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All Day Practice



 
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TrumpetEnthusiast1
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 3:30 am    Post subject: All Day Practice Reply with quote

Mr. Mendez sometimes spent entire days in the practice room right? How did he pace himself throught the day? What kind of excersises or solos can you play the whole day (even with rest) and not be tearing down by the end of the session...how would one go about building this kind of endurance?

*I know he's not the only one that did/does this however after listening to the Mendez Legacy CD and hearing the all day practice story I decided it would be a good place to post the question.
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trpt.hick
Rafael Méndez Forum Moderator


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard all sorts of stories about how he practiced 8 hours straight. Probably true for the most part. Mendez often said that he never tired. He said part of it was due to the embouchure accident (swinging door) which left a fair amount of scar tissue on his upper lip.

Rafael's wife, Amor (her nickname was Nena), sometimes would call one of his friends in the evening and ask him to call back and invite Rafael out for a beer because it was the only way to get him to stop practicing. Sometimes, he would play the same lick over and over hundreds of times. It drove her crazy!

What's cool is that there are a few practice tapes in the Rafael Mendez Library. Rafael had purchased a state of the art tape deck with multi-track capabilities. He loved taping himself and checking the precision of his technique when played back at half speed. Sometimes he would record a metronome on one track, then listen to that track on headphones while recording another track with his trumpet.

I have listened to several of these reel to reel tapes (some at 15 ips, some at 7.5 ips) and can only imagine how frustrated Amor must have felt. Mendez would record a lengthy passage (usually 8 bars, sometimes 16) with the click track literally a hundred times. What was weird is that every take was perfect. I could fast forward the tape, play again, and would hear more of the same. It seemed endless!! I suppose he was developing his unique and ultimate consistency. He ALWAYS played concerts from memory and often stated that he never felt ready to perform a solo in public until he could play it 100 times perfectly.

Mendez could play several instruments.....violin, guitar, mandolin, string bass, clarinet, and piano. Sometimes he would play one of these while resting his chops. He also composed several little pieces as birthday presents for his sons or grandchildren. He would multi-track himself playing several instruments and singing a little tune for them. The finished "band" tape would be played at their birthday party.

The birthday tapes and music sketches are in the Mendez Library at ASU. Titles include "Alicia," "Casimera." "Delorosa," "Liza," "Robi," "Tony's Obserbacion," "Tony's Puntada," "Tony's Second Puntada," and "Twins."

Dave Hickman
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TrumpetEnthusiast1
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Wow

Thanks a lot Professor Hickman.
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maynard-46
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 3:36 pm    Post subject: All Day Practice Reply with quote

When I studied with Carmine Caruso in the late '60's he told me that "Doc" use to rent a practice room in the City...bring his lunch with him...and stay in that room all day long practicing...only stopping to eat!

Butch
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trpt.hick
Rafael Méndez Forum Moderator


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah,..... Mendez, Severinsen, Vizzutti, and Andre practiced all day long whenever possible (8-9 hrs.). I probably practiced the most while I was in college....4-6 hrs. per day on my own plus rehearsals and concerts. Not quite as much as them.

Maybe that is why I never played as well as them??? Dope!!
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belagozzo
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2005 1:19 am    Post subject: Practice Reply with quote

Now Wait...Hold on a minute...You mean you have to practice to get better...I thought you just had to buy alot of trumpet gadgets....and stand really cool when taking solos...and bam...your good.....hahahaha

I practice quite a bit despite what my teacher keeps telling me...haha
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Syntax
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although Mendez's multi-instrumental skills are certainly commendable, I find it strange he didn't stretch out to other brass instruments to hone his specialty skills. If he was a fan of pedal tones, I'm sure he would not have been opposed to taking up trombone, baritone, tuba, or other instruments in the brass family.
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EJ
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i can not think of anyone more disciplined then mendez in his practicing
and his preperation. driven !
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BobList
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understand Gerard Schwartz prepared and practiced 3 YEARS before recording the Carnival of Venice... the one that sounds like TWO guys are playing together.... (not) but it was just him.

Bob
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Bill Scott
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's interesting that Mendez claim that the scar tissue was the reason for his endurance. Doe anybody know of any studies that show what the effect is of scar tissue?
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Syntax
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sincerely doubt if scar tissue serves as a source of endurance.

Mendez worked himself and had unbelievably balanced chops. When an embouchure is properly balanced, endurance is literally endless. This is how he achieved such long, yet successful practice sessions.
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