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Comeback and the future



 
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salojarm
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Joined: 18 May 2019
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:24 pm    Post subject: Comeback and the future Reply with quote

Hello,

yet another comeback player here, at the moment im 10 months into my comeback after about 10 years off the trumpet, I stopped playing around 2009-2010 after playing since probably 98-99. Im 'only' 29 years old so I reckon I still have time to achieve something in music. My goal is to get better than I ever was and maybe even do this semi-professionally in 10 years time.

Practice time is kinda limited as with everyone else who works a fulltime dayjob.

I am also taking lessons with my old teacher form 10 years back, so he is pretty familiar with the level I was at.

I also started playing in a local town band, 3rd chair, to keep myself humble, and even with 3rd chair after 2 hour practice my lips are pertty fatiqued, so theres room to improve quite alot for my endurance.

My question is what do you guys think of this daily routine I am doing:

I start off with long tones, 60 bpm, then some lip slurs to warm up, and then some more long tones going up the register from middle C in the staff. And this takes me probably a good 15-20minutes.
After this i go into some range stuff for maybe like another 10-15 minutes. Then some lip trills for a good 10-15minutes depending on how they go.

Between all this i usually play low tones even pedal tones to try and keep my lips loose etc.

Then I continue with lip slurs/noodels, this only takes a few minutes, and then go into tonguing, for like 10-15 minutes. And by this point my lips are pretty fatigued, not to the point of hurting or not beeing able to play at all but to the point where I notice that ive put in some work. If my lips arent to bad I end my session with trying to go through Clarke second study.

I kinda got fueled to try and practice more when I realised that to become a fairly good player takes a ton of time. I got kinda fixated on the 10 000 hours on any instrument to really to be at a professional level, and figured that im not even close on doing enough, i was pracitcing maybe 30-40 minutes pretty irregularly, and now im trying to practice atleast 45-60 minutes per day depending on how my lips feel. (probably never gonna reach a professional level, but I sure can try to aim for it and see what comes out of it )

This became a pretty lengthy post but yeah, still only 10 months in after 10 years so I should be more patient, playing any instrument is a long game plan.

Edit. Just to add I play with a bach 3C mouthpiece, I have been using it for maybe 6-7 months now. I started playing trumpet with the 7C waaay back in 2003 ( I played the cornet before that for 2 or 3 years) but my teacher recommended the switch for 3C.
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GeorgeB
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Joined: 20 Apr 2016
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Location: New Glasgow, Nova Scotia

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am 4 years into a comeback after a 50 years hiatus and things are working well but my practice is made up of things that work for an old timer ( I'm in my 80s ) and wouldn't necessarily work for someone else. So , in your case I would ask whether or not your teacher is happy with the results of your practice program. Your teacher's opinion is certainly more important than mine.
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scarface
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Joined: 18 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’m wondering how much you’re resting within the session, and could you rest more so that you end fresh instead of fatigued? Arturo is big on this, and Scott Belck refers to it as remaining chop neutral.

In general, it sounds like you’re doing helpful things, but maybe you should consider if anything can be swapped out/in. Articulation? Etudes? Etc

Probably a good idea to split up your session into 20-25 min blocks too if possible.
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cheiden
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Joined: 28 Sep 2004
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Location: Orange County, CA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Comeback and the future Reply with quote

salojarm wrote:
I start off with long tones, 60 bpm, then some lip slurs to warm up, and then some more long tones going up the register from middle C in the staff. And this takes me probably a good 15-20minutes.
After this i go into some range stuff for maybe like another 10-15 minutes. Then some lip trills for a good 10-15minutes depending on how they go.

Between all this i usually play low tones even pedal tones to try and keep my lips loose etc.

Then I continue with lip slurs/noodels, this only takes a few minutes, and then go into tonguing, for like 10-15 minutes. And by this point my lips are pretty fatigued, not to the point of hurting or not beeing able to play at all but to the point where I notice that ive put in some work. If my lips arent to bad I end my session with trying to go through Clarke second study.

I kinda got fueled to try and practice more when I realised that to become a fairly good player takes a ton of time. I got kinda fixated on the 10 000 hours on any instrument to really to be at a professional level, and figured that im not even close on doing enough, i was pracitcing maybe 30-40 minutes pretty irregularly, and now im trying to practice atleast 45-60 minutes per day depending on how my lips feel. (probably never gonna reach a professional level, but I sure can try to aim for it and see what comes out of it )

* Sorry that this may come across as a lengthy rant. Once I started it just got away from me. Take it for what it's worth, and good luck*
I don't like long tones since they always seem to make me stiff. I much prefer the iconic Stamp routine that starts on middle C and goes downward.
- take a break
And while I never do long tones at all I was specifically advised not to do the in the upper registers. I recommend some ascending scales and only going as high as you can play easily. This isn't the time to do range extension.
- take a break
I would strongly advise against following this up with range extension stuff. Reserve that for later in the routine and not during every practice session. I do recommend a few easy exercises that take me to the top of my readily accessible range just to get lined up.
- take a break
I wouldn't advise going into lip trills. Again it seems you're intent on front-load your routine with taxing exercises. All this usually does is get you really good at wearing yourself out. Trust me, I know what I'm talking about. This middle of the routine should be filled out with skill development like you find in the middle of the Schlossberg book.
- take a break

You shouldn't have to resort to low tones and pedals in between the above to keep going. Pace yourself to stay fresh and pain-free.

A technical etude like Clarke is a good thing to include. I recommend a single etude for a week or two (in all keys), then go to another one. Don't always do the same one. For variety try them with different tonguing models.
- take a break
Either range extension or overtone studies (lip trills). For this I like Irons or Bai Lin. Don't just noodle, pick a drill suitable for your current level and work on doing it with as little strain as you can. This is about refinement, not brute force.

10,000 hours certainly seems like a laudable goal but I would argue that those hours don't count if you do them in a hurried fashion that leaves you too fatigued to continue.
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salojarm
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Joined: 18 May 2019
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your input, some valid points I need to consider.

I think one of my bigger issues at the moment is establishing a healthy routine to practice, for example different things every other day, to keep things balanced, for example range excercises only every other day and replace them with something else every other day. I also need to have a lighter day of practice once a week, because the 2 hour orchestra session every week is taxing on the lips so need to incorporate a light day on the day after.

There are so many methods and things you "should" be doing so its tough finding the really useful stuff to practice with limited practice time.

Also a problem is that I am pretty pumped and focused on practicing every day now so I might get too eager and push too hard during my practice sessions..
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JayKosta
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Joined: 24 Dec 2018
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Location: Endwell NY USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Practice the things that are currently 'weak', and which affect your current playing duties.
Such as moving note articulations and rhythms, getting good clean 'entrance notes'. Don't worry too much about high range, unless it affects the parts you are assigned.

You only have so much time available for practice, so use it effectively to improve the type of playing situations that you actually do.

As your basic playing skills improve, you can expand the range and difficulty of what you practice and increase your abilities.

Jay
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jhatpro
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Joined: 17 Mar 2002
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My advice:

1. Keep your warm up concise and consistent. Form your embouchure and take some good trumpet breaths and exhale. Buzz for a couple of minutes. Then play some scales working around the circle of fourths.

2. Try to play in 15-20 minute sessions several times a day.

3. Each session should have some etudes and some music. Work on memorizing portions. Some days just see how much you can play well from memory. Play with the most beautiful sound you can make.

4. Don’t beat yourself up with long drills and endurance sapping range exercises. Play music.

5.if you aspire to play jazz, learn to play the blues in every key. Challenge yourself to find the I-IV-V chords. Do the same with II-V-I progressions.

6. Whatever you play adhere to Bud Herseth’s advice: “Always play as if you are performing.”
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gwood66
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Joined: 05 Jan 2016
Posts: 108
Location: South of Chicago

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am in year four of my comeback and can say that I still have a hard time finding time to play some days. The key is to play every day even if it is only for 15 or 20 minutes. Another often overlooked key to making progress is never practicing on tired chops. "Resting as much as you play" was to key to real progress for me. It seems that you are practicing all of the normal stuff. I wouldn't get super hung up on getting through it each day. The quality of practice is what matters.
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Richard III
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Joined: 22 May 2007
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Location: Amador County, CA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How do you find three sessions per day of perhaps, 30-45 minutes when you have a regular job? I used to work four days a week for ten hour shifts. Playing before work and after, I made some progress. If I had to do it again, I would look at the time and use the work days as maintenance. Days off would be for progress. But really, you are so limited with time that a great deal of progress may not be possible. I've been retired for four years. I play three to four times per day for 30-60 minutes each time. Each session has no plan. Each session's contents depends on how I'm feeling and what my current goals are. I start with an easy warm up working middle range and expand up and down as I feel comfortable. Once I feel ready, I start playing music or stuff from the end of Arbans or St. Jacome. Or what I'm playing with whatever group. Plus I have a collection of stuff that supports actually playing real works, both fast and slow, lyrical and maybe march style. Everything is there to keep it interesting. Boredom is bad. Too many rules will get you doing boring stuff. Too many rules that keep you playing too much in warmups don't sense.
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salojarm
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Joined: 18 May 2019
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah that's the thing, that is almost impossible for me on weekdays.. 1 hour is probably the max amount I can manage.

The thing is I live in an apartment building, so realistically the times I can practice at home is between 16 pm - 20pm, cant really sqeeze to many hours into that with resting time.

Fortunately I have gotten access to the local music institute so I can get into there on evenings and during weekends so I can practice without a mute.

But yeah it is taxing for sure trying to find time for improving and having a 8am - 16pm job.. But I am sure I am improving by playing fundamentals every day, improvement at this point is probably measured in months, nothing really happens fast with limited practice. The funny thing is I do these fundamentals every session and I dont even get bored doing them, because I feel like if I have limited time I need to use it for things that improve my quality of playing, sure playing tunes and actual music is maybe more enjoyable for people to listen but for my own improvement I feel that I need to focus heavily on fundamentals. Learning tunes etc is easy when you have full control of your instrument.

I am also aware of the fact that playing for an hour to one and a half with only 5 minute breaks here and there between different sections is not the best way to do it, but I also really cant rest as much as I play if i'm not practicing at home.. The sessions would drag out to several hours and sitting and resting in an empty classroom in 15-20 minute sections between playing is not really optimal.
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gwood66
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Location: South of Chicago

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By resting as much as you play I am referring to the more micro level of resting as many measures/beats as you play. I know it probably seems counter-intuitive however, you will progress faster even though the horn is on you face less. If you do this you will stay relatively fresh throughout your whole routine. (that is the Scott Belck chop neutral thing that sarcface is referring to) Practicing on fresh vice tired lips allows the whole embouchure mechanism/system to coordinate faster and leads to better endurance. Playing on tired lips leads to poor mechanics that can be difficult to correct.

Last edited by gwood66 on Thu Jan 30, 2020 6:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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kalijah
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
My question is what do you guys think of this daily routine I am doing:


It is not good. It is exhaustive and excessive. You need something else.
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salojarm
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Joined: 18 May 2019
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm having small issues with sound quality and clarity in middle/high register, particularly middle C in the staff and D and E.
When I play the F and upwards my sound and tone becomes nice and clear again but those three notes pretty often crackle and are not clear and hard to hit consistently.

Having trouble understanding why it's only those three particular notes that are crackling the worst and how to fix it.
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Bill_Bumps
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Joined: 07 May 2019
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

salojarm wrote:
I'm having small issues with sound quality and clarity in middle/high register, particularly middle C in the staff and D and E.
When I play the F and upwards my sound and tone becomes nice and clear again but those three notes pretty often crackle and are not clear and hard to hit consistently.

Having trouble understanding why it's only those three particular notes that are crackling the worst and how to fix it.


Seems like a lot of us have trouble with a particular couple of notes. In my case, it's C# below the staff, D BTS and bottom-of-staff E-flat. I don't experience the "crackle" you describe, I just have trouble giving them good tone. With practice, it's getting better, but they still aren't my best-sounding notes.
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