I used to be a decent horn player, almost professional level. I played since 5th grade, until college, my senior recital in 2009. I stopped playing since then, due to graduate school, and then work. I did a few concerts for pay, but I would only start practicing about 2 weeks before them, and stop playing once the concert was over. I was never nearly as good as I was at the time of my senior recital. About a month ago. I joined a band at the college I went to.
I am having trouble getting back into practice. I am trying to play about an hour each day I don't have rehearsal. For the concert, we are doing 6 pieces, most of which have really hard horn parts. I feel like I need to practice a lot to get good enough to play the pieces, and also so I can build up stamina, but I find that my playing is very inconsistent. Some days, I find it very hard to hit notes, and get worn out quickly, but other days, I sound really good, and don't feel tired. It is a bit frustrating not being able to play as well as I could years ago. Is it possible that I am overpracticing?
Develop two nice warm up routines.
One should be a basic warm up that slowly gets your lips ready. The other will be longer and include maintenance exercises.
Playing an hour every day is not necessary to play what you want to play. My private students spend 30 to 40 minutes on their warm up/maintenance and then 5 to 10 on practicing.
That being said, their practice must be efficient.
Practice only the parts of the music you need to. spend all your other time on development of stamina and range.
Scales and arpeggios for lip flexibility.
Double tongue, lip trills, long tones for strength and stamina.
Fj00, Welcome back to horn! I took off 33 years & it's been a theme park thrill ride for the last 6 1/2 years with exhilarating highs and crushing lows, but overall it's been a joyful and totally worthwhile endeavor.