Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Powerful Meds

"Alright, what seems to be the problem now?"  "Doc, it's happened again, another nasty case of sore and unresponsive chops.  I'm just beat up again. What do I do?"

"Not again! Well, I am prescribing a small bottle of very potent pills for you, but you must promise to take them seriously and regularly . . . . but you probably won't."  "I'm desperate, doc.  Big gigs on my plate. I'll try anything!" 

"Very well then.  Take at least one of these every day for 30 days.  Then report back to me on the results."  "Gee!  Swell, doc.  Thanks!"

We know this ailment all to well, the mild to severe panic caused by an embouchure pushed beyond its limits.  Maybe it's no longer an ailment, but a way of life.  No matter how bruised, banged, and beaten, this little therapy bottle should yield immediate results for mistreated chops. Don't skip doses however.  These meds should be taken for the rest of your life.  Consistency matters.

  • Take a day's rest. 
  • Take a modest amount of relaxed deep breaths.
  • Stand up and hang from the waist with upper body totally limp.  
  • Stand up and take a few more deep breaths.
  • Then take mouthpiece, holding it very lightly.
  • Buzz ever so quietly on pure long tones.
  • Absolutely no fuzz or pitch uncertainty is permitted.
  • Begin slow glissandi with small intervals maintaining pp dynamic.
  • Rest as much as you play.
  • Maintain a pure and very soft buzz, eliminating all extraneous noise from the sound.
  • Still on the mouthpiece, play the simplest of tunes accurately and softly with the smallest amount of pressure. 
  • Do NOT buzz or play out of tune!  (A well-trained ear will lessen the workload of the lips.)
  • Be sure all first notes are spot on and free from pressure.  
  • Gradually add the trumpet to your mouthpiece, keeping the same delicate and accurate approach.  
Note:  No danger of overdosing. No expiration.

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