Date: Tue, 05 May 1998 12:50:36 -0400
From: Jeanne G Pocius <>
Subject: Re: FW: Advice needed

Dear Mark:

        One particular line in your post jumps off the page at me:

*Things got busy, and I started to move away from my normal routine.*

        This is bad news for any trumpeter....Any time that you alter the basic warmup and practice routine you're taking a chance with your chops...It's really important to establish a daily program of warmups that you'll use every time you play(and at the very least once per day EVERY day!)

        The first thing I'd suggest is that you make sure you re-establish a warmup routine--especially if you're in a touring situation: so many other factors are different that you need some sort of consistency in your day--Why not make sure it's your warmups?

        The second advice I'd offer you is to play gentle *horseflaps* both off the horn(in the form of slow, gentle, low-pitched buzzes) and on the horn(in the form of double-pedals--2 octaves or more below low C)...

        The pedals serve several functions: getting the blood flowing through the tissues of your lips and facial muscles(which helps to remove toxins built up by injury or the metabolism of carbohydrates that occurs during muscular use); reducing swelling(via the blood flow); loosening and limbering the skin(softening it); and finally refreshing your lips(especially when they get stiff)...

        Another factor you may not have considered is the possibility that the reason you *crashed and burned* after that 2 hour concert is from your whole body being fatigued...

        It's no secret that it takes physical strength to play the trumpet well, and that means good nutrition, sufficient intake of water(and NOT caffeine and or sugar-loaded beverages), and adequate rest<!>

        Treat your body with good care and it will support your trumpet playing so that your lips don't have to take the brunt of the punishment...(Sufficient body and air support will enable you to play with less pressure on your lips, thus causing less swelling to occur and giving you better endurance as well as good range and power...)

        Feel free to email me back if you'd like to receive some specific exercises that might be helpful...
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Take Care!