Lip Soreness

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Recursion, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. Recursion

    Recursion Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 22, 2012
    Cape Coral, FL
    As some of you may know, I'm a come-backer. I started playing again a little over a month ago after about 30 years. I play 4-5 times per week, on average, for about 45 minutes each time.

    For the past couple of weeks, I've noticed that my lips have been very numb. This numbness lasts for over a day, so it's just not temporary. I presumed this was par for the course; that my chops just need to toughen up. But it hasn't just wondering: Is this just par for the course? I just don't remember this sensation occurring 30 years ago (not like I remember much from back then anyhow). TIA.
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I think you are starting out a little agressively with the 45 minutes. Give yourself a week at 20 minutes, then add 5 minutes on a week. Don't let any more than one day get in between practice sessions. You need to gradually build the muscle fiber in you lip to prevent fatigue. You initial post gives me the impression you have fatigued embouchure muscle.
  3. Dave Mickley

    Dave Mickley Forte User

    Nov 11, 2005
    a couple of things to try is to drink plenty of water during the day and after practicing to apply ChopSaver to your lips. Do not use ChopSaver before playing but only afterwards, it really helps my chops to recover.
  4. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    Rest as much as you play in your sessions. Meaning, if you play something for 30 seconds, take the horn off your face for approximately 30 seconds. This will give your lips a chance to recover and is a part of the philosophy of one of the greatest trumpeters to ever put a horn to his face, Bud Herseth. Play at a soft to mezzo forte volume as well. Don't force sound and don't get discouraged when things aren't what you expect. Realistically, you are starting over again, but with a knowledge of fingerings and that is a big plus.
    patkins likes this.
  5. Recursion

    Recursion Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 22, 2012
    Cape Coral, FL
    I think you're right. I do need to be more gradual with my playing. I've been working on covering Rick Braun's version of Grazin' in the Grass, and its my progression that's luring me into the extended playing time. But you're right, I need to take it easy. :play:

    I'll give that a try too. Thanks.

    Thanks for that advice, RT. The equal rest time definitely makes sense.

    A friendly PM suggested that I might be applying too much pressure, and think that's most likely the culprit here that's causing the numbness. When I think about it, I do apply more pressure when hitting higher notes...and it's been how I've hit them consistently and smoothly. But I think I'm just trying to move a bit too quickly -- can you blame a guy for enjoying his mid-life reprise?? LOL....thanks all around folks. I'm taking everyone's advice...

  6. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    uhhh -- no we can't blame you for hitting high notes ---- after all your a trumpet player, but you can try to skip "excessive" amounts of high notes, or forcing high notes on your comeback. Actually if you play to the top of your range on one day --- I suggest, having composure and discipline -- and NOT TRYING TO DUPLICATE that range for the next 2 days. that gives the muscles time to rest, even for an OLD guy.
    also too lighten the pressure -- practice healthy amounts of below the staff notes ---- and get them to sound decent ---- it's seems counterintuitive at this point -- but you really don't need MUCH pressure to make high notes, about as much pressure as the low notes (just enought to seal the mpc so air doesn't excape) ---- you need to have a strong embouchure to hold a firm small aperture ---- that is what aids in high notes (along with good air support) --
  7. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.
    One of my trumpet students is a very commendible guy. He is 82 yoa and hadn't had a horn to his face for over 60 years. He is by nature a very diligent person,( a retired mechanical engineer ). My problem with him is his wish to revert to his teen age, infantile desire for extreme high notes. I am working with him to make "pretty sounding music", not just scream with a horn. I 'think' that I am reaching him with sustained long, low tones as quietly as possible, with total control of intonation and volume. Lets hope that it sinks in to his thick skull.

  8. patkins

    patkins Forte User

    Nov 22, 2010
    Tuscaloosa, AL.
    I think you have very good advice. To go now and apply it would be commendable and I believe you will see desired results. I think many of us try to push ourselves too much.
    Best Regards
  9. graysono

    graysono Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 22, 2007
    Hyde Park, Utah
    Well, Old Lou, I too am getting up there with your student in terms of age. And the hardest thing for me to learn is to not do too much. Especially when one recalls the good old days when there was no such thing as too much! On days where it is not working--fewer and fewer thank you--those are the days for more long low tones.
  10. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    don't push ourselves???? --- my goodness, how are we to know what we can or can not do --- if we don't push ourselves??
    if I never try to Play a high note, or a melody up there at the top of my range, if I never try to hold a note past where I run out of breath -- I mean how would I ever KNOW what the limits are?????
    sorry, Doc ---- but I have to know what I can and can't do on the trumpet!!!

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