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.
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!