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This message was contributed by Simon Hogg on 30/4/02.
It was in reply to this message: endurance
posted by BM on 29/4/02.

Dear BM

Thanks for your question.

I was just curious, when the group is on tour, do you all still find time to practice individually, or do you only tend to play the concerts?

When we are on tour (like the recent Middle Eastern trip), the days are normally taken up with a coach journey, a flight or schools concert, so practice is not usually an option. Anyway, touring is the one chance to get down the pool or indulge in a spot of sight-seeing. I find that 15 minutes warm-up in the morning and another 10-15 minutes in the afternoon help to keep the chops flexible before the onslaught begins again in the evening.

Also, how do you develop the endurance/stamina for playing concerts of the magnitude you do? Ie do you pace things, not play overly loudly etc?

Some people have great natural stamina & strength. Lenny never seems to get tired and longs to get onto those high jazz charts which always occur late in a programme.

In my experience lip saving tactics usually end up being more tiring than playing normally!

After few days away from the instrument, stamina is the first thing to disappear; it then becomes a psychological issue and you worry more about the state of your lip than music, balance, etc.

Holidays are a problem as they are always sandwiched between gigs. I often take the trombone (and mute) away and steal a few moments so as to reduce the shock later.

Playing pieces for the first time can also be difficult as you are uncertain how much stamina they will require. Tension, mouthpiece and lateral pressure can cause fatigue. Even a sticking slide can create friction and affect the embouchure.

Ian Bousfield said recently that he asked Maurice Murphy for some advice on a playing problem, and Maurice replied, 'I find a little practice helps.'

Good luck

Simon Hogg

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