Reached my limits

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by GijsVis, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. GijsVis

    GijsVis Piano User

    Jul 23, 2012
    So today it happened. I reached my limits.

    We are in the middle of the production Chicago, and now we're in the first of the three rehearsal weekend, which is a weekend of playing from 10:00 tot 18:00, so Sunday and Saturday. It's all jazz and musical music, ranging from bottom F# to, well, about three octaves up, about high G. The average playing range, where I'm into in the mayority of playing, is from G in the staff to G on the staff. We play for about 90 minutes and than have a break.

    I never played that long, and the first 7 hours went pretty well, ofcourse, I got more tired when the day lasted longer, but not as much as I would have expected. After 7 hours the last block of playing came about, and it was one of the harder pieces, with some high playing, and we had to do it like ten times over because of some ignorant clarinet player :evil: After that I really was tired and the last fifteen minutes, no sound came out when playing high, and my lips started to ache. I was glad the day was over and I wouldn't have wanted to play a lot longer (which is quite unique).

    But I'm very glad about this, I was anxious about playing a whole day, but now I got out of the confort zone and crosses my borders, which is the key to development. Before this, my record playing was about 4 or 5 hours, so I relayed my borders, and I can say, I got better in playing trumpet.

    Now tommorow is another day of 8 hours, and I have to play flugelhorn as well, which means mouthpiece switching, of which i'm very curious about the result again. Also I'm anxious to know how my lips feel and act tommorow (tomorrow? :s) morning, because I haven't really been through to this. When I just stopped after 8 hours my lips ached like you've played with a lot of presure, but now they're feeling relaxed, like when you ran for a while, and after the souring of all your muscles is gone the relaxed, used feeling comes around.

    I just wanted to share this, because I'm kinda proud, that i've reached a new milestone. Any suggestions on possible effects or tips or questions I'll be glad to hear or answer. Any similar experiences? I'ld love to hear it guys.

    Gijs Vis
  2. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    yeah, maybe you get swelled lips the next day -- maybe your endurance goes away, you might find that flexibility suffers. Sometimes you can ice the lips after a long day, and that will take the swelling down (for those players over the age of 16) you could take some aspirin or other anti-inflammatory meds after a long bout of playing (that should also reduce the swelling for the next day) ---- don't foget to massage your lips on the night after long playing --- this is highly controversial on the method of massage, some self-massage their lips, others like to have a significant other help with the massage session of the lips ROFL ROFL ROFL
  3. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    It doesn't matter who you are... 7hrs of playing is alot! No shame in being cooked.

    Some rehearsal ideas:
    the rehearsal is not the show.. so no need to lay it all on the line. You don't want to be a "one set wonder" that sounds great in rehearsal and then cooked in the show.
    Get the horn off your face as mush as you can (like in rests, unisons, etc.. )
    Play softer. Lots softer.
    Take 8va stuff down in rehearsal. Everyone already knows you're the guy. Save it for the show.

    Ice, massage, and try ibuprophen or other anti-swelling over the counter meds.
  4. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Jiarby is right on. Get the horn off of your face as much as possible. A friend of mine played lead with the Barnum and Bailey Circus in its heyday and the with Ice Follies - both grueling, nonstop playing. He recommended not holding your embrasure between even short rests. Try to let the chops rest. Typically, I would keep my ebrasure set for even 7 or 8 beats of rest. Move the mouthpiece off and relax the chops.

    Also, I agree with Jiarby on playing softer and taking stuff down. You might want to see where you are in unison with other trumpets and lay out there.

    As Kingtrumpet points out, ice is good. Not only afterward. If you can keep a cup of ice for breaks, that is even better.
  5. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

    Jul 5, 2010
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    Take care that you don't overdo things... a friend of mine - lead trumpet in one of Europe's most prestigious dance bands - did overdo it, and ended up with lip paralysis. Could not play a single note for more than four years, and now is back onto a playing endurance of perhaps 40 minutes.
  6. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    Fatigue often expresses itself through redundancy.:-P

    But still a good story!
  7. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    Rehearsals are great! - But it is the Performance on the night that the punters pay for!
    And it won't be 7 hours long. Use the rests wisely, and know where the trumpets are covered by other instruments, and keep your powder dry for when it matters,

    "When You're Good to Mama" has some great plunger/growl work. Good luck.

  8. J. Jericho

    J. Jericho Fortissimo User

    Mar 16, 2011
    This is pretty decent therapy, plus it raises morale when you are tired. If you don't have a significant other at the moment, you can select one from the available flute and clarinet players. In fact, as often as not, one or more of them will select you!
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Heed Barliman's warning. You have described symptoms of strain. Strain progresses in stages... as stages advance... damage becomes irreversible. Before I go further, please let me know what you are able to do tomorrow. I cannot recommend a therapy plan at this time until I hear what has happened to your and what advice you have taken over the next several days.
  10. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    interesting concept -- that I was working on last night. Going to the neighboring community concert (uhm where we have many members who participate in 2 community bands, including the one I am in) -- I was talking to one lady (an Oboe player) and thanking her for helping out with both bands -- when her twin sister who plays bass clarinet says ---- YES, you said that to me as we both go to your community band -- YOU TALK TO US BOTH!!! wow, I think I am on track for a double date now!! -- both of them like me!!! AWESOME, I will have to get back to you lads on the massage sessions!!!!!!

    I love my new glasses with Bi-focals -- and NOW to realize that I'm not seeing double --- I see BOTH OF THE TWINS -- just awesome, and they like me!!!!
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012

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