Everything You Need to Practice Like a Pro

Having the right tools to practice makes it more fun and productive

Do you have big sheet music books? │ Will you be using mutes during your practice? │ Do you use a metronome? (the answer should be yes!) │ When you are resting do you place your trumpet on the bed or floor? │ Are you often slouching on your chair during practice? │ Do you have a hard time seeing your music in the evening or night?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might just need some of the accessories below.

Having a good stand makes a big difference. Have you ever tried to practice but your flimsy stand can’t hold a regular lightweight book? If so, then you know the frustration of picking up your music every 7 minutes. It’s also very inconvenient to use a “wire stand” at band practices because if someone barely nudges it, it will fall and your music will go flying…and likely fall on a puddle (ew). Also, don’t even attempt to use these outside. A light breeze will knock it right over.

This is why I use a heavy stand like the one pictured here, which is called a director’s stand. It holds an immense amount of weight and folds down for easy transportation or storage. With this stand you can practice frustration-free.

Mute stands save you the trouble of leaning down and picking up your mutes from the ground.  This is very useful if you have a very short amount of time to pick up your mute, put it in your bell and play. It also keeps you from making a clunking noise when placing mutes on the stage floor during a performance, which trust me is incredibly distracting. Plus…it looks professional. Most mute stands will hold up to 4 mutes, sometimes more, and some even have a spot for your pencil and water cup.

To learn about different types of mutes check out the mute page.

Trumpet stands are beyond awesome, especially during those 40 measure rests. Using a trumpet stand is simple…you just place your trumpet on it with the stick going in the bell, and tah-dah! By leaving your trumpet there you keep it from getting scratched on the chair or floor, getting sat on, stepped on, knocked off the chair, etc. I really like this K&M stand because the 5 legs give it plenty of stability. I’ve ran into mine a few times and never knocked it over.

Metronomes are machines that click to help us keep tempo. The reasons for using a metronome are so many that I can’t even begin to list them all here, but I will try.

  1. If you can’t keep time, you need a metronome.
  2. If you warm-up and do technical studies, you need a metronome.
  3. If you play lyrical studies, you really need a metronome.
  4. If you play a musical instrument, you need a metronome.
  5. If you are working on a solo of any kind, you need a metronome.

Get my drift? There are many more reasons to use a metronome during practice, so do your future self a favor and start using one. I know the clicking gets annoying, I know it’s frustrating when you can’t stay with it, but keep trying and soon you will reap all the benefits.

For a more in-depth look at metronomes check out this page.

If you slouch when you practice, this might be the solution for you. These chairs are made by a company named Wenger, and they specialize on making chairs for practicing and performing. As a matter of fact, you might be using these chairs in your band or youth symphony already. The one pictured here is the “Standard Nota” practice chair and it has amazing back support. Obviously, sitting up straight is the best way to play trumpet, because if you slouch you will restrict your ability to inhale and exhale with power. It’s very comfortable to sit and play for hours, and you can sit either all the way back, half way or on the edge. I highly recommend these chairs!

Simply put, stand lights are amazing. If you have a hard time seeing in general, definitely get one of these. One thing to keep in mind when buying a stand light is the color of the light. Some lights like the ones made by Mighty Bright (which are also very good for pretty cheap) are white lights, while the one pictured here (made by Manhasset) is a yellow light. I personally prefer the yellow light because it’s easier on my eyes during long practice sessions.