Just A Bad Day?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Steve Bales, May 3, 2013.

  1. Steve Bales

    Steve Bales New Friend

    Apr 5, 2013
    Hello All,
    I am another “Comeback Player” after being off the horn for about 18 years. I always missed playing, but it was a bet with my wife that got me playing regularly again. With that said, I have been back playing again for just about a year and feel like I’m further along now than I was before I put the horn down. I’m not a professional player by any means, just a guy that has a passion for playing the trumpet as all of you do. So, on to my reason for this post. My wife and I took a small vacation last week where I was unable to take the horn with me and I chose not to take a mouthpiece to try to keep the chops alive. When we got back, I was anxious to get the horn out to see what “damage” I may have cause by not practicing for a week. I must say, it wasn’t bad at all…good tone, endurance, strength, and able to solidly hit double G’s without any problems, so I was happy. I always practice every day even if it’s just for an hour of scales, etc. But, last night, I got the horn out, did my normal warm-up exercises, but couldn’t play squat afterwards…no range, no power, no nothing. Disappointed, I put the horn in the case and called it a day. I was wondering if anyone else ever experiences a “bad day” like this and what I can do to avoid it or fix it? I did do some “pencil exercises” while sitting at my desk at work yesterday, but I wouldn’t have imagined it would have cause what happened last night.

    Thanks for your replies…
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    This is a predictable reaction to muscle that was taken out of its normal routine. It only takes 3 days for this to happen. Actually, there is a saying in the trumpet world that goes: Miss one day, you notice, miss two days, your ensemble notices; miss 3 days, the audience notices. Rebuilding the muscle you had will come back. It is a log function. To completely rebuild, it takes 6 weeks, but you will notice more like getting back to normal in just a couple of weeks. Start your practice routine at 60% of your original and then increase by 25% every week until you reach your normal practice routine.

    By the way, welcome to TM. I am the resident muscle physiologist (which I teach at my medical school to the first year students).
  3. bobd0

    bobd0 Piano User

    Jan 10, 2009
    Hi Steve and welcome.

    Everyone has off days. When I have them I just take it easy and play easy exercises and tunes in low to moderate range without stress until my embouchure improves, which it always does. Stop stressing about missing a little practice or a few bad days. Just look at your own words. You quit for eighteen years and came back stronger than before. That should tell you that if missing eighteen years wasn't a problem then missing a few days of practice or having a few off days isn't a problem either.

    Relax, concentrate on the fundamentals and enjoy the fact that you're playing again.
  4. Steve Bales

    Steve Bales New Friend

    Apr 5, 2013
    Thanks for the recommendation. I always have to remind myself that the embouchure is a muscle and, just like a weight lifter, runner, etc., you have to keep at it consistently as to not lose what you've built up.
  5. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008

    I had a 25yr layoff so I been there done that with the week long layoff. I decided to keep my mpc with me at all times so I could "practice" when playing the horn wasn't possible. I attached a B.E.R.P. to it for resistance. This has always served me well when driving to rehearsal or a performance as my warm-up time. In recent years, I "invested" in a hose trumpet so I could have more of a trumpet feel to doing long tones and arpeggios when a horn wasn't near (in my truck going down the highway!). It's extreme for sure, but it does work. Good to hear you picked it back up and hope you enjoy the forum!
  6. Carroll W. Schroeder

    Carroll W. Schroeder Pianissimo User

    Nov 3, 2009
    McMinnville, Oregon
    I also use the hose trumpet, and it will keep you in shape, but sure isn't like having your horn with you. On my times out of town I take my mpc with me and try out other horns in music stores just to keep things interesting. And it alway's takes longer to build the muscle back after you have been off for a while, at least for me it does.
  7. Steve Bales

    Steve Bales New Friend

    Apr 5, 2013
    OK, so the consistency here is that I should have, at the very least taken my mpc with me and done some lip buzzing with it. I should have known better, but didn't want to disrupt our vacation time. But, it seems I've shot myself in the foot because of it. Ouch! Thanks everyone...
  8. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    A trumpet player having a bad day ... never heard of it. :-)

    I suspect Gary is correct. You got out of your daily routine. You were off the horn for a week. On your first day back, you felt good (because you were well-rested). But you were also out of shape, and those high G's took their toll.

  9. graysono

    graysono Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 22, 2007
    Hyde Park, Utah
  10. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    When we drive anywhere for a vacation, I pack the car! My Severinsen never gets left at home! :lol: When my wife wants to go to shop (which she knows I hate unless it's inclined towards music), I say sure honey, take your time, I'll be okay! ROFL

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