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Practicing routines and over practicing



 
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TheAidanAU
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Joined: 27 Apr 2021
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Location: Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2021 2:04 pm    Post subject: Practicing routines and over practicing Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

Recently, I have been practicing a lot more than I used to (20 to 30 minutes to 2 to 2 and a half hours). I usually do an hour of fundamentals, scales, and other things like that, and then I go on to playing pieces. Does anyone have a practice routine that I could follow that is more in depth? I have been following this pdf file for my fundamentals, and then scales on a real sheet of paper.
[/url]https://www.gregwingtrumpet.com/uploads/2/1/4/0/21407028/20_minute_routine_revised_june_2013.pdf[url]

I am thinking that I should practice more so I can improve in a faster time, but I do not want to over practice and tire myself out so I can not play the next day (or worse, before a performance). How long should I rest for each hour I play?[/url]
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PMonteiro
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2021 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quality of practice > time spent practicing. In other words, a half hour of meaningful, productive practice time is far more valuable than 3 hours of unfocused playing. You don't want to tire yourself by practicing for too long, because tired playing is bad playing.

You'll get a variety of answers on what to practice. There are many method books and exercises. There's no one-size-fits-all approach, but at a minimum I'd say a practice routine should incorporate scales, long tones, tonguing, lip slurs, and range exercises. Bonus points for lip bends and pedal tones.

I'm a busy person outside of music, so I usually only practice 1 to 1 1/2 hours per day a few times a week. I seem to make things work by focusing on important things during that limited time. Although if you want to play at a level beyond amateur, take what I say with a large grain of salt.
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zaferis
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2021 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sachs "Daily Fundamentals for the Trumpet" wil give you a wide variety of things as well as ideas of how to expand and practice other literature.

Best if you have guidance with any routine..!

And I'll PM a lengthy one that I used as an undergrad and beyond....
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Last edited by zaferis on Fri Jun 04, 2021 11:47 am; edited 1 time in total
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Dayton
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2021 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First, a transition from 20-30 minutes per day to 120-150 minutes is a big one. If you did not make that transition very gradually -- over a period of months -- you are likely over practicing. Be cautious, or you will unintentionally do more harm than good.

Second, if possible, work with a teacher to develop a routine tailored to your needs. You'll benefit the most from that.

If you cannot study with a teacher, you have a wide range of options. You already are aware of the Bill Adam routine from Greg Wing's material. Check the Carmine Caruso forum for a sample daily routine. Claude Gordon lays out progressively challenging routines in his Systematic Approach to Daily Practice. Rich Willey covers Doc Reinhardt in his Reinhardt Routines. All have many advocates and have been followed by top players.

Sachs and Vacchiano also have fine "routine" books.

Another option is Mitchell on Trumpet by Harold Mitchell. Instead of a daily routine, it consists of lessons that progress from the beginning level to the very advanced level.

Pick one and dig in. Add practice time gradually. Good luck!

(edited to correct a typo.)
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2021 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll be conducting a ZOOM session this Friday 6/4 7:00am CDT.
This would be a great introduction to the William Adam routine as taught to me in 1982 by Mr. Adam.
bill bergren is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
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royjohn
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2021 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi TheAidanAU,
You sure are keeping us busy with questions! No one has yet mentioned to rest as much as you play, which is a fundamental idea. This means to play 5 minutes and rest 5 minutes or so. Play 3 minutes, rest 3 minutes. You can review music, play fingerings, do "whisper practice" which sets your tongue levels, review expression marks, etc., while you are resting your lips. Or just do your maths or English homework. Just rest the lips. Then if you play an hour, rest at least an hour, probably more. Your aim is to remain fresh. And as someone already suggested, increase your playing time gradually. If you feel tired or start to poop out during performances or rehearsals, cut back on practice time. Take a day off once in a while. The idea is "build up, don't tear down."
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Robejazz
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zaferis wrote:
Sachs "Daily Fundamentals for the Trumpet" wil give you a wide variety of things as well as ideas of how to expand and practice other literature.

Best if you have guidance with any routine..!

And I'll PM a lenghy one that I uses as an undergrad and beyond....


I would love a copy too, Thanks!
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is important to have your practice be 'good playing' - not just to 'put in the time'.

It isn't overly important to complete all the items that you have planned (but you should cover the basics). If something is not going as well as you'd like, then spend a little more time with it.

Practice is done to develop the ability to play well. And doing some actual 'good playing' is what helps you learn how to do it.

If you get to the point where fatigue prevents you from being able to play well, then it's time to stop or take a long break.
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trickg
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll piggyback on to what others have said about quality over quantity, and here's an example.

(I just read down through this - it's longish, but I think it's relevant.)

When I went to the Armed Forces School of Music straight out of high school to be an Army trumpet player, one of the requirements was that a student get at least 10 "units" of practice time in every week, on top of daily rehearsals for concert band, big band, and drill band/marching. A unit consisted of a 50 minute block of time with a 10 minute break, so basically an hour.

10 hours of practice was required, but 20 were encouraged. Keep in mind, this is on top of all of the other playing we did throughout the course of the week, and we still had plenty of homework to complete.

I was never an over-achiever where units were concerned - my weekly units numbers were usually right at 10, sometimes 11 or 12, and a few times 8 or 9. (Yes, I got counseling statements for that. LOL!) I think I maybegot 20 units once or twice.

I didn't mess around in the practice room - I'd hit the fundamentals, maybe play through some excerpts, but I did a lot of work right out of the Arban's book and Clarke Studies, but again, I was just hitting the magic 10 number.

In contrast, a buddy of mine practically lived in the practice room - he was always on the 20+ "atta boy" list and a couple of times he managed to log 30.

When our final audition day came, I passed and graduated. He did not. He got extended, failed again, got extended again, and finally passed on his 3rd try a couple of months later. One could make arguments about basic chops, talent, etc, but suffice it to say, the additional time he spent in the practice room didn't really make the difference.

Having said all of that, the 20-30 minutes you cited in your original post isn't going to cut it - not if you want to see significant improvement, and that's regardless of how "quality" that time is.

Try this: the next time you practice, give yourself an honest assessment. Break it down into specific areas such as articulation, sound, flexibility, phrasing, breath control, fingers technique, and rate those areas on a scale of 1-10. This will help you identify the areas you want to really target and how you can structure your practice sessions.

I don't know how old you are, what your goals are, or how developed you are as a player, but at the end of the day if you aren't putting in the work to improve your trouble areas, you'll always be limited with what you can do.
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MrOlds
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of my teachers told me there were two kinds of practice; “finding it” practice and “make it a habit” practice. I think there’s a third “keep it sharp” kind as well.

Also Chris Smith (trombachris) has a long and interesting post on his Facebook page about planning your practice to achieve results efficiently without getting frustrated. It’s worth the time to read and think about how to apply his ideas to our practice.

There are many great method books with lots of material. Think of them like big drawers full of cutlery. You might need a butter knife and a tablespoon. No need to pull everything out of the drawer. Just use the ones you need for today’s practice.
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trickg
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrOlds wrote:
One of my teachers told me there were two kinds of practice; “finding it” practice and “make it a habit” practice. I think there’s a third “keep it sharp” kind as well.

Also Chris Smith (trombachris) has a long and interesting post on his Facebook page about planning your practice to achieve results efficiently without getting frustrated. It’s worth the time to read and think about how to apply his ideas to our practice.

There are many great method books with lots of material. Think of them like big drawers full of cutlery. You might need a butter knife and a tablespoon. No need to pull everything out of the drawer. Just use the ones you need for today’s practice.

This is a really good post and it highlights what's important:

1.) Developing skills
2.) Reinforcing developed skills
3.) Maintaining skills

The first two occur during formative years as a musician, and the third comes later - keeping the skills sharp enough to keep gigging.

Of course there's also this one:

4.) regaining lost skills

I'm currently right smack dab in the middle of #4. It's my own fault - Covid 19 hit, gigs dried up, and I lost motivation to practice. I have a concert tonight and I'm still at a point where I have better and worse days playing - I hope today winds up being a good day.
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topazann
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Practicing is such a personal routine, that taking suggestions as to what will work for you could be detrimental. I would suggest you divide your practice session into areas you can focus on, one at a time. I divide my shedule up this way:

Fundamentals: focusing on tone production (ease of production and quality of sound)
Technical exercises: Clarkes (mostly), scales, articulations
Etudes
Other literature (solo/orchestral)
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abontrumpet
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As with most endurance sports, keeping your face feeling fresh is the most important thing. Listen to your face and don't play past the point of fatigue.

In sport (lifting/others) we talk about form. The embouchure has to stay fresh in order to keep it's form "uncompromised." As soon as we hit fatigue, a number of changes happen to make up for the compromised form of the embouchure: we may press more, we may blow harder, etc. This means you are practicing something that is not the way you "actually" want to play on a regular basis (i.e., not efficiently).

Yes, there will times we overdo it and sometimes we need to flirt with the fatigue point in order to ascend out of a plateau, but it's important you recognize when you do and take steps to regain freshness. Like everybody says, quality over quantity...but eventually you want both quality and quantity.
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2021 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your concentration will go long before your chops.
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