Let it Flow, Let it Flow, Let it Flow…

I have to do a lot of playing most days and the powers that be expect me to play at an optimum level of performance. I think I would find this more difficult without a regular warm up practice before I leave for work. Before starting, I find that I like to do some simple breathing exercises to get the ‘engine room’ going.

The studies I prefer, when I pick up the trumpet are the ‘Flow Studies’ by Vincent Chicowicz. I practice a few of them on the mouthpiece alone, also. I make sure I transpose them into all keys! I am a big fan of the Chicago school of brass teaching which descends down from Arnold Jacobs and am indeed a massive fan of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra brass sound.

The famous ‘Flow’ Studies by Vincent Chicowicz

Page 1

Flow Studies page 1

Flow Studies page 1

Page 2

Flow Studies page 2

Flow Studies page 2

Page 3

Flow Studies page 3

Flow Studies page 3

I try not to concern myself with what my playing feels like: EVER! For me, a warm up, is simply to establish the ‘normals’ and to strive for a beautiful sound. As Jacobs himself said, ‘There is only ‘Song and Wind.’

More thoughts on practice

About brendanball

Professional Trumpeter: Soloist, Orchestra Player, Chamber Music, Contemporary Music & Education.
This entry was posted in The Trumpet o-iii<O and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Let it Flow, Let it Flow, Let it Flow…

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  8. Marc Jordan says:

    Dear Brendan, interesting to look at the warm ups you have on the site. Only today I went through the ‘G-C’ Rolf Quinque/Ian Brown/Nigel Gomm & felt a tingle in my lips.Always a good sign.
    I agree with you an over long warm up is not necessarily necessary for most players. The simpler it can be the better. Gives one more time for making music.
    Also there are times when you might not have time. Car breaks down on the way to a gig! That’s happened to me a few times.
    I’ve found HL Clarkes Tech studies really good for the last 30 yr’s. Also I developed my own as that seemed like a musical thing to do. When you play a warm up you’ve created without writing it down. It’s tailored to you.
    Obviously adapt things already there,memorize & play around with them if you’re not feeling too inspired.
    One warm up I’ve developed involves singing whilst you play. So normally when you do this on the Trumpet it gives a growling effect, The benefit being to open the throat muscles.
    This came from a method book by R.W.Hudson. I’ve adapted the technique further over the last 25yrs & it’s really kept me going.
    Incidentally I was at music college with Ian Brown,Nigel Gomm,Nick Thompson,Dave Archer,to name some. All great players. All I remember was virtuosity in the band room, I’m sure they’d warmed up somewhere beforehand.
    Thanks MJ

    • brendanball says:

      Were you at the Royal Academy of Music with Paul Marsden? He sits next to me every day as second trumpet in the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

      • mokocton says:

        Yes.I haven’t seen him since 1979/80 ? He was in the year above me or 2,can’t remember. I took over a coaching/teaching job of his at an adult evening institute shortly after leaving RAM. I was told he’d left but in fact he hadn’t. So at 20yrs old & Paul a little older you can imagine how we both felt.
        It’s behind us now. Great to know he’s in the Orchestra. Please pass on my regards.

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