Bad days

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by songbook, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    Gary is right, IMO. It takes a long time for the multiple small muscles of the embouchure to learn to coordinate and to gain strength and endurance. UNlike the large muscles that we use when exercising, these small ones, which have a very different vocation, do not give us a lot of feedback on their level of fatigue. In fact, the only reliable feedback is our sound. The moment it starts degrading, it means the embouchure is getting tired. As adults, comebackers or initial learners, we tend to have expectations. We are driven and result oriented, so we tend to be impatient. We devise a practice regimen and it better get us where we want to go, darn it! We often try to do too much too early in an attempt to obtain results. Kids develop very differently, almost in an incidental fashion and can do so for a number of years before getting serious about playing. In my experience, bad days signal overuse of the whole playing apparatus.
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Rather than try to force things, relax, play a bit softer and let the music play you.
  3. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    The whole puffy lips in the morning thing sure sounds similar to the salt problems I had. I wonder if it being winter the heater is drying the air in your house. Hydration could be the problem.
    just guessing...
  4. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Yep, excessive wear on the instrument ... and the player also. Much of the latter is my fault and irreversible with aging.
  5. songbook

    songbook Piano User

    Apr 25, 2010
    Perhaps I should cut back for a while. I definitely need to rest as much as I play. Something I here a lot of. Playing softer is something else I can work on. Never to old to get good advice. Thanks to all, and God bless.
  6. Branson

    Branson Piano User

    Jan 16, 2011
    Take the response from johnande to heart. As a member of this elite and completely misunderstood fraternity of older, yet bolder trumpet players, I agree with everything he has share. You do have the advantage of playing dixieland for most phrases are short and your air should not be a problem if more expansion is developed.

    I have begun practicing on a trombone and this has opened my eyes as to how I can more effectively utilizes my existing vital capacity.

    Age 71 and playing better than when in college.
  7. lmf

    lmf Forte User

    May 16, 2007
    Indiana USA
    Consider of you are doing things differently than you were accustomed to doing. Any equipment changes of horn and/or mouthpiece? Any health changes? Changes in practice, length of warm ups? Any changes in diet or food choices since your last practice and/or performance?

    Best wishes,

  8. songbook

    songbook Piano User

    Apr 25, 2010
    Come to think of it Lloyd, I have been trying some range studies, and might have over done it. You would think at my age I would know better. I guess it's a trumpet thing, always looking for that higher note. Easing up on my practice time might be the answer. Thanks for your thoughts on my problem.
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    What's really cool when you get proficient with range, is that you have many good days where the higher notes begin to find you before you start looking for them. Man do I love that feeling, and I am getting this response more and more since playing lead in a jazz orchestra.
  10. lmf

    lmf Forte User

    May 16, 2007
    Indiana USA

    I'm pleased that your "bad days" may have been caused by too much practice time and not something related to health. I've spent nearly a year and half taking radiation treatments and chemotherapy infusions which have left me breathless and fatigued. It was tough trying to play my horns for several months after. I'm only now able to play my horns and vocalize with easier breathing. I can truly appreciate when another player is faced with changes in playing that result in the player experiencing "bad days" while feeling bewildered and concerned. I wish you more "good days" to replace the "bad" ones.

    Best wishes,


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