Worn out Comback player

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by laurie, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. laurie

    laurie Pianissimo User

    Jan 17, 2005
    What do you blokes do to recover from a busy few days blowing? In the last few days I have had 2 two hour concert band rehearsals(first chair), a two hour big band rehearsal(2nd chair), a two hour concert band gig, a 2 hour big band gig , along with my routine home practice. Tuesday night I have a Community orchestra rehearsal (doing pictures at an exhibition), Wed morning a 1 hour concert band job, Wed night a bigband rehearsal and thursday another community orchestra rehearsal. I am a pretty handy amatuer player but this is all a bit too much! I picked up my trumpet tonight to practice and my embrochure collapsed after 15 minutes and I felt like my lips were being sucked into a bucket!
    So how do you recover? Leave the trumpet in its case?, do some sort of gentle practice? Or maybe I should just start saying no! All help very greatfully accepted!!!!
  2. Still Trying

    Still Trying Pianissimo User

    Nov 23, 2003
    Lake Jackson, TX USA
    First of all I'd be thankful for all the playing opportunities. And secondly, I'd just take a day off and let the chops recover a bit. It won't hurt a thing to let your chops have a day or two to rest. Just be sure to warm up good, but slow the day you start playing again, if you can. I'd warm up really carefully for about 20 minutes a couple of hours before I had to play the day I came back, and then put my horn up until time for the rehearsal or concert. After a light warmup then, you ought to be ready to go.
  3. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Back in my days as an Army bandsman, there were times where we were required to do quite a lot of playing - it wasn't unusual to have several jobs in one day and I remember one blistering summer day where we had a ceremony in the morning, another one in the afternoon, and then we played a concert band concert in York, PA. As anyone familiar with military bands knows, ceremonies usually consist of A LOT of marches and if memory serves correctly, the second ceremony started late, which required us to play extra marches for pre-music. After a long day of playing and sweating, my chops just gave out about a tune or two before the end of the concert that night. I just had nothing left.

    Getting back to the original question, what did I do to help my chops? Fortunately we had the next day off and I took it - I did absolutely no playing that whole next day and most likely I took most of the next day off too. It's really a matter of just getting rest. What does a marathon runner do the day after a race? They probably don't go out and run another marathon, that's for sure!

    I don't mean this harshly, but it always surprises me when this kind of question pops up. There have been several times in the past where someone comes on here having gotten themselves into a bit of a jam because there chops are experiencing extreme fatigue due to overuse, and they want to know what to do so that they can continue to abuse them and get through their (too many) playing obligations. Proper warm ups and warm downs after playing will help, but once the chops are stressed and fatigued, it is my belief that the best thing you can do is simply take some time off of the horn - one or two days - and let your chops recover.

    That's what I would do.
  4. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

    Nov 2, 2003
    I agree 100%, other than not taking on so much the only other thing i would say is to be smart about your playing. If you are playing 1st know your limits, if you have a very good section to play with and you are getting worn out maybe change a few parts around. leave out unisons, use an assist, etc.. team work is a good thing!
  5. Skip

    Skip Piano User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Go on holiday for a while.
  6. dbacon

    dbacon Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Scottsdale, AZ.
    Rest is a beautiful thing! We build up during rests. Take a day off, listen to music, write some music, transcribe some music.....work out, sleep...it's a beautiful time!!

  7. BflatAnklan

    BflatAnklan Pianissimo User

    Jan 28, 2005
    Midwest area USA
    If I have trouble the next day I aproach the horn softly at first. I'd never say that I "baby" the chops, but I ease them back into working order. With my job, I play lead trumpet EVERY night. If I know that I have a very demanding night ahead of me then I'll be sure to take a long (1/2 hour) warm-up session. I'll do whatever it takes to make me feel ready to tackle some serious playing. If my schedule is tight, this routine can be stripped to its bare essectials and can be done in five minutes.

    Essentially, having a clear idea of what playing sounds AND feels like will help take away the bad days - even after demanding gigs. Practice obtaining this feeling each and every day. Repitition will help produce a more dependable result. Eventually your body will find the most efficient way to get the imagined result. Maintain that feeling and the long days will "just be another day" of makeing music.
  8. trumpetpimp

    trumpetpimp Piano User

    Dec 6, 2003
    I wouldn't advise a day off. Play a little but nothing strenuous. I would say long tones, leadpipe buzzing, and lyrical playing in the staff. I find taking a day off always kills me for a few days. As a music student I often end up play 6+ hours a days between rehearsals, concerts, and practice. However, if I have day where I don't have to play or I'm on vacation I always try and make time for the horn, even if it's onlt 15-20 minutes. I find a short intelligent practice session can keep me in shape and possibly even help me be a better player.
  9. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    trumpetpimp, I used to be right along with you in that even after a hard day of playing, I would still play the next day, even if it was just an easy warm up of long tones before putting the horn back in the case.

    However, what Laurie is talking about is a bit different than just a hard day of playing - she's talking about total failure and collapse of the chops. Maybe you have never experienced it, but I sure have, although it does take an extraordinary amount of playing, even if I'm out of shape, to get them to that state.

    Muscles are muscles and you have to let them recover. Believe me, you really aren't doing your chops any favors by jumping right back in after a total failure situation like the one Laurie described because the end result can be that you can weaken your chops, even if you do get your buzz going good again the next day. It's like lifting weights hard and then not giving your muscles time enough to recover before lifting again.

    In any case, I belive that a soft warm up should be the MAXIMUM that you should play the day after over extending yourself like that. If you gotta, you gotta and I understand that, but in my experience, time off and rest has always been the best solution, not more abuse.

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