I over practiced yeaterday and now my chops are raw

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by coolerdave, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    The absolute worst part of being a "comebacker" is not being able to tell when you have over exerted yourself. I had a phenominal practice session yesterday .. time to rest in between covered scads of material...
    and today I have chops that feel like hamburger .. lips are a little swollen ... and even in an adjusted practice routine of long tones, pedal tones, and lip slurs it was terrible.
    now I am soaking my lips in the ice from my soda glass.
    besides the obvious.. any suggestions.
  2. craigph

    craigph Piano User

    Mar 12, 2010
    Sounds like you don't have a teacher? If not then take responsibilty for yourself and make up a schedule to follow. Keep it short and don't exert yourself for a while. Increase the time you play and the range you play bit by bit rather than trying to jump right back in.

    My mother reminded me that when I started to learn piano and trumpet she thought I only did about 15 minutes of practice a day (5 and 6 years old respectively) which then became 20 minutes.. then 30 ... then 45 ... and then about an hour of each. By the time I stopped piano lessons (around 15) I was doing 2~3 hours of just trumpet a day.

    When I started my comeback I just played now and again for a year or so. No scales, long tones, lip slurs. Just playing tunes out of fake books for fun. When I started to get more serious I started to make it a daily habit but with my busy life it can be hard to find the time some days. I figured that 15 minutes is better than nothing on those days. On days with more time I would still play in short sessions so I didn't get tired: 15 minutes of long tones & scales, break, 15 minutes of etudes, break, 15 minutes of other tunes, break, etc. I have found that a lot of things come back quickly (like scale patterns or how to do lip slurs) but a lot of trumpet playing has to be learned all over again slowly, so I think it was good that I started with short sessions and gradually added more. These days I do 1 ~ 2 hours a day, but still have a ways to go to have good endurance and range.
  3. Darten

    Darten Mezzo Piano User

    Dec 21, 2009
    New York City
    This might sound silly, but my teacher has given a schedule that really seems to work. Basically everyday it is broken down into (6) 15 minute sessions. 2 sessions in the morning, and 4 in the evening, each one has 45-mins to an hour apart. Every couple of weeks, I'll add five minutes to each session, and eventually they will start to get close together and blend into 1 medium and 1 long session. but that is probably a year away.
  4. Richard Oliver

    Richard Oliver Forte User

    Jul 18, 2006
    Casper, WY
    Fret not Dave, they'll return. Be nicer to them in the future :) It isn't as easy as it sounds, but when I begin to tire, I stop. Doesn't matter how much or long or high or low I've played.

    It is grand to love the horn so much that we tend to overdo. The results aren't grand, but the something inside is.
  5. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    You will be okay. I've done the same thing and in a couple of days I'm back to normal. I usually overdo it when my wife isn't around and the house is all mine!! Start back with the easy stuff and REST (hardest part for me).:thumbsup:
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Play anyway, just take it easy. Tunes in the staff bring us musically forward too. Not everyday has to be an intellectual challenge!
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011
  7. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    I find if I practice very soft with very little pressure, my chops never feel beat up or bruised. The best thing to do if this does happen to you, is to play very soft with a tight practice mute. Rest often when doing this. If you do this in the morning you should feel better by that night,definitely by the next day.
  8. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    Get yourself a timer and set it for short intervals which you think are too short. When it beeps, take the horn off your lips, start the timer again and do not put the horn to your lips until it beeps anew.

    In the horn-off-lips period, you can still:

    Finger exercises, tunes, and the like while not playing.
    Sing the parts.
    Sight sing.
    Clap parts to get the rhythm right.
    Play the piano or another (non-brass) instrument if available.
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    When you find you are working harder to control notes (which should occur before practicing becomes painful) it is at this time to best quit for the day. Once again, muscle is muscle, and loss of control is the earliest sign of fatigue. Muscle development starts a decline at this stage. Pain will soon follow, which is a sign of muscle damage (your serum CK should start to increase). We see this similar process but with more muscle groups involved on our football fields at the start of yet another season. Lip muscle is no different, and is at risk of damage once fatigued.

    Others in this thread note an important fact. If you play for smaller snippets of time throughout the day before fatigue sets in, you can get in more practice time within a daily practice schedule.

    All good posts, and it's a tough world out there, so let's use caution, stay safe, play well, and let's win one for the Gipper [i.e. rowuk]!
  10. harveyhassanator

    harveyhassanator Pianissimo User

    Sep 5, 2010
    You should rest for as long as you practice. as soon as you feel yourself loosing control of the notes your playing, put your horn down, go do something for a bit then, when you feel your able to play more, comfortably, go back to it. Don't push yourself.
    all the best

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