A day of rest

Rest, or cut back on your practice, once a week to feel refreshed

One of the best brass musicians I ever met was a trombone student at Indiana University back in the late 1980s. Francisco Rosario Vega, one of many talented musicians from the island of Puerto Rico, was technically flawless, had a great tone and he had an enormous amount of stamina. One day I asked him what was his secret about his stamina. He told me that he rested every Sunday. That rest gave him back the resiliency that he needed. Francisco went on to become the principal trombone of the Royal Seville Orchestra in Spain.

Although I have tried resting one day a week, it has not been great for me, at least so far. I have found that my fine motor skills suffer too much. What has worked better for me is to play only a very little amount, with the result that I am refreshed without feeling too regressed the next day. 

What can make this rest, or near rest, day even better is to try an inspiration quest. This could be as easy as listening to music that is new to you. Or you could go on a hike. There are so many possibilities. 

The main thing to realize is that we can’t keep demanding of our embouchure heroic efforts every consecutive day. We have to embrace a cycle of stress and recovery. Stress is practice and performing. Recovery is rest. Without rest, our muscles cannot do well, nor can our brain be inspired.

Relaxed, rested muscles and an inspired mind can definitely help us to be happier trumpeters.  


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.