consistency we're all looking for.
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Bflatman
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Joined: 01 Nov 2016
Posts: 191

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should even the balance here.

Some years ago I returned to biking, I purchased a bike built for me, and the builder asked me to test it.

I wobbled and wobbled scattering traffic and nearly died under the wheels of a bus.

Lesson learned - It turns out that riding a bike is not in fact like riding a bike after all.
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Dr. Manhattan
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Joined: 23 Jul 2016
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Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Earlier I posted , “…This is a lot like riding a bicycle! I know this having raced bicycles for many years with a 10 year rest in the middle of that endeavor!”

John Mohan replied with, “…playing the trumpet is most definitely not like riding a bike. When I and I think others use that phrase, we are not referring to strength and coordination coming back almost instantly after a long time off the instrument …”

When I wrote that playing the trumpet is like riding a bike, I was not referring to strength and coordination coming back almost instantly after a long time off the instrument. I was referring to trumpet playing being like riding a bike from the perspective of a highly trained athlete who makes a comeback after years of being in retirement. Sure, you can hop on the bike and ride, but all of your strength, coordination, bike handling skills, and aerobic fitness will take many, many months to build back up. It took me almost the entire season to be able to be competitive again. And still I was not at the level I was before.
Having been a comeback athlete after many years off and being a comeback trumpet player after 20 years of not playing, for me they are alike. When I raced bicycles I had a mentor/coach to make sure I trained correctly and consistently. I had to be patient with my progress. I had to relearn some things. It is the same for me with coming back to the trumpet. I take it day by day, I’ve learned to be patient with my progress, I’ve learned to be more consistent in my practicing, and have a really good teacher so that I practice correctly.
As John Mohan stated, “… we must practice, and practice, and practice. Stick with it, practice the correct material correctly, and it'll develop.”
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CalvinPrice
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Joined: 12 Aug 2010
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Location: California

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:03 pm    Post subject: Comeback Players Reply with quote

Hi Guys.

A lot of good advice here. What I'd like to add is set yourself up every time you play to feel familiar with what you're doing.

Make it routine to do some:
1) breathing exercises (I have a great book to recommend)
2) mouthpiece buzzing (Stamp)
3) Clarke Technical #1-9 (whisper tones)
4) Irons 27 Groups - just a couple
5) scales

Don't overdo anything. An intelligent warm-up while you are re-acquainting yourself with the trumpet is essential and at this point should probably only take 10-15 mins.

Following a routine that gets progressively a bit more challenging will help to eliminate some of the frustrations, which are to be expected.

Good luck!
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gstump
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I deleted this post. Too much about me and not the op
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Last edited by gstump on Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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comebackcornet
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Joined: 30 Jan 2017
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gstump wrote:

I was a first call professional lead trumpet player for around 35 years. Then a 12 year total layoff. I fully expected to regain my former "glory" after a few months of my comeback. I was able to record myself with lots of overdubs and retakes and sound like a professional trumpet player.

But that was not a professional trumpet player on the street. I would not dare to go out there again and hang up a lead trumpet shingle.

Gordon Stump


So, I'm curious if you think you could fully recover your former professional level given enough time and work? If so, what do you think that would reasonably entail? (on a daily basis and what period of time?)

Thanks
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gstump
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

comebackcornet wrote:
gstump wrote:

I was a first call professional lead trumpet player for around 35 years. Then a 12 year total layoff. I fully expected to regain my former "glory" after a few months of my comeback. I was able to record myself with lots of overdubs and retakes and sound like a professional trumpet player.

But that was not a professional trumpet player on the street. I would not dare to go out there again and hang up a lead trumpet shingle.

Gordon Stump


So, I'm curious if you think you could fully recover your former professional level given enough time and work? If so, what do you think that would reasonably entail? (on a daily basis and what period of time?)

Thanks


Thanks for asking. That ship has sailed
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blbaumgarn
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Joined: 26 Jul 2017
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:05 am    Post subject: making comeback Reply with quote

I just started again, not quiet two weeks ago after 17 years and wow. No embouchure. Gonna be alot of work, but at 67 I hope to have the time and I
don't get frustrated with stuff. I can guarantee keeping Haydn, Hummel, and Clarke's "Bride of the Waves" on ice for the rest of this lifetime. But, just to play is what it is all about. Good luck to everyone else doing this.
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GeorgeB
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And good luck to you on your comeback journey !
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