Lactic Acid … Warm Down

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Liad Bar-EL, Oct 31, 2006.

  1. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    It's Majestic's cut and paste vs. Wilmer and his lyin' eyes;-)
  2. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    And there have been documented studies on the bumblebee that prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that aerodynamically, and taking into account the weight to wing ratio, that it is impossible for the bumblebee to fly....

    But the bumblebee doesn't know that and flies anyway.

    Who ya gonna believe...a book, or the guys who are out there (not) doing it? :shock:

    Last edited: Nov 16, 2006
  3. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    I would go with Wilmer's (and Chuck's) "hearsay" anyday. Because it comes from experience: replicated and well-practiced experience.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Why at the end of the day does anything have to be absolute? Working professionals do and don't. That means we can't blame our playing insufficiencies on a warm up or down.
    Amateurs are in a different situation because they do not necessarily play enough to have consistent chops. A warm up or down could be beneficial here just to build up enough confidence for the days playing.
    I love it when everybody is right and hate it when trumpet players start acting like political ANALysts.
  5. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    From Dr. J., a fellow trumpeter who is an MD by day:

    "The lips are NOT muscle, they are soft tissue. There's only 3 things that you can do to help tired lips recover: give them rest, ice them or take an anti-inflamatory (such as Advil)".
  6. Majestic

    Majestic Banned

    Oct 24, 2006
    Concerning this Dr. J, I seem to have heard of him in N.Y. treating trumpet players by telling them the same thing… muscles………..don't play. I think his last name was Quack. If that wasn't his name, then he forgot his learning in medical school. He probably got his degree before they had human anatomy books with pictures and names of all the human parts that even a five year old could see and learn from.

    Proceed slowly…….at your won risk……of loosing pride from not believing.

    It seems that many of you in this Lactic Acid thread have never heard of it from the responses you have given on this subject but I will mention it just so as to say that you have been warned and that I told you so if it should happen to you and I hope that it will not…..…. It is called Satchmo's Syndrome.

    This trumpet player played too much, too much lactic acid build up, no warm downs, etc and then rupture of the Orbicularis Oris which is a muscle!


    Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 02:25:51 -0600 (CST)
    From: [email protected] ('Pops')
    Subject: Re: lactic acid - trumpet players' fatigue

    Hi Ron;
    I didn't respond the last time you asked this because I wanted someone else to answer.

    I'm a (ok was) a TKD instructor. I learned a lot about how muscles work and how they grow. I also worked some with a trainer when working on the A-Z book.
    And one of my students (a comeback player) was a NCAA track coach.
    There have been thousands of studies done on runners concerning endurance and on weightlifters dealing with strength, muscle growth and rest.

    Lactic acid basically shuts down the muscle and prevents it from contracting (once the level is high enough).

    When a weightlifter does multiple sets he uses a weight that is well below his max. If he is going for his max he only does it 1 time.

    Weightlifters and runners feel fatigue after doing a great deal of work for the amount of muscle/strength they already have. It is the same with trumpet players except some players use a great deal of mpc pressure and feel the fatigue faster than you would expect.

    If you had done several sets of 350 pounds on the bench press and felt tired then you would (wisely) stop working that muscle group. We all see the possiblity for injury there. After working the chest and arms to exhaustion it takes 72 hours (3 days) for the body to both restore the muscle to normal and grow. You see as the muscle works out it also breaks down some of the tissue.

    We had a SA player with that problem last week and John wisely told him to rest and do 1/2 as much work as he had been. You see folks the CG people see this problem a lot. And they know why it happens. They just won't admit that it is built into the SA book. Johns' post on this validated my complaints about that type of exercise.

    What if a bodybuilder doesn't rest 3 days between those workouts to exhaustion? Well he loses strength, endurance and flexibility.

    The muscles that makeup the embouchure are of the same type and respond the same to exercise and rest.

    The saying rest as long as you play. Works for endurance type playing. ie NOT pushing the muscles to their max compression. However; when it comes to weightlifting that is NOT good enough.

    Now we have 3 types of fatigue to deal with.
    1. The player who uses minimal mpc pressure and plays a long time in his comfort zone. He has tired the muscle but actually broken down very little muscle fiber. (NO max compressions) In a matter of hours (4-12 depending on how much work was done) he should be ready to go again. Loosely flapping the lips or pedals would allow him to continue but could lead to stiffness or bruising the next day.

    2. The player who uses too much mpc pressure and cuts the blood supply to the lips. That causes lactic acid to be released early because an outside source stopped the bloodflow (NOT the muscle contraction using oxygen faster than it could be delivered). Damage done here is done by excessive mpc pressure and reviving the lips to pin them down again is a bad idea.

    3. The player who got tired from doing max lip compressions (playing his highest note over and over). Overworking a muscle and then stressing it to its max. Well bodybuilders often rip a muscle loose. It separates from its ligaments and is NOT useable until after being repaired. I've seen similar things with lip muscles. Some of those people never play again. Some of them take years to regain any strength.

    John Julian posted his story to TPIN a couple of years ago. It fits right in here.
    If you don't remember it I think OJ has it on his page.

    Also a former CG student wrote that it didn't matter what you did with your lips when playing the pedals just get them out anyway you can. That is great advice for teaching multiple embouchures without even trying.

    Lastly I often have people add to their range during a first lesson simply by learning how to use their muscles right. How many people added to their range by playing in SA 1 time?

    Or tone quality improvements with 1 session in a weightlifting book.
    The Schlossberg and Clarke TS are much more likely to help and do NO harm.
    A collection of Net Trumpet Lessons.

    Information about my 3 books. "The No Nonsense Trumpet From A-Z" , "Trumpet FAQ's" & "The Next Level"

    Best wishes
    Clint 'Pops' McLaughlin


    From another Chop Dr., Jeanne Pocius.

    Isometrics for Building Facial Muscles for Trumpeters

    The following exercises were posted by Jeanne Pocius to the TPIN mailing list on February 26, 1998.


    A number of people have expressed an interest in the types of isometric exercises that I recommend for use when you must be away from the horn....Here are a few ideas which I hope you'll find to be useful in maintaining and developing your chops when you can't take the time to practice:

    1. The first exercise consists of merely holding your lips closed, as in saying the *mmm* sound. When done correctly, this requires you to slightly roll your lips nward... Hold this position for as long as possible(you'll eventually be able to do it for hours at a time), until your muscles begin to burn, then rest an equivalent amount of time before repeating.

    2. The second exercise is like the first, except that this time, besides the *mmm* position, you should also draw the lip muscles in, toward the center of your lips(avoid an obvious pursing, however). You should feel as though your lip muscles are *hugging* against your teeth. It is also important to keep the corners where they are when your mouth is relaxed while you are doing this(neither stretched outward into a *smile* nor drawn down as in a frown). Once again, hold until the muscles develop the lactic acid *burn*, then release, rest, and repeat...

    3. This one is best done before a mirror, at least the first few times that you perform it, until you are sure that you are correctly performing the exercise. While observing yourself in the mirror, complete the following movements:

    a. Roll your bottom lip out as far as possible.(Try to touch your chin with it). Be sure to keep the upper lip in contact with the inside of the bottom lip as you are doing this. Hold in the extended postion for a count of ten, then gradually roll the bottom lip back up, so that it is hugging the outside of the upper lip. Rest. Repeat.

    b. Purse your lips as far forward as possible. Hold for a count of ten, then gradually relax them. Rest. Repeat.

    c. Roll your lips inward, so that the red(membrane) of your lips disappears. Be sure that both lips are in front of the teeth as you do this. Hold for a count of ten. Rest. Repeat.

    There are other exercises which are also beneficial, including that of bouncing a small paper tube between your lips(but, again, in front of your teeth--gripping the paper only between your lips)...With practice, you'll eventually be able to do this with a pencil or pen...

    Finally, there is an exercise which I do all day long (when I'm not playing) which is difficult to describe with words, but creates a sort of a squawk when done correctly....Roll your lips slightly inward, then use your tongue to force air through them, stopping the air by having your tongue close against the roof of your mouth....With practice, it's possible to play chromatic scales this way, and it's a good way to prevent the dreaded *braccck* attacks, since your lips become more accustomed to placing pitches very accurately....

    That's all for now....BTW, these exercises work very nicely when you're sitting at a computer keyboard, or driving, running, or whatever(except for swimming -- I tried once and, well, that's another story...)

    Best of luck, and let me know what your results are with these...


    Then we have Bobby Shew….who tries to get rid of lactic acid BEFORE playing. [a little late Bobby but you have the right idea]

    Four Fundamentals of Troubleshooting for Brass Players

    No brass player will have much success if they do not feel some degree of ease and comfort when they put the instrument to their lips. The primary purpose of a responsible, workable warm-up is to ensure this comfort thru producing a "familiar" feeling. Naturally, a younger player's feelings will not have had as much of a "track record" so the familiarity factor is considerably less profound. There have been numerous systematic opinions as to what kinds of "exercises" should be played in order to accomplish this warmed-up condition. Most all of them produce a result of some sort, although not as consistent as one might hope for on a daily basis.

    Setting the instrument aside at first, we have learned thru the medical and sports training professions, that a simple "fluttering or flapping" of the lips and cheek muscles acts as a form of massage and increases the blood flow into the muscles. This helps "clean" the muscles of residuals such as lactic acid, etc. that accumulate from previous playing periods. It also helps provide oxygen and blood sugar to the muscles, both of which are necessary in order for the muscles to function at their best. This "muscle preparation" should be done for anywhere from a couple of minutes up to perhaps 5-10 minutes, depending upon the individual as well as the desired condition for whichever playing situation one is preparing for. A few rest periods intermittently placed will help things settle and will also help you OBSERVE the improving condition. Naturally, someone preparing to play lead trumpet in a jazz ensemble would want a slightly different result than someone preparing to play in a concert band or symphony orchestra. BOTH, however, could be achieved by starting with the flutter. The differences would be when the person moves on to actually playing ON THE INSTRUMENT, the final step in the warm-up. A middle step which I feel is very important, is to do a bit of mouthpiece buzzing after the fluttering and prior to the playing on the instrument.

    A point of interest, it seems that the strings need to warm-down also…..their bowing elbow by doing certain exercises. Should not the conductor have to warm down as well by walking bent over like a ape with dangling arms off the stage……… I am now developing a warm down from being on this TM forum thread. It's……..c….a….l…l…e…d.................. S…….t……o…….p.:D

  7. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    "Now who can argue with THAT?

    We’re all indebted to Majestic for clearly stating what needed to be said.
    Not only was it authentic frontier gibberish, but it expressed a courage little seen in this day and age." Johnson


  8. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
  9. Majestic

    Majestic Banned

    Oct 24, 2006

    I see the that TM has not only members with potential of rupturing their lips but also aspire to those like Johnson who have already ruptured their brains.

  10. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    "My mind is a-glow with whirling transient nodes of thought, careening through a cosmic vapor of invention."

    However, after 47 years of playing, the last 30 of which have been pretty intense, and not warming down.....the chops are in great shape.:-)
    I use quite a bit of pressure too! I figger hif'n ah mash that mouthpiece hard nuff agin mah teeth there won be no room fer no latex acid to build up.

    Last edited: Nov 19, 2006

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