Embouchure Overuse Syndrome (to Rowuk)

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by cvayda, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. strad116055

    strad116055 Pianissimo User

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    i have a question for rowuk...actually 2...(not opinions disguised as questions, but actual questions.) you stated that you (and your students) could perform on any standard mouthpiece. i've known other who could do this, but i have never been able to manage it. within the obvious limits of an internet format, could you describe how this is accomplished? and secondly, and this is related more specifically to the original post; since we are talking about a callet 17 being the original mouthpiece in question, would you consider that within the realm of "standard"? the specs are less than .600 (actually closer to .590) would that consideration have any implications on your answer here, and if so, how?

    what prompts the question, especially the 2nd one, is that i have known lead players who played a certain mouthpiece in their prime, so to speak, who were forced to abandon that mouthpiece later in life. it became just too extreme, for whatever reason. ...strad
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I wondered when this question would come up. The pretense is like dynamite..... Strad, you are the first one to ask!

    Let's compare the mouthpiece to a violin bow. There are different weights, lengths and hair types. The tension of the wood and many other factors make the comparison valid. With decent technique, we can perform. Our playing will not fall apart when we switch bows in spite of us noticing considerable differences.

    With a mouthpiece, we have a different type of interface, but very much a similar situation. If our sound concept is together and FORCE does not determine the lip/rim interface, we can play. A certain amount of time is required to acclimate, and then we just play. We for sure will notice the difference, at the level of playing discussed here, I am not sure that others will notice a deficit. Here is the core concept: reduce the necessary force between lips and mouthpiece and we reduce the dependency on hardware!

    When we pick our personal mouthpiece there is naturally more to it than getting through a performance. I insist the tweaks should start AFTER we get the required technique. The mouthpiece should not ENABLE our playing rather support the underlying basic functions.

    I used to play lead with a Schilke 14a4a and a Monette BL after that. I don't use them anymore. With age, things have changed and I am more comfortable with a bigger rim size. I still can play the old pieces, but they are more work for me. This is because we are talking about my face/brain/ears creating a specific sound and using habits from recent history. If I forgot my regular lead mouthpiece, I could borrow a 14a4a and get through the gig - but like you using a baroque bow for a Strauss Till Eulenspiegel, we develop better matches through experience.

    Actually you asked three questions. In our youth we have almost unlimited power to overcome. We can muscle our way through almost anything. With age, the better players develop and start playing "smarter". That changes the game for our body and equipment. We reach a point where very small differences become wonderful experiences that change our approach from power to precision. This maturing can be a very slow process for some and overnight for others. That can stress the emotional capacity of the musician.

     
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Swelling if related to muscle strain, will take weeks to recover (typically 6 weeks) then months (typically 4 months) to fully heal. This is basic muscle physiology... and the last time I checked, lips are composed of muscle.

    Now time off is a different situation. When an long distance runner pulls a tendon, the rule is to lay off when the pain is intense (pain is our friend) as pain is telling you there is ongoing damage, and to continue is to damage even more. However, after the intense pain there is the aches and soreness. At this stage, the athelete will perform stretch and isometetric excercises. We call this rehabilitation of the muscle. There is no reason why the trumpet player cannot use the same idiology as once again, lips are controlled by muscle.

    So I would wait first for the swelling to resolve and then try the horn again. If you have control on low octive accuracy (C below staff to C on staff; then D to D, E to E, F to F) then you are ready to rehab. Long tones ARE a good start. HOWEVER, if you still do not have accuracy with the octive test... STOP... PUT THE HORN DOWN... WALK AWAY FROM THE HORN. Give it a few more days, then try it again.

    When you are able to get the minimal accuracy back then after playing a few minutes or so of long tones, go back to your normal routine at about 40-50% of your prior activitiy. The weekly, increase your activity by another 5-10%. In several weeks you will be back to 100% which matchs the recovery time of muscle strain. If you do not force more strain, in another 4-6 months you will be totally healed.
     
  4. cvayda

    cvayda Pianissimo User

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    I do not beleive this is muscle strain. Wouldn't I have felt something - some kind of discomfort, pain ?? I've picked up some kind of bad habit which causes this (horn angle, drifted more off center), so I'm not sure resting will solve this as much as figuring out what the bad behaviour is. What does muscle strain feel like?
     
  5. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

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    Actually both are important. You need time to heal. And you need to change habits to prevent this from continuing to happen.

    Mike
     
  6. cvayda

    cvayda Pianissimo User

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    I do not believe this is muscle strain. Wouldn't I have felt something - some kind of discomfort, pain ??
    So if it was not, do I need 6 weeks off + an additional 4 month?
     
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    The first sign is lack of control. Next you may just feel fatigue, like the muscle is doughy - or swollen. Pain is a late finding and if you back off before you get to this stage than there is less chance you have damaged muscle at which point scar may interfere with the healing. So yes, you still likely strained muscle, without the pain. TrumpetMD is advising the same. Time. So there you have it, 2 out of two doctors agree. How often does THAT happen?
     
  8. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Read my recommendations carefully. You do NOT need 6 weeks off. You need 6 weeks to recover. You start back again once you again have some control (try every so many days or so). This should happen within a week. THEN you start the come back on a reduced schedule. Again read my post carefully for details.
     
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't believe that this thread is going anywhere.

    The situation is pretty simple, the recommendations from Doc G. are very safe and clear. Just try it! Wait a couple of days, get your breathing and body use clear and start with some long tones - all low tension, low pressure. Once they get "doable", add some easy tunes, do that for a couple of days, then add some EASY lipslurs. You will know within 3 or 4 weeks if we are right or not. The other method is to argue with us online and keep moving in your current direction. You would probably already be on your way to improving if you were on receive instead of transmit. I still think that you want the answer that is already in your head. I gave it my best shot. Perhaps my last piece of advice: stop posting for 4 weeks. DO SOMETHING CONSISTENT and come back and post the results.

    Good luck.


    Threads like this are a very good example why I have no faith in lessons over the internet. No guarantee that what you say is even understood correctly, no control that the methodology is stuck to. No guarantee that what you say is not passed on out of context.
     
  10. cvayda

    cvayda Pianissimo User

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    OK, Got it, thanks all, off we go !
     

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