What is Your Definition of a Well Balanced Routine?

  • First off. A person needs a routine to begin with. The best way to do that is to be sure to practice everyday at a particular time. From a psychology perspective, it takes somewhere around a month to develop a routine With that said, What is a routine? A routine is a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program. It becomes something a person "wants" to do.
    This is my routine;

    1. As soon as I come in from a performance, I unpack my trumpet(s) and put them on their stands. The stands are in a high traffic part of the house so I play a little all day. I might be on the way to the kitchen for a glass of water and I'll take the trumpet off the stand and do some slurs, part of a song, some part of a song that's giving me fits (maybe 5 minutes) and high notes (playing scales up to whatever). and then, put the horn back on it's stand and proceed to the kitchen for my glass of water. Doing this randomly through the day is part of my routine.
    2. Morning routine. loosely? Lip slurs, scales, various tonguing, and improv.
    3. Night routine if I'm not performing? Working on Bach or Hora Staccato. When I get tired of that, I turn on the TV and work on improv by improvising with the commercials that play during TV shows. During the TV shows I kick back with my favorite beverage and relax unless the TV show has something neat to improv to. During the night, I use a Silent Brass so the neighbors won't kill me.

  • Well, Dr. Mark, I have a routine too. It seems to be working for me at this point in my development. All my practice and performing is with Bb instruments.

    • I begin with slow soft playing beginning with C below the staff and descending chromatically to F#.

    • Next, beginning with G below the staff, I play long-tone major scales to the top of my present range. I focus on clean attacks and producing good sound as I play these scales.

    • The last portion of my routine varies. If I am not preparing for a concert, I work on some Arban’s and Clarke exercises and end with songs I am learning or memorizing. If I am preparing for a concert, I work on concert numbers and rely on the more difficult parts of these pieces to provide the sort of benefit I obtain from work on Arban’s or Clarke.

    I try to abide by the “rest as much as I play” approach to practice, and I stop when quality of attacks and sound deteriorates. If I am practicing after 9 pm, I practice with a stemless Harmon. I like the sound I get with the Harmon more than what I get with practice mutes and it knocks down decibels to a level where neighbors do not notice.


  • The daily routine I use:

    Eugene Blee warm ups.

    Read through actual charts
    A. Those for the next gig (classical, church, big band or small ensemble)
    B. Those from the the Real Book series

    End with Etudes to keep articulation, fingering and lip flexibility skills in shape.

  • Good thread, and a good choice of words ... "balanced".

    My last trumpet teacher, emphasized a daily routine balanced in two areas - the physical and the musical. I balance my routine in into three sections - chops (slip slurs, intervals, tonguing, lyrical studies), technique (scales, patterns, etc), and music. I spend about 20-30 minutes in each area.


  • My routine is simple, and balanced: 1 hour in the morning playing technical stuff and 1 hour in the afternoon playing the songs I love. And, like Dr. Mark, I have my 5 horns on stands in my music room and throughout the day I'll pop in and pick one up and blow something.

  • I am going to answer this in two parts. I have had several strokes and am continuing to recover from that. Hence, the first routine is now and the next my routine pre-strokes.

    Long Tones
    The Balanced Embouchure.
    A series of Schlossberg exercises passed on from L.A. Studio guys.
    (Can provide specifics if requested.)
    Horen, Lesen, Spielen - German book of easy exercises and melodies.

    The Balanced Embouchure.
    An Integral Warmup - Laurie Frink.
    Maggio basic exercises.
    Flow Studies - Cichowicz.
    Concert/jam session literature as needed.

  • Hi Kehaulani,
    Do you know the one thing I don't see on any of in the posts, mine included?

  • Dr. Mark - In all humility, I am a very good sight-reader and don't personally need to work on that in isolation. YMMV.

  • Hi Kehaulani,
    There's no doubt that you can shoot through unseen music like a fish through water. You're a University taught conductor for Pete's sake. It's just interesting that one of the skills that most people need work on is missing in their description of Well Balanced Routine, me included. I am going to incorporate sight reading into my routine because this post made me realize what I was missing.

  • @Dr-Mark said in What is Your Definition of a Well Balanced Routine?:

    Hi Kehaulani,
    Do you know the one thing I don't see on any of in the posts, mine included?

    That is what I do when I rehearse with the Generation's Big Band on two of the 4 Thursdays of the week. The other two (the first and third) are gig nights at Mila's Suburban Cafe and The Milton Club. I love the rehearsals for that reason. The site reading. And they ARE rehearsals. I find site reading that is put in front of me from someone else's choice (not mine) is even more empowering as my bias to tunes I already have in mind to site read are eliminated.

    And tonight I play the Jazz Central Jazz Jam where a multitude of performers bring charts to the gig; however, this is less about site reading as it is playing the jazz standards, most of which, I already know.

  • @Kehaulani

    I somehow found the Schlossberg routines (LA guys) last year after a few weeks off from pneumonia -- They work very well for rehab and daily or weekly routine practice.

  • @Kehaulani
    Flow studies by Cichowicz form a large part of a particular 20 Minute Routine I do every day, as well as a host of other things to round out the morning hour. But I always start with the 20 minute routine because the flow studies are the first thing I play for the day and they just seem to get everything working correctly for me from the get-go.

  • This post is deleted!

  • As promised:

    schlossberg routine.jpg

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