Playing and smoking

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by just, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

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    All great answers.

    Here's my 2 cents on 2 very practical ways smoking affects trumpet playing.

    It's hard to play the trumpet if you can't breath. With smoking-related COPD, your ability to exhale is compromised. It's hard to play the trumpet if you can't blow. If you smoked a pack a day for at least 20 years, it's very likely you have COPD. If you are over 40 and have smoked a pack a day for at least 10 years, it's also very likely that you have COPD.

    It's also hard to play the trumpet without teeth or a healthy embouchure. Smoking increases your risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease. It also delays wound healing, increasing the time to cover from cuts on your chops, oral sores, or embouchure injuries.

    Mike
     
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    I really smoke when I am playing jazz trumpet!
     
  3. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

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    No argument here. :-)
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Where is the artistic smoke?

    I often wonder why threads like this are started. Everyone already knows what the answer is.

    I prefer a different take than "ignorant/know-it-all" (ignorant is defined as knowing better but IGNORING the intelligence that one has).

    Why does anyone smoke at all? Isn't it too easy to attribute it to "pleasure" or "habit"? I personally think that it is a community thing. Smokers smoke to have something in common with others. When smoking together, there is a form of communication at many levels. As a non smoker, it is fun to watch the "dependent" and the "independent" behaviour. So, simply ignoring that the trumpet exists, we can look at the effects of smoking:
    1) many would have essentially no contact to others without it
    2) many have at least a sense of "belonging" to a particular group of friends or colleagues
    3) there is a sense of superiority when YOU are the one supplying cigarettes to others that traditionally bum (pinch) them - it is amazing how many people at a higher level never seem to have cigarettes - research shows that they often are not "allowed to" smoke and therefore never have any with them and can blame others for coercing them to smoke

    So, let's bring the trumpet in now. Isn't what I wrote applicable to the music world? Don't some trumpeters need to smoke to belong? I mean, if you are not a geek and have nothing to say, you still are "actively" participating.
    What about the few that REALLY enjoy a smoke, is there not something sensual there? Can't the nicotine rush influence the creative process?
    What about the conductors that bum cigarettes (yes, there are quite a few)? Isn't the average musician happy to help them out?

    That all being said, I think those that start a smoking thread really WANT to start trouble (perhaps not conciously). They want the pissing contest between those that know that smoking kills and those that have the gut level feeling that most musicians smoke and live to be old and play professionally until they die.

    I am still waiting for a smoker that does NOT smoke to belong or feed a habit, one that does not feed poor conductors without cigarettes, who does NOT take more breaks than the non-smoker. Yes, I am waiting for the smoker that TRULY CAN ENJOY the occasional MEGA SMOKE to really explain the nicotine rush and their emotions, how the tip of their roasted tongue articulates, how they leverage their superior breathing habits and body use to heighten the experience. How the sensual experience translates to the mega chorus. Yes, I am waiting. I know that you must be out there. I have been watching for this for the last 45 years. I have reliable data on fine wine drinkers, dart players, vintage car owners, but NOTHING on smokers. Where are you?
     
  5. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

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    "Where are they?".... maybe hiding..
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  6. arielredhunter

    arielredhunter Pianissimo User

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    I'm right here. I'm only 76, so I probably don't count. But a lot of this has to do with the way one phrases. I phrase in the same chunks as a singer does the lyrics, so I inhale more often than guys who play the whole 32 bars in one breath.
     
    Peter McNeill likes this.
  7. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

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    Hi arielredhunter, [​IMG]

    Stepping up to the plate! [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Takes some courage, but appreciate the contribution... At 76 it was a habit formed at a young age, and a different social age. Thanks
     
  8. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    I stopped smoking certain substances as a student in the late '70s but found I'd become dependent on nicotine. So I smoked roll-ups (no filter) for about ten years to a level of proficiency where I could roll a good firm 'cornet' one-handed while riding a motorbike. Then I went respectable, got a car, got married and 2 packs of normal cigs a day from then until now.

    This last comeback is the first time I've noticed a deterioration in my breath endurance (though I can still hold my breath for over a minute - down from the 2 minutes plus of my youth). So I'm trialling electronic cigarettes.

    I smoke primarily to control excesses of my 'manic' phase. There are alternative prescriptions for this, but the UK medical fraternity will not prescribe them for me unless they can keep me under regular supervision for a minimum of 12 months. Not prepared to lose my career over this.

    Rowuk's comments are of course both interesting and provocative. It reads like advice on sex technique from a monk. In company, I generally take a solitary stroll outside to smoke even when told there's no need. If I do smoke amongst a group, it's usually to wind up someone who's irritating me. I certainly don't smoke to make friends.

    I still have all my own teeth. Well battle-scarred but that's down to rugby, cricket and incompetent dentistry.

    Regarding trumpet - the side effects hit you after you're past your playing prime. It doesn't stop you from becoming a great player - it stops you from being a great old player.

    My tuppence worth.
     
  9. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

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    Maybe this is the best answer to the OP's original question.

    Mike
     
  10. arielredhunter

    arielredhunter Pianissimo User

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    Re-reading what I wrote, I should have said breathing instead of inhaling. It relaxes me, that's why I do it. That's unlikely to be true for anyone else, so I'm no role model.
     

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