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Trumpet Discussion Discuss What do you do on bad days? in the General forums; What do you do to on one of those days when your chops just doesn't feel right, when you can't ...
  1. #1
    Piano User hhsTrumpet's Avatar
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    Dec 2011

    What do you do on bad days?

    What do you do to on one of those days when your chops just doesn't feel right, when you can't play anything?
    Monette 6
    Monette B6LDS

  2. #2
    Utimate User Peter McNeill's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Melbourne Australia

    Re: What do you do on bad days?

    Listen to the best musos on iPod, study chords on the piano/guitar, or go fishin'.

    Why do I like a bell that Points UP ?
    - because the spit does not run back into my mouth!

  3. #3
    Banned Fortissimo User
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    Mar 2011
    Florida, US

    Re: What do you do on bad days?

    Find some cool youtube videos that make me want to play. This works every time:
    Rashawn Ross With Adam Rapa Gives A Lesson On How To Play Triple C! - YouTube
    Bill Chase and Maynard Ferguson - Superman - YouTube

  4. #4
    Mezzo Forte User Mark_Kindy's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Gainesville, FL

    Re: What do you do on bad days?

    Quote Originally Posted by hhsTrumpet View Post
    What do you do to on one of those days when your chops just doesn't feel right, when you can't play anything?
    For practical purposes?
    I do a "pre warm up", a short playing of some soft tones, and then a decently long break. I then take a longer time on long tones, making sure to look for the feel and sound I'm used to. This usually relaxes my lips enough to get them working again.
    vern and kingtrumpet like this.
    Mark Kindy - University of Florida
    Life is like a trumpet - if you don't put anything into it, you don't get anything out of it. --
    William Christopher Handy
    Edwards Gen II - Bach 3C, Asymmetric Lead/Schlike 13a4a Heavyweight

  5. #5
    Forte User
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    Oct 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia

    Re: What do you do on bad days?

    On days after a hard gig I usually take the day off, my chops are back by the next day.

    Regards, Stuart.

  6. #6
    Piano User BrotherBACH's Avatar
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    Oct 2010

    Re: What do you do on bad days?

    Even the pros have a bad day, so you are in good company. My teacher will take a much longer, slowley progressing warm-up. My master class teacher will say that he has never had a bad day since he started a very detailed journal of his practice routine and what works and why. So, I have a combination approach. I scale back what I am trying to accomplish while I analyze "what" and "why" things are going wrong. Things always turn around for the better by my evening practice session which is a review of scales and music I am trying to learn.

    In analyzing "what" is going wrong and "why", it is almost always a mental or mood issue that has a negative impact on my ability to concentrate and coordinate all aspects of playing i.e., air use, tongue levels, embrochure function.

    Just don't be hard on yourself because tomorrow is another day to start fresh.

    Hope this helps.

    vern likes this.
    There is so much good in the worst of us,
    And so much bad in the best of us,
    That it hardly behooves any of us
    To talk about the rest of us.

    Edward Wallis Hoch, Marion (Kansas) Record
    (1849 - 1925)

  7. #7
    Utimate User gmonady's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Dayton, Ohio

    Re: What do you do on bad days?

    A bad day? I wouldn't know what that is like. So far, everday over the past several years that I've been reading scanning the section, I have not found my name in the Obits. So until then, I really can't say I've had a bad day. And by the way, since I discovered the Martin Committee, every day is a better day.
    Solar Bell and Dupac like this.
    1940 Olds Super Recording
    1946 Martin Committee
    1953 Olds Recording (LA)
    1965 Olds Ambassador
    1967 Olds Recording (Fullerton)
    1973 Getzen 4 Valve Eterna Flugelhorn
    2012 Kanstul 4 Valve 1526 Flugelhorn
    2014 Allora Pocket Trumpet

  8. #8
    Fortissimo User veery715's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    Ithaca NY

    Re: What do you do on bad days?

    Put your horn away and do something else. Come back later and try again, or wait until tomorrow.

    Sometimes a bit of mouthpiece buzzing will improve things enough so you can try the horn again.
    Nothing is more contagious or tenacious than music. Once you are exposed it gets inside you and you can never get rid of it. It is also non-discriminating. It can be Ride of the Valkyries, In a Gadda da Vida, the Jeopardy 15 second thinking tune, your most disliked commercial jingle - it doesn't matter. Once triggered, off you go, like it or not.

  9. #9
    Piano User
    Join Date
    Nov 2003

    Re: What do you do on bad days?

    Speaking for myself...

    Fingering activities...."play" through Clarke, Arban, etc. on the fingers only.

    Buzz the mouthpiece and the leadpipe a little bit.

    Listen to recordings of players I admire - mostly for concept of tone.

    Do some theory study.

    Most of all, avoid trying to "muscle" it through...put it back in the case, and wait till things improve.

  10. #10
    Utimate User kingtrumpet's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    New York State USA

    Re: What do you do on bad days?

    Quote Originally Posted by hhsTrumpet View Post
    What do you do to on one of those days when your chops just doesn't feel right, when you can't play anything?
    I am not sure that defines a bad day --"can't play anything" ---- I can always play something -- but the tone might be in the crapper, or my jaw is sore enough where it feels like my teeth don't align correctly --- or my lips burn ------ all signs of a good workout on the trumpet (ok the jaw thing might be when I OVERDUE the workout) --- but like Mark_Kindy above --- soft long tones, massage the lips, and waste some more of everybody's time on TM with my arduous posts, and dry humor (for the Aussies that is Humour) -- for the drummers who are spying, just laugh my friends you can't figure it out anyhow!!!!!
    1991 King Silver Flair
    1953 Olds Super (LA)
    1979 King KG1055T (pre UMI) Silver Flair
    1940? Olds Ambassador (LA) tenor trombone

    I'm not responsible for offending people -- people are responsible for themselves taking offense at me

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