How to make your warm up more exciting!
I have always found the warm up process a little tedious and somewhat…. boring. There I said it. So lately I have been finding ways to spice up this thing we all have to do.
As a brass player it’s long tones, lip slurs, articulation exercises and the list goes on. But we have to do this. It is the foundation of our playing. So how can you make this fun? Thanks for asking! Recently I have been using a couple apps to do this. iReal Pro and Groove bank.
Groove bank has a bunch of pre recorded drum beats in different styles and tempos and more can be added if you don’t mind spending a couple dollars. I like to break this app out when I am doing lip slurs. It gives me a tempo to follow without the monotonous click of a metronome as well as giving a neat rhythm to what I am playing allowing me to be more musical. This also works well for any articulation exercises or anything that you don’t want or need chord changes to.
Now iReal Pro is an app that is really meant for the jazz player but I have found it useful in my warm up as well. This app is available on mac, iPad, iPhone and android devices. It gives you the luxury of plugging in your own chord changes, changing tempos, styles, instrumentation, or even excluding instruments. For warm up purposes I have plugged in chord changes to work on my scales. The thing I like most about this is it allows me to work on intonation with something besides tuning drones. Don’t get me wrong, drones are great and there is a place for them in my warm up but this spices things up a bit. Especially when I play with a salsa groove (pun intended). Another nice thing to use this app for is to be creative in your warm up and play some simple melodies in different keys.
These apps can be used in many contexts besides the few I have listed so use your imagination and have fun! And don’t forget that even in our warm ups the number one goal is to MAKE MUSIC.