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John Mohan's Daily Practice Routine Journal


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John Mohan
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Joined: 13 Nov 2001
Posts: 6630
Location: Chicago, Illinois

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Norm,

Up until recently I've mainly just been practicing my routine. I have been playing occasional music (excerpts from shows, solos, etc.), but my main daily routine has been just the exercises up until now.

I am currently working up a show that I haven't done before (Roman Polanski's and Jim Steinman's Tanz der Vampire aka Dance of the Vampires). Generally, I'll probably play through the show every other day for a while, and on those days, I won't play the Systematic Approach exercises. Or maybe I will. I'll probably try running the show after I do my routine (including the SA material), but I'll also probably find it's too much and if so, I'll cut back on the SA material on the days I run through Tanz. This particular show has some GREAT trumpet stuff in it, and in particular, Act 2 has a whole lot of playing in it so it's meant to be pretty taxing.

If you want to hear and see the show, it's on YouTube. Here's the Overture from the show (audio only):


Link


By the way, Tanz der Vampire is a very successful, great show that has been running in Europe in various cities for years. Don't compare it to the version that flopped on Broadway, infamously becoming one of the biggest financial disasters in Broadway history. When they tried to do it on Broadway, they completely changed the show. Basically, with Michael Crawford's help, they managed to completely ruin the show in its American Version. Crawford's contract gave him full creative control of his character (the main vampire), and he changed the role from a dark, tragic one to a campy, comedic version, ala George Hamilton's "Love at First Bite" type character. Apparantly, Crawford was worried about being typecast, as the role he did played as the Phantom of the Opera (a dark, tragic character) was quite similar to the original version of Graf Von Krolock in Tanz. He didn't want to portray another dark, gothic character, so basically, he unwittingly destroyed the show. If you want to know the whole story, you can read about it on the Wiki page for Dance of the Vampires:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dance_of_the_Vampires

I've probably just burned any potential bridges I might have ever developed with Michael Crawford, but I'm just the messenger here...



[edit on February 1, 2012 to replace broken YouTube link]


Last edited by John Mohan on Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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lh
Claude Gordon Forum Moderator


Joined: 31 Mar 2005
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Location: London UK

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John,

Are you preparing for a particular production, and if so, where? If not, are you qualifying to dep somewhere shortly?
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John Mohan
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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just keeping my reading ability and my options open...
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John Mohan
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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just realized, I never posted the latest daily routine which I started about a week ago. Here it is:


1) Systematic Approach Lesson 3 Part 1.

Rest at least 5 minutes (usually about 15 minutes).

2) Systematic Approach Lesson 3 Part 2, followed by Part 3 of Lesson 3 to relax my lips.

At this point I rest at least an hour.

3) Irons Groups 5, 5B, 6, 6B and 6C, 7, 8 and 9 (the groups ending with letters are my own creation - I take the last exercises of Groups 5 and 6 and extend it through all 7 valve positions - in the case of my "6C" I do the 6B exercise, but one harmonic higher so it goes up to High C).

Rest at least 15 minutes (usually at least half an hour).

4) Clarke #1 and Etude #1, K-Tongued with one repeat on each exercise, up to around the one that goes from G# on top the staff up to D above High C, or sometimes to the one that goes up to D# above High C.

If I plan to do any more playing later in the day (Tanz, etc.), I rest at least an hour at this point.


I've shifted my Systematic Approach exercises to the beginning of my practice day as Claude originally assigned in the book. This is also how Maggio had his students start their day, and I believe Arturo Sandoval does the same. I've always theorized that if one wants to work more on their range, they should do SA first each day, as this way the player is fresher and able to get a little higher in the Part 2 exercises, which in turn helps to solidify the "feel" or "knack" of playing these notes. So far, this seems to be working as where before I was running out of steam just beyond G above High C most of the time, now I am reaching Double C just about every day (but just barely - it's definitely not a "he-man" Double High C)...

Will keep you updated,

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

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lh wrote:
John,

Are you preparing for a particular production, and if so, where? If not, are you qualifying to dep somewhere shortly?


Okay, there was a bit more to it than just keeping my options open as I previously wrote.

The show is currently playing in Stuttgart, but closing in the Fall and opening in Berlin in November at the Theater des Westens where I played "Evita". I was thinking seriously about going over and auditioning for the show. I think I had a pretty good chance of winning the audition (I've been successful with 89% of my show auditions). Furthermore, I love the show's music and the style of it is right up my alley.

Alas, the production company (Stage Entertainment) apparently feels that Berlin audiences are less sophisticated than Stuttgart audiences and don't require actual trumpet players playing the trumpet parts in the Pit Orchestra for this show that will cost as much as Euro 116,89 ($165.71) to attend. The trumpet parts (or at least some of them) will be played by one of the keyboard players on a synthesizer.

A bit frustrated,

John Mohan
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Ed Lee
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alas! The enigma of a a synthesizer has surfaced. Now, who said automation would not eliminate the human work force? Seems to me the listening audience is getting ripped off. I guess some future musical I attend may be with all pre-recorded music, possibly even just lip-synch by the actors / actresses with their spoken words also pre-recorded.
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John Mohan
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ed Lee wrote:
Alas! The enigma of a a synthesizer has surfaced. Now, who said automation would not eliminate the human work force? Seems to me the listening audience is getting ripped off. I guess some future musical I attend may be with all pre-recorded music, possibly even just lip-synch by the actors / actresses with their spoken words also pre-recorded.


In the future, no actors. Automatrons.

The big thing I find frustrating about this (besides more trumpet players out of work), is the fact that theater goers are paying BIG money for the live experience. The tickets to this particular show cost as much as Euro 116.89 ($166) each.

The unemployed trumpet players in the Berlin area should picket the show every evening carrying signs that say (in German):

Stage Entertainment thinks its Berlin Audiences are less sophisticated than its Stuttgart Audiences and therefore don't need real trumpet players in the Pit Orchestra here.

Stage Entertainment thinks fake music instrument sounds are good enough for you.


I'd do it if I was still there.
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John Mohan
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:03 am    Post subject: Fell off the wagon, but I'm back on it! Reply with quote

Well, here it is, February 1, 2012 and it's about time I update this journal.

I fell off the wagon of routine practice for a while (a long while). Never stopped playing, but rarely played more than my Irons, or occasionally Irons and Clarke each day for a long time. Was busy with renovating our house, making money (trying to make money), etc.

Well, I'm back on the wagon!

About a week ago, I got back to the point where I was doing Irons, Clarke and Systematic Approach every day. WOW! My G above High C is back with a vengeance. You haven't lived until you can pick up a trumpet cold, put a huge Bach 1X (copy of a Bach Mt Vernon 1) mouthpiece in it and wail out the opening to Maynard's "Birdland"! (Then I put the 1X away, put the copy of a Mt Vernon 3C in the horn and play my normal routine). It's amazing to me how after just one week of "Trumpet Weight Lifting" (the Systematic material), a good, solid G has returned.

Mouthpiece-wise I've been straying a bit from the Curry 3C. (based on an older, fairly small MV3C) up to my ever-so-slightly larger copy of Arturo Sandoval's Mt Vernon 3C. It's funny - I have 3 different sized Mt Vernon 3C based mouthpieces, in ascending order of size, the Curry 3C., my copy of Arturo's favorite 3C and my standard Kanstul MV3C. They all play great and I could play any one of them forever and be happy. But I gravitate toward Arturo's because it just seems to yield the best sound for me of the three. And of course, when I get lazy and want brighter, easier high notes, there's always my trusty stock Bob Reeves 43C (I'd probably wimp out and use that if I got called for a hard show or big band gig).

But sound wise, the MV3C is for me. Just a beautiful, big sound. I need to get a B cup type version of it for any future orchestral playing I might do (if and only if I actually spend a year or two of solid 2 to 3 hours a day of practice to get back to where I was).

Enough! This is turning into a Mouthpiece Geek thing.

Here's my current routine:

1) Claude's Walking Breathing Exercises, 6 steps in, 6 Steps hold full, 6 Steps blowing out, and 6 Steps continuing to blow out while empty, for about 20 minutes. (Do these my way, where you continue to blow out even though you're empty, and after 20 minutes you'll know you've been doing the breathing exercises...)

2) Irons Groups 5 through 9, with the added versions of Groups 5 and 6 I call 5B, 6B and 6C described in earlier posts here.

3) Clarke #1 and Etude #1 K-tongued with one repeat on each exercise

4) Systematic Approach Lesson 3, Parts 1 and 2, followed by Part 3 of Lesson 3 to relax my lips.


That's it. Takes less than an hour and a half each day, including the Breathing Exercises.

I really wonder when I read all the problems players write into the Herald about - High Note troubles, Endurance troubles, High Note troubles, Tone troubles, High Note troubles, Double Buzz troubles, High Note troubles, Flexibility troubles, High Note troubles, and on and on....

How many of these players would be writing in about all these problems if they knew WHAT to practice, HOW to practice and WHEN to practice (meaning also when to rest), and then applied that knowledge year in, year out doing a good, well-balanced practice routine?

Best wishes,

John Mohan
https://www.purtle.com/how-i-became-a-student-of-claude-gordon-by-john-mohan
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John Mohan
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I might be having to start a new journal called "Rebuilding your trumpet playing after getting attacked by a maniacal dentist with a hot glue gun".





I think it's going to heal okay (though I am a bit nervous at this point). And after all, as Claude would say, "The lips don't play the instrument - their only purpose is to vibrate."

I just hope they still will vibrate...

For the full story, see:

http://www.trumpetherald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=112910&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight

Ouch!

Seriously, I think I'll be okay with time. Lip tissue heals very quickly. Just hoping and praying there's no scar tissue afterward.
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Matt Graves
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW. I'm speechless...
I hope you're on the mend by now, John.
I'm gonna reach out to you on FB later.

Ugh!
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Jetrang
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Joined: 05 Nov 2008
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow John ! that's horrible, i hope that doesnt obstruct your playing in the future !

I had my surgery a week ago and they bruised my lip from the inside with a breathing tube making my lip feel stiff, but your pictures make me stop complaining about it !

Ill check your other topic to see how your playing goes these days.

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

PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's all healed now. Completely, with no visible or perceivable scar! Hey, I hope your surgery went GREAT and was completely successful!

Though I played a few Irons exercises every 4 or 5 days starting around February 20th, I just returned to a "full" routine the day before yesterday (some Irons, a Clarke, and Parts 1 and 2 of Systematic Approach Lesson 2).

I can still play.

Best wishes,

John
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