Problem with frail lips - I try to take it easy, but it's not helping much

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Haste2, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. Haste2

    Haste2 Piano User

    Jun 16, 2010
    It's been like a year.... I ended up taking about 50 days off like I said I would last May/June. It took a while to get back in shape to where I was, but I play better now, if anything.

    My playing load is somewhat less now, and I'm resting a LOT more during rehearsals, but unfortunately the sharp pain STILL comes, particularly on weeks where playing demands are a bit higher. The visual symptoms (redness/bruises) haven't occurred (very little at the most) since the year started, but that may be just because I'm resting my lips a lot more. I was hoping it would just go away, somehow, but nope.... I still see an almost pimple-like spot (except it's brown and very small) at the top of the lip (where it meets the face), and, I take it back, it doesn't really seem to affect an area anywhere but right where that "thing" is on my lip. If it's an ingrown hair, cyst, etc., I cannot see it or feel it. The reason it may not get irritated ALL the time is because it's so high on my lip. The top of the mouthpiece might only barely touch it, or at least get close enough to to make that spot get irritated when I play too much.

    I saw my physician once last October and told him about my lip, but he saw -nothing-..... but he's like 80 years old, and I don't trust his opinion there.... but I'm thinking of taking action again and trying a more specialized doctor again....but unfortunately I'll have to wait 'till this semester of school is over....blargh....

    What I do know is that if I increased my amount of playing, my lips wouldn't handle it well. Last fall I had some issues arise (one day my upper lip just stopped working, and also quite a bit of pain in September due to the playing demands and not resting enough).

    It's most definitely not an allergy. I've verified it in several ways. Also, after re-evaluating my situation, I don't think anything was "wrong" prior to my bleeding sore. Any of the "pain" I had before THAT incident was just regular lip pain that comes when you play your trumpet way too much without resting. I think it was the excessive playing that caused the zit to get there in the first place, though.

    I'm still playing more than I would like.... I need chamber music credit and it's not every year that I can just join a brass quintet, so I'm doing that in additional to Philharmonia and Wind Ensemble....(at least I"m not playing 1st parts) Starting next year, I'll be only have to take ONE ensemble at the U of U.... yay.
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012
  2. BustedChops

    BustedChops Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 1, 2011
    Try playing a Wedge. It's been more comfortable to me than my old Monette. Hopefully during your playing you didn't pull a Freddy Hubbard and bust your chops.
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Haste2, you have a persistent lesion in a sun exposed area. You need to see a Dermatologist to have this examined right away.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    After this quantity of posts, it is probably safe to say that we will NOT be able to offer much qualified help:

    Time off didn't help and the true source of the pain has not been localized - even by a visit to an 80 year old doctor. My current gut level feeling is that the only thing that could help is a specialist and a bit of luck.

    When playing properly, the lips really don't hurt at all. If "normal" pain develops, it is more in the muscles used during playing.

    The B2 Monette mouthpiece is like a Schilke 18 or a Bach 1 1/4C. Something a bit smaller with a very similar feeling to the rim is a B6. I am convinced that the size is not the problem though.

    If you have developed an allergy to gold, switching to silver will probably make it worse. The only solution that I know of is a plastic rim (delrin) or a stainless steel mouthpiece. I had a Schilke for a long time with a Delrin rim. I used it during my stint in the army band in Stuttgart, Germany.
  5. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011

    See if you can buy or duplicate an Al Cass 1-28 or 1-26 piece. The 1-26 has a #26 throat. And use for jazz/lead playing. It is very cushioned, feels great and produces a big sound with the full range of the harmonic series.

    In fact with a 1-28 you can sound better while slightly out of tune than the cat next to you sounds while perfectly on pitch.

    An "imprint" isn't necessarily a negative. I get more concerned upon reading words from Monette saying:

    "It has a slightly smaller inside rim diameter than the B1 series mouthpieces, with medium bite to the rim"

    Because since the industry inner rim "bite" average is so sharp anyway? Well the use of the word "medium" is frightening. Its like saying the cup of coffee is only 200 degrees not boiling. See? Still can hurt ya even if others are worse.

    Write forum member Steve Cass about his pieces and tell him Local sent ya.

    MTROSTER Piano User

    Jan 25, 2007
    I agree with my colleague gmonady that the persistent brown spot you described should be examined and probably removed so thge pathology can be determined. It may be a benign nevus, but something more sinister must be excluded such as melanoma.

    Dr. Mike
  7. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    I also agree with Gary (gmonady) and Mike (mtroster). You now have 3 physicians in agreement. You have a visible and palpable area on your lips, which seems to correlate with pain when playing, especially when you play a lot. I would see a dermatologist. If that doesn't help, I would see a plastic surgeon.


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