Welcome to Weekly Trumpet Tips:
(1) Swollen Chops
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Tip #1 – Swollen Chops
One of the most difficult physical affects to overcome as a trumpet player is lip swelling. Whether it be from a hard gig / rehearsal the day before, immense humidity or something you’ve eaten, swelling makes playing difficult. Flexibility, tone, upper register, tuning – it can all go south real quick! I’m not one that likes to take an anti-inflammatory (Aleve, Tylenol, etc.) on a regular basis so I try to find natural ways to reduce / eliminate swelling as much as I can.
One thing that I do on a consistent basis and have talked about is a long slow warm up – stretched over 2 to 5 hours before my show or playing commitment. Starting with arpeggio’s descending down to double pedal C… I spend a lot of time here. Just trying to get things to loosen up and wake back up. If I have a difficult time getting into the pedals (especially the double pedals) I know that I will struggle in the upper register. After I’ve completed the arpeggio’s, I go straight to playing EXTREME SOFT chromatic scales – ala Clarke 1. I will continue to use chromatics down to pedal C to connect things. If I air out at any point in my ascension – I know that I need to stay in that general area of the scale so that I can gradually get clarity and proficiency back. Rushing this process only causes me grief! So I’m methodical and patient.
I also am more picky about my diet and it “seems” to be paying off. I never realized that what we eat can cause swelling – thought that only happened if you’re allergic to things… I’ll talk more about that as the months roll by. I’m not far enough into my “experiment” yet to say if this is accurate or something in my head.
Drink TONS of water during the hotter months… lips are largely water based and need that moisture to properly function as well… water can help with swelling brought on by dehydration.
Tip #2 – Videos
Below are a couple of videos from recent performances with my quintet – GroovesKool. I am posting these for a couple of reasons… #1 – I’m proud as punch of this group. #2 – This project pushes me in ways that I always ran from in my past. Small group playing allows for NO places to hide and it required me to go to work on my improvisation and change myself from “just another lunk-head high note guy” to something that resembles a musician… or, at least is starting to. I am also experiencing a “range” growth again – even though my main focus is NOT on range… it’s funny how things change. Anyway – I hope you enjoy the videos from Sunday (June 26, 2016).
Continuing to tell stories of shortage only continues to contradict your desire for abundance, and you cannot have it both ways: You cannot focus upon unwanted and receive wanted.”
Have a GREAT week!