Trumpet/Flugelhorn, Educator, Composition & Arranging, Conducting, Brass/Horns Contractor for live performance & recording sessions

Walt's Shed

Write it Down!


I'm a big fan of putting a pencil or pen on a piece of paper.  No matter what it is I've always seemed to do better when I used an "analog" approach to taking notes.  When I was working on my doctorate I finally got a laptop and for a month tried REAL HARD to take notes on it.  The thing is, for as long as I can remember, I have always remembered and been more engaged when I write things down with a pen or pencil.  My best tunes have been written by hand, my best ideas have been written by hand, and my most passionate appeals have been written by hand (talking to you first girl friend!).  

As I move to this more "eco-friendly" approach to keeping track of my thoughts I am reminded of this issue.  I think this is why I'll keep a hard copy and a digital copy...whew, problem solved.  


There are several ways people like to log.  I see real simple and quick bullet point logs and I see long logs with extremely detailed analysis of how every note felt.  I make all of my students log their practice time and it's shown to be vital to their development.  The log does more than just give you something to do, I have found it vital to getting me back in the mental game of trumpet practice faster.  


When I come back from time off of practice and/or the routine it gets me back in the groove without spending time pondering "what did I used to do" or "where did I leave off" or the inevitable "oh man I totally forgot to..."  Yep, the log is key.  

Below you will see my basic log in digital form.  This is by no means the only way to do it.  James Blackwell covers this well in his blog post found here.  The most important part of any practice log is to remember that it is YOURS!  You can do it anyway you want.  Use it like a practice log or more like a journal where you can complain about anything you want (incidentally this is a great way to deal with frustration).  I will even write about what else I did that day.

But I think it should include the following no matter what:

  1. The date
  2. What you worked on
  3. What you want to work on in the future

Challenge yourself to write down your practice everyday and I guarantee you will see a change in your practice habits and the results of your practice time.


  1. Long Tones with breath attack G-C
  2. Plog Tonguing C-E-G-C
  3. Boyde's Stamp Part 1 (pp)
  4. Boyde's Stamp Part 1 pedals (pp)
  5. Boyde's Stamp Part 2 (pp)
  6. Schlossberg #32 (Adam Routine Style to the dub C)
  7. High Note Long Tones q=60 12 counts (C-G)
  8. Woody Shaw 1-4-5 Pattern
  9. Matt Otto 4ths
  10. Miles 1/2 step chromatic approach scale q=76 jazz articulation (C-E-G-C) 
  11. Miles 1/2 step no met as fast as possible jazz articulation
  12. Charlie Davis' Pedal Routine deal



  • Air through the horn at point of attack
  • We should alternate the legato and STACATO articulations in the Plog portion of the warm-up
  • Play parts of the Boyde as soft as possible.  Think about the air still driving through the horn at the soft volume!!!
  • Blow through the bends!!!
  • I think the equipment just still isn't perfect...F, F#, G feel like they have 10 slots!?!?!?
  • Fingers...ugh...fingers...this is what we got to work on!
  • Missed piano and ear training today gotta do it


  • Tracked Bone parts for all the new Laker Band Charts
  • Booked Laker Band Rehearsal
  • Bought some new pants (a win)
  • Ate clean-ish
Duple doesn't want to get up

Duple doesn't want to get up