What to do when you catch cold

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by frankmike, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. frankmike

    frankmike Piano User

    Dec 5, 2008
    Hi all

    I'm sick, its not flu (thank god) but a cold. My nose i full of secret and my throat is burning. I tried playing tpt but Isound like an elephant

    What should I do, keep ateh tpt away while this lasts or practice instead of it

    thank you
  2. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    When you say you "sound like an elephant" is that really the case (i.e. does someone listen to you say that) or is it just what you're hearing in your cold-clogged head? The eustachion tubes run from our throats out to our ears to equalize the air pressure on both sides of the ear-drums and if they get clogged by mucus in our throats, what we hear is quite different from what others hear. You may sound just fine.

    Having said that, you do need to be careful about playing when you have a cold or a sinus infection, because it can spread it around your face. When I worked in a music store many years ago, the store manager was a trumpet player and he had a cold and was quite stuffed in the nose and sinuses and he played his trumpet a lot one evening and the next day his face was all swollen and a trip to his doctor confirmed that the trumpet playing had spread the problem beyond just his nose.

    Only you can tell for sure -- if you're clogged and feeling tired and run down, then take a day or two off. Your playing won't suffer, assuming that you're doing proper warm-ups every time you play and have a decent practice regimen in place.

    But if you don't feel any worse when you do practice, then play away. Just be careful to analyze how you feel. Making yourself sicker won't do anybody any good.

    And if you're concerned, you can boil your mouthpiece to kill any residual germs which might take up residence there from your playing. Boil it just like you would a hard-boiled egg, only don't run it under cold water when you take it out of the boiling water -- set it down on a paper towel on the counter and wait a LOOOOONG time before trying to touch it. The mass of the mouthpiece will hold the heat for a good long time.

    Do NOT try to boil your trumpet -- just use a snake and warm water to clean out the leadpipe and the tuning slide if you want to make sure any cold germs don't linger there.

    And realize that any medical advice you get on a forum such as this is worth exactly what you paid for it, and that most of us are not qualified to give bona fide medical advice at all, so it's just friend-to-friend conversation. If you are really concerned about your health, go see your local doctor.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    feed a cold, starve a fever.

    My solution is to hydrate. 4-5 liters of water/tea per day - preferably unsweetened.

    For concerts, children strength nose drops, aspirin and if necessary cough syrup. I use childrens nosedrops as they do not dry out my lips and last about 2 hours, the length of a concert. Other than that TONS of sleep.
  4. Wlfgng

    Wlfgng Piano User

    Aug 15, 2008
    I tend to focus on my recovery when I am sick, everything else can wait. I find I recover much faster that way.
  5. frankmike

    frankmike Piano User

    Dec 5, 2008
    I'm still sick, it has been what a week now


    in the meantime I just freebuzzed and a bit of MPC buzzing just to stay in shape

    TBH I'm afraid to pick up trumpet again, god knows how much I lost
  6. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    unless you have a gig, leave the horn alone until you are better. Maybe some lip buzzing or mouthpiece buzzing.
    The possible downside of playing with a cold is, what effect it can have on the ears?
    I've heard some say it can't hurt the ears and I've heard others say just the opposite.
    One thing for sure, Oops is too late if you do damage to the ears.

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