Warming up/cooling down

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by T'Psych, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. T'Psych

    T'Psych New Member

    Hi all

    Just been reading thread on losing high register and cooling down was mentioned.

    Both warming up and cooling down are established "sacred cows", but so is warming up in sports. However a sports physiologist published a paper suggesting sports injuries are no less in those that warm-up and those that don't.

    James Morrison (who plays a trumpet upside down) derides the idea of warming up and points out he played in the AUstralian Olympics opening ceremony without warm-up. The opening notes being something riduculous only heard by dogs and dingoes.

    Be interested in what people feel and what they do

  2. mjwarman

    mjwarman Member

    If I had the skill set and experience of James Morrison then I would probably not have to warm up. I have a feeling that he might be fibbing slightly.

    Your lips are like any muscle and even though it might not be completely necessary to warm up, (I have done the 'Last Post' and 'Sunset; many times before without the opportunity to warm up) if the opportunity is there why would you not? I personally have found that unless I have a decent warm up, my stamina/range decreases at the beginning of rehearsal. Sometimes I need to be playing for about half an hour before I feel that my lip is 'in'. Warming down on the other hand is something that I have only very recently started doing, and am finding it a great help at the next rehearsal, especially if it is later the same day or the next morning/day. I do get some funny looks when I am blowing away at the end of practice instead of helping with the washing up, but it helps me.
  3. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member


    Warm-up, yes. Ideally as early as posible, and at least an hour before I have to play "in anger".

    Warm-down? No; that's what beer's for ...
  4. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Nice story, courtesy of the "Schilke Loyalist" website:

    "Tom Baker, former lead player with Stan Kenton, relates:

    "When I was taking trumpet lessons from Ren Schilke, he had me play High C as the first note of the day. "Make High C your first note of the day. That way, you won't have any problems with the other notes. Everything else is a piece of cake if High C is your first note. You must have a positive approach to the trumpet." Ok. That's what I did. During the same time period ('72), I went to San Francisco to take trumpet lessons with Forrest Buchtel, on Mr. Schilke's recommendation. We got up in the morning, 8:00 a.m., kind of hung over, and Forrest said to me, "What is your warm-up?" I said "My warm-up is a high C!" Forrest said, "Really!! Show me!" So I played a High C, cold, nailed it. Forrest says, "That's not a High C, that's a MIDDLE C." Then he grabbed my trumpet from me (my mouthpiece and all) and absolutely pasted me with a Double-High C, gave the trumpet back to me, and said ,"THAT'S a HIGH C. Mr.Schilke told me that."
  5. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    Personally I like to have a good warm-up before I go public, but as a professional sometimes you find you won't have opportunity to do a warm-up...

    ...And because it's important that we don't go to pieces in that situation I sometimes will just dive straight in when I practise.

    While I don't like having to play without a warm-up, I know (having practised!) that I can manage it ok so it's not something I have to freak out about.
  6. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Just to clarify my earlier point:

    What I consider to be a warm-up is not what one does just before a performance; rather, the warm-up is really just the term for the preparatory process at the beginning of the first practice session of the day.

    In my experience (and probably because it's the way I was taught) if this procedure is done properly, then the "warm-up" immediately prior to performance becomes less critical, and as Nethers says, when the time comes when there is no opportunity, one can dive straight in with a degree of confidence. I can't really conceive of a circumstance, even as a professional when one would have to perform without having made time earlier in the day for a warm-up session.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2009
  7. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    I know this sounds silly......but what is a high c?

    I think warm ups are good even if you're just playing a few hymn tunes. As for the warm down......I only started doing them this week when my teacher was telling me how important warm downs are. I do think they have helped me.
  8. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    It's important to warm up the instrument before the performance - not just your lip. The temperature of the instrument will affect the tuning of the instrument - if you start a performance on a cold instrument, then you will have to adjust as the metal warms.

    Having grown up in a house with a professional player, and therefore having been exposed to a large number of professional players, every single one I have ever known has some sort of a warm-up routine before each performance. Some only do a few things, some spend 15 minutes, but not one of them would willingly go on stage with a completely cold instrument.
  9. Blow Hard

    Blow Hard New Member

    I have heard professionals say the same thing. Warm up at the beginning of the day but when it is time to play then play. Don't waste your lip on scales.
  10. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Back in the 1970s and 1980s the magazine Sounding Brass had a column called My Way. Guest professional brass players were invited to explain how they prepared for performance or practice. All the methods were different, but all had some things in common - begin in the low and mid to low register, play long notes, listen, and above all, the importance of warm-up.

    Names which I can remember from the series were John Wallace, Jack Mackintosh, Alan Civil, Denis Wick, John Fletcher, Harold Nash, Philip Jones, Howard Snell.... need I say more?
  11. jockinafrock

    jockinafrock Active Member

    When I first started playing I had never even heard of the concept of warming up! :eek:

    None of my peripatetic teachers even suggested this, so I blame them! :mad: It wasn't until I went to someone else for lessons to improve my technique and technical ability that I was introduced to albums from greats such as John Ridgeon.

    I now religiously warm up using lip flexibilities and lip building exercises. My stamina has improved
    as has my sound - I no longer just fly into playing pieces. I don't care what people think when they ask what I'm doing, and I do notice the difference if I don't warm up sensibly. I encourage nay! insist that my pupils do the same, and notice how this helps their sound production too.

    As for warm downs - maybe I should try it, but I'm always in such a hurry to get away from band that I prob don't pay enough attention to this detail, though there's no excuse when practising at home I suppose... :oops:
  12. stopher

    stopher Member

    Anything on a stave if you play bass, anything an octave or two above it if you play trumpet!
  13. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member