Date: Tue, 3 Nov 1998 20:42:34 -0800
From: "patton" <>
Subject: Re: Practising...


I would like to put to rest the old wieght-lifting/trumpet playing analogy. It doesn't apply. The reasoning because it represents training of two different types of muscle fibre. For ease of discription let's leave them as red muscle and white muscle. Red muscle has a greater capsity to engorge itself with oxygenated blood cells, it has greater endurance and can utilized daily. White muscle is the opposite. it has more immediate strength but far less endurance. Ideally one should be able to practice everyday-as long as the lips aren't over exerted or damaged.  I play everyday, and find that I keep getting stronger--so long as I don't hurt myself. I have been able to set myself back a months worth of work for one greedy night of blasting.

                Let me first explain my philosophy of trainning.

Notice I use the word trainning rather than practice. I believe we are performing all the time. As such each time I practice I am performing for myself. It sounds selfish. So it is. I find that my worst trainning sessions or performances occur when I am not enjoying myself. So I train each and every time with the mind set that I am entertainning myself. With this idea firmly implanted I find that I am most always very chipper during rehearsals. I also tend to join groups where people seek out this type of attitude and thus am surrounded by equally chipper people. But let's leave it most simply by saying that a continually positive, forward propelling, constantly seeking, frame of reference is my first level of armament in the trainning game.

Next,  let me reiterate that I find it best to endorse several trainning routines. I like to use several approaches, yet have found that it is most important to be consistent. Sound contradictory? Let me explain. A consistent, methodical, and patient path will allow you the greatest amount of growth. So I write out my rehearsals ahead of time. Usually a month at a time, on a flow chart. This allows me to set goals and establish a trainning budget. Much like in weight lifting. I also find that weight-lifting charts are very helpful for this. Ever hear of hitting a Plateau? This can happen in trumpet trainning too. This is where the consistency game changes. When I get to a plateau and feel that my growth has stopped or is beginning to actually cause damage, I switch routines. (it pays to have at least three routines in your reportoire ie..Sail the 7 C's, Bill Adam or Mark Minasians, Maggio, Arbans, Claude Gordon,  Arnold Jacob) please note that each of these can be obtainned off the web relatively easy. By switching routines I find that almost always I can transcend the plateau. But don't throw the routines around carelessly. Patience is important. Carmine Caruso espoused the idea of taking ideas and slowing them down and breaking them apart, then reassembling them perfectly and then upping the tempo.

So that's it in a nutshell, remain constent, shake it up only when absolutly necessary, always think poitively(gets you more opportunities also), and like Bill Chase said," The longer I play trumpet, the more I like to play it, the better I'm getting at playing it, and the more fun I have with it."

Patton in Juneau