HOW AND WHAT TO PRACTICE

 

Practice is a time put aside to work, work, work with dedication and commitment to becoming not only a better player but to realize (in time) what we all strive for, AND, that's to earn the right to someday be called A MUSICIAN. A most royal title, if you please!

The one thing that a lot of students do, is to try to practice for 2 or 3 hours at a time to (as they say), build up their endurance and range. This is not going to do anything of the kind. After a certain length of time (maybe the first half-hour or 45 minutes) you are not accomplishing anything but fighting your own tired lip. As some of the greatest trumpet players in the world advise --- DON'T PRACTICE LONG BUT PRACTICE OFTEN. Every time you have 20 minutes of your own, reach for the horn. It's amazing how much can be accomplished in that time especially if you are close to having a passage work out for you. It may well be the best 20 minutes you ever spent.

WHAT should I practice? There's only one answer to that. WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW OR CAN'T PLAY!!! Quit playing and practicing all the things you can play at an ungodly tempo to prove to yourself that you're a pretty good player. You can only "gas" yourself for so long. Review some of these things and then go on to the important part of your practice, the things you can't play. Work on them exactly the same way I told you to practice the passages in the etude. Remember? You see --- if you practice something 100 times you kinda get the sound in your ear --- if you practice it 200 times, you get a little familiar with it --- and, if you do it 300 times, you get kinda friendly with it. If you were my student, I wouldn't settle for anything less than being married to it!

From The Trumpet Method of Don "Jake" Jacoby, (page 19)