This is part two of my post on highlights from the late great Lew Soloff on warm ups and practice. The first post, warming up on the mouthpiece, is here.

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So, after warming up on  the mouthpiece, Lew Soloff recommended building up the range on the horn in the same way.

  • Start at the bottom (low F#) and work your way up in half steps, one octave at a time, taking the horn off the lips and resetting, relaxing, between each scale.
  • Do the same thing you did with your mouthpiece. Begin playing music by playing something relaxed that you enjoy
  • All of our TIA instrumental students are taught the importance of creating spontaneously, or improvising. This is an excellent opportunity for that after playing a tune you enjoy. Play spontaneously in a key you are working on becoming more familiar with (Eb major for example, or D harmonic minor, etc.). Lew suggested playing 4 or 8 bar phrases, and resting equal amounts. Do this for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Try to follow a consistent routine so that if your practice and warm up time gets cut short, you can adapt accordingly.
  • Lew also mentioned something very important, warm up to the demands of the gig/rehearsal. In other words, if you are planning to come to a class that meets for an hour, warm up to be ready for that kind of playing first, at home. If you are coming to a 30 minute lesson, be prepared for that, etc.
  • Now you are all warmed up! Make sure you play as relaxed as you warmed up!

Happy practicing!

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