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This message was contributed by Simon Lenton on 2/5/02.
It was in reply to this message: endurance
posted by BM on 29/4/02.

Hello BM. I'm afraid when we're on tour I find it very difficult to find the time to practice. Sometimes it's the very difficult choice of a blow through the Arban studies or sit by the pool, so in answer to your first question I suppose I only tend to play the concerts!
The answer to you next question as far as I'm concerned is going to sound very boring. I lot of people comment on my stamina when I play, you know the sort of stuff; 'chops of steel' etc. The bare fact of the matter is, I used to work at it a lot, and I mean a lot. When I was a kid, I used to hear about violinists/pianists practicing for 6 -7 hours a day and so I used to think this is what I should be doing . Consequently, I used to play for as much time as possible. I have to say a lot of the playing I did was pointless blowing - not really practice - but physically the thing was on my face for hours. I used to be out of the house every night of the week playing in all different sorts of bands. On top of this, I did my normal practice etc so I suppose I did on average 4 hours of playing - everyday!
The reason why I said it was a boring answer is because, for me, endurance is like anything else in your playing - it's all about exposure to it. If you play for a half hour a day - don't expect to be able to play a 3 hour concert with no problems. Now, if you play for 6 hours a day - the 3 hour gig will seem easy. Makes sense doesn't it? I'd forget about the pace bit myself if I were you. I tried it once and I couldn't get it to work. How to you pace yourself to play a top Z? You can't. You either go for it - or put your instrument in it's case. There is no middle way - Tony Blair are you listening? Thanks for your note. Please write again sometime.

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