Wasted Home Practice

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by iancwilx, Nov 16, 2005.

  1. iancwilx

    iancwilx Active Member

    Does anyone else find themselves wasting home practice time by playing stuff that they like, and can play well, instead of addressing the items in the band pad that really need looking at and sorting out ?
    I sometimes drift into this and have to mentally redirect myself to the tricky bits.
    Yes, surprise, surprise, I do practice - I know it doesn't sound like it, but I do - Honest !!
    - Wilky
  2. Pastit

    Pastit Member

    Me and my fellow baritone player from a few years ago had the right idea. Never play hard stuff at home 'cos the neighbours will think you're cr*p!!
  3. jingleram

    jingleram Active Member

    Yes do this lots, way too often! Sometimes find it dis-heartening when after what sems like an age of personal practise, it sounds worse than when i started!
  4. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    I have the problem that if I don't know how a tricky rhythm goes I have great difficulty working out how it should go, so practising at home I would probably practice it wrong in which case I would then have to un-learn it and re-learn it in the band room. I find band room rehearsal MUCH more productive. But that's probably down to the fact that I'm a bit on the thick side. :(
  5. The Cornet King

    The Cornet King Active Member

    I agree with the above, band room practise is more productive for me too.
    I've never been a great home practiser really, probably because my home practice is very random. The arban just gets boring, and i just find myself flicking towards the back pages to see how quickly i can make a mess of the final variations of all the solos!
    Mind you with 3 years of uni just gone the last thing i generally thought about was practicing the cornet... :guiness
  6. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    No, i do not find home practise boring at all.

    I have got a set routine which i do :
    Warm up with simple slur exercies with the Robert&Nicholas Childs book (Warm-Ups and Studies) for 10 mins listening for playing in tune etc.
    Get the BIBLE OUT(RED HYMN BOOKS) play a few hymn tunes 2 verses of each various dynamnics for 10 mins.
    Look at difficult bits in test piece(s) you have got to play at moment mine are PurcellVariants,Voyage Of Discovery 30 mins.
    Pick a exercise out of Arban maybe something easy 5 mins.
    Slow melody have a blow through.
    Finish off with a Hymn Tune

    That will take about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 mins.;)
  7. Crazysop

    Crazysop Member

    I do tend to practice stuff i'm having trouble with when i'm having a "practice band stuff" session. I do also practice for fun. I play allsorts. I love playalong stuff, thats great fun. I also practice to improve my playing, working on all sorts of things e.g. Arban stuff.
    Any practice is never wasted practice!!!
  8. persins

    persins Member

    I'd love to have time to do wasted practice!!
    In fact, I'd love to have time to do ANY practice!!
    I have never had a set practice regime that I could stick to. However, I generally try to warm up with long notes and scales but that is only to get the lips buzzing a bit.

    When I do practice, I tend to just work on the bits in the test pieces that I struggle with. I can spend what seems like ages just playing the odd bars or half bars that do not sit right. By the time I have got that bit sorted, I have generally run out of time anyway and so don't get much else done!!

    It would be so much easier if I could spend some of my lunch break practicing. I have bought a shhh mute so wouldn't be toooo disruptive but the problem is...
    I don't have much time for that either!!!
  9. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    Your mute isn't very shh when you're chucking it about and swearing during practice ;)
  10. hornette

    hornette New Member

    I find practice more productive at home than the bandoom. Band may tell me the correct way to play something, as I have trouble with sightreading etc, but doesn't give me the time I want to work on the part to a standard that I'm happy with.

    To warm up I spend around 20 mins on long looonnngg notes, I can't play and never feel that my lip is set in for my practice session unless I've done this. Next, my tounging is terrible so I work on that, then excersises from the arban, then work on any music if I feel it needs working on for band/solo, though I don't tend to practice band stuff all that much..... haha!

    Warm down is about 10 mins on long notes and I like to practice in between 1 and 2 hours a day :)
  11. iancwilx

    iancwilx Active Member

    I think that most of you have responded in a really responsible manner and have got things just right.
    However, I don't agree with some that individual problems should/could be sorted out in full band rehearsal.
    IMHO, full band rehearsals should be where the MD puts together the overall performance without having to waste time on players who are not committed enough to sort out their parts at home.
    - Wilky
  12. B'aht a band

    B'aht a band Member

    I can honestly say I never practised at home (most of you who know me will agree as well!!). The only time I took an instrument home was when my old band were down to 2 basses, so I thought I would help out. I got a bass, started puffing and blowing away and within a quarter of an hour had a stitch! That was pretty much the last time I ever even attempted to practise at home.

    I still shudder at the thought of having an instrument at home prior to a contest/concert...... :oops:

  13. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Bit harsh! Some of us may not be good enough to sort out the parts at home. I can play the notes but not necessarily at the right tempo and I need the MD to explain it to me in person. Otherwise I find that I spend ages getting it 'right' and then find I have to re learn it to fit in with the band. It normally takes a couple of run throughs on a piece before I get some idea of how my bit fits. Nothing to do with commitment as I practice every day, sometimes twice and always open the Bandroom 45 minutes early to practice before rehearsals. (I'm still rubbish though ;) )
  14. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    All practice is money in the bank. If you are putting off practicing a particular thing, then try some studies and excercises which complement the piece you are learning. For example: if you are a cornet player trying to play Le Roi dYs, brush the dust off your Arban and work on all the triple-tonguing stuff. Having taught brass for 5 years (albeit part-time), it's amazing the amount of people who don't give a thought to the obvious.

    Also, at the risk of continually stating the bleedin' obvious, those who don't practice at home will never make much improvement from where they are, and those who think they do, are deluded.

    I have spent years trying to find the holy grail of getting better without practicing and, do you know what? Still haven't found it.:mad:

    Love to you all,
  15. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    Here here!! I sort of resent being told I'm not committed enough because I don't practice enough at home...if I were to practice it wrong at home and have to re-learn it later surely this would only be counter productive in the band room?? I do practrice at home (when I can) but it generally consists of practicing the bits i can't play but know how they should go. Difficult rythms and stuff I leave until I have someone in front of me who can tell me how it's supposed to sound.
  16. Flugelmahorn

    Flugelmahorn Member

    It could be helpful to find out from the MD at roughly what tempo (if there are no tempo markings on the part) he or she is taking the piece at and then work at home with a metronome to get a better feel for the rhythms/note sequences etc.
  17. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Daff Cornet

    Thanks for that. ;) But I meant triplet runs etc. but wanted a simple way of saying it. :cool:
  18. iancwilx

    iancwilx Active Member

    Exactly - The music copy should give you all the info you need regarding general tempo's, dynamics and style for home practice.
    The MD will "Tweak" it to his own interpretation, but it won't be a mile out.
    Reading music is not just about reading notes, look at the style, tempo and dynamic markings to perform the piece as the composer intended.
    A cheap metronome is a very good investment but not essential.
    You can get a fair indication from the second hand of your watch which beats at 60 to the minute and you can work out quite a lot by doubling, halving this etc.
    A dictionary of musical terms is also very handy.
    Having said this, I must admit to being guilty of ignoring or disregarding markings when I was young, and relying on the Wagger to point me in the right direction.
    "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone !!"
    - Wilky
  19. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    I think that some tMP'ers forget that members range from beginners to Championship veterans and even professional musicians, as do the bands they play with. :wink:
  20. madrich

    madrich Member

    If you are having trouble focusing then you are probably trying to do too much without breaks. Breaks in your practice routine are important as they help your lips recover, which leads to a greatly increased stamina, and it helps give your brain a chance to recover.

    There are loads of different views on resting. Paul Archibald's "Breathe" exercises have you playing for a minute then resting for a minute. He makes a really big thing of resting for as long as you have played. Most other people, however, recommend a 5 minute break every 20 minutes. If you start incorperating them into your routine, you will get a surprisingly fast increase in stamina and you'll be much more focused :)

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