Fitness and trumpet playing

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by 4INer, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. Klaus_O

    Klaus_O New Friend

    Jan 8, 2010
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Having lost just over 80 lb in the last 2 years (via diet/exercise) I can safely say that my posture has improved considerably and my playing mechanics and breathing are much better. I do notice my lung capacity has greatly decreased (I am in my mid 50's+) compared to my 20's.

    Overall the weight loss and improved fitness have made my playing easier. Can't do much about the lung capacity.
  2. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

    Jul 5, 2010
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    Weeelll... mentioning Maurice André is perhaps not the best argument for being over lifesize... on the physical side of things. Maurice André liked the good life (the French way): Good food, nice company, cheery conversation. His doctors saw him infrequently and usually too late. And during his last years (after his retirement from the stage) he was almost incapable of playing and suffered from several weight and lifestyle related infirmities, passing away in his late seventies. Compare that to Dusko Gojkovic... still going (and playing) strong at 82... a lean rake of a man. But that does not really count as an argument either, because if you look at Al Porcino... he's the same age as Dusko, an equally lean rake, and completely gaga and has not played for many years...
    So the lesson would be: Take care of yourself and don't overstretch your body's limits. Listen to yourself and to your body's language, and act accordingly. If you stay within your comfort zone, nothing really evil can happen to you. But if at any time you feel you are leaving your comfort zone, it's time to get up and do something.
  3. cleandog

    cleandog Pianissimo User

    Dec 22, 2013
    Rogers, Arkansas
    • Klaus,

    Wow- 80 lbs. Congrats and my hats is off to you.
    I've lost weight, gained, lost, gained, it's a constant and ongoing endeavor.
    But everyone needs a hobby. ROFL
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Fact is there are a lot of "sick" but still successful musicians out there. I still insist that one does not have anything to do with the other. In fact, changing ones lifestyle many times requires a BIG change in our practice habits as fine motor activity and nerves has a lot to do with habits. Know anyone that lost a lot of weight and didn't have to learn to deal with different emotional swings?

    I am not advocating obesity, anorexia or anything else. I am just saying that starting to work out will not improve a decent players chops. There is MUCH more involved above and beyond anything physical.

    We CAN increase potential for many things that we do in life by crossing T-s and dotting the i-s. Only the potential has been changed. The rest has to be earned above and beyond any increased physical activities.

    Will we be better off? I can't answer that. I have worked with many players amateur and professional and many healthy things screwed their playing up so badly that they needed serious (emotional) help. Lead trumpeter quits smoking after 20 years of 4 packs a day? I hope you have some VERY understanding section mates with chops to spare - and that for a LONG time. How much power is left to play after a serious workout if you are severely overweight? I am diabetic and can tell stories about sugar dependency. Stop serious drinking and see how you will cope with professional playing pressure.

    Understand where I am coming from? I have helped dozens of players to get a life. There is no link between getting healthy and playing better. You can couple the activities - but they remain individual activities.
  5. 4INer

    4INer Pianissimo User

    Dec 31, 2013
    All I know is that after my first 30 years in the military and always having to worry about my weight, when I was put on major doses of steroids for an auto-immune condition and given a weight waiver for my last 3 years I took full advantage of it. In 3 years I went from 200 lbs to nearly 300 lbs. So the plan is 3 to 4 workouts a week, watching my diet, and seeing if I can get back down to a reasonable weight. My chops are coming along fine even with the weight (I have a solid double G and am squeaking out double C's after only 6 months on the comeback trail), but my breathing and phrasing are still way too weak in my opinion, and I've got a ways to go on the endurance front as I'm pretty shot after only a half hour of serious playing. I have no professional playing pressure as I am drawing a retirement check and it's enough to live on, so even though I would like to be able to make some bucks playing and/or running a sound board I refuse to let this be anything other than enjoyable. So cutting back on the alcohol will not be a problem.;-)
    My main reason for the thread was to gather opinions as to how much of what I've lost in my breath control is due to weight, how much is due to 20 years with out really playing much, and how much is due to age. I realize it's pretty subjective but was curious what you all thought. And also to get myself motivated to get with a good sensible program and stick with it. (I may even start posting results as I progress to give me a little accountability)
    As for the mental aspect of all this?? Right now there aren't to many things that clear my mind more than playing music :play:, or riding my motorcycle. If I could just figure out how to play a trumpet while riding....... ROFL .......
  6. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    I'm reminded of the old saying "old age and treachery overcomes youth and skill"

    There must be some transfer as we get older from playing strong to playing clever. This would be a gradual process, and I find this entirely consistent with Rowuk's view that sudden changes do not equate to sudden improvements. I'm fortunate to the extent that I've never had an excess weight problem, but I've plenty of other vices that I've become accustomed to over the years with no great impact on my playing standard (obviously, we're not talking creme de la creme here, but 'presentable'). I do suspect, however, that you need to be comfortable with yourself. Maybe I've led a sheltered life, but I've yet to meet a good nervous trumpet player.
  7. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    That's one of my main distractions that prevent me from practicing motorcycle. I spend too much time piddling with it, riding it, wasting time on motorcycle forums, and searching for eBay parts deals...;-)
  8. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio

    And this differs from your trumpet behavior... how?:dontknow:
  9. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie's about the same...:lol:

    Conversely, weekend trumpet gigs (especially the out of town ones) sometimes cut into prime riding time.
  10. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    Congratulations, Klaus! That's quite an accomplishment.

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