This is a very straight forward tip but it has taken me years to grasp that it is essential if I am to keep playing to the level I want to!
Like many people I have a day job which has nothing to do with my Brass playing. As such, my hectic 9-5 job does not afford me the luxury of being able to do much practice during the day, and by the time the evening comes I am either busy with the kids, or too tired from work to be bothered practicing!
Warburton’s P.E.T.E. is a wonderful little tool that keeps my embouchure in check on days when I can’t practice, but it is not a replacement for practice.
To keep my practice going and avoid having to play late at night when I am either too tired or the kids are asleep in bed, I finally realised the answer was to reverse my day.
If you take your playing seriously you are going to need to build some regular practice into your daily life, so I decided that I would get up at 6.30am every day and do 50-60 minutes practice before I set off for work.
I tend to use my Yamaha Silent Brass mute to keep the noise down, and fortunately I have a room downstairs where I can close the doors to keep the noise down even further…I haven’t woken anyone up yet anyway!!! I make sure my trumpet and everything I need is laid out for me before I go to bed, so in the morning all I have to do is go downstairs and start playing.
I now do 50-60 minutes practice every day before work as well as some on a weekend, and I am finding that this is just enough to keep my lips nicely in practice, then any extra I get done on an evening tops me up even further.
The added bonus is that I am nicely enthused when I start my working day, so it has a positive knock on affect and gets me buzzing (pardon the pun!) right from the off.
So the tip is, if you want to keep in practice whilst holding down a hectic day job and having a busy family life to contend with, try setting the alarm a bit earlier in the morning and invest in a silent mute.
This early morning practice can then be used to keep your lips in check, while your evening and weekend practice can be reserved for working on specific things, like playing high and loud while everyone is awake!