How do you practice ?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Farmer Giles, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. Farmer Giles

    Farmer Giles Member

    just wondering if you have a routine that you follow in your home practice ?

    personally (at the moment) i practice for 10 mins in the morning and 20 mins at lunchtime.

    usually in the morning i do some exercises from a Herbert Clarke book

    at lunchtime, it is usually some other exercises followed by any piece i am currently working on.

    looking for a few ideas ;)
  2. themusicalrentboy

    themusicalrentboy Active Member

    I practice scales (two, sometimes 3 octaves) first, then get out a test piece/ solo that I'm working on for band.

    If I can't be bothered with that I just try and improve my range/ stamina by doing either 5ths of scales (so start on say and E and go F# G# A B and back again) going up a semitone each time which helps range, stamina and scales (ish) as well.
  3. Daisy Duck

    Daisy Duck Member

    I use Michael Davis's 15 minute or 20 minute trumpet warm up books, which take you through a good, varied warm up with a CD. Best books I've ever bought!

    Then I normally work on any repertoire I need to look at from band, orchestra etc - normally only one piece a day. I find if I work on one piece intensively for a week, I can get a lot of good work done on it which will last longer than if I try and work on 3 pieces at once over a longer time. But it does mean I need to prioritise quite carefully. I try to make any time I'm actually playing as productive as possible and I will really focus in on a few bars at a time, slow down the tempo, mess around with the rhythms, put it down the octave, put it up an octave, transpose it into different keys etc depending on what will help me.

    I don't practise every day. If I've got a rehearsal / gig, I just do the warm up. And I tend to take Mondays off completely from playing. In the school holidays, I do A LOT more, normally about 2 hours of practice a day.

    I also do a lot of "practice" away from my instrument. I listen to recordings of pieces I'm playing and I find that really helps me.
  4. steve butler

    steve butler Active Member

    First of all I activate the warning siren to alert the neighbours (yeh, well, maybe not totally neccesary). I then draw the curtains and dim the lights (to get me in the mood for some sultry long note practice), then after checking my pink fluffy felts and adjusting my water key, I embark on a few (sink)chromatic scales followed by some atonal modulations. A quick performance of the acrobat (just to get any passers by bitching). Then a gentle warm down with some Saturday night fever improvisations.

    The above is just a sample routine, occasional changes may be made.
  5. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    You might consider looking up Mike Saville and going to the website in his signature.
    Some extremely helpful tips there!

    Or better yet, click here
  6. Alyn James

    Alyn James Member

    And try Bob Childs's website - "Articles" - "The importance of a Daily Routine" (all referenced with Arban page/exercise numbers). Good luck.:)
  7. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    Or better yet, click here :wink:
  8. Alyn James

    Alyn James Member

    SHOW OFF!!!! :biggrin:
    Gotta find out how to do that...Mog'll know....;)
  9. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    How do I practice? Put on the computer and find tmp then read and play! Well sometimes I do.

    Otherwise v quick warm up and pick those few bars that I don`t like and go over and over them starting slow (with metronome) and gradually speed up until its comfortable at a higher speed than required. Can spend an hour on one bar sometimes for days if its nasty. Got one or two like that in a test piece on sunday that has really tricky fingering and timing. If everything is ok and there are no solos looming then its back to the arban and the pages I would rather turn over. My treat is the triple tongueing section as I am strange in enjoying those...
  10. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

    I hardly ever practise, I know its a sin to admit it, but I just do not have the time usually, and even if I do sit down to do some, its always interrupted with my kids coming up to me every couple of minutes wanting a 'go'....

    When I need to practise something desperately, I get hubs to take the kids out and sit down and go over and over it until I can play it.....that's about as much as I do.

    When I was at uni though, I would practise for several hours a day, focussing on whatever I was trying to improve at that time, and doing a similar sort of schedule as that Bob Childs thing every day (little bits of everything)....and my playing was far better than it is nowadays lol!
  11. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville Member

    A couple of questions for you and then I might be able to offer some more specific advice.

    Why are you practising? What is it you want to acheive? Unless you know the answer to this it's going to be very difficult to say if the practice you are doing is appropriate for you. If you want to be the best cornet player in the country you will need to do a very different routine than if you want to make solo cornet in your local band (unless you live next to Dyke!!).

    Second question would be what are your weaknesses? Which area of your playing need most work? That will guide your practice to some extent.

    Finally I notice you put in your post how many minutes you do. On the one hand it's good to know that you are doing a couple of shorts sessions - much more effective than trying to plough through 2 hours in one go. However, and this is a general comment for the forum readership, I would lose the fixation with time. It really doesn't matter how long you practice for - that is irrelevant. Instead think about what you achieved in your practice session.

    Let us know where you're at and where you're going and I'm sure people here will have lots of advice and suggestions.

    Oh by the way . . Enjoy your practice:)
  12. Alisop

    Alisop Member

    At the moment by osmosis! I sit near my trumpet and cornet and music and hope that by some miracle that that will be enough!
  13. Farmer Giles

    Farmer Giles Member

    thanks for the replies :biggrin:


    i practice because i want to improve :) and because i enjoy it (am i mad?)

    other than that, i aim to become the principal cornet player in my local band in the not too distant future, or at least a very competent bumper.

    my weaknesses are the faster passages in pieces.
    i have a reasonable tone, and i am working to keep this (and improve it)
    i seem to have a problem co-ordinating my brain / lips / fingers :oops:.

    as for the amount of practice,
    i am a lorry driver and can only practice in my breaks (at the moment, but that's another story).

    to try and improve my stamina, i keep my mouthpiece handy as i am driving along !
    so, if you are in east yorkshire and you see a yellow lorry with some mad bloke blowing in a mouthpiece, it's probably me ! :eek:
  14. Daisy Duck

    Daisy Duck Member

    I find fast, fiddly passages difficult as well and I know exactly what you mean about co-ordinating brain, lips and fingers. Agh!

    I find one of the best ways to practise these kind of passages is to take them apart, take it one bar at a time, practise with a metronome and slow it right down at first. Play it slowly legato, staccato, tongued, slurred, swing the rhythm, play it straight, put accents where they don't belong, just play each bar as many times as possible in as many different ways as possible. Then gradually speed it up, very gradually, and keeping messing around it with it. Learn each bar off by heart. For some reason, I also find it really helpful to practise in the dark when you can't see the music or your fingers. It forces you to listen really carefully to the sound. I only do about 10 minutes a day like this on tricky bars and sometimes it feels like it's not enough because perhaps we might have 7 pieces with fast, technically tricky pieces, but I take one piece at a time and take it one bar at a time. 10 minutes a day doesn't seem like much, but I find it makes a real difference week to week when I'm at band rehearsal.

    Good luck with your quest to become prinicpal cornet. It's a lot of fun!
  15. Euphjam

    Euphjam Member

  16. I practice twice a week for 30mins on my drum pad because I've only just started drum lessons again - I need all the help I can get really! I'm awful :lol:

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