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Practicing while traveling?

jthole

Member
Messages
258
My work requires me to do a lot of travel, all within Europe, but still away from my saxes. I do feel that I can take my clarinet with me in the cabin luggage (or buy an inexpensive plastic clarinet for travel). However, does anyone have experience with practicing while traveling? How do hotels typically react? Do you have to pay for an empty room for practicing? Or do you use a public place, like the parking garage (if available)?

Thanks for any advice!
 

Jamesmac

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,872
These questions come up from time to time, and I don't think, it's something to be concerned about, not having access to all your Saxes. In an ideal world we should go through our routine every day. ( talking from a working musicians point of view) my old teacher said to me once, you must practice/play every minute of the day you can. For insurance. When later in your life there will be other things to take care of ( he was referring to a wife and kids) so the first question is. Do you have insurance. If you don't, then just work and play your instruments when you can. When you are not with your instruments you can still be practicing, thinking of things and setting the ground work of things to develop when you have an instrument. Being away from an instrument for a time can make the return more rewarding and productive. If you have insurance and you don't double on half a dozen instruments ( which is another story) you probably won't notice anything much in your playing when you return.:)
 
Messages
167
Locality
australia
hello there...i travel alot,around the world and within australia...i am in indonesia now...
many hotels,guesthouses,etc, do mind you practicing if it harasses their other customers....timing is important,and also asking your neigh-boors...there are many places to practice otherwise,street,cemetery's(nobody complains there),churches,airports(this is a great place to practice as you have an hour or so doing nothing),busking anywhere,under bridges,in parks,on the street,anywhere really....
take an instrument you love,not a cheap one,in my opinion the one you love sounds/plays better and you will love to play/practice it...
i usually travel with a soprano as its smaller/easier,but i have also traveled with my tenor,especially if i am just going to stay in one place for a month or so...
i was in bangkok at the beggining of the year and i took the tenor...
it was great sitting in with bands there and doing some practice on the roof-top whenever i felt like it...(nobody said to stop and i got a few people seeking out the sound,so some audience,which makes you try harder to not make the mistakes....
i always take my saxophones as cabin lugguage,even when they say no,i ask to see the manager and it always works out that it goes inside never in the cargo hold...
i hope this helps a bit to take the instrument or YOUR choice to where ever you are going in the world...
cheers,philip from down-under...
 

Jamesmac

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,872
hello there...i travel alot,around the world and within australia...i am in indonesia now...
many hotels,guesthouses,etc, do mind you practicing if it harasses their other customers....timing is important,and also asking your neigh-boors...there are many places to practice otherwise,street,cemetery's(nobody complains there),churches,airports(this is a great place to practice as you have an hour or so doing nothing),busking anywhere,under bridges,in parks,on the street,anywhere really....
take an instrument you love,not a cheap one,in my opinion the one you love sounds/plays better and you will love to play/practice it...
i usually travel with a soprano as its smaller/easier,but i have also traveled with my tenor,especially if i am just going to stay in one place for a month or so...
i was in bangkok at the beggining of the year and i took the tenor...
it was great sitting in with bands there and doing some practice on the roof-top whenever i felt like it...(nobody said to stop and i got a few people seeking out the sound,so some audience,which makes you try harder to not make the mistakes....
i always take my saxophones as cabin lugguage,even when they say no,i ask to see the manager and it always works out that it goes inside never in the cargo hold...
i hope this helps a bit to take the instrument or YOUR choice to where ever you are going in the world...
cheers,philip from down-under...

You certainly have a point there Philip, taking the Sax to play music. Must be my background, I think of practice as something before the music. I don't think I would gather an audience going through my daily routine.LOL. Reminds me of a visitor to the home of Heifetz. Talking to the great violinists son, he could hear a horrendous noise coming from the adjoining room. He asked if that was his father playing. The son replied yes, my father always practices the things he can't play.:)
 

jthole

Member
Messages
258
Thanks! :)

I travel for something like 60 ~ 80 days per year, but it's all short trips (one or two weeks). Finding a place in a hotel where you can play without disturbing others may be the biggest challenge indeed :(
Taking a soprano clarinet with me as cabin luggage does not sound very hard. I could even pack it in my trolley between my clothes, if space is tight (wrapped in a towel, of course).
Practicing on the streets without a permit probably is not a good idea in many European cities ;)

(I'm in Sweden next week ... I'll send the hotel an email in advance)
 

Jamesmac

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,872
Just a thought jthole, there is a lot on YouTube using just the mouthpiece with a mute to keep your chops in. Could be useful for those short trips:)
 

baritonesax

Member
Messages
256
Locality
Twickenham
This is something that I deal with a lot. If you're a clarinettist - take that, they're much smaller than a sop. One thing you can do to mute a clarinet is to drill a small hole into the chamber of a mouthpiece (a mouthpiece that you don't treasure, obviously) - I'm talking about 0.5mm - that sort of small. Turns an f into a mp - works quite well and doesn't affect tuning. V suitable for hotel room practice. Otherwise, a mouthpiece and a silencer are great.

All that said, a few days away doesn't actually do any harm at all. Can be bizarrely good, in a way.
 
Messages
167
Locality
australia
Thanks! :)

I travel for something like 60 ~ 80 days per year, but it's all short trips (one or two weeks). Finding a place in a hotel where you can play without disturbing others may be the biggest challenge indeed :(
Taking a soprano clarinet with me as cabin luggage does not sound very hard. I could even pack it in my trolley between my clothes, if space is tight (wrapped in a towel, of course).
Practicing on the streets without a permit probably is not a good idea in many European cities ;)

(I'm in Sweden next week ... I'll send the hotel an email in advance)

the rooftop...good views and the sound does not go too far....most people stay in their locked-up rooms with the air-con on and the tv's up....

any clarinet is tiny....

a curved soprano is perfect,.....i am looking at rebuilding an old conn factory 34 soprano with the neck that comes off...it's tiny and hopefully will be reasonably "in-tune"....also looking for a yani late model curved sop 991 or 992....

practicing on the streets in most area's one does not need a permit,only in the really popular spots...and even if one does need a permit,the officers that patrol the streets only come up and ask then tell you to move on or tell you a good place"away" to go....
most of those patrol-persons are good at public-relations...
under bridges is great for acoustics/reverb....and usually off the beaten track...
also,if you don't put your case out to gather money,its not busking....

cheers,philip
 

ellinas

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,130
Locality
Athens, Greece
Anywhere i go theres always a really loud place like next o a highway or a really calm like a place with no people where i can take a break and play the saxophone. Sometimes a break works wonders and you play even better than before.

A good practice for me ( totally unprofessional advice ) is to visualize in my thought how i would play something and try to hear it. When i grab the sax its there. Voila. Try it. Excellent ear training for those that hear notes,chords etc and dont carry a sax. Close your eyes and play it with your mind seeing all the keys played.

I know im nuts but this works.
 

jthole

Member
Messages
258
I'll try the "placing the reed so low that it mutes" trick for my next trip (in two weeks).

For the record, I bought a repadded and recorked Vito Reso-Tone for low money, as a travel clarinet. Plastic and inexpensive, so no worries while traveling.
 

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