Taking A Day Off

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by nestbeast, May 13, 2010.

  1. nestbeast

    nestbeast Pianissimo User

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    Cultural black hole
    I used to be of the philosophy that I would practice no matter how beat my chops were. This practice only encouraged bad habits and really hurt my playing. I did this for so many years - how foolish.
    Now when I feel tired, I put the horn away and take the day off. I am not doing any professional performing right now so I can do this.
    When I go through a very gentle warmup in the morning I can tell how much the day before has taken out of my face. I am in much better shape after a day off and can resume my normal routine and continue to play correctly.
    By the way, a carefully planned warmup , to me, is the best way to approach the trumpet.
    How do other players feel about this?
     
  2. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    The player working for money simply does what they have to do.

    If you are not beating yourself up, you don't need a day off for physical reasons. if you are beating yourself up, you need to fix THAT, money or not.

    I do not consider a warm up to be significant or necessary except perhaps to feed a psychological dependency. The muscles in out face are not the same type as in our arms and legs. They do not need stretching or warm ups to work properly. The fine motor skills are habits developed over years of playing.

    Getting a life is significant for other reasons. It helps us to keep the job at hand in perspective - it also helps keep us creative and functional under pressure. It also helps us find other things to talk about with our colleagues.
     
  4. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight Pianissimo User

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    I am so very glad to see this post. I have read so much about practicing everyday. I have not had a day off since the begining of my comeback "about" nine months ago. If my lips get puffy too fast or I do not have the same contol as the previous due to fatigue, I wonder about taking a day off. Then, I think about the committment that is necessary to become a good player and I continue. I have good days and bad days, but the bad days make me feel like I might need a rest and I would return stronger.

    Best WIshes,

    David
     
  5. kadleck

    kadleck Artist in Residence Staff Member

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    Really? I'm not an expert on the physical workings of facial muscles but I have to strongly disagree. Isn't a muscle a muscle?

    That being said, if I'm really beat up and I have the luxury of a day off, I take it!

    Tony
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Tony,
    everything that I have learned throughout the years showed me that a muscle is not just a muscle. The muscles used in the embouchure are of the type IIx if I remember correctly. Type I and IIa skeletal muscles are those that benefit from "Warmups" and "Stretching".

    "There are three types of muscle:
    Skeletal muscle or "voluntary muscle" is anchored by tendons (or by aponeuroses at a few places) to bone and is used to effect skeletal movement such as locomotion and in maintaining posture. Though this postural control is generally maintained as a subconscious reflex, the muscles responsible react to conscious control like non-postural muscles. An average adult male is made up of 42% of skeletal muscle and an average adult female is made up of 36% (as a percentage of body mass).[3]
    Smooth muscle or "involuntary muscle" is found within the walls of organs and structures such as the esophagus, stomach, intestines, bronchi, uterus, urethra, bladder, blood vessels, and the arrector pili in the skin (in which it controls erection of body hair). Unlike skeletal muscle, smooth muscle is not under conscious control.
    Cardiac muscle is also an "involuntary muscle" but is more akin in structure to skeletal muscle, and is found only in the heart.
    Cardiac and skeletal muscles are "striated" in that they contain sarcomeres and are packed into highly-regular arrangements of bundles; smooth muscle has neither. While skeletal muscles are arranged in regular, parallel bundles, cardiac muscle connects at branching, irregular angles (called intercalated discs). Striated muscle contracts and relaxes in short, intense bursts, whereas smooth muscle sustains longer or even near-permanent contractions.
    Skeletal muscle is further divided into several subtypes:
    Type I, slow oxidative, slow twitch, or "red" muscle is dense with capillaries and is rich in mitochondria and myoglobin, giving the muscle tissue its characteristic red color. It can carry more oxygen and sustain aerobic activity.
    Type II, fast twitch muscle, has three major kinds that are, in order of increasing contractile speed:[4]
    Type IIa, which, like slow muscle, is aerobic, rich in mitochondria and capillaries and appears red.
    Type IIx (also known as type IId), which is less dense in mitochondria and myoglobin. This is the fastest muscle type in humans. It can contract more quickly and with a greater amount of force than oxidative muscle, but can sustain only short, anaerobic bursts of activity before muscle contraction becomes painful (often incorrectly attributed to a build-up of lactic acid). N.B. in some books and articles this muscle in humans was, confusingly, called type IIB.[5]
    Type IIb, which is anaerobic, glycolytic, "white" muscle that is even less dense in mitochondria and myoglobin. In small animals like rodents this is the major fast muscle type, explaining the pale color of their flesh."


    3 Marieb, Elaine; Katja Hoehn (2007). Human Anatomy & Physiology (7th ed.). Pearson Benjamin Cummings. p. 317.
    4 Larsson, L; Edström, L; Lindegren, B; Gorza, L; Schiaffino, S (July 1991). "MHC composition and enzyme-histochemical and physiological properties of a novel fast-twitch motor unit type". The American Journal of Physiology 261 (1 pt 1): C93–101. PMID 1858863. Retrieved 2006-06-11.
    5 Smerdu, V; Karsch-Mizrachi, I; Campione, M; Leinwand, L; Schiaffino, S (December 1994). "Type IIx myosin heavy chain transcripts are expressed in type IIb fibers of human skeletal muscle". The American Journal of Physiology 267 (6 pt 1): C1723–1728. PMID 7545970. Retrieved 2006-06-11. Note: Access to full text requires subscription; abstract freely available
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  7. wilcox96

    wilcox96 Mezzo Piano User

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    This is why I appreciate Tony K. Great player...nice cat... and admittedly "human".
     
  8. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight Pianissimo User

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    Rowuk,

    This is a very nice summary for basic skeletal muscle physiology. However, the muscles which control the embouchure are indeed like every other skeletal muscle. Skeletal muscles differ in the “percent” muscle fiber type composition with postural muscles being predominately (not solely) slow twitch muscle. The other skeletal muscles are more of a mixture. There is indeed individual variation that has some fiber types dominating more than normal.

    The other very important critical differentiation is the innervation ratio, which is the "average" number of muscle fibers per motor unit. Muscles that are designed for fine motor control like the hand and eye have relatively small innervation ratio (10s) so they can finely grade force. Muscles such as the biceps have a very high innervation ratio (100s) because it is mechanically designed for speed.

    The muscles of the embouchure have a very small innervation ratio because fine motor control is expected of them. I believe that you have a high skill level so that you have learned to “efficiently” activate your embouchure muscles to generate a sufficient warm-up in minimal time. During my prime as a weightlifter, I was so efficient at activating my muscles that I required a very minimal warm-up time before a competitive left.

    Both the professional trumpet players and competitive lifters must be ready for maximal performances at a moment’s notice, and the higher skill level helps you break free from the psychological dependence of a warm-up because of neural efficiency. That is, you can mentally (subconsciously) lock-in on your embouchure muscles and activate them, drive them efficiently to a more pliable state.

    However, the muscles of the embouchure are indeed skeletal muscles like other skeletal muscles and they all obey the basics of biophysics and physiology and exhibit a warm up effect. A warm-up is both a mechanical effect for the tissues, metabolic for activation dynamics, and blood flow for metabolic purposes.

    As a trumpet player, my skill-level is very low and I require a longer warm-up than my teacher wants to give me. And, the embrochure muscles do need rest just like in weightlifting, though I am so recultant to do so.

    Best Wishes,

    David
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  9. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Folks, (and I'm not naming names here - if you feel it applies to you, so be it) let's be careful about posting as "facts" what are actually just our own personal beliefs and opinions.

    Body tissue is body tissue - it you overwork it and abuse it, it needs rest and recovery time. Period. That is a fact - not an opinion. That's also why I'll take a day off after a particularly hard blowing party band gig. It has always been this way for - even when I was making my living as a musician and playing for hours nearly every day.
     
  10. kadleck

    kadleck Artist in Residence Staff Member

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    Thanks guys - I'm actually learning something here, on a trumpet forum! Who knew?

    And Brad, who are you calling human? ;-)
     

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