Anonymous asked in Entertainment & MusicMusicJazz · 9 months ago

Why do my lips get tired much quicker than usual when playing my trumpet?

I have only been playing trumpet for about 7 months. I joined my high school band as a freshman during second semester. I always practiced and I managed to catch up to be as good as a lot of the current players. We played a halftime show, and my lips lasted the whole show. We got new music for our next show, and I can’t even last one song. I used to play 2nd or 3rd but now I play 1st or 2nd. My lips get so tired quicker and I’m maybe wondering if it’s because I went from low note music to higher note music in a short time? Also, I realized when I play my new music, my embouchure tends to move a bit. I’m unsure why, but I think it may be because i’m trying too hard to hit some notes.

1 Answer

  • 9 months ago

    Many musicians - even us career pros - at some time or another, get over-use syndrome. We practice or play beyond what our body can handle. Both DH and I have had intermittent bouts of this - and even many shots, therapist, hand surgeries, shoulder surgeries, and technique retraining by experts - so we could get ourselves back in top shape. My advice to YOU??? Quit working so hard - work SMART instead. Spend some time with the music and NO TRUMPET - mark what needs attention, perhaps accidentals, counting, breathing. We often PLAY again something that we did not SEE - it is a vision/recognition issue, not a "do my fingers and lips know how to play this?" issue. Many music conservatories LOCK the practice hall overnight - not for security reasons, etc. - but the same reason that sports facilities lock up for hours: there are people SO DRIVEN to do well, that they will work and work and work until they are BROKEN - and sometimes, unfixable. We are huge Yankees fans. The hunger of guys on their IL every week in INSANE!!!! Their little motto "one man down, one man up" might mean they have a deep bench and good farm teams - but each player should NOT be getting hurt so often? we are thinking it is the training program, of the Long Bomb obsession. We expect guys to throw over 100 mph - and guys to HIT over 400 feet - on a regular basis. In Japan, pitcher are on a 7-day rotation; you can but season tix for a Tuesday only, and ALWAYS see your favorite pitcher. Longer rotation has helped all the Japanese pitchers the Yankees brought in! So those people in you band that BRAG about how many hours they practice - ARE IDIOTS!!! Nobody ever taught them that learning music does not always mean playing things over and over until you finger or face fall off. So - practice shot stints, then leave the room - you can come back in an hour or so. PLAN what get done what s days - take off your own PLAYING practice on days when you have a hard band rehearsal - but LOOK AT your music, make notes, etc. I will spend some time time reading and marking difficult music I have to play as a soloist in 3 weeks. My flute is in the case. when I know exactly what I am going to practice, and HOW to fix it - then I will assemble my instrument. Remember work SMART, not HARD on yourself! I am proud of you for wanting to get better at your music - you will do well with that great work ethic! Got a really good private teacher? Get the best you can find - they will ASTOUND you with help!

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