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chuck in ny
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:11 pm    Post subject: endurance Reply with quote

my great quest as a trumpet student has been for endurance. if you are going to own equipment and dedicate yourself to trumpet study it's fitting that you should be able to play for a good while.
i am playing out of bill knevitt's 'crash course'. getting to lesson 11, there was no way i was going to play through the whole thing. this was the great jewel for me, to be able to do this and more. i resolved to play the lesson every day until i had the endurance. it has been over a month and doing the well conceived claude gordon exercises, i can now play this material through and plan to turn the page to lesson 12 at the end of the month.
you won't get through the book quickly this way. it's astounding how the exercises work to allow ease of play and the trumpet to sound out in an easy singing voice lack of better terms. i am still in the beginning of the book, but i own more endurance, and if things keep up like this, more endurance by the month. that is what i wanted and that is what i am getting.
i am always especially pleased and bemused by how the literature itself corrects the player rather than having a focus on manipulating the embouchure and so forth. i like letting the lips find their own way.
..chuck
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Dale Proctor
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've found that endurance comes by playing a lot in one sitting. Practicing in short bursts won't help as much as playing as much as you can stand (with minimal rests) and doing it again next time. Endurance is also helped by good breath support and pacing yourself through a long performance.
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chuck in ny
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dale

i am doing nearly the opposite of that. i will run through one exercise, they tend to be a fair amount of material, and then follow knevitt's advice and give it ten minutes until going on to the next. the configuration of the exercise encourages the embouchure to do its work with progressively less muscular effort. the muscles are definitely developing but are doing so as they are expending less and less force and the confluence = endurance.
the interesting thing is that i was not giving much rest initially between the sets of exercises and tiring out early. solo soprano was kind enough to put up the introduction to the 'crash course' which my book for some reason lacked,,, and i took heed of them and now rest between exercises.
there is a week by week improvement in ease of play from doing so.
..chuck
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danambro8
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chuck in ny wrote:
dale

i am doing nearly the opposite of that. i will run through one exercise, they tend to be a fair amount of material, and then follow knevitt's advice and give it ten minutes until going on to the next. the configuration of the exercise encourages the embouchure to do its work with progressively less muscular effort. the muscles are definitely developing but are doing so as they are expending less and less force and the confluence = endurance.
the interesting thing is that i was not giving much rest initially between the sets of exercises and tiring out early. solo soprano was kind enough to put up the introduction to the 'crash course' which my book for some reason lacked,,, and i took heed of them and now rest between exercises.
there is a week by week improvement in ease of play from doing so.
..chuck


"Rest as much as you play."
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chuck in ny
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

playing and resting with bill knevitt's routine. 'rest as much as you play' while doing an exercise. add to that at least 10 minutes off between sets of exercises and the deal is clearly balanced in favor of resting. it is just as well that way because bill gives you plenty enough to play. anyhow it is all working no complaints.
..chuck
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cheiden
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

chuck in ny wrote:
dale

i am doing nearly the opposite of that. i will run through one exercise, they tend to be a fair amount of material, and then follow knevitt's advice and give it ten minutes until going on to the next. the configuration of the exercise encourages the embouchure to do its work with progressively less muscular effort. the muscles are definitely developing but are doing so as they are expending less and less force and the confluence = endurance.
the interesting thing is that i was not giving much rest initially between the sets of exercises and tiring out early. solo soprano was kind enough to put up the introduction to the 'crash course' which my book for some reason lacked,,, and i took heed of them and now rest between exercises.
there is a week by week improvement in ease of play from doing so.
..chuck

I think that ultimately both approaches are right when looked at properly. During development it's helpful to break thing up so you don't wear out prematurely giving you more productive face time. But once you can play all the material, be it a practice routine or a concert program, with manageable fatigue then it can be useful to try and reduce the amount of resting needed.
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PW-Factor
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rest as much as you play is a great way to build the muscles.

But when you are used to playing 5 minutes on, 5 minutes off, consistently in all of your practice... You'll get bitten in the butt by your first 3 hour big band gig. Or by your senior recital when you're called upon to play an hour of solo literature with maybe a couple of supporting acts in the middle.

At a certain point you do have to push yourself like Dale suggested. Finding out what your actual limits are. Knowing how to pace yourself for a 24-minute concerto in the midst of an hour-long recital.

Just my two cents.
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Dale Proctor
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PW-Factor wrote:
...But when you are used to playing 5 minutes on, 5 minutes off, consistently in all of your practice... You'll get bitten in the butt by your first 3 hour big band gig. Or by your senior recital when you're called upon to play an hour of solo literature with maybe a couple of supporting acts in the middle...

I started to type a reply to that effect yesterday, but I know the same thing doesn't work for everyone. Of course, when you're starting out, a 50% play/rest cycle is probably the best. The performance world isn't that kind to your chops most of the time, though. How do you know if you can play for an hour or two straight without actually doing it during a practice/rehearsal time?

The Civil War gigs we play can be brutal, with some pieces that last for 6-8 minutes with no more than a quarter or half rest here and there (imagine playing all 6 verses of a long hymn in church). That's followed by a brief announcement of the next number and then we play that one and so on...for an hour straight, one on a part, so there's no resting while someone else plays your part. Sometimes we do two of those in one day, followed by a 2-hour ball that night. The 150 year old horns we use aren't easy to play, either, and require a lot of significant lipping to play in tune. Those of you who have to lip instruments into tune know how tiring that can be. To prepare, we rehearse like that, sometimes almost 2 hours at a stretch. Poor me, right?

Anyway, just an illustration to make a point. We've had a few subs over the years (who were very good players) who tanked halfway through a gig. For a developed player, you build endurance by practicing that way.
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jiarby
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple decades ago I used to be a recreational cyclist doing weekend century rides (100 miles).... kinda the cycling equivalent to the 10k races that runners do all the time.

My analogy is this: Training is training. If you want to learn to survive, and then excel at the 100 mile distance you can't ust train for 20 miles over and over. You also can't just hop on and go that far after taking the summer off (like all out high school friends here that get cooked a couple weeks into marching band season!).

You have to slowly build up your base of training miles over months and eventually train at the distance you want to get good at.

20 minute trumpet sessions throughout the day are a great way to get alot of fundamental practice time in while keeping you fresh... but not good training for getting through a 3 hour salsa band gig.

There are no shortcuts. You gotta put the miles into your legs over the winter if you are going to ride well in the spring!


Last edited by jiarby on Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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danambro8
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seeing as how this is the CG forum I think it's prudent to mention:

"Our purpose is to strengthen and train muscles, not destroy them. Follow these rules:

1. Rest as much as you play.
2. When you are tired, rest."

Now obviously, as many of you had said, these rules don't apply to the three hour salsa gig, or the senior recital, but I think it was Claude's point that when you have everything developed properly to begin with, the three hour salsa gig and the senior recital shouldn't be a problem. Obviously the real world can get in the way of our ideal practice regime - but I think it's important to remember that we (ideally) shouldn't be playing such strenuous shows until we've developed our chops through wise, systematic practice.
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Shipham_Player
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Chuck,

I'm working through the Knevitt course too! Up to about lesson 7/8 now and taking it vey slowly - lots of rest between drills. I'm doing one leason twice a day and won't move on until I am completely happy I can play everything in the lesson.

I didn't initially think it was doing much but the last week or so I've realised that everything suddenly seems to be easier to play. I only really noticed this on a big band gig on the weekend when near the end of the gig I found I was stronger than the beginning and I wasn't bashing the horn into my face to play the charts.

So absolutely as you posted I am getting better results with less effort.

I really think it's down to discipline in practice - I'm not a CG evangelist by any means but it gives you a very balanced framework for practice and covers pretty much everything and that's why I think it works - it raises the bar of your playing slowly and consistently providing you practice correctly.
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solo soprano
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fact not Theory

"In all my years of teaching, I have never had a student who understands how to teach trumpet as does Bill Knevitt."

Claude Gordon

William B. Knevitt Jr.

1940-2009
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chuck in ny
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shipham_Player wrote:
Hey Chuck,

I'm working through the Knevitt course too! Up to about lesson 7/8 now and taking it vey slowly - lots of rest between drills. I'm doing one leason twice a day and won't move on until I am completely happy I can play everything in the lesson.

I didn't initially think it was doing much but the last week or so I've realised that everything suddenly seems to be easier to play. I only really noticed this on a big band gig on the weekend when near the end of the gig I found I was stronger than the beginning and I wasn't bashing the horn into my face to play the charts.

So absolutely as you posted I am getting better results with less effort.

I really think it's down to discipline in practice - I'm not a CG evangelist by any means but it gives you a very balanced framework for practice and covers pretty much everything and that's why I think it works - it raises the bar of your playing slowly and consistently providing you practice correctly.


i have this rough idea that by the 19th century the top players were really beginning to understand the basis of brass blowing, and clarke absorbed all that. anyhow by this time in history we have carefully constructed exercises, and you do them, and things do not progress fast, but steadily and you find yourself singing through the instrument doing far less work. it seems prudent to keep with that a good while before piling on more work. yes. you obviously need both approaches to be a developed player and at some point put yourself to long stretches of playing. anyhow this business of the exercises encouraging ease of play is a slow but steady type of affair. it's a pretty good deal. a few months from now, i will be able to blow 10% easier.
..chuck
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Shaft
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To comment on the post in quotes a comment or two back.

When I play the trumpet with the best approach for my body 2 things happen.

1- it gets easier

2- I get stronger
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danambro8
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shaft wrote:
To comment on the post in quotes a comment or two back.

When I play the trumpet with the best approach for my body 2 things happen.

1- it gets easier

2- I get stronger


/thread
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chuck in ny
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it's worth mentioning that i am nowhere near ready for the 3 hour salsa gig and just getting past the punk stage of trumpet playing. making easier, peeling the onion back layer by layer, is a big step at this point.
you guys are making me wonder what a 3 hour salsa gig would be like and what i've been missing out on all my life. i just play for the love and pleasure of it, that's about it. i also wonder what life would be like with my mates in the whaling boat, but have decided to leave those adventures to those with some actual starch.
..chuck
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Dale Proctor
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

chuck in ny wrote:
...you guys are making me wonder what a 3 hour salsa gig would be like and what i've been missing out on all my life. i just play for the love and pleasure of it, that's about it. i also wonder what life would be like with my mates in the whaling boat, but have decided to leave those adventures to those with some actual starch.
..chuck

That's pretty funny...thanks for the chuckle (and it's a good point, too).
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Shipham_Player
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

chuck in ny wrote:
it's worth mentioning that i am nowhere near ready for the 3 hour salsa gig and just getting past the punk stage of trumpet playing. making easier, peeling the onion back layer by layer, is a big step at this point.
you guys are making me wonder what a 3 hour salsa gig would be like and what i've been missing out on all my life. i just play for the love and pleasure of it, that's about it. i also wonder what life would be like with my mates in the whaling boat, but have decided to leave those adventures to those with some actual starch.
..chuck


A 3 hour salsa gig is pretty intense. I've done a lot of 8 to 10 piece gigs where I've had to play lead of 2 trumpets and had to do most of the jazz at the same time. That's a lot of blowing.

One of the guys I play with regularly is better technically than me and has a stronger range but won't do lead - he says lead playing is more an attitude/confidence thing and he's right. A lot of the time you just have to set your mind the right way and do it regardless of technique.

However I'm practicing the Knevitt method now precisely because I know playing this way isn't efficient and I'm not going to improve much otherwise.

I play for the love of it too but after 30 years I've hit a ceiling and the only way to break that is proper practice.
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John Mohan
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

solo soprano wrote:
"In all my years of teaching, I have never had a student who understands how to teach trumpet as does Bill Knevitt."

Claude Gordon


Claude must have said that sometime before January of 1979...

Concerning the topic of endurance, I cannot imagine how a player could avoid building up all the endurance he or she could ever need and then some, if he or she practices in the correct manner the CG type (or the CG-based Knevitt type) practice routine that systematically (there's that word) progresses in both difficulty and amount of material, and he or she sticks with it long enough for nature to take its course.

Based on my experiences with many of my new students who come to me after trying to do the material on their own without proper guidance, I think there are many players out there trying in good faith to practice correctly but not succeeding. In my time as a struggling player, guaranteeing proper instruction in the CG Method for most players meant traveling or moving sometimes thousands of miles from home. In this day and age one can obtain competent instruction in person or via webcam no matter where they live, with a couple lessons a month costing less than a daily dose of "Value Meals" at McD's (and trust me - lessons are WAY healthier for you).

Best wishes from the Pit (it's Intermission),

John Mohan
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chuck in ny
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

john

nature take its course,,, that's about the size of it. new month arrived and i turned the page to the next lesson. it was like getting beaten with a stick but i have a sense of humor and enough tenacity.
one thing about the knevitt material is that the scales are woven into different parts of the practice so you can't remain an unmusical bonehead forever, it's just a one more straw type of thing.
anyhow play the lesson, and ay caramba how long is it going to take me to be able to play the material all the way through, yet every day there is some small progress. it's up in the air how long i will be on this lesson certainly not the week bill intended.
nature does take its course. it is noteworthy to say however that the knevitt material does a subtle and devastatingly good job of piling on the work. he has me hooked.

..chuck
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