I wanted to get some feedback about something with my playing over the last couple of weeks. I had been pretty frustrated with my playing as of late. I have had several gigs in a row where I just didn't play well and had some endurance issues - I was just tapped out by the end of the job. This was even more surprising because I thought I was doing everything right in terms of practice, warm up, etc. It started with the gigs last weekend - I rolled into Friday night's gig tired from the standard work grind, and even though I have been practicing, I just couldn't seem to get my chops to respond right. Saturday night was better, but I was still chopped out and was hanging on by a thead at the end of the gig. Wednesday was a one set gig for full money, but even though it was only one set, I was still hitting the bottom of the chops barrel by the end of the gig. After that gig, out of frustration, I popped the horn in the case, and didn't even look at it again until I showed up for the gig on Saturday. I was just past the point of caring - it was the last gig we had on the calendar prior to New Year's Eve, and frankly, coming off of 3 gigs where I felt my playing was less than stellar, I didn't even want to look at the horn in the practice room - my heart just wasn't in it, and although I did a bit of a warm-up prior to the gig Saturday, it was minimal at best. All of this considered, by my normal "rules" of playing and practicing, I should have just chalked up one more gig on the "Bad" list and called it a night. Normally if I neglect practicing for several days and just show up at the gig, I can usually place bets on the fact that I'm going to have chops problems - lack of focus, lack of endurance, lack of range, etc. When we kicked off the gig, my chops weren't quite centering, but if I was missing, it seemed I was missing high. And then things just started to click and my playing was on fire - nothing fancy, but I wasn't missing and it seemed like I had chops to burn. I even took some stuff up an octave and nailed it, no questions asked. All of a sudden, I was having a great time and playing trumpet was fun once again - I needed that more than I realized. And here's the kicker: due to how the gig was structured, we didn't do multiple sets - we played one 2:45, minute set and I had chops to spare at the end. I guess the thing that gets me is the idea that I took no steps to prepare myself either mentally or physically for this gig, yet I played well anyway as opposed to last week when I thought I was taking all the necessary steps to insure that I played well, and ended up playing poorly anyway. The only thing that I can really come up with that might be a factor is that I was physically tired prior to all of those other gigs, and I woke up feeling refreshed after a good, solid night's sleep on Saturday morning. Can it be as simple as the fact that I wasn't fatigued? Any feedback or similar personal experiences are most welcome!