On my own Part 2: a cold shower

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Johnleopold, Oct 31, 2004.

  1. Johnleopold

    Johnleopold New Friend

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    Feb 7, 2004
    Tracy, CA
    Hey gang...

    So I don't know if this is an old dogs trick found by a young pup or just a neat find... here goes...

    After I wrote a reply to my last tread... I get my rump down to the garage later in the day and put some horn time in. I start with C scale and reading vs. the Standards of Excellence. After 5-7 minutes my chops are feeling the burn. The phone rings, I screen it because I'm trying to get in the horn zone ( a long road to travel) and while screening the call I grab a bottle of water that had a huge hunk of ice in it. I take a few sips, wence at how cold the water is and go back to playing.

    Then comes the trick....

    I took a few more ice cold sips and my chops are 100% when I go to play. I KILLED the C scale up and down... I had a whole new face... I mean I really felt great and when the sound came out, it sounded much better. Heck... I had a little giggle going ...

    So is this an old school trick I stumbled on ? because my practice time made a full 35 minutes before I blew a tire...

    Falling in love is a trip...

    John... the new guy player...
     
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    I think that your chops being back to 100% has more to do with the fact that you got a break in having to deal with a phone call than the ice water may have had.

    One thing that has always been emphasized to me and something that you will read here in these pages is the importance of resting during your practice sessions. Play a bit, rest a bit. If you don't rest from time to time in your practicing, you can actually do more damage than good to your chops.

    Also, what you described to me sounds like you got a good warmup, put the horn down, then came back for more practicing. Typically, if I have the time, I like to warm up well in advance of having to perform or practice. The muscles of your face need to be treated much like any other muscles. For instance, you wouldn't go out and run a 100 M sprint race cold. You would warm up first. If you were going to lift weights, you wouldn't just start throwing weight around the gym. You would do a good warm up first, maybe take a break for a few minutes, and then approach your workout in earnest. Same goes with your chops.

    It's interesting to hear someone that is having a new love affair with playing the horn. I'm at a point in my life right now after having played for nearly 24 years, where I just don't have a lot of interest in playing horn anymore. It's too danged much work, takes daily maintenance, which I really don't have the time for anymore, and I'm much more interested in playing drums, something I have been doing a lot of lately.

    Good luck with your new adventure.
     
  3. Johnleopold

    Johnleopold New Friend

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    Feb 7, 2004
    Tracy, CA
    Thanks for the heads up...

    You're probably right...

    Now I know what my warm up should consist of; good buzzing, a few runs of the scales and then break for about 3-5 minutes. I'll try that today and see if I can get similar results. I think my love affair is fuled by my watching musicians come together and have a jam session in what seems like inspiration from out of thin air. And they keep going and going and going... and each player adds in more spices and ingredients to make a killer soup. Thats all I really want to do... have some noise making fun.

    You know how kids will bang on pots and pans and whatever to make a rythm... I want the kid type fun with a real instrument.
     
  4. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    John, if you think that you are fueled up now, just wait until that post performance buzz after you come off of a gig. :)

    I think that at this point, a great step for you would be to see if you can find some low pressure performances or music activities to get involved with. You will never learn faster or get better quicker than when you have to lay it on the line and try to keep up with other musicians who are better than you.

    Good luck and keep up the good work. A neat exercise that you can do that will serve to improve your focus, increase your lung capacity and give you better breath control is to take a note - a G in the staff is a great note for this exercise - and using a clock with a second hand, see how long you can hold and control a note at a moderate volume. 30 seconds is a good time to strive for in the beginning.
     
  5. Bear

    Bear Forte User

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    Apr 30, 2004
    USA
    hey man... I dunno. When I play lead gigs I always have a cold bottle of water with me. It's somethin' I've done since highschool. The cold hits my wornout hot lips and rejuvinates them so I can get through the FREAKIN' FIVE HOUR GIG!!! A five hour gig?! YES!! For freakin' old rich people who wanna dance.... and btw, obvisouly, the composer who put a high E/F in a harmon mute did NOT play trumpet, or any brass instrument.. Geesh. Ok I'm done. Back to my original point, it's kinda like shock therapy for your lips I guess.
     
  6. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

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    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    John, I'd like to add to what Patrick told you: get into an ensemble situation as soon as you know one octave of scale! Seriously... it helps you set your goals, teaches intonation in a way that no other method can. You'll be forced to learn to count and balance dynamics as well.

    I had a "horn to my face" for exactly four months and my teacher (OK.. so he gave me maybe 8 or 10 "free" lessons)... told me to get into a community band. I did... he was right. Subsequently I also got into a trumpet quartet of like-minded individuals and that added a whole new dimension (wind band tends to be too loud and out-of-tune in the beginner/intermediate levels).

    The last item is the "rush" of coming off stage after a particularly satisfying performance (at whatever level you play at). Once you taste that you'd have to be a dodo to do any less than work your hardest at improving.
     
  7. pots13

    pots13 New Friend

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    Dec 5, 2004
    I've also found that cold water really helps to rejuvenate your 'chops' after you've been playing for a while. Also, playing for an ensemble is a great motivation for practice if you have motivation troubles.
     

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