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Trumpet Discussion Discuss practicing with a cold in the General forums; How many of you still practice when you have a cold or a flu? The reason I ask is last ...
  1. #1
    Pianissimo User ptynan's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    Antigonish, NS

    practicing with a cold

    How many of you still practice when you have a cold or a flu?

    The reason I ask is last week I had a whopper of a cold, but still had to spend a good amount of time practicing due to upcoming gigs. Are there any things you guys do differently when you are sick? Maybe switch to a maintenance routine? Or even change how much time you spend on different areas? Normally I will just let myself be sick, but this time I could not afford to miss the time in the shed. At times it felt awful, was hard to breath and I couldn't hear myself, but the upside is that I did not have to find my face again after a few days of sick leave.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Fortissimo User
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Yee HAW!

    Re: practicing with a cold

    Paul, you are undoubtedly a good enough player that you don't have to worry about the actual "marks on the paper" but are more concerned about keeping your chops up. On the other hand I need to go through the music "in the folder" every couple of days... not necessarily all of it but particularly the parts that give me more reason for concern.

    That being said, however, I'll just concentrate on long, quiet tones and playing particular passages rather than the entire piece. I'd say not to push it and to stay well hydrated; get as much sleep as you can. It's not a good time to work on endurance; more important is to get well as quickly as possible... your performance will benefit more.

  3. #3
    Mezzo Forte User
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Re: practicing with a cold

    I got strep throat a week before my master's recital last year and even though I wanted to, I just couldn't play for about two days. Forcing through it would have just gotten bad habits into my system, so I slept a lot and listened a little and tried to think happy good-performance/good-endurance type thoughts. I didn't even really notice any difference when I got better, I was the same as ever (for better or worse!). Anyway, the recital was fine.

    I have had to play through colds, but then, at least for me, it was more a matter of feeling hideous even though I was physically playing the horn ok. There's a difference between that and being unable to use good fundamentals when playing. I guess that's how I make my decision.


  4. #4
    Forte User stchasking's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: practicing with a cold

    Don't play so hard that it will infect your eustacian tubes.

    If it is bacteria, sinus infection or strep, and you're taking antibiotics be sure to disinfect your mouth piece and horn. Most mouth washes will do the trick. Rinse out your horn. Vics vapo rub can't hurt or tiger balm.

    If it is viral, disinfect your horn out of superstition or blow some sage smoke through it. It won't do anything good but it won't hurt either. Remember, Maynard and many other "trumpet players before us" are up there listening so prayers of intersession may work.

    Cough and sneeze on an oboe player.
    "I was performing professionally at age 17 and have never had a real job." Allen Vizzutti

  5. #5
    Fortissimo User Brekelefuw's Avatar
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    Mar 2006

    Re: practicing with a cold

    I hate when I get sick and my ears get all plugged. It is the worst feeling to be playing in a group and be so stuffed up that you have to really guess if you are blending and not playing 3 dynamic levels louder than everyone else because you can't hear yourself.

  6. #6
    New Friend brett wall's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
    Nashville TN

    Re: practicing with a cold

    I was sick and didn't touch a horn for a week. I didn't want that bad Mojo in my horn.

    I want my cornet to stay healthy ;)

  7. #7
    Utimate User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Re: practicing with a cold

    Common sense is the key. How effective (as in making you a better trumpeter) will practice be if you can't breathe well? If your stomach is tender from throwing up, you're not going to be motivated to haul in big breaths, either. If your joints are achy you're not going to want to sit up or stand properly.

    I'm VERY fortunate in that I rarely get sick but I don't know why that is, particularly. However, in the rare event that I DO get sick it's pretty spectacular, I must say. I don't play, there's no point. On the other hand, it's different for me because Doug can cover for me. I'm not someone with a test that's due, a critical recital to play, an important lesson scheduled, a gig that an important contractor has called to play, etc. It's tougher for students and people breaking into the business and wanting to making a good first impression.

    To make that good first impression you have to be at your best, though, that's the rub.

    Eat well! Don't drink to excess! Don't smoke! Cut down the sugar intake! Sit up straight! Sit still! Don't move a muscle... yes, you, I'm talking to you. Just stop that right now. You know who you are and I'm tellin' mom...


  8. #8
    Moderator Utimate User Solar Bell's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Metro Detroit

    Re: practicing with a cold

    Never mind....

    I thought it said "Practicing with a COLD ONE."

    Chuck Willard
    The Willard of Oz

    "Don't be afraid to see what you see."
    Ronald Reagan

  9. #9
    Piano User krossum's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    New York, NY, USA

    Re: practicing with a cold


    hey man, i just am coming out of a SERIOUS bug that took me down completely last week. i managed to get in about 20 minutes of chop time each day - because it's important to me... it really sucked though.

    thought i'd chime in.
    “This art is acquired only by laborious studies, for the rebellious nature of the instrument demands a great aptitude coupled with a persevering willingness to become a master of it.” – F.G.A. Dauverné (1857)

  10. #10
    Pianissimo User ptynan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Antigonish, NS

    Re: practicing with a cold

    Thanks all,

    Great stuff. I guess the saying goes:

    Miss one day- you notice
    Miss two days- musicians notice
    Miss three days- everybody will notice

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