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Adam routine with practice mute



 
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markp
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:51 am    Post subject: Adam routine with practice mute Reply with quote

I've been doing the first hour and a half of the basic Adam routine for a few months.

I'll be stuck in a hotel room for the next three days. Should I just practice other stuff like tunes and scales, or go ahead with the long tones, Clarke chromatics and Schlossberg arpeggios of the Adam book?

So much of the Adam routine stresses getting a good sound and resonance that I wonder how much of that you are losing using a whisper mute--and could you actually reinforce some bad habits?

Also, am looking forward to attending the Adam workshop in July.
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Matthew Anklan
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Playing with a practice mute for an extended period of time is never ideal, but it is a necessary evil for most of us at one time or another. Here are some thoughts:

- Keep your mind on your goal; allow the concept of sound in your imagination to lead you during practice. Never lose sight of that goal.

- Start AND end with leadpipe playing. Any mute will change the way we physically interact with the open horn. Its easy to obscure what our body believes in phase with the trumpet really is. Ending with some leadpipe playing will help square that up.

- Using ear plugs will help you hear your sound a little better when you practice with a practice mute.

- Most hotels have an office space or conference room thats not in use. Ask permission to play open horn in there during regular, daytime hours.

Best of luck!
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tmccarthy53
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always find that I lose my response quickly after playing with a practice mute for long periods of time. But, it is better to keep the chops up than to not.
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PH
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Matthew Anklan wrote:
Playing with a practice mute for an extended period of time is never ideal, but it is a necessary evil for most of us at one time or another. Here are some thoughts:

- Keep your mind on your goal; allow the concept of sound in your imagination to lead you during practice. Never lose sight of that goal.

- Start AND end with leadpipe playing. Any mute will change the way we physically interact with the open horn. It�s easy to obscure what our body believes �in phase with the trumpet� really is. Ending with some leadpipe playing will help square that up.

- Using ear plugs will help you hear your sound a little better when you practice with a practice mute.

- Most hotels have an office space or conference room that�s not in use. Ask permission to play open horn in there during regular, daytime hours.

Best of luck!


This is solid stuff. I would add that if you must practice in a mute, listen closely for evenness and connection between all notes, especially when slurring.
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JoseLindE4
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never studied with Mr. Adam nor any of his students so I won't comment on doing the routine, but I'd add that finding a place to practice without a mute can be easier than we often realize:

1. The previously mentioned hotel conference room works well
2. Parking garages
3. Stairwells - it works for Doc
4. Parks - stick a hat out and help fund your trip
5. Cars - watch the neighborhood where you park; this one can be a little uncomfortable
6. The Phil Smith pillow fort - make a box of pillows to play into. You lose some sound feedback, but you get more sound feedback than the mute and you don't introduce the weirdness of the mute.
7. Just playing open. Don't be shy. If it isn't during night hours, make them tell you to be quiet. Most people won't complain, especially if you play well.

Truthfully, the only reason I've ever really had to use a practice mute (besides a quiet warmup offstage) is that I don't have the energy to find another way. Sometimes we're tired and need to blow some notes to keep things going the next day, but it's always been worth it for me to find a way to play open.
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My understanding is that you can do the least "damage" to your playing by keeping your volume at a moderate to lesser level. Using the ear buds can help you control this vs. listening to just an acoustic sound.
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PH
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kehaulani wrote:
My understanding is that you can do the least "damage" to your playing by keeping your volume at a moderate to lesser level. Using the ear buds can help you control this vs. listening to just an acoustic sound.


You can do just as much damage to your playing by playing softly in a way that produces or encourages physical tension, especially tension on the breath. This is actually a core principle of the Adam approach. For many people, playing loudly with the wrong approach can cause problems. Playing softly with the wrong approach can also cause problems.
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pat - wouldn't you say, though, that there is to be more damage to be done by practicing loudly as contrasted with practicing more quietly?
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PH
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kehaulani wrote:
Pat - wouldn't you say, though, that there is to be more damage to be done by practicing loudly as contrasted with practicing more quietly?


In general, no. Too many people develop tension in their breath, embouchure, etc. caused by equating soft playing with restraining the breath or holding it back. This causes tremendous tension throughout the body. Physical tension is the enemy of good trumpet playing. Adam students have a reputation for practicing on the loud side of things more frequently than many schools of playing...especially in the earliest stages of the development process. Of course, the only way someone can know how they should be practicing (and not only in terms of volume) is by working in person with someone who understands how this particular thing works.
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks.
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"Even if I could play like Wynton Marsalis, I wouldn't play like Wynton Marsalis." Chet Baker

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Hans Hoyer G10 French Horn
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BRSpringer
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Years ago in one of my lessons, Adam said to me, “You get your soft playing under control by getting your loud playing under control first.” Years of playing and 30 plus years of private teaching have confirmed this for me. It correlates exactly with what Pat was saying.

Barry
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rockford
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Working as an airline pilot I’ve tried all sorts of solutions to deal with hotel rooms and travel issues since I need to keep my chops up to speed for weekend gigs. Rather than a practice mute I use a Dennis Wick cup mute with the cup part pushed most of the way in. Not as much back pressure. Lately I bought a cheap pocket trumpet that actually works pretty well and fits easily into my roller bag. Most hotels will let you use ballrooms, conference rooms or unoccupied pool areas to practice. There’s always the dumpster area outside. I say this as a proponent and admirer of Mr. Adam’s that excercise playing should be kept at a minimum while practicing in public places. Play songs, melodies and progressions and you”ll get fewer, if any, complaints. Someone might even toss a couple bucks in your case. 😎
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