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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Lip balms and playing in the General forums; I bought a tube of Chop Saver to ease the discomfort of building up my chops. I use it when ...
  1. #1
    Pianissimo User
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Winnipeg Canada

    Lip balms and playing

    I bought a tube of Chop Saver to ease the discomfort of building up my chops. I use it when going to bed and I find that I have trouble the next morning with what limited range I have. I can play within the staff but it is a struggle. No where near clean tones.
    Should I be removing the balm before I practice?
    Bruce in the Peg

    1987 Yamaha 2320
    1962 Olds special trumpet # 341xxx
    1965 Olds Ambassador cornet #518xxx

  2. #2
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Re: Lip balms and playing

    if the "slippery" affects your playing that much, I would use a cold beverage at night to reduce the swelling instead. Or maybe perhaps some herbal tea like salve or fennel.

    I don't like slippery on my chops either and only use Balm in the winter when my lips get dry. Then the stuff soaks in fast and pretty much isn't in the way.
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  3. #3
    New Friend sdfbailey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Tipton, nr Birmingham, UK

    Re: Lip balms and playing

    I guess if you don't have this problem in the morning when you've not used the balm, then the balm is the source of the problem.

    Any balm is "unnatural", or at least man-made, so it's no surprise that our bodies take time to get used to these things.

    I used to use Calm-Ex / Blistex quite a lot, especially in the winter like rowuk, but I found everything gave me acne spots, which are really annoying to play on!

    These days, if my lips are dry or sore I just use Aqueous cream. It's really cheap, and has all the key ingredients of more expensive products, but without the perfumes. On rare occasions when my chops are bruised and I need to play the next day, I'll use the thinnest amount of Tiger Balm. If I do that more than once a year I'd be surprised.

    Try aqueous cream, you'll get it at any pharmacy / drug store and see how you get on.


  4. #4
    Piano User
    Join Date
    Nov 2003

    Re: Lip balms and playing

    I use chopsaver after I've played. I couldn't play using anything on my chops while playing. FWIW

  5. #5
    Pianissimo User
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Re: Lip balms and playing

    I've also started using aqueous cream (E45, for those of you in the UK).

    It's prescribed for use on eczema and other skin complaints, so should be pretty benign. I find it helps a lot, particularly if I'm dehydrated but need to play for some reason - it moisturises the lips just enough to get me through. Not that I make a habit of doing that!
    Quote Originally Posted by adamrapa View Post
    Well, to be honest, breathing is kind of over-rated. Personally, I think it's for wimps. It may look like I'm breathing, but that's just for show. I haven't actually inhaled since 1997.

  6. #6
    New Friend
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Re: Lip balms and playing

    I've never used chop saver before, but I've heard mixed reviews... some people say it works great for their chops and others say it's really detrimental to their playing. Just make sure you don't apply too much of whatever you use, and don't be afraid to try other balms and chap sticks. I'm a die-hard Burt's Bees fan. The stuff works great for chapped lips during cold marching seasons and I have no problem playing with it. Plus, the peppermint tingle can calm down irritated chops after a lot of playing.

    Good luck with building your range! It's definitely tough... that's one of my biggest issues too.

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