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Hi all,

At the beginning of this year, I was sidelined with an injury to both hands leaving me unable to play for about three months straight.

Since I've been able to pick the horn back up, I've kind of been stuck in a vicious cycle. Every aspect of my playing - tone quality, intonation, technique, improvisation, etc - has (understandably) worsened. But I'm having trouble bringing my skills back. I don't have the endurance to put hours into improving each aspect of my playing every day. But I'm also struggling to rebuild my endurance. At the same time when I practice, it's largely quite demoralizing because I sound so bad now, making me loathe the activity altogether. So I practice less, so I find it even harder to improve, etc...

Given so many things to do, I'm really at a loss as to what I can do to make meaningful gains toward playing well again. I'm wondering if any of you have any suggestions as to a good starting place: something I can work consistently on that can serve as a springboard to getting back on the right track. I've been going in circles for months now and I've gotta get off of square one....

Thanks for your time and your advice
 

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Start with long tones, articulation, and technique (the basis)... then give more 10 min each time you practice.... that way in no time you will be playing many hours and a lot... give more time to long tone to built good embouchure and sound/air support... this will make you gain more resistance on your playing.
Take your time..

This seems easy but there are no secrets, just do not let your moral go down.

Remember, be a musician is a marathon, not a 100m fast run (this only will get you tired for the next day)

Cheers
 

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I've been through this three times. It's not fun. I feel your pain (in my best Bill Clinton voice). I think I had to get into a routine where playing at the same time each evening. I started by learning a couple new tunes. Not too hard but AABA tunes. I would play the head, blow straight eighths on the changes and play the head again. Then play a four or eight bar intro into the other tune, and go back and fourth.

I couldn't play for almost a year. Starting again, I could only play two fifteen minute sessions in an hour, then my chops would be blown out. Even after a year I could play only about a solid hour and a half every day. The last time I was off for a couple months, I was playing about twenty hours a week. I started working on a couple tunes out of the Omni-book, getting the written solos fluid and blowing eighth note lines over the changes. I had to practice slowly and it hurts, but I try not to got too carried away. It took me like six months to get my strength back.

Eventually all the stuff you know all comes back, so by the time you get the strength to relax and grab big breaths, to get a nice fat sound... you have learned new tunes in the process. The whole ordeal sucks. The only good part is that you understand how hard it is to build chops and how fast they go away if you don't play every day.
 

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Any time I have a setback I start over by pulling out an old Rubank intermediate book and try to start over St a point my expectations don't out pace my current ability. I find it doesn't take long to catch up and improvement shows up almost immediately.
 

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Any time I have a setback I start over by pulling out an old Rubank intermediate book and try to start over St a point my expectations don't out pace my current ability. I find it doesn't take long to catch up and improvement shows up almost immediately.
Agreed!

Any form of self improvement (e.g. Body building, sports, dieting, mental skills....and musical performance ability) has inherent setbacks and loss of hard fought ground. Your best allies are patience and the willingness to start over. The good news is that it USUALLY doesn't take 6 months to undo a 6 month absence. Often I have seen a return to skill level in half the absence time.

GPD
 
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