In yesterday’s post, I talked about some ways that I will be optimizing my practice for an upcoming recording project that I am doing in July. But, of course, a typical musician is working on other repertoire simultaneously–and I am no exception to this trend.
I have a few other performances that I need to rotate into my practice schedule. Even with a limited “pandemic schedule,” my repertoire is demanding: a couple of quintet gigs, a 4th of July orchestra performance and a Brandenburg No. 2 performance in August. One of the quintet gigs is soon, and I need to start developing the comfort on the Brandenburg now–because it is so demanding in terms of range and endurance.
Trumpeters should not always try to go through all of their repertoire every day until finished. This may work for a few days, but then you will start to have a harder and harder time practicing. Your tone, response, overall playing and your enthusiasm will start to get worse, because of over-practice. Of course, this depends on the fitness of the trumpeter, the repertoire, and the equipment that is used. This practice limitation is made worse by the fact that we have to warmup and do fundamental practice everyday. As Bernie Adelstein said to me years ago in a lesson, “you only have so many hours of lip time each day.”
We have to develop a number of strategies to overcome these limitations, so that we can be functioning musicians. We have to develop efficient practice, techniques to practice off the trumpet, stacking fundamentals, and logical repertoire rotations that help us do some music, but not all.
Below, I’ve listed my repertoire out with their endurance/range demands on a scale of 1-10 (the “E” scale), how much extra practice I need on them at this point (“P” scale: 1-10) and what trumpets I need to play on them :
- Poelking, Cassini. E4. P3. C tpt.
- Olson, 1054. E5. P7 (memory, technology). Bb tpt.
- Dunker, Three Views. E6. P6 (memory). Bb and Eb tpts.
- David, Moonwatcher. E6. P5. C tpt and flugelhorn.
- Hedwig, New Worlds. E4. P4. D tpt.
- Quintet performance in May. E5. C tpt.
- Brandenburg Concerto No. 2. E6. Piccolo.
I like to play three “hard” days per week, interspersed with four “easy” days. This helps build strength and endurance while allowing for necessary recovery. Letting the hard days be a 30 on the “E” scale (endurance/range) and the easy days be no more than a 20, here is how I could schedule a week. Each day’s practice is detailed (each part with an “E” number). Notice that I have incorporated different trumpets into my fundamentals to get more familiar with them for my solo repertoire.
Monday (easy day). Stamp warmup (E1), Clarke 1 (E1), Irons slurs (E2). Olson (E5). Dunker (E6). Quintet rep (E5). Total E is 20.
Tuesday (hard day). Claude Gordon warmup (E3), Clarke 2 on flugelhorn (E1), my own slurs on flugel (E1). Poelking (E4). David (E6). Hedwig (E4). Olson (E5). Brandenburg (E6). Total E is 30.
Wednesday (easy day). Sachs warmup (E1), Clarke 3 on D trumpet (E1), Smith slurs on flugel (E1), Olson (E5), Dunker (E6), Quintet (E5). Total E is 19.
Thursday (hard day). Caruso warmup (E3), Clarke 4 on C (E1), Bai Lin slurs on flugel (E1). Poelking, first half (E2). David (E6). Hedwig (E4). Dunker (E6). Brandenburg (E6). Total E is 29.
Friday (easy day). Cichowicz flow studies (E1), Clarke 5 on Bb (E1), Bach Cello Suite for slurs–on flugel (E2). Olson (E5). Dunker (E6). Quintet rep (E5). Total E is 20.
Saturday (hard day). Gordon warmup (E3). Clarke 6 on D tpt (E2). Colin slurs on Bb (E1). Poelking, second half (E2). David (E6). Hedwig (E4). Olson (E5). Brandenburg (E6). Total E is 29.
Sunday (easy day). Daniel warmup (E1). Clarke 7 on flugel (E1). No slurs. Olson (E5). Dunker (E6). Quintet rep (E5). Total E is 18.
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