Here's all the details I can provide, thorough but also concise enough, I hope. I’m a college level trumpet player, and I’ve been really frustrated with having frail lips since November of last year. I just feel like my progress with technique, etc. is really being hindered due to this, not to mention I have to stop playing after a much shorter time due to pain...(not severe) To condense the story as much as I can… from 2004-2006 I played in college groups including marching band, 3 other ensembles, with fairly high parts, too, and my chops never felt pain…. just about never! I admit I played pretty hard, but considering the next day I was almost always fresh again, I don’t think I actually "overplayed" that much, from what I could tell. Then from 2006-2010 I play rather sparingly as I took college off. In the summer of 2010 I began practicing again in preparation of going back to school in the fall, and I think that all is well. I take on a decent load of music (jazz combo, wind band, orchestra), but without marching band this time, and around September I feel a bit more discomfort on my lips than normal… “slight” pain if you will, so I try to take it easy on pressure and such. But it’s not that bad. Then, come November, and I get a zit on my lip… and I have a couple of concerts I have to play. Inbetween concerts the zit pops and turns into a bleeding sore. I force myself to play through the next concert. Then, for the next couples of weeks my lips feel pain really super easily when I try to play, even after the sore “healed”. I literally had to pull the mouthpiece away from my lips all the time in order to play, and things weren’t going so well. The pain reduces somewhat by the end of the semester in December, but it was still not good at all. Finally, at the end of the semester I take 8 days of playing the trumpet. Then I go back to practicing for a week or so before school started again in January…and my lips were feeling as good as early in the Fall semester. But, it didn’t take long for the pain to come back. Now, it’s not quite as bad as it was back in November/December, but it’s still troublesome. If one looks at my practice routine and when I play in ensembles, nobody would never say I’m “overplaying” or “overpracticing”. When I start feeling pain, I take it more easy and I lay off a lot when playing in band. But, even on days with pain, I still try to do a fairly light practice for half an hour, including a lot of soft playing, because I’m devoted and really want to get better. (maybe that’s a bad idea?) So, basically, some weeks have more pain than others, particularly the weeks where I have to do a concert or whatever. Also, sharpness in the upper register has been a bit of a problem lately. I even demoted myself voluntarily to 5th part in Jazz Band, and have taken a break from orchestra over the past month, too. I’ve taken a few 2-3 days off of practicing, too, but it doesn’t take long for me to feel “beat up” again, even though I don’t play that hard. Any advice? My teacher’s helping what he can. Basically, my practice routine is like this: 10-15 minutes – lip slurs, generally mezzo forte as instructed to do 5-10 minutes – soft Clarke exercises 5 minutes – tonguing exercises, either scales or Clarke 30 minutes – solos I’m practicing, ensemble music, etc. And I take short breaks frequently, too. (i.e. I play a little, pull out my music, play some more, oil my vales, play some more, get out my metronome, etc.) I could probably do a bit better with resting on my “good” days of practicing though. I tend to mess around a little during my routine, playing random pieces of tunes and stuff, and I often do a couple of attempted ppppp long tones at the start, since it feels good and helps keep my sound warm.