Has anyone had this embouchure problem before?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by wtfortissimo, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. wtfortissimo

    wtfortissimo New Friend

    Aug 13, 2010
    fffI'm 17 years old, I have played flugelhorn for about 5 years in an A grade brass band and a dub band.
    My practise routine was an hour a day, June and July leading up to the National contest were intense months for me, I was playing probably for 3 hours a day, more on weekends. I also, in the brass band setting, had to play a LOT louder than I usually do, and definitely louder than what I could control.. my top lip "popped out" and felt like it was flapping around, and I guess I had to compensate with pressure in order to keep the playing up.
    As a result the past month and a half my playing as been terrible (a crackly sound above an A in the space) , and my top lip is very sore, it feels swollen, and hot. I have been to a doctor, who has confirmed that there is not a torn or stretched muscle, or anything wrong with my nerves, which was a relief, but I don't know what to do about it now.
    I talked to the most experienced players at myband, who said to just not play at all for a month, which is fine by my lip :[
    I'm curious whether anyone else has had a "bruised lip" like this, if it healed by itself over time, or what else aided in the recovery.
    Flugelhorn is my life, this next month without it will not be fun.. I'd really appreciate anyone's advice
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    This is common when players subject themselves to playing stupid. There is NO reason to play louder than you can control and even less reason to beat yourself up. If the conductor is not happy, you have a choice to make. The first step is to talk to him outside of the rehearsal.

    The solution is simple. A week of easy, quiet, low stuff like easy tunes - just to keep the muscle tone. After that, you get back into your "standard" routine that worked.

    I said simple and not necessarily easy. Now that you know what trouble that you can get into, it is up to you to take measures to prevent that.
  3. ottoa57

    ottoa57 Pianissimo User

    Feb 15, 2010
    Macomb, Mi
    Take 4-5 days off...then start lip buzzing w/o the mpc...low C to low f#

    ..add mpc...do mpc buzzing..softly...REST AS MUCH AS YOU PLAY,,,is the general rule
  4. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    I don't think you understand, quiet and easy playing. Given that, I would recommend you take some time off and when you come back, quit doing dumb stuff.
    Don't play louder than you can control!
    When you come back, do light QUIET playing for a while and use the corners of the lips to change notes, not mouthpiece pressure.
    Read Mouthpiece Pressure Assessment and watch Urban Anges videos on "Flow"
  5. brian moon

    brian moon Forte User

    I bruised my lip by playing too long and loud with too much pressure. After 3 days off I was fine. You should be too.
  6. Jarrett

    Jarrett Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Richland, MO
    Maybe, maybe not, it depends on the severity of the damage he's already done.

    Listen to Rowuk, he knows what he's talking about. I speak from personal experience.

  7. brian moon

    brian moon Forte User

    You have personal experience with Rowuk or bruised lips?

    We all speak from personal experience. Maybe that statement just reads to me differently than you meant it to.

    I am just telling him that he needn't be worried to much about it. Just try to be more careful in the future. When your lip feels ok play, you won't have to wait a month. Playing softly at first is a good idea. Practicing softly is always a good thing to do. I would not play at all for a couple of days until your lip is healed, then ease yourself in. You'll be fine, don't worry unless it is infected.

    OK I will quote one of my former teachers.

    "It takes a lot to kill a lip". -?-

    We could have a contest, who said that to me? He is pretty famous as trumpet players go.

    The only problem is that there is no prize except the satisfaction of guessing correctly.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2010
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Yes, he has personal experience with me AND a bruised lip.

    Whether worrying is an issue depends on the player. Some benefit from healthy concern, others just add to the huge amount of ballast accompanying them through life. I have found that very few pay attention when we say "don't worry", unless there is some additional aspect to the relationship. The reason is because there is no way of knowing from the outside what triggers the worry.

    It is true that it takes a lot to kill the lip, it is very easy to kill confidence though and THAT can wipe out the lip LONG before the tissue rots.

    The secret of course is to address the real problem instead of the symptom(s). If the problem here is wanting badly to play in this group, then the concerns are not lip at all, rather failure in front of peers. We deal with that MUCH differently than a bruised lip that occurred by accident.

    Many of my posts here are provacative. The response to them almost always unveils the real issues - especially the indignant ones. We can listen with much more than our ears. We can also speak very fluently without the mouth.
  9. brian moon

    brian moon Forte User

    Jarrett studied with you in Germany when he had a bruised lip?

    No one guessed the first quote author yet but I'll give another from about the same time period.

    Who said the following?

    "You ask some people what time it is and they tell you how to build a watch."
  10. trumpetjump

    trumpetjump New Friend

    Mar 5, 2010
    Hey, "Moonie", you look BOSS jamming on that 8 ft. rim!!!

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