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How to develop my daily routine

Postby griffinwilson » Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:05 am

After taking a few lessons with some top notch tuba players, one of the most common things they told me, is I need to is to make my own routine that is personal to me and fits my needs. However, I'm lacking the knowledge of exercises and books and what not to give me the foundation for my routine. So, I ask the question, what do you guys do in your daily routine (aside from etudes), and how do those certain routines help guide your playing?

Thanks in advance for the help,
-Griffin
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Re: How to develop my daily routine

Postby PMeuph » Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:25 am

A big part of mine comes from Mastering the Tuba by Roger Bobo.
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Re: How to develop my daily routine

Postby TheTuba » Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:27 am

I do 20-30 minutes of warming up (scales, fundamentals, et.cetra). to some people, It's too much, but without warming up, i'll just sound bad

Then it's 30 minutes of music (etudes, and solos). I go through solos with buzzing and playing, and doing deep analysis. If my tone changes at all(cracks and whiny in the high range) I'll take a 5-10 minute break.

IMPORTANT: no matter what your practice routine is, take breaks. You usually sound better after the break than if you didn't take it.

After that, I "warm down" with some cool stuff I found and other stuff I want to work on. I usually do minor scales and long tones.

That's my practice routine

-Raghul :tuba:
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Re: How to develop my daily routine

Postby Three Valves » Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:22 am

griffinwilson wrote:After taking a few lessons with some top notch tuba players, one of the most common things they told me, is I need to is to make my own routine that is personal to me and fits my needs.


That's like going to the shrink and them telling you to fix yourself!!
Who needs four valves??

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Re: How to develop my daily routine

Postby hup_d_dup » Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:43 am

The Brass Gym, A Comprehensive Daily Workout for Brass Players by Sam Pilafian and Patrick Sheridan, is the best book of this type that I am aware of. In addition to the exercises themselves, it has accompanying descriptions of how to play the exercises and what they are meant to accomplish.

You can use this book as an excellent starting point for making your own routine. Use your own judgement to concentrate on the exercises that address aspects of your playing that need the most improvement.

One thing about routines, is that they should not be routine, which is to say, they shouldn't be static. You should always be adjusting your daily routine to keep it fresh. A daily routine requires concentration, something that is difficult to maintain after you have played something a hundred times.

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Re: How to develop my daily routine

Postby KevinMadden » Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:26 am

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Re: How to develop my daily routine

Postby bloke » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:07 am

I typically begin by playing music, as "real gigs" often begin that way (with many not offering a quiet place to play prior to the gig and/or unpredictable wrecks/road-closures/traffic jams cutting my pre-gig time from 30 minutes to 10-to-15...enough time to unpack, pee, straighten my tie, get situated on stage, and to organize my sheet music...and no, I never "warm up" on stage, and nor do I ever run though traits difficile in front of the patrons/audience).

After a play music for a while (often, music that I'll soon be expected to play for remuneration), I might work on some things that I want to improve.
Those things could be "long tones" (not always...ex: if I have RECENTLY worked on "long tones", and am pretty happy with how I've been doing them), "lip trill" exercises (if lip-trilling has become weak and/or if I'm going to have to do one-or-more of them - ex: in some quintet literature), it could be smooth slurring of arpeggios (if I judge myself to have been forming bad habits in the execution of legato playing, etc.), it could be playing through the 48 standard scale patterns (if I judge myself to have - lately - been a bit fumble-fingers), it could be sight-reading (again, if not much of that lately, and thus a likely drop in skill level), or it could even be playing solos through chord changes. :arrow: MOST OFTEN (above ALL OTHER things), I "practice" TUNING (and I tend to wonder what percentage of tuba players or musicians-at-large do this very much at all). I view TUNING as ~the~ thing that constantly needs (well...) "tuning", and - particular as a foundational instrument - VITALLY important.

...so when I "practice" (i.e. "play at home for no pay"), I FIRST play music, and NEXT work on stuff that I believe needs tuning up...
...no "routine".
Routines are drudgery. Drudgery would encourage me to leave the instrument in the case, and to not play it. I wish to continue to look forward to playing music.
Last edited by bloke on Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:15 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: How to develop my daily routine

Postby tmmcas1 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:08 am

There is somewhat of a debate even between professionals of the merits of "daily routines" vs. "warm-ups" vs. "fundamental routines" vs. "just playing music". I've studied with the authors of two of the books listed above in this thread and also with a prominent teacher who never once warmed up his entire life. I've come to the conclusion that no matter what routine you use (or don't use) that every pro I ever wanted to play with does three things at the highest of levels in many, many permutations:

1) Lips Slurs*
2) Long tones*
3) Scales*

*with a metronome and tuner

That's where I would start.

Tom
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Re: How to develop my daily routine

Postby bloke » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:32 am

I've already posted that my primary (not "routine", but let's call them) "personal playing improvement pursuits" (outside of perfecting performing individual pieces of music) always involve "improving tuning".

I work very diligently on tuning by striving to play very accurately in equal temperament.
There are those who will nearly always pop in an lecture us about raising/lowering the third/fifth/etc., but - unless a player can develop their listening/evaluation skills well enough to play effectively in equal temperament, it's unlikely (in my judgement) that they will be able to raise/lower intervals subtly to tune chords. Further, "tuning chords" (example: low brass section in a symphony orchestra) should not require any particular knowledge about "which intervals to raise or lower". If - when tuning chords - intervals are raised/lowered mechanically (and not via - simply - listening), it's very likely that those corrections will go way too far, and miss their marks...
...and I'll go one further: If there is a tuba player out there who can play nearly perfectly in equal temperament (with no subtle chord-tuning whatsoever), they likely are miles ahead of 99% of all tuba players, intonation-wise.
Finally, more than half the time, many of us find ourselves playing along with acoustic or electronic keyboard instruments. Those instruments do NOT subtly tune ANY intervals.
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Re: How to develop my daily routine

Postby Stryk » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:45 am

Do, do, do, do ,do, da, da, da ,doooooo. Blap, blap, blap.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Warmup routine. My "routine" is not routine. Perhaps it might be a couple things I like, next some performance stuff I need to work on, then some basics (Arban, Peres, Tyrell, Kopprasch, etc.). We travel a lot and sometimes I don't touch a horn for a month at a time. After that my "routine" may be the entire Pares Scales book every day for a few days. Long tones? Never. Lip slurs? Never. But, that's just me. What you do should be different than mine, or anyone else's.
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Re: How to develop my daily routine

Postby swillafew » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:47 pm

I had two teachers that used the Bill Bell method. An expanding interval long tone exercise is the first thing, with a crescendo-diminuendo on each pitch followed by a slur to the next, and wider interval. The control of dynamic from softest to loudest is applied to all the pitches from highest to lowest.

After doing those for a long time, you will be surprised at anybody saying they find anything hard about playing either soft or loud, or low, or high. You will be even more surprised when the person complaining attributes the difficulty to their own horn.

I was playing these once under a theory professor's office, and he came down to speak to me. It had to be a miserable thing to hear, but he commended me for having a system and sticking to it.
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Re: How to develop my daily routine

Postby bloke » Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:19 am

I've mentioned more than once that raising one's heart rate a bit and breathing more deeply (in place of some "routine") will get a player ready to play as well as anything. It would be great (in the winter) were there a way (electric blanket...??) to get a big ol' tuba up to room temperature (ACTUAL warm-up) while getting oneself active, alert, and ready to play. I play in the brass quintet (as sort of an "artist-in-residence", as I formerly taught there, but just cannot dedicate the time required of that job) with the Ole Miss brass faculty. More than once, I've found myself stuck in traffic jams on the way to meeting them to play school concerts. Thankfully, I've always arrived (if not "just") on time. I walk in, sit down, and play. One of the former trumpet players was a huge "warm-up artist", and the other who remains (as well as the replacement trumpet player) still participates in a significant length "routine". He asked me once how I can "do that" (walk in, play, and play well). I explained to him that - when stuck in traffic - I (just as most anyone) had become quite annoyed in the traffic jam, had been breathing deeply, my heart rate was elevated, and I was quite alert and ready to to perform (surely related to the "fight/flight" thing)...
...and we have to be able to play well even when our heart rate is NOT elevated and when we have NOT been breathing deeply. Think of the stuff we have to do in church services "cold" after long boring sermons.

Hey, I WORK ON (i.e. practice) stuff that other people do in their "daily routines"...when I NEED to work on those things.

Think about a bike ride to school or to work. Quite a few people do this regularly. They might get up, go to the bathroom, take a shower, shave, eat breakfast, and get dressed...but they don't (prior to departing) lay on their backs in bed, work their wrists ("brake drills") or cycle their legs ("pedal drills") or even stand on one leg ("balance drills"). They just get on their bikes and go.
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Re: How to develop my daily routine

Postby tubapix » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:29 am

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