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Components of Endurance



 
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CJceltics33
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:18 am    Post subject: Components of Endurance Reply with quote

Efficiency of embouchure
Comfort at all dynamic levels
Range
Fluency of registers
Flexibility
Blood Flow
Dental Structure
Mouthpiece and Horn
Confidence

I’ve long struggled with endurance. I often put thought into what ails my stamina, and different ways I can go about improving it. I posted this list to see whether you agree, and what you do to improve your endurance.
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tptptp
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been playing for 50 years, and my endurance is terrible.
That's most likely because I have bad habits and no teacher.
Surely a teacher (and the resultant correct practicing) is the most important element.
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me, endurance is limited by 2 issues of 'fatigue' -
1) lip (usually upper) soreness, likely due to high mpc pressure.
2) embouchure muscle fatigue, likely due to lack of muscle training, and non-optimal embouchure setup.

#2 is the more common for me, the lips are willing, but muscle ability and control has deteriorated.

Unfortunately, endurance gains only happen by continuing to the END of a long playing session - and then giving enough time and rest to recuperate.

Jay
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dstdenis
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are a few tips that've helped me improve endurance:

1. If you didn't play much, you wouldn't have much endurance. As you increase the amount of playing, endurance will improve. But at some point, the extra playing could become too much, and you'd start getting weak again. Too much playing, not enough rest. So one suggestion is to think about both playing time and recovery time. Find the optimal blend of playing and resting for your current fitness level. Don't be afraid to rest up.

2. It's tempting to rely on blowing harder and using more mouthpiece pressure to struggle through strenuous playing. Instead, try practicing exercises like lip flexibilities, intervals, arpeggios, scales etc. while avoiding excessive pressure or blasting. You'll feel your embouchure get tired from the inward flex it has to do to reach the higher notes. You might start to feel fatigue in your corners too. These are good signs that you're developing additional strength where you need it (but don't overdo it—see point 1).

3. Developing strength is only half the battle. The other half is how you use it. There's lots to be gained, even at your current fitness level, by managing your stamina more wisely. One way is to practice difficult excerpts until they become very familiar. This will help you play them more efficiently, using up less of your stamina resources. Another strategy is to back off when you're playing a supporting background part. Save your strength for the sections where your part needs to be out in front. And don't use up all your energy warming up. Warm up just enough so you're ready to play—save the rest for the performance. Smart management of your stamina resources can make the difference between running out of gas before the concert ends or making it through in good shape.
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Rod Haney
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dstdenis wrote:
Here are a few tips that've helped me improve endurance:

1. If you didn't play much, you wouldn't have much endurance. As you increase the amount of playing, endurance will improve. But at some point, the extra playing could become too much, and you'd start getting weak again. Too much playing, not enough rest. So one suggestion is to think about both playing time and recovery time. Find the optimal blend of playing and resting for your current fitness level. Don't be afraid to rest up.

2. It's tempting to rely on blowing harder and using more mouthpiece pressure to struggle through strenuous playing. Instead, try practicing exercises like lip flexibilities, intervals, arpeggios, scales etc. while avoiding excessive pressure or blasting. You'll feel your embouchure get tired from the inward flex it has to do to reach the higher notes. You might start to feel fatigue in your corners too. These are good signs that you're developing additional strength where you need it (but don't overdo it—see point 1).

3. Developing strength is only half the battle. The other half is how you use it. There's lots to be gained, even at your current fitness level, by managing your stamina more wisely. One way is to practice difficult excerpts until they become very familiar. This will help you play them more efficiently, using up less of your stamina resources. Another strategy is to back off when you're playing a supporting background part. Save your strength for the sections where your part needs to be out in front. And don't use up all your energy warming up. Warm up just enough so you're ready to play—save the rest for the performance. Smart management of your stamina resources can make the difference between running out of gas before the concert ends or making it through in good shape.


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scottfsmith
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having struggled with this but finally seeing the light out of the tunnel, I would say efficiency of embouchure is 90% of the issue here, assuming you are practicing properly, doing flexibilities, etc.

I tried just playing more frequently or doing this or that exercise and saw little improvement. Then a year of occasional lessons with a chops doc and the problem is mostly solved.

If you want to know what I changed in a nutshell, I stopped crunching my chin when going higher, I am "stretching my lips over my teeth" as I go higher, and the opposite for lower, I am conscious of how much gap there is between tops of teeth and tops of lips (should be small, I used to have a massive flap on lower lip), and not forcing higher notes with lots of pp playing up there. I also am using my free buzz embouchure as my horn buzz -- I can put the horn on the free buzz and play, and pull it off and free buzz. In other words transfer that natural set-up (as best as it can, you need to have the lips a bit more apart on the mouthpiece). I am free buzzing 10 minutes every day off and on, something I was not doing before lessons.

Anyway, I don't think I would have ever learned this from reading anything; lessons are required. Your teacher may have different ideas than mine but there are many good approaches. I spent about $500 and it was worth a lot more than that.
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EdMann
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could start with the same sentence: "Having struggled with this but...." It took discovery and attention to sound and I'm now in a far better place. I was sitting next to monsters for the last 12 years, one with a heart condition so bad he said, "I can play double Cs all night but I can't walk to the bathroom." It was clearly more than physical strength.

And I looked back to lessons I had with Uan Rasey, Lew Soloff, and tips from pros like John Thomas. "Get that sound in your head, not the one in your hand." "The notes are in there, just let them come out." "Roar softly." "The trumpet is a resonator. Let it do that." Took a while, cause I'm not too bright, but I'm lasting on gig after gig--- when I think this way. When I vary, I'm done early. I'm thinking trpt is more like playing the flute. If you blow too hard on a trumpet, you can get a big sound, but try that on flute. Nothing.

ed
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JoseLindE4
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Practice more often, not longer. The time you spend practicing tired is time spent learning to sound like you’re tired. Regular fundamental practice is key here. Endurance is less an issue of strength than it is just working less.

On the other hand, if you have a demanding program, it’s best to work out the endurance kinks before the downbeat. This means full run thoughs can be helpful to learn how to make it. Balancing these two competing issues (practicing sounding good vs making it through the program) takes thoughtful practice and lots of preparation.

I personally benefit more by ignoring the physical and focusing on sound and results, within reason.

After a long blow, my lips might be a little more swollen in the morning and take longer to warm up. After several extra heavy days, I’ll feel it more in my back and along the edge of my rib cage. If the playing or life is particularly stressful, I’ll feel my TMJ acting up.

Diet, exercise, hydration, and sleep are all key.
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chrisneverve
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:20 am    Post subject: The Secret Reply with quote

I am a trumpet player in the regular army bands. Endurance is one thing that I’ve had to figure out how to maintain. There are many times where you attend a training class that is outside of the band. No ensembles, no built in practice time, or musical missions. I’ve had to figure out how to maintain during these periods. I literally just finished a two week course and had to find time to play either very early or very late in the day.

What I do is a combination of things that I’ve picked up from many different people over the years. There are several exercise that I use to “wear myself out” very quickly. I’ll list them. I usually do one at the very beginning of a short session. Usually these are done with a practice mute. This adds an element of resistance that quickens fatigue.

1. Caruso seconds
2. 25 Gs. Literally 25 2nd line Gs. Full breath, longtone, try to play all in one setting.
3. Remington. 2nd line G, immediately followed by 3rd space C, then top space E, then G above the staff. Very little rest in between.
4. 20 minute G, Cat Anderson (with this I only play some pedals afterwards)

After 1, 2, and 3 I play whatever I want. There is usually adequate discomfort but nothing crazy. Doing this type of practice session allows me to maintain when I don’t have hours to burn on the horn. Hope this finds those who need it.
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LSOfanboy
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always feel that it is a shame that there are some truly incredible players on this site, many of whom have been shouted down to the point that they no longer wish to contribute, and think it would be really amazing to hear their opinions as well as some of the (respectfully) amateur players. I, for one, would be keen to read the experiences and advice of Jens, Arturo, Tim Wendt, Lex French, Roger Ingram, David Hickman, Tom Hooten, John Mohan, Alex Brain or Manny Laureano (all of whom I know have posted on this site at some point) as virtually everyone could benefit from their knowledge, and I think it is perhaps, and possibly I am wrong, a sad reflection on the combative nature of these forums that we tend not to hear so much from those guys.

My personal opinion on endurance is two fold: firstly, yes I think that a great deal of endurance is gained through consistent practice and (measured) exposure to taxing parts or passages. This should go hand in hand with an intelligent approach to enhancing our technique and efficiency. The first part increases our strength and longevity, whilst the second part allows us to play with greater efficiency, less tension and protects the lips against swelling and damage.

All the best
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LexFrenchMusic
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LSOfanboy wrote:

My personal opinion on endurance is two fold: firstly, yes I think that a great deal of endurance is gained through consistent practice and (measured) exposure to taxing parts or passages. This should go hand in hand with an intelligent approach to enhancing our technique and efficiency. The first part increases our strength and longevity, whilst the second part allows us to play with greater efficiency, less tension and protects the lips against swelling and damage.
All the best


That's pretty much it. I've spent a lot of time making my practice as efficient as possible and have used a bunch of different approaches, Pappy Mitchell, Adams and most recently - and successfully - I've been using a combination of Caruso, Claude Gordon, Clarke, Colin, Smith et al. in a really concentrated routine and it works wonders (I say recently, but it's been about 7 years). I never found that the super taxing practice helped endurance; I find that practicing mezzo piano – at the start of the routine especially – and moving through all registers and opening the sound out gradually is much more effective for that. Having your breathing together - both in and out, and making sure that the whole system works is much more effective than practicing til you're ragged... all that seems to do is make the chops respond poorly and increase your recovery time.
If you're interested in my approach, I do skype lessons, just PM me for more details. Keep asking good questions!
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mental focus
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zaferis
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beyond being in shape - practicing and playing well, often and a lot. I thing of endurance in 2 chunks - how long I can play continually (through a tune, etude, exercise) without a break; then how long I can go with moments of rest (like a band gig)

Being prepared and having the ability to play without tension or wasted effort.
Many players talk about breathing well, etc.. the importance of that is important in regards to endurance. Naturally, the ability to perform with less physical output will increase your endurance.

But to isolate endurance from all other aspects of trumpet is probably impossible. From equipment, how it matches you and what you're using it for, practice habits, skills learned, gig/rehearsal prep, confidence, etc - all has impact upon endurance.

Endurance is one aspect of playing that I take pride in, being able to last as long as the trombone player in a Brass Quintet, to last through a 4 hour Big Band gig, to play a musical night after night..

You want to challenge yourself.. break out the 1st parts of the Sousa March book and play the ink.
I recall an audition that asked us to play Washington Post as written.. ready go. If you can do it, go on to the next march.
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abontrumpet
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good list. Efficiency is the game (I like the term economy as well).

One big thing not mentioned is being able to have a repeatable approach to the instrument -- a way of playing, aka the way you blow your horn, that is repeatable and you know works. So when the chops are at the end of their wick you don't cheat the breath but rather you can rest assured that you are doing the bulk of the equation the way you want to. Not worded the best but hopefully you get the picture.

My endurance has mostly come from figuring out my breath (my golf stroke/form), playing only high quality sounds, and stopping well before fatigue*. This is line with Hooten's approach and many others. It's not really weight lifting (but there are important lessons there), it's an endurance sport. You want to always be putting in quality miles with great form and through that comes the economy.

*Just so it doesn't get twisted, this fatigue is not the one that you feel after a sousa march, but rather the one that makes you wonder how terrible life is going to be the next day. You should finish your day feeling stronger and fresher than you started (you get the idea).
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