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    • #62544
      Ronald Carson
      Participant

      Five days ago, the last thing I practiced was lip slurs, E to A, and filled out the complete practice chart. Previously, I did the aperture corner exercises. Stopped for the day. The next day, I had trouble playing low C, could not play above 2nd line G. I could not play anything lower than A below the staff. I had trouble flapping my lips. I decided I must have overdone the exercises, and I took the day off. The second day, I could not play. I could flap my lips some and decided to take the day off again. On the third day, I could flap and play notes up to a C in the staff and notes below the staff, but no pedal tones. I could play pedals on the fourth day, but only to C in the staff.

      Today, I can play pedals and notes up a D in the staff. I can play a loud, top of the staff F, but not soft. After playing an easy beginner’s page, my lips feel fatigued. I have never experienced anything like this. I will rest again today and try tomorrow.

      Has anyone else ever experienced anything like this? What do you think I have done to cause this?

    • #62689
      remembercolin
      Participant

      Wow, unlucky you.
      I have experienced a very mild version of what you describe. If I have a really heavy day and get carried away the next few days can be a disaster. Sometimes it makes me feel like giving up

      I think what you are describing is Embouchure Overuse Syndrome – search for “Embouchure Overuse Syndrome in Brass Players by Lucinda Lewis” – https://www.dansr.com/wick/resources/embouchure-overuse-syndrome-in-brass-players#:~:text=Embouchure%20overuse%20syndrome%20is%20the,injury%20suffered%20by%20brass%20players.&text=The%20reason%20is%20that%20the,the%20embouchure%20from%20working%20normally.

      When it happens I try and overcome by really relaxing the lips using a didgeridoo. Sounds daft but I picked up the tip in some discussion group in ‘Trumpet Herald’. I started off with a length of 1.5 inch waste pipe and then found a reasonably priced didge on Amazon (if you are based in Australia I am sure it will not be too difficult to source one). I do long notes on the fundamental resonance – it also helps my breath control. I try and keep the note continuous for up to 30 seconds although I rarely get to 30 seconds! I then move on to buzzing pedal notes. I tend to find that if I cannot buzz pedal notes at the start of my warm-up then the rest of the session is not going to go well. I then give it a long break and typically the next session in the day is better. I know Greg is not a fan of the buzz but I am careful to use the aahooh setting and it works for me.

      You mentioned that the trigger seemed to be the lip slurring – I have to be careful not to overdo them as I now recognise that they tire my lips more quickly than anything else. It is so easy to get carried away when you are competing with that retched metronome!!!!

      Best of luck
      Colin

    • #62734
      johnelwood
      Participant

      Sorry to hear that, Ron. Things have been feeling a bit stiff for me lately, but I’m just coming out of that now and am feeling better again. Never have I experienced what you’re describing.

      Were you putting in a lot of volume of work (time) or were you playing excessively loud or high, more than usual? Perhaps you just overdid things.

      I always find some soft playing, Clarke I, with good air but soft dynamics does me some good, FWIW.

      Best wishes to a fast and full recovery!

    • #62748
      Ronald Carson
      Participant

      Thanks for the replies. I am healing slowly. This was not caused by too much high range playing. Remembercolin is probably correct in diagnosing it as over-use syndrome.

      I had been working on my aperture corners. I went through the Andante fundamentals followed by all of the upper-register exercises from andante, adagio, and moderato stages. I did E to A progress chart in the moderato stage. Again my purpose was to change pitches focusing on my aperture corners. I admit that I did not rest as much as I played. Then I stopped. I am sure I played well over an hour.

      The day after was the day I could not play at all. I used a didgeridoo that day to help induce vibration because I was having trouble doing the horse lip-flap

      Now I sound good in the low register up to a D in the staff. Anything above a top-line F is iffy. My tone thins out as I ascend from top-space E up to high C. I am only playing a scale up to high C one time to gauge my recovery. The rest of the time I play long notes no higher than C in the staff and pedals. My lips still feel strange even without playing. Right after practice, I am used to my lips feeling good and tingly. Now, I play just a few notes my lips weak and odd.

      John, I think Clarke is a good idea.

      Thanks again. I will post more as I recover.

    • #62945
      Ronald Carson
      Participant

      Remembercollin, that article was spot on and described precisely what I felt. https://www.dansr.com/wick/resources/embouchure-overuse-syndrome-in-brass-players#:~:text=Embouchure%20overuse%20syndrome%20is%20the,injury%20suffered%20by%20brass%20players.&text=The%20reason%20is%20that%20the,the%20embouchure%20from%20working%20normally

      Thankfully, I am back to practicing and feeling good.

      Lesson learned: Do NOT overwork one’s aperture corners. I did the first 3 range-development exercises. I spent a lot of energy gripping my little finger. Then, I decided to fill out an entire practice progress chart starting with 60 bpm up as fast as I could, and as long as I could.

      Today, I did a check-up on my lip slurs progress. 60 BMP softly for a minute, loudly for 20 seconds. Then, I about 160 BMP soft and long, and loud and long. Finally, I slurred at 216 BMP. I rested a minute between each.

      Rest as much as you play will be adhered to while practicing.

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