Daily Routines or Chops Express?

I am often asked by prospective customers which they should buy, the new Chops Express book or the tried and true Daily Routines book? The answer to that question really depends on you. The books are both based on the same physical structure, offering the same basic benefits, but they are tailored for trumpet players with different needs. There are pros and cons to buying either book.

Chops Express for trumpet by Eddie LewisChops Express for Trumpet

As the name suggests, Chops Express is great for those who have less time to practice. I have been helping my students modify their routines for years, teaching them how to do the entire routine structure without having to invest so much of their practice day into the rudiments. Remember that I teach that your work on musical literature should be at least half of your practice day. Stated in the converse, this means that your physical rudiments should never take longer than half of your practice time for the day.

If you only practice thirty minutes per day, you cannot follow the “at least 50% music” rule with the Daily Routines book unless you learn how to alter the exercises. I recommend the Chops Express book for trumpet players who practice an hour per day or less.

I also recommend the Chops Express book for trumpet players who practice more than an hour per day but want more variety. When used in combination with the Daily Routines book, the trumpeter has now two collections of routines to chose from.

The Chops Express book also gives an opportunity for more variety by affording you time to add other material to your routine.

Daily Routines for Trumpet

If the Chops Express book has most of the same beneficial properties as the Daily Routines book, because of its underlying structure, why would anyone want to buy the Daily Routines book?

The main disadvantage of using the Chops Express book is that it does very little for developing strength. There is some strength development that occurs as a byproduct of using the Physical Trumpet Pyramid structure, but the muscular strength is not challenged enough to promote significant growth in that area of your playing.

That said, the main reason to use the Daily Routines book is to develop strength. With more strength comes greater range, longer endurance and a better overall sound. If you use the Daily Routines book correctly, you will push yourself farther, physically speaking, than just about anything you will ever have to play in an ensemble. Regular Daily Routines users find that the music they have to play in public becomes increasingly more facile as they develop their strength.

Summary

Simply put, the Daily Routines book is for trumpet players who practice at least two hours per day and the Chops Express book is for those players who are more limited in their practice time. But as you can see, there is a little more to it than that. May I be so bold, being the books’ author, as to suggest both? The two work very well together as a set. In fact, when the Tiger Music website is updated, we will be offering all three of my physical books as a bundle: The Physical Trumpet Pyramid, Daily Routines for Trumpet and Chops Express for Trumpet. We expect the website to be updated in early June (2012).

About Eddie Lewis

Eddie Lewis is primarily known as a free-lance trumpet player in Houston, TX. Eddie makes a living playing trumpet, teaching trumpet and jazz improvisation, writing trumpet music and authoring trumpet books. His second book, Daily Routines for Trumpet, is used regularly by thousands of trumpet players around the world. If you would like to purchase some of his CD's, feel free to visit our online music store at http://www.TigerMusicStore.com.
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