practicing with a cold

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by ptynan, Mar 10, 2007.

  1. ptynan

    ptynan Pianissimo User

    Sep 13, 2005
    Antigonish, NS
    How many of you still practice when you have a cold or a flu?

    The reason I ask is last week I had a whopper of a cold, but still had to spend a good amount of time practicing due to upcoming gigs. Are there any things you guys do differently when you are sick? Maybe switch to a maintenance routine? Or even change how much time you spend on different areas? Normally I will just let myself be sick, but this time I could not afford to miss the time in the shed. At times it felt awful, was hard to breath and I couldn't hear myself, but the upside is that I did not have to find my face again after a few days of sick leave.

    Any thoughts?
  2. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Paul, you are undoubtedly a good enough player that you don't have to worry about the actual "marks on the paper" but are more concerned about keeping your chops up. On the other hand I need to go through the music "in the folder" every couple of days... not necessarily all of it but particularly the parts that give me more reason for concern.

    That being said, however, I'll just concentrate on long, quiet tones and playing particular passages rather than the entire piece. I'd say not to push it and to stay well hydrated; get as much sleep as you can. It's not a good time to work on endurance; more important is to get well as quickly as possible... your performance will benefit more.
  3. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    I got strep throat a week before my master's recital last year and even though I wanted to, I just couldn't play for about two days. Forcing through it would have just gotten bad habits into my system, so I slept a lot and listened a little and tried to think happy good-performance/good-endurance type thoughts. I didn't even really notice any difference when I got better, I was the same as ever (for better or worse!). Anyway, the recital was fine.

    I have had to play through colds, but then, at least for me, it was more a matter of feeling hideous even though I was physically playing the horn ok. There's a difference between that and being unable to use good fundamentals when playing. I guess that's how I make my decision.

  4. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    Jun 11, 2006
    Don't play so hard that it will infect your eustacian tubes.

    If it is bacteria, sinus infection or strep, and you're taking antibiotics be sure to disinfect your mouth piece and horn. Most mouth washes will do the trick. Rinse out your horn. Vics vapo rub can't hurt or tiger balm.

    If it is viral, disinfect your horn out of superstition or blow some sage smoke through it. It won't do anything good but it won't hurt either. Remember, Maynard and many other "trumpet players before us" are up there listening so prayers of intersession may work.

    Cough and sneeze on an oboe player.
  5. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    I hate when I get sick and my ears get all plugged. It is the worst feeling to be playing in a group and be so stuffed up that you have to really guess if you are blending and not playing 3 dynamic levels louder than everyone else because you can't hear yourself.
  6. brett wall

    brett wall New Friend

    Feb 22, 2007
    Nashville TN
    I was sick and didn't touch a horn for a week. I didn't want that bad Mojo in my horn.

    I want my cornet to stay healthy ;)
  7. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    Common sense is the key. How effective (as in making you a better trumpeter) will practice be if you can't breathe well? If your stomach is tender from throwing up, you're not going to be motivated to haul in big breaths, either. If your joints are achy you're not going to want to sit up or stand properly.

    I'm VERY fortunate in that I rarely get sick but I don't know why that is, particularly. However, in the rare event that I DO get sick it's pretty spectacular, I must say. I don't play, there's no point. On the other hand, it's different for me because Doug can cover for me. I'm not someone with a test that's due, a critical recital to play, an important lesson scheduled, a gig that an important contractor has called to play, etc. It's tougher for students and people breaking into the business and wanting to making a good first impression.

    To make that good first impression you have to be at your best, though, that's the rub.

    Eat well! Don't drink to excess! Don't smoke! Cut down the sugar intake! Sit up straight! Sit still! Don't move a muscle... yes, you, I'm talking to you. Just stop that right now. You know who you are and I'm tellin' mom...

  8. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Never mind....

    I thought it said "Practicing with a COLD ONE."

  9. krossum

    krossum Piano User

    Aug 23, 2005
    New York, NY, USA

    hey man, i just am coming out of a SERIOUS bug that took me down completely last week. i managed to get in about 20 minutes of chop time each day - because it's important to me... it really sucked though.

    thought i'd chime in.
  10. ptynan

    ptynan Pianissimo User

    Sep 13, 2005
    Antigonish, NS
    Thanks all,

    Great stuff. I guess the saying goes:

    Miss one day- you notice
    Miss two days- musicians notice
    Miss three days- everybody will notice

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