Something weird is happening

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by jazz9, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. jazz9

    jazz9 Piano User

    Dec 5, 2007
    Chilhowie, VA
    I don't know what it is, but I feel like I can't play very high, and my teeth are hurting a little after I play. I just had some chapped lips a couple days ago, and I used some chopsaver to get rid of them. My lips feel really weird, like they can't "work" to play the trumpet. I can't feel them tighten or loosen when I try to play high, it just feels like leather. Can anyone help me?
  2. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    You might be over-exerting your muscles
    You might want to try taking a day (or two) off and come back to playing a little easier routine

    Your lips are muscles, and they need the same breaks other muscles get from exercising
  3. screamingmorris

    screamingmorris Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 4, 2007
    An allergic reaction to something in the ChopSaver?

    - Morris
  4. mctrumpet

    mctrumpet Pianissimo User

    Apr 5, 2008
    Have you ever try "flapping" your lips before and after you play? Flapping your lips helps circulate the blood. Which will probably make them feel a little better.

    When my lips become just as you say yours are [which is alot since i play with braces] I play pedal tones and long notes and lip slurs and do them at different dynamic levels basically a normal warm up . If you do something similar to that and your lips still feel like "leather" put the horn away. Over use can damage the lips[apeture and embouchure] permanently and them feeling like "leather" is probably telling you that they need a break.

    I hope that helps
  5. Jurandr

    Jurandr Pianissimo User

    Feb 23, 2008
    Hello, jazz9. Something similar to this has also happened to me recently. Living in a now-warming-up Illinois, I blamed climate change :)
    First off, I have had only two occasions when my teeth actually hurt after playing. The most usualy time is during marching band season, when I play hard enough to start bleeding in the gums. However, during sit-down band season, it happens if I use too much pressure.

    Counteracting pressure is very simple. All I had to do was take my pinky out of that little ring, and rest it on the top. Your pinky should just be sitting there, putting NO downward pressure on your horn. At all. This is made more comfortable by raising your wrist. I used to have my hand physically touching the second-valve slide while I was playing. This is different nowadays.
    Then there's the harder way- Pull the trumpet away from your face. I've not found any special technique to this. Just physically move your hands away from your body, and your trumpet shall follow.

    As for your lips... I really have no clue as to what's going on there. There is a chance that you have an allergic reaction to Chopsaver. My basson-playing friend did. Looking at your posting history, it looks like you've used chopsaver before. Have you noticed/felt anything strange? Check the lable for anything suspicious. You may also be using too much of it.
    Has the physical appearence of your lips changed at all recently?

    Here's something else I noticed. Use used the words " can't "work" to play the trumpet. " You shouldn't have to be working too extremely hard to produce high notes. Just relax a bit and don't let the space between the note and the staff work you up. Don't force out the pitches-that doesn't sound good. Let them flow..

    While my own lips don't feel "leathery," I myself experience difficulty in the high range due to a new embouchure, which is more comfortable and doesn't cut the inside of my mouth all over my teeth. The only reason I'm missing notes be because I don't trust it. I am not confident. Perhaps something has come up in your life, and your stressed, and it's hurting your confidence? I personally cannot play if there is something messed up in my life, weather it be a relationship or a death (we had an almost-school-shooting earlier this year, and I could barely play at all after that)
  6. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005
    do you do a standard warmup before practicing/playing? It sounds like your suffering chop fatigue. This happens to me about 10 minutes after I start playing if I don't warmup. I've heard stories of guys who don't (need to) warm up. I'm not one of them....perhaps you aren't either.

    Try this:

    1) play major scale from low F# to C in the staff - long tones, slow, quiet
    2) rest
    3) starting on low E (bottom of the staff) do half and quarter note lip slurs up a perfect fourth 3 times. Do this starting on E and up to C# and back (E-A,F-Bb,F#-B, etc.)
    4) rest
    5) starting on low F#, play chromatic scale in eighth notes (medium tempo) up and and down and octave, then move up by half steps (F#, G, G#, etc.) until starting on C in the middle of the staff.
    6) rest

    Now try playing and see if you still have the fatigue problem....

  7. jazz9

    jazz9 Piano User

    Dec 5, 2007
    Chilhowie, VA
    It sounds like maybe I could have fatigued chops. I don't usually have a very elaborate warm-up routine, but I find that after a few minutes of playing, I can do just fine.

    As far as the Chopsaver goes, I only put it on before I go to bed, and I have been using it for almost a year. I like it; I don't think I have a reaction to it, because it would be very delayed if I did.

    I flap my lips all the time. Before, during, and after I play. It helps me loosen up after I play a particularly hard part. As far as the climate, I usually play better in warmer weather, but this year was different. It was by far the best winter I've had. Summer is normally the best playing season for me.

    I don't have any added stress or anything, just upset our band director left last year. :)

    Well thanks everyone for the help, I played better today. I'll be sure to keep you posted.
  8. Miyot

    Miyot Pianissimo User

    Jul 22, 2007
    jazz9, you have probably over done it. If your teeth are hurting, you are using to much pressure.

    Taking time off may not help. This is where it is tricky to diagnose, and maybe the wrong thing to do on the internet.

    However, if you are overworked and not really seriously injured, time off is not the way to fix it. You must reduce your pressure, and sort of start over again.

    You really have to be kind to your chops. NO TRYING FOR HIGH NOTES. No long sessions. Short, 30 min. sessions. You have to sort of retrain your chops.

    This may take as long as 3-6 weeks, depending on how you work and pay attention to recovery. You may have to change some bad habits, and you should see a teacher who knows his stuff.

    This could be serious and you need good advice from a trumpet teacher. You can permanently injure your embouchure.

    Working harder now is not the answer. BACK OFF and seek help from a teacher. Be GOOD to your chops.
  9. jazz9

    jazz9 Piano User

    Dec 5, 2007
    Chilhowie, VA
    Well, the only problem is I don't really have access to a good trumpet teacher where I am located. It is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, and there isn't much in the line of music. I sure hope I didn't hurt my embouchure because you've succeeded in giving me a scare. I'll try not to work too hard, but I really need to get ready for a college audition.
  10. mrmusicnotes

    mrmusicnotes Piano User

    Nov 11, 2007
    Teeth hurting is definately a sign of to much pressure.Approach the upper register with patience.The only time my teeth ever hurt was when I tried playing to high before I was ready.

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