Correlation between physical health and chops?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Skelingtin, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. Skelingtin

    Skelingtin New Friend

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    I've recently started working out at the gym about 2-3 weeks ago. In this period I will definately say I have gotten stronger but not bigver, yet. Anyway, in this time period my playing seems to have also been enhanced tromendously at the same time without chinging the practice routine, with the most noticeable change being in range and tone.
    Now my dellema is that there has been a period of about 4-5 days where I haven't been able to hit the gym. Since about yesterday, I was suddenly slammed with really poor chops as if I hadn't picked up the horn for over a week. My range that was a high E while working out dropped to a high B at best, and the tone became airy and dry. (Prior to doing regular exercise at the gym, my range was around a C-D constistently)
    I thought it was just a bad day, so I put the horn away for the day and picked it up again today. Today- was the same, maybe only slightly better than yesterday.
    I went back to the gym today out of fear for my chops because I really do think there has been this strong connection between the rest of your body and your face. If anyone else has had a similar instance please share! I'm just a high school player so all of this may already be a known fact that your body's condition relates to your chops.
     
  2. musicalmason

    musicalmason Forte User

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    Well, you are young, so you may be experiencing some chop inconsistencies. It is possible that these are just coincidentally over lying with your break from the gym. Our brains always look to make sense out of situations, it is my theory that that has something to do with this. That said, playing trumpet is a physical activity, and there is no doubt in my mind that being in good shape can help your playing. I do doubt that any major changes would be taking effect so quickly (both positively when exercising and negatively when you stop). You've been working out less than a month, and stopped for mere days....doesn't sound like enough to morph the way you play to me.
     
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    (N.B. I'm basing my comments on science, pseudoscience and conventional wisdom.) Two of the biggest factors in playing are physiology and self talk. For trumpet players, the physiology has to do with chops training, sure, but also with posture. For more esoteric stuff Google "vulgano brother ray of power." It has been my experience that strength training has had little to do with good trumpet playing (other than working out before playing, in which case shaky arm muscles translated that into my tone) but aerobic exercise (back when I was chasing a cute flute player around a track for up to an hour at a time) does seem to help.

    A lot, I believe, would depend on the type of weight training you are doing--if you are training for bulk (few repetitions, high resistance) that could help prohibit the "relaxed but working body" approach to playing. Strength training (more repetitions,less resistance) might do the same. I would suggest days off between hitting the gym, and concentrating more on endurance. Many repetitions, low impact.

    That said, it is too early to say if your working out has negatively impacted your trumpet playing.
     
  4. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Hi skellingtin,
    You stated:
    "I've recently started working out at the gym about 2-3 weeks ago. In this period I will definately say I have gotten stronger but not bigver, yet. Anyway, in this time period my playing seems to have also been enhanced tromendously at the same time without chinging the practice routine, with the most noticeable change being in range and tone.
    Now my dellema is that there has been a period of about 4-5 days where I haven't been able to hit the gym. Since about yesterday, I was suddenly slammed with really poor chops as if I hadn't picked up the horn for over a week. My range that was a high E while working out dropped to a high B at best, and the tone became airy and dry. (Prior to doing regular exercise at the gym, my range was around a C-D constistently)
    ----------------
    Hummmmm? How can I put this?
    Okay, here goes. The correlation between these two situations are probably not what you think. The muscles used to perform are not quite the same as those developed when in a gym. Possibly the big correlation here is just how close the emotional state of the performer correlates to how they perform. The better you fell about yourself, the better (to a point) you will play. That's not to say I am boo hooing proper exercise. It is important to have a sound exercise routine regardless of the pastime or occupation. Just make sure you're not shoving the mouthpiece with your newly gained muscles and you're not forcing the air with your new endurance level. The good news. There is a high correlation between well built young men and the ease of getting a date with the prettier girls in the school.
    PS don't forget to put a raincoat on that solider young man!!
    Dr.Mark
     
  5. Hugh Anderson

    Hugh Anderson Pianissimo User

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    The first hint that I'm getting sick is when the trumpet gets physically hard to play.
     
  6. musicalmason

    musicalmason Forte User

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    I've been sick for about 20 years then....it's always hard. Just kidding, I do agree, it's like a cold early warning system.
     
  7. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

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    Everything you do that is physical is interrelated.

    Tom
     
  8. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    I'll agree about my trumpet playing being an early warning system for colds and such. It isn't so much a loss of range or technique but rather an increase in the amount of effort required.
     
  9. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

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    Huffing and puffing on the treaidmill has to be good for the lung power...
     
  10. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    In retrospect, my flute player pursuit wasn't all that aerobic. If we are huffing and puffing it usually means shallow breaths, sort of panting like a dog. Once in shape, I remember taking deep trumpet player like breaths. She ran a pretty constant tempo (sounded like elephant steps, though) and as I got into shape (with more of a gazelle like stride) I could keep up and lap her (I wanted her to see my bum too) while breathing deeply and slowly.
     

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