Days Off

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by BHSBrass, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. BHSBrass

    BHSBrass New Friend

    May 20, 2008
    Hi everyone,

    I am taking a day off from playing altogether today, my chops have been run down due to excessive playing from marching band, jazz band, and a few recent concerts.

    I feel like I am going to benefit from the day off but at the same time I am wondering should I still do some mouthpiece buzzing?
    I'm trying to let the muscles rebuild themselves, would this interfere? Or should I just stop myself now and give my lips a much needed rest?

  2. EdMann

    EdMann Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 20, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I'm doing the same thing today, but not by choice. I could use the day off after about 4 hours of shedding the blues yesterday, but it's my kid's 10th bday party after Sunday school with relatives waiting at the airport and, well, let's just say Dad shouldn't be locked in the back room doing scales today.

    Nothing wrong with a day off now and then, and many pros I know do the same thing. Some don't, but they're now divorced.:shock:

    Ed - Ed Mann - 51 - Male - LA, California -
  3. Brass crusader

    Brass crusader Mezzo Piano User

    I'd definately tell you to take a day off from playing. No buzzing, nothing. Just listen to some music, if you want to. The rest lets you come back and build right back up again feeling better and well rested. Your playing will benefit tremendously, as well. It's very much like a "taper" workout in any sport, resting up before a race or game. Allowing yourself to rest and reset is a very good thing to do.
  4. mlagatic

    mlagatic New Friend

    Mar 24, 2007
    Northern NJ
    BHS Brass,

    Days off is a that trumpet players, especially less experienced ones tend to not think to much about. We're all in such a rush to get better, that we sometimes forget that our chops are muscles too, just really tiny ones. So just like if you went to the gym and lifted weights or went and ran a mile or too, the physical activity makes you sore the next day, or for some of us older folks, we're sore a few hours later.

    Regardless, muscles need time to regenerate from time to time to get stronger. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your playing is take a day off, or do something light, like warm up with long tones and then put the horn away for the day.

    Sometimes its just what you need to get better. Feel like you are playing and practicing your butt off and you just aren't getting anywhere? Put the horn down and go away from it for a while...a few hours or a day. Go do something completely different. Read a book, go outside, go hang with your friends...just get your mind away from the trumpet. Then when you feel rested or relaxed come back and work on it again. You'll be amazed at what this can do for you. Your mind will be focused again and your chops feeling better.

    Some things that you can do to make your chops feel better after a long practice session or if you feel like you are struggling:

    1. walk away for a're trumpet will forgive you and let you come back to me

    2. stretch out your mouth...say "ahhh" nice and big like at the doctors office..keep the jaw loose

    3. GENTLY massage your chops with your finger tips...just a light touch, move in a circular motion. This gets the bloodflow back into your lips and helps wash away lactic acid

    4. eat ice cream bars or put some ice on your lips..helps reduce the swelling.

    5. On the morning after a long night of playing, when you know you'll have to have fresh chops the following day, take a longer shower than usual, and let the warm water just gently fall onto your face. The warm water and the stimulation should loosen up your face a bit. You could also take some advil about an hour to 30 minutes before you play (advil has slight muscle relaxing properties..make sure you eat something before you take it though)

    So long story short. Rest is a good thing to do. Sometimes just walk away completely for a day, refresh your chops and your mind and come back focused and fresh the next day. Also I hope the other 5 tips I listed helped in terms of learning how to think of your chops as muscles and caring for them the way an athlete would care for their bodies. After all we are weightlifters...just on a smaller scale.

    Have a good day off!!

  5. edcon1981

    edcon1981 Mezzo Forte User

    Jun 25, 2008
    Central Jersey
    i practice every other day, it's all my busy lifestyle entitles me to.
  6. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    I generally take one day off about every week (sometimes even two if I don't have a gig coming up :whistle:). Some weeks I practice and/or play every day, but my lips appreciate a little R&R now and then.
  7. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Take a day off, or two.

    Don't buzz and don't worry about a thing.

  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    It is harder to recharge your batteries if you don't turn the lights off. Take a REAL break. Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy - that fits most aspects of life. During that day, turn the transmitter OFF and the receiver ON. It is amazing what other people have to say!
  9. GordonH

    GordonH Mezzo Forte User

    May 15, 2005
    I usually have one day off playing every week, usually the day after my hardest blow, whatever that has been.

    Roddy Lewis suggests taking two days off a week, but not one after the other. Personally i couldn't do that, but having one day off seems to make my playing better and prevents the risk of injury by overdoing it.
  10. Emb_Enh

    Emb_Enh Banned

    Nov 16, 2003
    Roddy Lewis suggests taking two days off a week, but not one after the other. Personally i couldn't do that, but having one day off seems to make my playing better and prevents the risk of injury by overdoing it.

    and surely...thats okay : )

    Roddy o-iii<O

    YouTube - Embouchure Enhancement #2 Vid

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