So I took a couple days off...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Mark_Kindy, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. Mark_Kindy

    Mark_Kindy Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 11, 2010
    Gainesville, FL
    (See previous thread on lip cuts, as to why I took some time off)

    Not like I just said "screw trumpet" -- needed some legitimate time off for inside of lips to heal.
    Regardless, the night of the second day, I went to play...and everything was awful. Right when I started, I noticed that my muscular coordination was entirely off... I couldn't get a focused sound, my lip slurs were practically nonexistant, regular slurs hardly there, articulation was crappy...range? -- Forget about it.

    Obviously, I did what I tell anyone else to do -- quiet long tones, and some light lip slurs. Did it that night.

    The following morning, around 7, I went to do a warmup (I was due to play the Hindemith Mvt 1 that afternoon in studio.....great luck. So I had to get down to business early)
    Did the same thing, some Clarke studies and staccato tonguing in addition. Chops felt a little better... not the best. But usable. Played in Studio, got through it all right, but the quiet sections were terribly difficult -- again, couldn't get a good focus in my aperture.

    Did some more practice...went to play in Symphonic Band. Muscles were pretty tired by the end of that. Went to KOS in Ocala for another two hours, following, with Cody (you know him). Again, manageable, but not what I'm used to. By the end of the day, had played for the equivalent of about 4 hours.

    Today I pick up the horn, and it's like nothing happened. Even pulled out a couple high G's this evening, when yesterday a high C was hardly able.

    My question to you all is, how did this happen? I've taken time off before, and felt fantastic (except when I took a whole week off -- then THIS happened, though not as dramatic, actually). And even more unusual is how quickly I've recovered. It seems unusual to me, and if there's anything I can do to prevent this in the future, I would like to know.

    Thanks in Advance

  2. GijsVis

    GijsVis Piano User

    Jul 23, 2012
    I have the same thing occuring out here. When I had a few days little or hardly any playing, and no long tones or training whatsoever, I feel my playing getting worse, but then, mostly on Wednesday, I have an orchestra to play in and a band, and after a very long warmup, I can play along averagely, but it doesn't feel very great. Then, at the end of the day I played about 4 to 5 hours in blocks allover the day.

    Next day, I pick up my horn, and I play best, like never before, range, tone, artivulation, there're all there and they are brilliant. I love having a gig after a long day of playing (though not too long) therefore.

    But I don't know why it is, but I do share the same thing, more or less. I'ld like to know the reasons
  3. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    Your mind let it happen.
    When Bud Herseth was recovering from the auto accident which seriously damaged his lower lip and teeth, he couldn't do anything for the first few weeks - too much pain. After being off for six weeks (with some practice time in) he went back to the orchestra and in his own words was very shaky. Top line F was about it for the range. However, once he got on stage with the rest of the orchestra, everything immediately came back to him. No range issues or endurance issues. He started in on the Tchaikovsky 4th with zero problems. (Those of us who have played this work know what a serious blow this symphony is. Very loud playing required and you are above the staff quite often.)
    The mind is a VERY powerful ally or nemesis.
    Rich T.
  4. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008

    JNINWI Piano User

    Apr 26, 2011
    I agree richtom, your mind can cause you to play either tentatively or tense, both of which will effect your air flow. No matter what, unless something is wrong with your horn, and it rarely is, 99% of the time changes in your playing can be attributed to incorrect air flow. That fact that you had some thing going on with your chops and took a few days to let it heal may have caused you to be initially tentative in your breathing, (your bodies way of protecting itself). Once you got your mind off your chops your breathing came back.
  6. Mark_Kindy

    Mark_Kindy Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 11, 2010
    Gainesville, FL
    I suppose.. but I felt it in my jaw and lips as well, a sort of fatigue. I don't doubt air had something to do with it, but it really felt as though I could not control my mouth corners
  7. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    funny? I have the opposite problem --- when I take a day off --- then I can play better!!! must be I am working too hard everyday --- lately (in the last month) I've tried to reduce the 3 hr practice times to an hour, and take days off. Seems to be helping with consistency on higher range ------ ((kills my endurance)) ---
    I think everyone is different ----!!!!!!!!!
  8. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    I have experienced a few occurrences like what Mark's describes. Also, I have not seen any consistent correlation between time off and better or worse chops. I suspect that the muscles and other tissues in the embouchure have cycles of their own and that, at some points, they are simply not fully available for sound production. Occasionally, there is a bigger breakdown.

    I know of a few instances of high level pros who after many years of performing at the top, still have consistency problems not unlike what Mark just went through. Not long ago, someone here quoted a famous pro saying "I'm awefully tired of opening that case and never knowing if I'm going to find a friend or a bag of worms."

    Some players, however, seem relatively immune. MF played day in and day out in the stratosphere and Maurice Andre played hundreds of concerts a year without any reduction in he quality of his playing. However, as we all know from, playing this instrument, it's not because one player experiences it one way that another will too. I am not convinced that it's all in the mind, although the mind can quickly make things worse when it's not going the way we want.
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Mark, once again, you are experiencing the effects of edema, swelling that happens when tissue is stressed. The edema want away with just resting your lips, or yapping excessively with you-know-who, Cody the banned one, which can also rid one of edema and wits.

    Mark, again, massage your lips immediately after a demanding performance, actually during a performance would be better. This is preventive medicine, and you would not have to wait for time, or a grueling outing with Cody to recover

    PS: Sure glad Cody isn't here anymore to read this stuff
  10. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA

    come on Cody was a cool guy --- and so is Mark, or Mark is a cool guy and if he hangs with Cody --- they both must be cool guys!!!

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