Dealing with colds?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by tonybaloney, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. tonybaloney

    tonybaloney Pianissimo User

    Oct 8, 2008
    I have a pretty bad cold. I am getting very frustrated because I really want to play because my school band has a concert next week. The music is pretty hairy and requires concentration.

    My problem is not being able to play in tune. Ever since I got this cold I can't play in tune, so I know it's not something happening with my embouchure. I just can't get the right pitch. Now, maybe it's because I have a minor ear ache and can't hear it well enough to fix it. When ever I sit with a tuner and attempt to tune it wavers between being in tune and sharp and flat.

    Any thoughts or any good over-the-counter medicine that helps a clogged nose?
  2. Brass crusader

    Brass crusader Mezzo Piano User

    Yeah, that happened to me a few weeks back, I went out cycling and got caught in some hail/sleet. Anyways, your best bet is to try to get better, and not to stress your body by playing too intensely.
    Good luck, and I hope you get better and have a great show!
  3. Grizzle

    Grizzle Pianissimo User

    Aug 21, 2006
    Yeah--sleep a bunch to get better, but more important than that is to never give anything the power to mess you up. What I mean is that you are going to focus on only the positives and the end result of that glorious sound you have in your imagination to come out, and you are not going to think any more about this cold of yours. You have a cold, you have a gig--play well anyway by minimizing the impact of the cold. To do that, you can't think about your question.

    Or, you could take up the saxophone.
  4. Wlfgng

    Wlfgng Piano User

    Aug 15, 2008
    Leave the horn alone for a few days.
    Plenty of sleep
    Plenty of fluids.
    Long hot showers wich produce a lot of steam.
    Sometimes you have to pause and take care of yourself before moving foreward.
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Losing your sense of pitch is not necessarily caused by the cold.

    The way our playing works is that we blow into the horn and that produces a tone that we hear and our brain immediately sends a signal on what to adjust (for volume, sound, intonation, etc.) When you have a cold, histamines are in action and that means that your lips respond differently because they are not as moist for instance. The signal that your brain sent is not the right one for your condition.

    The answer is, if you have to play when sick, then you need to "recondition" your brain. Very soft long tones, basic slurs and very little concert program (this is to keep the practice frustration down!). This assumes of course that you had your part down BEFORE you got sick. I do not recommend laying off a week before a concert unless you are a pro. The complete playing system then goes into free fall. Drink lots of water or unsweetened herbal tea (black tea has tannic acid and that makes my chops "stiffer"), keep the amount of "symptom relief" (like Vick cough syrup) down to a minimum. Play those long tones and slurs as often as possible. When the cold is gone, clean the trumpet (Mucous gets into the horn in aerosol form)!
  6. lovevixen555

    lovevixen555 Banned

    Nov 5, 2008
    Go get some Sudafed just plain old origanal Sudafed not the PE version. You will have to get it from the Pharamcy because all the good cold medicine is now kept behind the pharmacy the stuff on the shelfs is lame old stuff! For the ear ache you might try Alieve not Tylenol or Advil but Alieve it works better then any other over the counter pain medication period! If the above does not do it then do not waste anymoney on anything else because these are about as good as they get for over the counter combo! It will dry you up and open you up. It should dull the pain or elimanate it. It sometimes help to add some caffiene to any painkiller so a large cup of coffee or an energy drink would not hurt either!
  7. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    I wouldn't recommend the coffee/energy drink suggestion. Those are temporary fixes and you crash just as hard when they wear off.
  8. tonybaloney

    tonybaloney Pianissimo User

    Oct 8, 2008
    Thanks for the suggestions. I am resting a heck of a lot more. But most importantly is that I found this nasal spray around the house and it works MIRACLES. I didn't have a stuffy nose the whole day. I am elated! Still, I hope it goes away soon.
  9. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    Those nasal sprays are addictive. Make sure you only use it for a short time. My older brother got addicted to them and had to use it every day for a year or his nose would get stuffy even if he wasn't sick. It took him a while of having a stuffy nose to ween himself off of the spray.

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