I. How much practice?
- Those that want to keep up should practice 6 days a week, 30 minutes a day.
- Those who want to go ahead and be one of the band’s leaders and top performers will practice 6-7 days a week for 45-90 minutes each session.
II. Where to practice?
- A room that provides for little distraction and great concentration is a must!
- A chair that closely resembles the chairs that we use in band rehearsal is also a necessity. A kitchen table chair or a desk chair would be a good choice.
- A wire music stand is also necessary to duplicate our rehearsal conditions as closely as possible.
III. How to practice
- Warm-up- Practice what we do in class for a warm-up. (For example, Bb Major scale in whole notes, quarter notes, eighth notes, triplets, and sixteenths) As you learn scales, they are good for warm-ups. Mouthpiece buzzing and lip slurs for brass players are also very good. The warm-up should take about 10-15 minutes.
- Play some lines from your book or solo that you can already play pretty well. Play old pass-off lines and non-pass-off lines. Spend about 5-10 minutes doing this. This will simply get you into the flow of things.
- Pass-off lines/Concert Music/Solos- For the next 25-30 minutes take your next three pass-off lines and work on these one at a time. Break the line down into smaller parts until you can put the whole line together correctly. Do not practice mistakes over and over. Stop if you make a mistake and figure out what is going wrong. (Counting, notes, etc?) Once you have successfully played the line, now you are ready to practice the line. If you can play the line five times through with no mistakes, then you’ve got it!
- Finishing up – Spend the last 5-10 minutes playing something that you really enjoy. Play some favorite lines from your book or figure a favorite melody out by ear. (For example, Happy Birthday or something on the radio.) Just make sure you are using good habits as you play.
*** Last Thing ***
- Always listen to yourself as you play. Remember, hearing is not necessarily listening!!!
- Always, always tap your foot as you play!!!