"Ugliest" exercise?

  • What's your "ugliest" exercise? You can define ugly any way you want. For me it means the one I know I should do, but dread it with a purple passion and look for any excuse, or any other exercise to do instead of it.

    For me it's Irons Group 20.

    My little German band is now lead by a sax player. And I just saw the play list for our Fiesta concerts and it's gonna require more endurance than I currently have, so I'm trying to do this one, Schilke Power, Caruso, etc. all spaced out throughout the day, rest as much as you play of course. At 58 I have no, nor have I ever had, any grand illusions of becoming a lead player. 'Just a comeback player trying to do the music justice.

    Suggestions? Commiserations?

  • What is "Shilke Power", please? Thanks.

  • How about an alternative? Forget exercises. Play music. Get a stack of music you like and want to play. Sit down and play real music until you get tired. Stop for a while. Start again on the rest of the stack. Rest and repeat. Gonna tell you, after a while, you will be better, have more endurance and actually be better at playing the music you need to play.

    I have a new project doing ragtime tunes with a small band. Try playing the right hand piano part to ragtime on your horn. Constant eighth and sixteenth notes with lots of intervals and accidentals thrown in. It's really hard but very productive as practice.

  • Let me generalize... It is ANY exercise that makes us use fingerings that include a 3; 2,3; 1,3 combination in rapid fire sequence! That third finger position is just a nuance to me when dexterity is challenged.

  • @Kehaulani said in "Ugliest" exercise?:

    What is "Shilke Power", please? Thanks.

    [link text]http://everythingtrumpet.com/schilke/Power_Exercise.html

  • Ah, thanks. I was curious about it because my main teacher had studied with Schilke. Sure enough, that exercise is exactly the same one and played in the same manner that my teacher taught me. We used an exercise from Arban. I think we played p. 129, but the 16th notes were played as long as you could play them. Blastissimo, but without breaking up.

  • @OldKing said in "Ugliest" exercise?:

    @Kehaulani said in "Ugliest" exercise?:

    What is "Shilke Power", please? Thanks.

    [link text]http://everythingtrumpet.com/schilke/Power_Exercise.html

    Thanks for that link. I will add the 5 minutes to my daily routine. Wondering though, should it be before, after or in the middle of my regular 5 am one hour practice session. I would also have to use a mute to play ff at 5 am if that would work, otherwise it would have to be done in the afternoon.

    Any idea, Kehaulani ?

  • @GeorgeB: George, I would suggest just that you find out what works best for you. Just to reiterate - you have to be ready for this. Incorporating it befopre you're ready for it just causes problems.

    But to your question as to when. After playing this exercise, I had to do a little playing to refocus my sound and embouchure. If this is your last exercise of the day, I would suggest you do follow it with some quiet, focused playing as a warmdown. I personally, wouldn't do it right out of the gate, lest your embouchure is set for a different kind of playing than most of your other exercises are. If you do it in the middle, I would take a break before continuing and I would begin that session with some focus, controlled playing before continuing with your exercises.

    p.s. Getting up at 5am, Hell no. Getting in at 5am? Oh yeah!

  • Thanks , Kehaulani. Sounds like good advice.
    I'm not sure I am ready for it. I'm playing in a band with tougher material now. Our practice sessions run 90 minutes and most times I can get through that okay, but when we perform, some gigs are 2 hours and my endurance is not there yet. I thought this exercise might help, but maybe I should just work my way slowly into that extra 30 minutes over time. Because of my age, I am allowed to take breaks when I need them, so I am not under the gun or anything.

  • The "ugliest" exercise I know comes from John Glasel for reducing pressure. Play, say a g in the staff and reduce the pressure until it sounds bad. Using that pressure do whatever it takes to make it sound "better."

    This builds the ring muscles quite nicely.

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