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Chops stiff as rocks!



 
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Gordontrek
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:22 am    Post subject: Chops stiff as rocks! Reply with quote

What's up everyone
I just got over the flu. That's right, I had an awful cold about three weeks ago and then I got the full blown flu. Darn near the sickest I've ever been!!
I've apparently healed up just in time for our orchestra's concert on Saturday. But here's the problem: I tried to practice some this morning and my lips are stiff as rocks! I can't buzz a thing! I'm sure this is somewhat normal, especially considering it's the first time I've played in almost two weeks due to my illness. So my question to you is, how do I get my chops back in time for the concert? Is there enough time to do it? As if this isn't bad enough, I just received word that our principal won't be able to make it so I will have to play on first for this concert. It's a relatively trumpet-heavy concert- Dvorak's 8th symphony- so I will need to be in good shape.
Any ideas on how to QUICKLY restore my chops to playing order??
p.s. while I was sick my lips dried up really bad so one night I put on some Chapstick, would this have anything to do with my problem??
Thanks
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dracul
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hydrate (electrolytes) and use chop saver if you can find some, it does wonders to 'soften' lips after extreme use, or in your case getting munched by vampires.
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cbclead
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like dracul said, I would hydrate and use some type of lip balm. I prefer Blistex DCT. When my chops are feeling particularly tight, I spend a lot of time on the Cichowicz long tone studies focusing on no tension and a nice, smooth, continuous air column. This usually gets me back to feeling somewhat comfortable. If that doesn't work, I will then switch to flugelhorn and do some slow, loud arpeggios from the low register into the pedal register.
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veery715
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, and warm up with soft long tones. Play as gently as you can.

Chances are you won't be up for the concert and you are liable to injure yourself if you jump in. This is the sad, practical truth.
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spitvalve
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Horse flapping" and pedal tones will help get the stiffness out of your chops, but don't force anything. Gentle warm-up!
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spach
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saturday? Hmmm...now might be a good time to give your "backup" a call.
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get a sub.
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solo soprano
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Slowly bending notes flat into the pedals.
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Branson
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your stiff chops are a common problem with trumpet players.

The suggestions to hydrate as well as pedal tones, flexibility exercises are all valid solutions but this will also increase your natural feeling in you embouchure as well.

http://www.thetrumpetblog.com/brush-after-every-practice/
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fuzzyjon79
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Branson wrote:
Your stiff chops are a common problem with trumpet players.

The suggestions to hydrate as well as pedal tones, flexibility exercises are all valid solutions but this will also increase your natural feeling in you embouchure as well.

http://www.thetrumpetblog.com/brush-after-every-practice/


Jesse McGuire, former trumpeter with Tower of Power, also recommended VERY GENTLY brushing your lips with your toothbrush to remove dead skin.
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VetPsychWars
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fuzzyjon79 wrote:
Branson wrote:
Your stiff chops are a common problem with trumpet players.

The suggestions to hydrate as well as pedal tones, flexibility exercises are all valid solutions but this will also increase your natural feeling in you embouchure as well.

http://www.thetrumpetblog.com/brush-after-every-practice/


Jesse McGuire, former trumpeter with Tower of Power, also recommended VERY GENTLY brushing your lips with your toothbrush to remove dead skin.


I use a washcloth in the shower for that purpose.

Tom
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Al Innella
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try practicing very softly, with as little pressure as possible in short sessions with plenty of rests. If you do four 15 minute sessions during the course of the day,you will still have practiced an hour.

Sometimes if you have laid off for a prolonged amount of time,starting your first session using a tight practice type mute can also help.
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sunmed
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well.... How did you make out?
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Branson
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The action of the tooth brush stimulates the muscles from the inside and the mint in the tooth paste simulates the circulation for quicker recovery time.
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Gordontrek
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I made it through Saturday without many problems. I had loosened up most of the way by then but still felt some tightness. I stunk up the place on the second movement though
Now to get ready for tonight's typical strings-and-woodwind-oriented rehearsal of Beethoven's 5th and Capriccio Espagnol.
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