Why so ****?...

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by GeordieSop, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. GeordieSop

    GeordieSop Member

    I've recently started practicing properly (as in everyday instead of once in a while (if at all)), and curiously my playing has gotten worse.

    Isn't it suppose to have the opposite affect?

    My practice routine is what i was told to do all them years ago.

    Scales etc...
    Lip Flexibility studies
    High note work (not always included in routine)
    Exercises from Arban

    that generally takes 40minutes, the last 20 minutes i concentrate on solo's

    Whats wrong with the practice routine to make my playing get worse?
  2. GeordieSop

    GeordieSop Member

    And just to mention in case it's important. This is on cornet and not on Sop as my username would imply
  3. T Winch

    T Winch Member

    I've heard you mate! You sounded ok from where I was sitting
  4. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    Don't practice too much Ross, you'll make the rest of us look bad!!
  5. GeordieSop

    GeordieSop Member

    I've got canny big shoes to fill, think i should at least put some effort into it

    nay pressure like
  6. Di B

    Di B Member

    Dont know how long you have been practising every day but when I upped my game my sound and stamina dipped to start with then after a few weeks got better than before.

    I always see things as a runner. If a runner goes from 100m to 400m he needs to build up stamina but the first few weeks he will run worse than he did at 100m. Its a long haul I'm afraid.

    Also on the opposite side of scale there must be others as well as me who go on hols for 2 weeks and first time back playing they play superbly! Sadly it usually only lasts for a short time before you feel out of practice as you should do. :-(
  7. ronnie_the_lizard

    ronnie_the_lizard Active Member

    I think this is a pretty normal learning process - if you've been stuck in a rut for a while then before you can improve you need to change things.

    To do this you start to work on them - you can see what needs to be done but can't quite do it - and that makes it seem like you're doing worse.

    Then you start to subtly change your techniques and this too means you are doing things you are not quite familiar with; so they seem strange and 'wrong'.

    In the long term though you will end up with different techniques, different abilities;
    perhaps you will still be stuck in a rut but a different one and hopefully one at a slightly higher standard than you were at before.

    Keep at it, and keep aiming to get stuck in one rut further along.
  8. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    Ron summed it up......if you have changed your whole routine then it will take time to adjust.

    your routine lasts 40 mins....does that include your warm up?? a lot of players neglect a proper warm-up routine.

    Also I would encourage you to have a lesson or two from a player you really admire ( for me it used to be Don Lush and now Gordon Campbell.. only 3 or 4 times a year but it gives you a fresh look at your playing) , think of it as coaching...
  9. ericthered

    ericthered Member

    All that has been said is very valid and worth taking into consideration.

    The big thing I feel you need to do is a proper warm up (say 15 mins) and after your 40 mins a proper warm down (say 10 mins).

    The warm up should consist of buzzing on the mouthpiece and then playing normally concentrating on note centering, production and breathing. The H L Clarke exercise book has some good exercises for this. This will help you, if done properly, and give you a bigger sound.

    HOWEVER, if you miss a day it will set you back. This is an everyday routine.

    Imagine trying to run the London marathon when you haven't trained for two months. (Extreme example I know).
  10. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    The warm down may be the key. If you weren't practicing too often before, your lip probably had longer to recover. Now, especially if you're playing a lot of strenuous stuff, you may not be recovering fully in between.

    A good warm down can reduce your recovery time a lot. There's probably a few routines on the internet somewhere, but it's generally a load of easy mid-range flexibilities.
  11. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville Member

    Posts thus far have missed the most important question. You must ask yourself the following:

    What is it I am trying to achieve?

    If you don't have a clear picture of this then no amount of tweaking routine or time will get you the results you want - as you don't know which results you want!!

    Set yourself some long term goals and be specific with dates and details. i.e. 'Improve my high range' is not a good goal. However 'Be able to play comfortably to High E in tune and without undue tension by December 31st' is much better as you have a clearly defined target.

    When you've created some long term aims you can then break these down into the monthly, weekly and daily targets that will speed your improvement.

    Remember there is no one correct way to practice - only a way that is right for you. Follow other peoples warm-ups and routines and you will be working on their goals not yours. . .

    Also remember to focus on goals and not time - time is irrelevant. Knowing that you have achieved your 5 tasks for the day is far more rewarding that saying you've done 'X' many hours.

    You should be able to stop at any point during your practice session and answer these 3 questions:
    1. Which specific section of music/technique am I working on now?
    2. How am I going to improve it - what method am I using?
    3. How will I know when I have finished?

    Hope this helps - the points above will in my experience be useful to most people. Whilst we are taught to play instruments in our lessons we are not taught how to practise once we get home - a big failing of much instrumental teaching considering the vast majority of the time spent playing instruments is outside of the lesson.

    Anyway enough for now. . .

    Enjoy your practice!
  12. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Please don't totally disregard any information on a site such as this, however please excercise caution! With the best will in the world, advice given in writing without ever seeing/hearing what the problem is, is by definition, flawed. The advice may be the best, given by the best players/teachers, but without hands-on it's really only educated guess work!

    I'll say what I always say to people on here; get thee to a lesson or two with somebody who knows their onions and most problems will be solved.

    Your problem is quite common, though. In my experience, lack of practice often leads to doing most stuff by the seat of ones undergarments. Once you start to analyze things, you simply highlight the problems that were probably there all along.

    I notice the title of the thread. Please don't get too worried about it. Half the secret to playing well is confidence! Try to stay positive in your approach and you might find it's all you need.

    Good luck!
  13. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville Member

    Totally agree, opinions on forums do need to be taken with caution. Views expressed even by experienced individuals can only offer generic advice.

    The trouble with the 'get some lessons' advice is that you need to make absolutely sure those lessons come from someone that knows what they are talking about. I've lost count of the numbers of brass teachers I've seen around the country who are well meaning but do more harm than good.

    By all means get recommendations but also talk to prospective teachers about what they can do for you and how they will do it. Also consider paying a bit more for better quality lessons - this will be better value in the long run than poor quality weekly lessons.
  14. Humphrey

    Humphrey Member

    Try to play those things you enjoy and forget the whole practice "routine". If you like what you do, you'll get better. Positive mindset and all that. Prescribed routines tend to be dull and uninspiring. Any good teacher will tell you what works. They fail to add that it's what works for them.

    I remember the great Jazz Tuba player, Howard Johnson remarking then when he started Tuba lessons, his teacher told him what was possible and also what was impossible. "It was too late, I could already do it!"

    This game is about music and every piece you master improves your technique a little more. Just my opinion. I was lucky enough to be taught by the late, great John Fletcher and he never mentioned to words "Lip Flexibilities". Hmm....

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