Adam Routine

Many versions of Bill Adam’s Daily Routine exist. Most, however, are for trumpet, and trombonists must employ some amount of translation. I have written a trombone edition of the Adam Routine based on Mark Minasian‘s codification. In my version, I have omitted some of the Schlossberg exercises in favor of Remington and other more trombone-oriented exercises that achieve most of the same goals.

The first thing to note about the Adam Routine is that it is not a warmup. True warmup takes only a few minutes and primes the embouchure for optimal performance. This routine, when properly executed, will take an hour or more and leave you fatigued. This is a practice routine designed to improve sound quality, consistency and response.

Rest is one of the most important elements of this routine. Because the sequence is relatively lengthy, it can be tempting to just push through. However, the silences between notes and exercises are designed to allow the muscles to relax and recalibrate. Just as importantly, you should use the silences to audiate the upcoming passage and prepare to play it better than the previous one. Ideally, the Adam Routine would be practiced by two alternating people. One person rests while the other plays, ensuring equal time playing and resting.

It is vital that you remain patient with this routine and give it all the time and space it needs. I like to do it early in the morning with dim lights and a cup of coffee. I feel almost meditative while working through it, living inside the sounds I’m making with no external thoughts or pressures interrupting my focus. Regardless, the goal is to stay calm and relaxed throughout, both physically and mentally.