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Stopping Practice Before You Get Tired



 
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OrangeDreamsicle
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2021 8:59 am    Post subject: Stopping Practice Before You Get Tired Reply with quote

I was watching a masterclass from Robert Sullivan (I think it was he), and he said that many trumpet players might want to test themselves if they feel good during a good practice session, but he recommended that maybe we take a break if we feel very good during a practice and build on those habits later. What do you all think about this approach? Do you think you "lose" a helpful technique that you figured out during practice if you play through fatigue and resort to old bad habits to keep playing longer?
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2021 9:15 am    Post subject: Re: Stopping Practice Before You Get Tired Reply with quote

OrangeDreamsicle wrote:
... Do you think you "lose" a helpful technique that you figured out during practice if you play through fatigue and resort to old bad habits to keep playing longer?

-------------------------------
You need to aware of what you are doing, and whether your technique is changing due to fatigue.

If you are developing endurance for the technique that is already part of your 'usual way', then learning how to maintain that technique while fatigued can be good 'physical training'.


If you are learning a new technique, then it makes sense to play only as long as the new technique can be done properly. Taking short breaks while doing a practice session can help accomplish many repetitions of the 'good technique practice'.
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mhenrikse
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2021 10:11 am    Post subject: Re: Stopping Practice Before You Get Tired Reply with quote

OrangeDreamsicle wrote:
I was watching a masterclass from Robert Sullivan (I think it was he), and he said that many trumpet players might want to test themselves if they feel good during a good practice session, but he recommended that maybe we take a break if we feel very good during a practice and build on those habits later. What do you all think about this approach? Do you think you "lose" a helpful technique that you figured out during practice if you play through fatigue and resort to old bad habits to keep playing longer?


I would say discontinue practice when the chops are not resilient. And yes, you can lose something that you learned because it doesn't work on tired chops. You give up and resort to survival habits. Knowing when to rest is important. Its much earlier than the typical student thinks, assuming I was a typical student. The Sullivan idea is great but it takes some willpower.
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trickg
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2021 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In years past, (in my teens and early 20s) I had two bad habits when it came to over-practicing:

1.) during a bad practice session when the chops weren't working well, I'd continue to hammer my chops in an effort to get them to come back around.

2.) If I was playing particularly well, I'd push and push because playing was going well, and inevitably I'd push too hard for too long.

In case #1, I long ago learned that sometimes you're just going to have a really off day on the horn, and I learned that the best thing I could do on those days was to break it off early, put it in the case, and go do something else non-music related.

In case #2, I learned to stop before I'd pushed my chops too hard, especially as I pushed into my late 30s and early 40s and I no longer recovered as quickly.

Just like with any athletic activity or exercise, it's quite possible to overdo it. To apply that directly to what OrangeDreamsicle was asking, I agree with the advice of Robert Sullivan. If you figured it out once, you'll be able to figure it out again - it's best to put it away before you do damage, and to pick it up again on another day.
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razeontherock
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2021 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of Doc Rheinhardt's genius is embedded in the affirmative answer to the question. If there were 1 thing he taught that I wish I could go back and apply at age 12, it's the idea of putting the horn down while your chops feel good.

That doesn't mean you're done for the day. That might mean 20 seconds or 2 minutes later everything's confirmed good, or you're starting to discover "whoa! I better wait a little longer." That could mean a 20 minute break.

WAY better than the macho no pain no gain approach.

PS: buy his Encyclopedia. Best trumpet investment you'll ever make!
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Daniel Barenboim
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2021 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes

DB
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hibidogrulez
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2021 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trickg wrote:
In years past, (in my teens and early 20s) I had two bad habits when it came to over-practicing:

1.) during a bad practice session when the chops weren't working well, I'd continue to hammer my chops in an effort to get them to come back around.

...

In case #1, I long ago learned that sometimes you're just going to have a really off day on the horn, and I learned that the best thing I could do on those days was to break it off early, put it in the case, and go do something else non-music related.

+1
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HackAmateur
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2021 2:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Stopping Practice Before You Get Tired Reply with quote

OrangeDreamsicle wrote:
I was watching a masterclass from Robert Sullivan (I think it was he), and he said that many trumpet players might want to test themselves if they feel good during a good practice session, but he recommended that maybe we take a break if we feel very good during a practice and build on those habits later. What do you all think about this approach? Do you think you "lose" a helpful technique that you figured out during practice if you play through fatigue and resort to old bad habits to keep playing longer?


I think you would "lose" embouchure development opportunities because if you never challenge your chops, they probably won't develop fully (or they'd take a longer time than necessary to develop fully).

This approach only makes sense to me if you already have super strong chops and great endurance to begin with.

Yeah if you can play a 3 hours long Lead or 2nd trumpet commercial gig full of high notes and still blast out G above High C with resonance after the show, on the same day, then of course you have no reason to play to fatigue, especially not regularly, because you already have powerful chops.

I think that, if a player never plays to the point of being at least a little bit tired, their embouchure strength development will probably be very slow.

I think anybody who doesn't have commercial Lead or 2nd Trumpet chops should play to a slight level of fatigue at least a few times per week. However, it's important to have "easy" days where you're not playing to fatigue. After all, your chops do have to recover.

If there's no fatigue at all when you're done practicing for the day, and you do that literally every day of practice each week, then you're probably missing out on developing your strongest embouchure... or you're delaying how long it will take to develop your strongest embouchure.

Never playing to any level of fatigue sounds like a recipe for under-practicing unless you're already able to play Lead or 2nd Trumpet commercial gigs without losing your chops.

BUT, there are plenty of players who don't want to play Lead or 2nd Trumpet commercially. In fact, some players have zero interest in commercial gigs. Maybe those players would benefit more from this concept.
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2021 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will lose mental focus before you have physical failure.
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picctpt33
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2021 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you focus on the quality of your response, you will avoid the kind of major fatigue that will cause you to be stiff in the following days
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Jaw04
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2021 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You need to wear yourself out periodically, maybe once a week, but definitely not every day. If you are never used to being worn out you won't gain endurance for grueling gigs or recording sessions. You should play soft and stay fresh most of the time but periodically find out how often you can push yourself without getting negative returns.
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etc-etc
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2021 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jaw04 wrote:
You need to wear yourself out periodically, maybe once a week, but definitely not every day. If you are never used to being worn out you won't gain endurance for grueling gigs or recording sessions. You should play soft and stay fresh most of the time but periodically find out how often you can push yourself without getting negative returns.


Also, learn how to play with minimum effort - wear yourself out less and gain endurance.
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GeorgeB
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 3:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

trickg wrote:
In years past, (in my teens and early 20s) I had two bad habits when it came to over-practicing:

1.) during a bad practice session when the chops weren't working well, I'd continue to hammer my chops in an effort to get them to come back around.

2.) If I was playing particularly well, I'd push and push because playing was going well, and inevitably I'd push too hard for too long


I plead guilty of both the above. But I learned the hard way ( un-necessary injuries ) and because I am in my eighties I should have known better. I pretty much deal with these now as Patrick does.
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