Swollen Chops

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by eisprl, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. eisprl

    eisprl Mezzo Piano User

    Sep 26, 2004
    Halifax, NS CANADA
    Hey all,

    I play everyday and [almost] every night. I am a full time player and as such I am expected to show up to work in the morning ready to go. Only sometimes I find my chops so swollen from the night before, they haven't had time do de-swell. Not even the most studious of warm-ups help.

    My question is this, what do you take for swollen chops? for example ibuprofen.

    Any suggestions welcome.

  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I'll take prevention any day... I massage my upper and lower lips with thumb inside fingers outside after nearly every song. This keeps blood flow to the lip muscle, lactic acid out, and strain reaction at a minimum. I also drink cold ice water between songs. All of this helps keep my lips firm, edema free, and in tip top playing condition.
  3. DaTrump

    DaTrump Forte User

    Oct 21, 2011
    Huntsville, Texas
    Ice your lips as well as massage them.
  4. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Thought I would tag on a comment about chops and how we sometimes don't help kids make good decisions. Last week my son, a junior, make first chair first in all county honor band. On Friday they had rehearsal from 8 a.m. Until a little after 8 p.m. No joke. Then they started them back at 8 a.m.Sat. Morning until 11:30, with concert going from 12-1. Moderately demanding music. There were only two first trumpets so he said he couldn't "lay out." Friday night his chops were swollen like you wouldn't believe, and even worse by Sat. after the concert. He couldn't play at all Sunday or Monday- too sore. it is now Wed. And he is just getting back to spending some time on the horn (Allstate Sat.).

    Guess my point is, we need to help kids learn how to protect their chops. Putting them in a highly competitive situation- and then going for 12 hours..., then a 12 hour break and back at it ...doesn't seem to make sense. There were 8 band directors there assisting- plus 2 noted guest conductors (who you would think would know better). I remember my son came in, took a coke can out of the refrig, and used the metal to ice his lips. He looked very swollen for several days- and is still swollen some even today.
  5. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Hey Doc. We need to invent a chop restorer. Slide it up under the gums and let it work.
  6. prls1power

    prls1power Piano User

    Feb 11, 2012
    Orlando, FL
    Ice has always worked wonders for me on the longer gigs/rehearsals. Especially when your having a bad playing day or week :x
  7. Sidekick

    Sidekick Mezzo Piano User

    Apr 14, 2011
    London UK
    That is absolutely crazy. How could anyone deal with that and be expected to come back the next day to play more of the same at anything like their best?
  8. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    just to add my $.02...
    I sounded like crap this morning at a dance band rehearsal after playing hard the last two nights. It happens.
  9. kadleck

    kadleck Artist in Residence Staff Member

    Feb 28, 2006
    new york
    I prefer heat over ice, but everyone is different.

  10. practiceDaily

    practiceDaily New Friend

    Dec 13, 2012
    Philadelphia, Pa
    Very good he was able to make it, I commend him. It's early in his playing career but thats what it takes sometimes, and if he continues to play for his livelihood then this will happen from time to time. If his chops are never exposed to this strenuous playing it will be a real problem later. Specially in the commercial gigging world. His chops will be prepared for the classical material performed at wedding ceremony's, and then onto the jazz/easy listen stuff at cocktail hour prior to the reception, then to the reception. Oh boy! The dance music choppy stuff for 2-3 hours. This happens during the wedding season 2-3 days in a row, but its $1-2K for the skill set and ability. If it's his livelihood he'll be ready. Your chops are only worth the length of time they're stressed regularly. Work/practice them 1 hour - that's all your worth performance time. In the jazz, commercial world not many 1 hour hits out there. Warm down after every strenuous day.

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