Warming up...

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by arniesarnies, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. arniesarnies

    arniesarnies Member

    Does anybody out there think that warming up before a practice, audition or concert is valid, or do you think it's a pointless exercise?
    I find that warming up is a personal thing, where some player's do scale's or just blow air through their instrument's. I never warm up
    and i feel that my noise and volume level's are constant throughout my playing. Student's are encouraged to warm up and get their instrument's and mouthpiece's up to temperature, and then there's other player's who just pick up their brass and make it sing from stone cold.
    What do you guy's think?
    Bass Bone,
    Manx Concert Brass...
  2. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    The point is that "warming up" has little if anything to do with the physical temperature of the metalwork; is has more to do with preparing the muscles involved in playing (embouchure, tongue, muscles that control breathing, etc.) for the work they have to do.

    Consider: do you imagine that Usain Bolt rolls out of bed in the morning and immediately runs 100m in less than 10 seconds without doing a series of gentle stretching exercises in preparation? In the same way, do you think it's a good idea to get the insrument out of the case and immediately play a fortissimo top 'C', without any sort of preparation?

    That's what "warming up" is about. And it's never pointless - it's essential. Yes, it's possible to point to one or two exceptional players who appear to be able to play perfectly well without it, but it doesn't generally work well for the average player, and anyone who encourages you to play without warming up is acting irresponsibly, IMO.
  3. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    Suppose this is really down to the individual. I don't see much point in an extensive warm up (although I do some lip flexis before starting to play properly) and definately no point in warming down.

    I've known some people who will do 15/20 warm ups before playing but to me that just makes me 20 minutes more knackered :)
  4. tgfoxley

    tgfoxley Member

    This is obviously a matter of personal opinion, but for me, I cannot play even the most basic of music without at least a basic warm-up, and a warm-down definitely helps my playing the next day (prevents tiredness etc.).

    Take a look in the introduction of the Vizzutti Trumpet Method for a lengthy explanation :wink:
  5. simonium

    simonium Member

    Warming up for me is crucial. Nothing special and certainly nothing higher than middle G initially. Having said that I've been at concerts and contests where warming up immediately before going on stage isn't possible which causes its own problems. Warming down is less critical but a couple of minutes of loud pedals normally does the trick pretty well.
  6. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    As I've gotten older, warming up has become much more important as my embouchure needs more preparation to actually play. I always try to do a few long notes and maybe some lip exercises. Sometimes it's not possible, but I feel I play better if I warm up my embouchure first. I also think warming down is also useful, but more for its psychological effect than the physical.

    BTW. Shouldn't this be in Rehearsal Room?
  7. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Warming down is having a pint or two afterwards, or you're not a proper brass player.:D
  8. KernowSop

    KernowSop Member

    Yes, Mr Phillips, i havent heard you warm up by playing notes that are 'possibly' out of a sop's range have I?? ;)
  9. simonium

    simonium Member

    Ah. Rumbled. But! I always start with lower notes and then gradually start squeaking. You won't hear a top C as my first note - go to a contest trade stand and listen for the classic C Major arpeggio with added top Bb to see the folly of trying that. Portrait Of A City does have a top C in the 3rd bar but it's a nice run up to it so I don't think I shall lose any sleep over that.
  10. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    There are certainly those out there who would like to execute the non-warmer-uppers! My missus among them :D

    My personal perspective: while the logic of warming up makes perfect sense to me, I notice very little benefit in doing it. If I do a BIG warm-up (ie 30 mins+) things feel a bit better, but I put that down to doing 30 mins more practise than I normally do on the basics and fundamentals.

    I'm certainly no more likely to split a note, exhaust my stamina or sound like a meeting between a duck and a steamroller (than usual anyway!) straight from the box.

    I can believe we're all different though and it's a personal thing.

    Perhaps it's more a mental thing than physical?

    Interesting topic.
  11. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    Arnie, stick it on your face, and blow.... haha! :)

    I like to warm up to make sure all is in working order. Usually, before a gig, or even rehearsal, I've probably warmed up hours in advance earlier in the day... at the rehearsal/gig venue it's just a top up.

    I got through the routine recommended by Vizutti in his books. Mp Buzzzing, followed by long low to middle notes. After a break, then I'l work some scales & arpeggios.. some higher register stuff to check all in order. Usually about 20 mins or so.
  12. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    I remember a player who used to fall to bits (mentally) if he had to play without getting a warm-up. Sometimes we just don't get the opportunity of course (hideous traffic, forget to get out of bed, helping a band out with a 'no-blowing backstage' policy :p etc).

    Perhaps if he occasionally practised *without* any more than a few seconds basic warm-up, this wouldn't have been such a drama for him.
  13. arniesarnies

    arniesarnies Member

    Hi Dagger's,
    Good to hear from you, you big stud...
  14. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    I don't warm up massively, but I never play as well if I don't get at least a couple of minutes (e.g. if I'm running late). I've no idea if it's purely psychological or if there's a physical element to it; it could simply be that the process allows my brain to switch off from work/kids/traffic and get into "band mode". Whatever it is, I know I need to do it - and warm down after, usually just by blowing some gentle low As, Gs and pedals.
  15. hicks

    hicks Member

    Warming up isn't pointless for me. In fact it takes me at least an hour of playing to really get the sound I want. This makes it really difficult at contests where you usually have to perform from cold. In these situations I try to do lots of buzzing and lip slurs before going on.
  16. sionrhysjones

    sionrhysjones Member

    I have seen both sides of this topic ,

    On my half I love to warm up and i usually do a lot of lip-slurs, pedal notes and the odd little scale, in rehersals/concerts/competitions usually about 10mins, at home when im just playing, about 5mins.

    But on the other hand, my other half does not warm up at all and I can say it works fine for her, she might play the odd pedal note but thats about it :)

    So from what I can say/see, the inital quote "warming up is a personal thing" is what i agree with.
  17. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

    I have much better stamina if I warm up gently over 5/10 mins, and warming down definitely has an impact when playing day after day, for example heavy days carolling over Christmas. . .
  18. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    Warming up/down for 15/20 before and after practices/concertts ensures you get out of unloading/loading the band van ;-)
  19. ibrox

    ibrox Member

    If your warm up takes an hour it sounds more like a practice session!

    In my opinion some warm up is essential and it should include routines to get the body (not the instrument) ready to perform; therefore the warm up should include basic exercises for embouchure, tongue, respiratory system and fingers.

    And like davidquinlan I also prefer the warm up session to take place well in advance of the performance.
  20. 007ish

    007ish Member

    Typical cornet player :D

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