The twin evils of over training

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Local 357, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011
    Evan "gave blood" Saturday night. Just from playing the Trumpet II book... Second time I've seen him do it. While working his way through the third set he cut his upper lip. From hard, loud and exciting R & B gig.

    I hired Evan a couple years ago to be my second player on our band. While visiting the local community rehearsal jazz big bands I noticed this fine, strong player with a great team attitude.

    Near the end of the night and while putting down my trumpet to pick up the flugel I noticed a small trail of blood leaking into Evan's mouthpiece. From that point on I made him lay out and took over all his unisons. Local, AGAIN the last man standing. Happened twice this same month. New Years Eve I outlasted both Evan on third and "Don" on second in another band we play in. Yeah its a brag share, but you get bragging rights after you learn to control the chops without undue arm pressure. The key word here is "undue".

    Bill Chase used to speak of trumpet players he witnessed "blowing blood all through their horns and out onto the bandstand". His own face looked like he may have done it himself a fair amount of times. Chops ridden with scar tissue. Frightening. Ugly in the figurative sense too I suppose.

    But i wouldn't necessarily describe my band mate's bloody chop situation as "over training". His more in the category of abuse. Instead over training tends to happen to the most devoted trumpet players. Hacksters or part time trumpet players won't often get it. Evan isn't a hacker though. Here's the mindset I'm talking about:

    "I MUST learn to blow like Maynard before the end of the semester"

    "I MUST practice harder and take on more playing engagements"

    "I MUST work harder on my Freshman juries"

    "I MUST perform better on my graduate recital"

    Am sure that you can find plenty more of your own examples. The keyword to look for is usually a "MUST".

    The twin evils of over training are:

    1. It is the WORST and most inefficient way to build chops. Usually breaks them down more so.

    2. Can induce despair and depression. A form of depression that while not named in medicine journals is specific to brass players. Maybe I'll call it "Local's Blues". This depression leads cats away from the horn. About the only good thing about a bad case of over training is that it shows you're motivated. Again, the hacks don't succumb to it.

    Over training can start to become chronic soon after you feel less worthy than someone else playing trumpet. Maybe a section mate with stronger chops took a part away from you. Or perhaps you feel inadequate because some monster player like Maynard can do it all so much easier or better than yourself. Regardless of the specific cause it is the internal response that sets too high of an expectation of future playing results. So you burn yourself out over a period of several weeks to a few months.

    Then as your play worsens you go even harder on yourself. We see clues of chronic over training on this forum every day. What may be needed is some form of group therapy. Plus a well researched profiling of the causes/cures to over training blues.

    From that perspective Evan's situation doesn't quite rise to the level of over training. He may get there some day but my guess is that he doesn't have the underlying feeling of inadequacy prone to pushing himself over the edge physically. He's a well adjusted chap actually. My opinion is that he is merely seriously devoted to doing a good job last Saturday night and didn't want to let his mates down. So he took one for the team. Admirable.

    Evan was a really good hire. BIG SOUND. Decent chops. Usable High D. Uncommon. Or at least not so common as others would have us think on this forum. With all the talk of Double C's we hardly ever hear of the importance of a FAT SOUND on a commercial/dance gig. I chose Evan over two other players capable of playing Double C's and not because of professional jealousy either. Neither has a big sound. "Squeak artists" they call the type. Evan's High D is worth far more than either of those guys. Doesn't need to suction the microphone either.

    He'll mend soon, but I'll really give him hell if he does it again lol.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
    tobylou8 likes this.
  2. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    community band player... good chops for 90 minutes, but not 3 sets a couple nights a week! Takes time to build that strength up!

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