We know that not all of our musicians have been actively practicing their instruments during our pandemic break. Here are some tips for getting back into shape.
1. Start Slowly
If you haven’t played in a while, do not expect that your range, flexibility, articulation, dexterity, or even reading ability is going to be right where you left off. Start out with long tones focusing on breath support and control.
2. Limit Playing Time on the First Day
I know you will want to just keep on playing once you start, but a little bit each day for the first week is going to be a lot more beneficial in the long run.
3. Pick Music That’s New, But Easy
This might seem counterintuitive, but it is actually super important. If you whip out a piece of music that you are very familiar with, your natural tendency is going to be to try to play with the exact same level of detail and musicianship as when you last played it. This can lead you to feel frustrated or even to start compensating with your embouchure in detrimental ways.
4. Pick Something Fun!
Go pick up a book of movie solos, show tunes, pop charts, or jazz standards and work your way through them. For an added bonus, make sure the repertoire has play along tracks so you can rock out with accompaniment.