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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Master Trumpetissimo, Jan 31, 2008.
How do you relax (not the lips) the muscles in the cheeks and corners of the mouth?
The human body has a certain amount of automation built in. To my knowledge there is no "mechanism" to force relaxation though.
If you have too much residual tension in the face, I suggest a hot bath or shower, and perhaps an hour of listening to great music keeping the mouth shut, except for an occasional sip of something tasty!
There was a very heated discussion about warm up and down here at TM. Most of the pros agreed that a liquid warm down (tea, beer, wine....) was better than anything else. The non-pros spend a lot of time thinking about less significant things - time better spent behind the horn!
Yeah, good advice. I mentioned this too in another post once. A friend of mine who plays principal tuba for BSO now told me once that he recommends heating up a clean rag and just draping that over your face for awhile. Do that a couple of times. I think that he actually said to boil the rag, but I'm not sure about that. Just get the water out of the tap as hot as you can get it, but be careful. Then put on a good lip balm and just relax. I like rowuk's advice about the drink, but just don't do that and then go play again because there's a slight chance (however small that might be) that you could be TOO relaxed then and do damaged to your lips. If you're going to have a drink, do it at the end of your day and don't touch the horn until the next day. Maybe that's pretty obvious; just making sure.
There are facial exercises you can do to relax the face. Classical vocalists do them. They involve things like really exaggerated yawning, squinching as tight as you can and then releasing, etc. There is also massage. If you are talking about relaxing the face after an intense session of playing. I have to say that I never had this problem. The problem I had was practicing to the point of exhaustion such that my form and muscle technique would suffer.
By the way, since joining on here I've posted a couple of threads about this. Maybe one or two, can't remember, but I've learned through TM that Chopsaver is great. Just picked up some tubes the other day, and I'll never use anything else. I was even skeptical, but it cost the same as what I was using. Anyway, the point being that a lot of the funkiness that I was feeling was because of the crap I was putting on my face that had chemicals in it, and my lips just didn't like them. I still feel tightness in my corners the next morning and a little swelling right as I get up out of the bed, but by the time I'm ready for my first session I feel wonderful.
The cheeks and corners would not be areas of the face that I would want to relax. Let the sound be your guide.
Re: How do you relax (not the lips) the muscles in the cheeks and corners of the mout
Yoga (sort of): while you're doing your 20-minute g, focus on the feeling in the face muscles and concentrate on relaxing them There's time for trying all kinds of things while doing a 20-min anything.