what makes a good practice session?


Active Member
Many people practice in many different ways, I'm just wondering how everyone practices?

for example, I have a practice routine that I stick to if I have time:

5 mins, buzz mouth (without mouthpiece), and stretch mouth muscles.

5 mins, buzz on mouthpiece, maybe arpeggios (sp.?), but something over a large range.

10 minutes, play long low notes ensuring completely in tune.


10 minutes, play some studies to help stay in tune.

10 minutes, play some technical studies.


15 mins, play stamina studies


play through solos etc. for as long as needed.

play through band pieces as required.

and throughout the last section rest for 5 mins every 15.

5 mins, WARM DOWN!

during the first 10 minutes, you could watch telly.

this is a general guide, as my bass trom one includes a lot of sitting in front of the tv and playing sustained low notes with a practice mute!

what does everyone else do?

ps, I try to do breathing exercises in the morning if I can be bothered (not often!).


Active Member
The beginning of my routine is similar to yours, however I do breathing exercises for 5 mins before every practice to ensure that I am breathing deeply enough. I then do all the stuff that you mentioned to warm up, (buzzing etc).
Once warmed up, I then go through a period of doing exercises that develop each aspect of my playing (e.g. Upper register work, tonguing, slurs etc). Spending about 5 mins on each.
Then I go on to fast exercises (scales, finger flexibilites) to get my fingers working.
After this I go on to pieces, band pieces etc. Running through them, and then going over any problem passages.

I think this topic is open to discussion by anyone. Being only 16, and a developing player, i'd be interested to see others views on practicing.


Active Member
Tricky one this but here goes...

I start off with lip flexibilities, gradually increasing the range. Tends to take anything up to 15 mins.
Then onto Arban - working on single, double and triple tongueing through a series of exercises Jim Shepherd drilled into me many a year ago. Time spent approx. 20 to 25 mins.
Then onto one of the dreaded 14 studies - currently the first - and attempting to get some of the notes in the correct order! Anything up to 25 mins again.
Then repertoire - either something in the band folder or something else for a little while, some long notes to warm down and there you have it!

Rach x


tMP Founder
Staff member
Great thread this one Neil.. It's got me thnking to start a new category called 'tMP Classic Threads..."...

Could be interesting...


Hi all

This is my first post on this forum.

In my experience practice isn't about buzzing lips stretching lip muscles and doing all the other warm ups that eastern european fotballers do, (those who watch soccer am on sky will know what I mean). The main thing about prcaticing is about mindset and being mentally ready to practice. The amount of times I've picked up my cornet and gone through the warm up ritual only to put the cornet away ten minutes later is reaching the thounds,(sort of).

If you aren't focused, dont even bother the buzz routine. If you cant be bothered, dont bother. The trick is to be bothered. Determination is worth more than anything Mr Arban can throw at you.


I follow a very simillar routine to cornet girl, I use Arban for about 25 minutes, then do solos etc followed by band pieces and then long notes to cool down. I try and play at least 6 out 0f 7 days and usually for about 1.5 hrs at a time as well as band practice.

Okiedokie of Oz

Active Member
I always try to do something fun in a practise as well as all the important things.

I don't do buzzing....I buzz like crap! (Perhaps an excuse to do some??)
I start with some nice slow melodies with a small range (one octave, nothing over G on top of staff at max), scales, then head into the Arban for the exercises. I love intervals. They make a good practise for me. I suppose being a tuba player, it's the one thing you can expect someone to throw at you. It's rare to consistently find double tounging and stuff. Then I practise the afore mentioned tonguing, before moving onto pieces, both pieces for a reason, and pieces for a bit of fun.

I could and should do more I know, but this takes anything from 40 mins to an hour and a half.


Active Member
everyone has those flamin arban books! I should probably think about getting one myself I suppose, but then that's more of my hard earned cash...

Personally, I start just by just running a few scales through 1 octave to get my lungs going. Then do a few flexibilities. Then go back to scales through 2 octaves. Few more flexibilities. Then get a study book out (bone of contention or how troms do it) and run through a few studies to try and make myself sound musical (sometimes I even manage it!!) and then I get out my pieces. Probably not the worlds greatest warm up, but i get very impatient with buzzing and breathing exercises!!


I'm not quite sure if there was some sarcasm about my 'first' post!

Mindset is merely a term used to point out that when you practice, if your mind is concentrating on what Alfie is doing in Eastenders then the practice isn't going to be that successful.

Focussing upon practicing what you are bad at for 20 mins a day is worth more than an hour and a half when you are watching Richard & Jdy at the same time, (used to do that lots when I was a tax dodger).

That was my point.


PS as for practice routines, this is something that your tutor should sort out, (if you have one). An hour with a good personal tutor may cost a bit of money but it will be well spent if you realise what problems you face and then formulta regular rehearsal to tackle those problems. Not that it is the same thing, but when I have golf lessons, I tend to have 1 or 2, focus upon the areas that I am not good at, (that'll be most of them then), and then remember what he taught me and practice until I can do it properly. Then when I have sort of mastered that part, return for a further lesson. Works out cheaper for me. Nothing to say that you couldn't do that with music tuition.


hi everyone just wondering does anyone have any ideas on a 'perfect percussion' practice session

cheers i m now off to the bar


Supporting Member
I try to practice for 3/4 to 1 hour every day. i dont always make it, because of family work comitments.

I dont really have a routine but always try to start with long slow notes, usually from the first couple of pages from the arban, then move on to music from the pad. stuff ive struggled on at band (note to self, take a big notepad!).

it seems to work for me


Active Member
jafe said:
hi everyone just wondering does anyone have any ideas on a 'perfect percussion' practice session

cheers i m now off to the bar

sounds like a good practice session to me!

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