|O.J.'s Trumpet Page||Trumpet Practice|
Yes, I do use a practice log. In the past two years, I've sort of combined my practice schedule with my log. In other words, I have a sheet where I write down what needs to be practiced. Then, on the same sheet, I write notes about how it went. I also notate things in the books I work out of.
I actually have several different logs. The first one I do each day is my physical routine. I still use the PTP approach, but I supplement it with lots of different, rotating materials. Here's a list of the items on my log:
1) Listening (I've extended the concept of the PTP to include listening. So each day I begin my "daily routine" by listening to some music.)
2) Group (here, all I do is notate which group I'm doing that day. This is very important in helping me maintain the alternating that I strive for.)
3) Long Tones (Here I just notate which long tone studies I did on that day).
4) H/V Flow (I began doing flow studies between the long tones and the lip slurs about three years ago. I like it. The "H/V" stands for Horizontal/Vertical, which describes a specific type of pattern that I made up. It would be to much to describe it here, but it involves pairing ascending patterns with descending patterns in a way which gives more freedome and melodic form to something which would typically sound too much like exercises. I use these a lot when I improvise and since they are faily new to my system, I decided to place them at the begining of my routine, therefore, the flow study section was the perfect place for them. Anyway, for this part of my log, I notate which "pair" I do and include notes about what I did - tempos and such.)
5) Flexibility (I typically do the lip slurs in my book. However, sometimes I will pull out other books, or make up new lip slurs or even slur intervals instead.)
6) Pedal Tones (Here, all I do is notate which studies I did on that day)
7) Art. Scale (As with the H/V Flow, I often take two rudiments and combine them into one study. I still do the articulation patterns in my books, but I vary the scales. On this part of my log, I notate which scale I used on that day, for articulation.)
8) Art. Endurance (This is probably the newest addition to my routine. I discovered that articulating long lines of single tongue make my tongue tired and I decided to make this a part of my every day routine. I've chosen a few etudes which challenge me in this way. My favorites are the first two etudes in the Goldman book, "Practical Studies for the Trumpet".)
9) Art. Intervals (Here I will either do my studies from my book, or something from the Arbans. I've made an effort to memorize the interval studies in the Arban book, beginning on page 125.)
10) Multiple Art. (Mainly, for double tonguing and triple tonguing, I've been practicing solo literature instead of exercises. In fact, I'm using it as an opportunity to memorize some of the old cornet solos.)
11) New Scale (A long time ago I realized that, to learn a new scale, it's best to practice that same scale every day, for many, many days. Here is where I do that. Right now I'm working on the Augmented scales. I did C+ scale for about four months before I moved on to C#+.)
12) Symmetric Scale (Here I notate which symmetric scale I practiced on that day. The symmetric scales I practice include chromatic, whole tone, diminished and now the augmented. I should note that I don't add any scales to this list until I've done them in my "New Scale" section first.)
13) Tertian Scale (here is where I cycle through the traditional scales, doing one a day. Major, Melodic minor, harmonic minor, pentatonic and what I call the double minors.)
14) Arpeggios (I practice one "chord" each day.)
15) Chromatic Sequence (Here I practice patterns ascending and/or descending in symmetric intervals. And example of this could be major triads ascending in halfsteps.)
16) Triad Pairs (these are patterns based on two triads, merged together. I used these in my jazz improvisations.)
17) Harmonic Studies (Here I practice studies which outline functional harmony. A good example of this is the Third Study in Herbert L. Clarke's technical studies. However, I do ALL of the studies, but in only one key each day - so it really doesn't take much time.)
18) TSE (this is another type of pattern which I invented. It stands for "Tritone Subdominant Exchange". If you have my CD, you will hear a lot of this in my solos.)
19) Solo (each day I have a mock performance of one of the solos which I've memorized. I specifically do this at the end of my physical routine to make myself concentrate on quality, even when I'm tired. I got tired of memorizing solos and then forgetting them four years later. I decided that I needed to cycle through each solo, doing on each day. That way they stay fresh in my memory and I'm able to perform them "on command", without any preperation.)
20) Transcription (as with the solo, above, I also memorize transcriptions of jazz solos and cycle through them, one each day.)
21) Lyrical (I end each "daily routine"
with a lyrical study.)
And that's my "log" for my daily routine. It serves both purposes. It helps me keep track of what's next in my schedule, but I also annotate my progress on the very same sheets of paper. If something is worth mentioning, I make sure to write it down. The way it's set up, I have the date on the top of the page and the list of items below. Then there's plenty of white space for notes.
I have similar "logs" for the other two "major" portions of my practice day. I have a "rotating log" which covers sight reading, learning new solos and learning new transcriptions. I call this my "progressive" practice session, in contrast to the daily routine, which is more of a maintainance oriented session. Then my third major part of my practice day is the jazz stuff. In that log, I keep track of which tunes I've done and what techniques I've used in learning new stuff for jazz.
Eddie "Tiger" Lewis