Posted by LtDan on July 01, 1999 at 10:31:45:
In Reply to: PRACTICE!!! posted by jon schultz on June 29, 1999 at 16:56:51:
Practice time seems to be as touchy a subject as equipment. With that being said, do what's best for you. If you are looking at going into performance of a professional caliber, be prepared to live in a practice room. If you just want to be in community band and get that tuba solo in "so and so's" TUBA POMPOSO, or whatever, do what it takes to get there. I personally poured up to 6 hours per day when I was in my early years of college. I did this not because of any grand aspiration for performance, but because I was tired of sucking. It did the trick. The *REAL* problem comes when you stop sucking and people notice. Years later I was invited and joined so many ensembles (11 at one point) that practice itself became the rarity even while easily spending 8 to 10 hours per day on the horn. Do I feel that I should have cut back? perhaps a little, but I gained so much from working with other people and performing almost daily that my playing improved because of my mind set.
Now as I near the end of college I have notice some things about my class mates. I had one classmate who would be strangers with the horn until the day before an audition. He would pick it up, sound really bad, run through some arbans stuff for a half hour, then blow me away the next day on the audition. Was I mad? Mad as hell. I felt it was not fair to give someone who cared so little so much talent. But at the end of the year he transfered out to study social studies and offered to let me buy his horns.
In summary, practice to get you where you want to be. If you just like the tuba because it gets you chicks, by all means call yourself a tuba player. If you aspire to a paycheck, you may need to evaluate your own needs on the instrument and practice accordingly. Sean mentioned a journal (posted below), and that is a great way to get the honest results of your investment. Compare the "where I was" with the "where I want to be" and you'll be able to make an educated decision about practicing.