Hard Day = Bad Week

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by LSN1052, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. LSN1052

    LSN1052 New Friend

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    Sep 5, 2009
    Lee's Summit, Missouri
    I've read a bunch of threads about all you professionals playin hard gigs and your double high Cs and what not and decided to post my situation.

    Im a Senior in high school and the last two weeks I have been at band camp. Ive been practicing all summer (seriously, dont laugh:shock:) and Ive been pretty solid playin lead and all the solos. My range isn't to fantastic, high Bflat consistantly, Cs hate me though. Anyway, a couple days ago I went too my friends church jazz band practice and played with them. I was already way tired and fatigued from playin all day, but a with two hour break and some ice and I jumped right in. I knew I wasn't gonna play very high cause I would start crammin the horn in my face. I played a while and warmed down forEVER. But these past three days have been HORRIBLE. I. Can. Not. Play. I can play a F on the staff thats the highest I can go. I hate it! Ive had to take everything down an octave. Needless to say, Ive been taking it easy, as easy as it gets for a lead player with two solos.

    Thats the background; heres the question:
    Is it possible to pull a lip muscle? Should I just take a break with zero playing? How long should i rest?
     
  2. Jarrett

    Jarrett Piano User

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    Nov 11, 2003
    Richland, MO
    Yes, it is possible to overuse your embouchure, causing serious injury. It sounds to me like you need to take a break, but you need to consult a good trumpet teacher who can get more background info, and give you a more informed decision.

    If you continue abusing your embouchure this way, things will only get worse.

    From the limited information given I'd recommend a break.
     
  3. lakerjazz

    lakerjazz Mezzo Piano User

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    Oct 10, 2006
    Take a full day off- that should give you enough rest.

    I'm not sure if it's possible to pull a lip muscle, but if you feel pain in that area, it's possible that you have a cyst? You won't be able to see it and it would feel like you've messed up a muscle. It would actually be weighing down on your muscle, and that might be why you are having trouble.

    If you don't feel any pain and just feel tired, you should take a day off- it really helps
     
  4. LSN1052

    LSN1052 New Friend

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    Sep 5, 2009
    Lee's Summit, Missouri
    Awesome, Thanks!

    I dont feel pain, but I normally play with too much pressure, (which I need to change cause its the reason I can't play high) so i get a mark on my pinky from the octave key and some swelling on that side of my lip. Apparently that doesn't hinder me because I went all last year doing that day after day. I just don't know what was different this time
     
  5. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

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    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    If you're using so much pressure that you're getting a mark on your pinky,you're using too much pressure and probably bruised your lip. Give it a day's rest,then when you do practice ,play everything soft,this will help build your embouchure muscles,which helps in building range and endurance.This also helps in tone development which will make your sound bigger with more resonance.
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    When ones playing stops at a specific note, then pressure is the evil. When we play correctly, the upper register just gets thinner when support or chops run out.

    The solution is to improve breathing and body use to allow you to start developing better chops with less pressure.

    You need a couple of days off to relax and even more important get your mind off of the problem.
     
  7. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    lsn1052,
    oh no -- I actually agree with rowuk -- take a couple of days off.
    you might want to check out Keith Fiala who has posts on TM - you can sign up to get weekly tips, and has some good youtube stuff to help reduce the pressure, online lessons.
    if you can play the pedal tones (below F#) that is the type of "no" pressure you can use (along with air and everything else) - to turn around and hit higher notes. I know that seems like a contrary thought - less pressure on lips HELPS to get higher notes and more enurance --- but it does.
    ((ps. In case nobody else tells you --- it also takes time and practice, -focused, repetetive, intelligent practice -- don't overdue, there are really no shortcuts))
     
  8. Pete Anderson

    Pete Anderson Pianissimo User

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    Feb 27, 2008
    While pressure is an evil that is almost always present in this kind of "my range stops at Bb" situation, it's not necessarily "THE" evil. Excess pressure is usually a symptom of something else that isn't working properly, not the problem itself. Removing the pressure from the equation might cause him to figure it out, and it might not (it's definitely a step in the right direction, but it's not a silver bullet).

    The real problem is usually that the lips are not working right, or the air is not working right - or more often than not, both, and the pressure helps to compensate somewhat for these other shortcomings. Remove the pressure and those shortcomings will still be there, but now at least you can begin to work on fixing them.

    But this is a whole other can of worms. Original poster should probably take at least 2-3 days completely off, and get to a teacher.
     
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Pete,
    I do not think that I have ever met a player that did not use excessive pressure at one point of their playing. It is in fact a "solution" that works - for a while anyway. In many cases it IS the evil that prevented the chop development in the first place. It is so evil, that removing pressure without a proper routine will only succeed in losing just about everything in the way of range, sound and endurance.

    The note stopping is in fact just squeezing off the lip so that they cannot sustain the vibration. I know of no other way to achieve this type of range limit. Students with this problem can be shown in one lesson what is wrong and that there are alternatives. These alternatives are only of use when they become habits - a time consuming project.

    My recommendation in cases like this is to NOT remove the pressure right away, rather to get a decent daily routine started and let the musical and physical maturity handle the transitions. With a solid routine, we gravitate to a better, more efficient way of playing without "revolution". Small, intelligent steps.

     
  10. Pete Anderson

    Pete Anderson Pianissimo User

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    Feb 27, 2008
    This may be all some people need - I'm often surprised to hear how little/too much/un-intelligently some people (who should know better) practice - but following that advice did not work for me, personally. I spent all of high school and all of college basically trying to "just focus on the music" and letting the "high notes develop along with the rest of the machine". But nothing pushed my range or endurance beyond where it was in ~5th grade. I grew a lot musically, sure, but I sure couldn't play the trumpet...

    I may be a rarity, and a lot of people I hear don't have the same problems I had (although at the same time, it could just be because most people who are as naturally UN-gifted at the instrument as I am just quit or switch to baritone....).

    I don't disagree with anything you've written, per se, and of course it's true that a sensible routine will make you play better, but I don't like the absolute-ness of your post. A gradual change is always going to be preferable for obvious reasons, but it won't necessarily work for everybody and didn't work for me because of the mental "blocks" in the way. The way I was used to playing was so deeply ingrained that I just couldn't bring myself to tweak or alter it (actually I didn't even know the "blocks" were there until after they were gone). What I really needed was for somebody to snap me out of it by just picking me up from the track I was on, and setting me down on a different track going in the opposite direction.


    Advice like "let the musical and physical maturity handle the transitions" has caused me a huge amount of grief over the past 10 years or so. While I'm sure it works for some people, you should be able to recognize when somebody just isn't getting it, and be able to address the problem more directly if you need to.
     

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