" It's a dog eat dog world out there and I'm wearing Milk-Bone underwear" Norm Peterson "Cheers"
"No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up" Lilly Tomlin
Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
Rviser, we could try some science. Switch back to your old backbore. Any difference? If not, try leaving out the warm-up. Any difference? If not, you have hit a new level. To speed up the next leap in ability, some good training might be in order.
"A tool good enough to be so used and not too good"C.S. Lewis That Hideous Strength
Well, I've figured out one thing that was definitely a factor. It was at the beginning of the week after I had been well rested. It seems like the more I go out and play at night (given that I'm playing hard) the worse I get as the week progresses on (in terms of endurance, ease of hitting higher notes, playing strong, stuff like that). Some of you may recall when I posted a while back about having recently switched from a wide, deep mouthpiece to a Warburton 4M. I played great on it at first, and then I started noticing a degradation in my performance. After talking to a lot of you and really analyzing it, I feel like it is indeed the lip swelling. It seems like there is residual swelling going on night after night, in other words, the lips are not going back to the normal level before I start playing again the next night. I tried a Wedge but I was not a responder so that's out. This really sucks. I really want to be able to play strong night after night, and my endurance is not going to build up because I'm pooting out prematurely/bottoming out w. this shallow mouthpiece and not playing strongly as long as I could because of the swelling.
If there's no other solution, I suppose I need a mouthpiece that is a bit bigger to accomodate the swelling of the lips. I really don't want to go deeper if possible, perhaps I should try something a bit wider in diameter, like a 2M. If that doesn't work I probably need to try a MC or MD. Anyone else have any other suggestions or comments? Thanks.
Almost sounds like a pitcher throwing too many innings in a week....
I'm wondering, You're playing frequently during the week, and I imagine you give it your all (maybe a little too much?) What about backing off the gigs a little bit and doing some controlled practice sessions to build up endurdance? I'm thinking two things: 1) give your embouchure some time to full recover, 2) build some endurance so these gigs won't take such a toll.
My two cents.
I gotta get me one of those cool slogans.....
I think you hit the nail on the head. When I go out and play, I play to the point of complete exhaustion, then pretty much use pressure and pray to make it through the rest of the gig. So, you're correct that I'm completely blowing myself out night after night.
There's really two different types of gigs I play at. 1. Involves a lot of horn lines, solos, without a lot of rest except for set breaks. 2. Is more of a jam session where I mostly solo once every 3 minutes or so, some songs have hornlines, but very few. I always seem to notice that I play strongly all night and end strongly on the second type of gig, whereas it is the first type of gig where I am doing as I mentioned above (blowing myself out).
As far as backing off the gigs so I can build up, do you think the best way is to just practice until I start feeling tired then put the horn down, give myself time to rest, then continue?
I can relate. Just blew too hard on Thursday (sitting next to a awfully loud player) and felt the puffiness. Talked to a seasoned pro (I'm lightly seasoned having comeback after about a dozen years behind a desk) and the advise was, "practice softly, rest a LOT and take a day off every once in a while if you feel like you've pushed too hard. I do." As someone said earlier, the lips can be injured long-term if you don't do the right thing: careful warmup and taking it easy on the chops.
Also, air is key, you know, not chops.
MySpace.com - Ed Mann - 52 - Male - LA, California - www.myspace.com/jazzlips
So, if one has practiced properly and built up endurance correctly, the lips will not swell as much as during a tough gig?
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