from the National Brass Symposium
Daily Warmup & Practice Routine Thoughts
This is my own personal outline of my first (40 minute) session of the day. Remember: there is no one-size-fits-all approach to practicing. This is the guideline that I follow most days, but I am always open to new ideas and, most importantly, am listening to my playing and my body. The importance of flexibility in your mental approach to music cannot be overstated. Each day, brass players start from scratch in their practice, and the quality of the foundation we lay has enormous impact on the rest of our efforts. Happy Practicing!
Breathing exercises with PVC tube or a medical-grade breathing bag available at www.windsongpress.com (choose a couple each day):
In/Out 1:1 quarter=60
In/Out 1:3 quarter=60-72
In/Out 1:6 quarter=152
In/Out 4:4 quarter=80
Sing a simple easy slow tune, with keyboard or CD!
Start with lips alone: 5 note pattern alternating with Mouthpiece up the scale as high as is comfortable and productive.
“Poo" Attacks a la Thibaud method
Remember Stamp: "Apply mouthpiece pressure to the lips AFTER you take the breath."
Long Tones: Schlossberg p. 1, Harris p. 1, Sachs pp. 4, 5; mp dynamic; Strive for a relaxed breath while being conscious to BRING THE AIR TO THE LIPS; Play chromatically down one full octave
Once the lips begin to feel warm, add hairpin dynamics
Alternate: Stamp Exercise extending down to pedal C
Lip slurs: Irons Studies: Especially #8, 9, 11, 12, 18, Arban, Harris, Bai Lin
Articulation: Starting on first space “F” or so: slow eighth note ascending chromatically (quarter=80), then sixteenth-notes
Centered, focused tonguing. Quick, efficient tongue motion.
Add Clarke Second, Fourth, Seventh, Eighth studies as needed, alternating slur/tongue. Focus on range from low G to Middle G at first, expanding range as efficiently as possible, and remember to focus on smoothness of airflow.
Focus on balancing airflow to embouchure. Visualize relaxed, fast-moving air stream regulated by tongue arch and embouchure corners with little effort coming from the center of the lips. The Aaron Harris full-page lip slur exercise is a good test for efficiency.
Scales, Arpeggios: hit minor forms, tough keys every day. Incorporate multiple tonguing. Use the Aebersold Major/Minor CDs for ear training/intonation
Vary form of scales (Arban/Schlossberg, etc)
Vary rhythms: eighth, sixteenth, triplet, dotted figures, thirds, fourths
Lip Bends: great for accuracy, centering, articulation
Sachs incorporates lip bends into his routine in the lip slurs section.
A little goes a long way.
Tongue the bend!
Alternate these sections over several days:
Octaves, Broken Octaves: Arban p. 131, Sachs p. 29-31, Schlossberg Octave Drills. Slur/tongue
Stamp Exercises: extending range from pedal C to High C and above; Lip Bend drill
Timing Drills: Shuebruk, Sachs
Flow Studies: Cichowicz exercises, Brandt etudes
Sample Daily Warmup #1 30-45 mins
Breathe, Sing, Buzz
Poo long tones with Bends: Schlossberg Daily Drills #2, 7, 12
Lip Flexibilities: Bai Lin Group 2
Scales: Schlossberg #102a, alternate slur, legato tongue, staccato tongue
Arban p. 127, alternate sharp/flat keys each day, alternate slur/tongue patterns
Thibaud Vol. 3 #15
Schlossberg Chord Studies # 71, alternate slur/ double tongue then Octave Drill #50
Shuebruk Part 2, Attack, #2
Snedecor Lyrical Etude #6 on Eb
2-3 Arban Triple Tongue exercises
Easy Clarke #2 on Picc A
Sample Warmup #2 30 mins
Stretch, Sing, Buzz
Poo long tones from Sachs practice method with bends
Schlossberg scales #97, 98, Half on C, Half on Eb
Ghitalla Flexibility drill
Bobby Shew Quartal exercise #6
Cichowicz Flow Study
Easy Clarke #4 on Picc Bb