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Endurance and embouchure maintenence

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14 years 2 weeks ago - 14 years 2 weeks ago #323 by

1. High- or low horn, playing works like Les Troyens, Parsifal, and War and Peace must be murder. How do you build the extraordinary endurance required to finish these performances strong and with good control?

2. What routine do you follow to stay in shape? How does this vary depending on whether you have heavy or light services or no service at all?


Michelle Reed Baker's Answer:

Hello Howard!

1. As I think you and I have spoken about before, no doubt it takes great endurance and strength to play the operas that you mentioned! It also takes a bit of mental training to stay focused for that long!!!

The preparation for this depends on what leads up to it... if Parsifal occurs in the 30th week of our season for example, then my endurance is really not as much of an issue - as I would have been playing several hours a day for weeks! If it is at the beginning of the season, then I have some work to do!

My typical way to build endurance (other than my routine, which I will answer in your next question!) is to play through Kopprasch etudes - starting with Number One!! I work on "perfecting" my technique (breathing, support, articulation and intonation) In the process, I build endurance! I might play through 15 or 16 etudes in one sitting!

This really works for me and I know of at least one other professional horn player who does the same thing!!

2. The routine that I do every day is based on the Carmine Caruso Calisthenics for Brass. A large part of the routine is designed to build endurance! (The Interval Studies among others). I have been doing this routine for several years now and it has served me well!

Logically, when I have a very heavy day of playing at work, I tend to do an abbreviated version. And when I have a light day or a no service day, I will do the full version. Although I do give myself days off on occasion!
Last edit: 14 years 2 weeks ago by IHS Online Manager.

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