Hi, I'm in need of some practical cornet playing advice - and thought that this seemed a good place to ask! Basically, I've been playing the cornet now for a long time - about 11 years (I'm 20). I'm currently principal cornet of two different bands, and am working towards a diploma in music performance. All sounds good yes, but theres a problem. I think I have some kind of fundamental flaw in my playing! Heres the deal: For the first 'chunk' of any playing I do, I am, well, good! Really good in fact (I think anyway, modest I know ) but after that, my lip just dies. and dies. and dies some more. Now this would be ok if that 'chunk' was a good few hours long, but its more like 15-20mins long! I seem to have good/bad days - sometimes I can keep going for abit longer, but sometimes my lips are already in abit of a crappy state from when I start. I'm still able to play obviously, but I find that reaching anything even vaguely high becomes impossibly hard - and as for long sustained phrases, well, forget them! As you can imagine, this is abit of a pain in the ass when you are principal cornet! Anyway, I try to practice daily for around 20mins - not a huge amount I know, but firstly my lip is usually dying by then anyway, and secondly my days are so packed full I really don't have time for more than this. Within this practice I tend to stick to lip slurs - usually running a piece or two at the end. I'm wondering if a different practice routein could help me? Or maybe the only way is to practice more - in which case i'm destined for a life of dead lips! Got a few other questions too: I'm playing a nice cornet, no problems there - but as for my mouthpiece, I'm pretty sure its too small (would tell you the exact size but I don't have it with me :S) Its Dennis Wick, and somewhat smaller than a "4" anyway! I know this because I went out and bought exactly that, a size 4 Dennis Wick mouthpiece. Problem is, that when I use this - I simply can't play much at all! High notes become just impossible, and my stamina gets even worse. Should I soldier on with it anyway? Would getting used to it improve my playing and help me in the long run? (bearing in mind that any period of poor playing is really quite hard to struggle through as principal cornet...) At the moment i'm just thinking that my embousure is in some way 'bad', and that is whats leading to my lack of staying power - but this is kind of a hard aspect to change after such a long time playing in this same way! Any advice would be greatly appreciated, about practicing, technique, mouthpieces, preparation for playing - etc etc, basically anything that might help! Thanks in advance, Steve.