Playing in the morning!!!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Ginge, Nov 1, 2003.

  1. Ginge

    Ginge Member

    Does anyone else find it really hard to play well in the morning???

    I seem to really struggle to play in the morning. This has been something that has really been annoying me and i would just like to know if anyone has any ideas to help?!

    It's not just not being able to play perfectly, it's not being able to play above middle e! (top of stave). Whereas later in the day i can hit top c with little difficulty, in the mornings I struggle to get much further than the c below!

    I would be very grateful for any suggestions!
  2. The Cornet King

    The Cornet King Active Member

    wow, i thought i was the only person who struggled with this. :x
    Unless i've been up for about 4 hours or something i can hardly play my cornet to save my life!!!
    I'm just like you, later in the day i can quite easily hit the top notes up to top C but before that it just doesn't happen. I can get down to the really low notes but really struggle with the top notes.

    I always wondered whether it was a case of loosening the lip muscles, because to play in a morning i have to really buzz my lips a lot (like blowing a raspberry!!), for a good couple of hours.
    I always find the earlier i get out of bed the easier it is to play.

    And i thought it was just me. It's really annoying isn't it?? :x

    If anybody knows of a way of combatting this please, please tell us!! :(
  3. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    You're not alone - I play like a drain in the mornings. As to why, I've never been quite sure; my best guess is that the extreme relaxation you get from sleeping means that your system - in terms of both mental and physical alertness - is effectively decalibrated, and gets progressively more effective as the day goes on, until tiredness sets in. I appreciate that this is hopelessly unscientific of me, though!

  4. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    Yes - I've suffered from this - it's as if the lips "Thicken Up" overnight.
    As a Bass player, I find that "Buzzing"can help, but playing long notes in the lower register (Low "C" downwards) seems to "Free up" the flexibility of the lips in a very short time - 2-3 minutes and the full range is accessable.
  5. livyarker

    livyarker Member

    I have the same problem. Have just come back from a sectional that started at 9am.....usually i can't play a thing!!! Phil Harper took it and got us playing long low notes getting our lips buzzing and doing some lip certainly did the trick and i managed to play a lot better. He says you need to keep going untill your lips start tingling.....don't know if it'll help for anyone else. :?

  6. The Cornet King

    The Cornet King Active Member

    hmm, will definately give that a try.
    I think a morning experiment is in order sometime! :D
  7. iggmeister

    iggmeister Member


    I would suggest that for the next 2 weeks you get out of bed earlier each day to prepare yourself for Spennymoor, (since JAG are drawn first).

    Start tomorrow and practice at e.g 8:30, then 8:20 the next day etc.

    Practice on the morning of the contest is booked for 7:30. No doubt some of the pieces you will play wil go above middle e!

    the other option is not to go to sleep if you have to play early the next day but lie in the day before and wake up at e.g. 5pm. :lol:

  8. tewkeshorn

    tewkeshorn Account Suspended

    I found this problem when doing workshops and residential courses that start in the mornings. Apparantly it's got something to do with your face muscles not warming up properly. When playing in the evening you've been talking/eating etc and using your face muscles a lot but when playing in the morning you need to do some face exercises before playing, like chewing a pack of gum etc which I found quite useful.

    Just think of a sprinter just walking onto the track and expecting to win, you need to stretch and limber up first so make funny faces or something to get those face muscles working! :)
  9. Ginge

    Ginge Member

    I went to Cornwall youth this morning! I played fine!

    It's weird. Having said all that i said before, this hasn't actually happened for a while, but i'm sure it's likely to happen again.

    I have found buzzing and stretching my lips helpful. I can usually play fine if i do this, (usually).

    I think a lot of it is a mental thing as well. I have in my mind that i wont play aswell when i pick my intrument up in the morning.

    And don't worry Iggmeister! Ive never not been able to play very well at a contest. i obviously dont play perfectly everytime, but it's not the morning doing that to me! Ive played in the morning a lot at contests, it always seems to work fine! Probably coz i'm up earlier and you do a lot before you go on stage anyway. So i'll be fine!
  10. timbloke

    timbloke Member

    I'm the opposite, i often feel fresher in the mornings. although to be honest i'm rarely up in the mornings!!

    when i was at the college, i had a trombone lesson at 8:15, followed by brass ensemble at 9:00. it meant i had to get up at 6, and catch a train at about 6:30 in order to get there on time. :(

    i managed it most weeks.
  11. neiltwist

    neiltwist Active Member

    this is why a good warm up is required! failing to do so will damage the lips as well. at NYBB you're playing from 9am - 10pm with breaks of various lengths, so to anyone going, warm ups are essential! (believe me, you feel it by the end of the week if you don't :S)
  12. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I suppose I'm fortunate that I have no problem with playing early in the morning - came in handy at the one SA music school I attended, as the only time they could fit in for the "A" band rehearsals was before breakfast - "Just like John" (then hot off the press) and "Shout Salvation"(still in manuscript, if I remember) at 7.30 am :wink: :!: :lol:
  13. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville Member

    I've always preferred mornings - if you start the day well your playing benefits throughout the rest of the day.

    Whilst I was at music college I made a point of being at college every day by 8:00 to do a couple of hours practice before the classes/orchestras/ensembles began. This meant I was always really well 'warmed up' before I had to do any serious playing and had the added advantage of me being able to be smug in the bar at lunchtime :D whilst my colleagues were contemplating starting thier practice for the day!
  14. weuphl

    weuphl Member


    Not certain but is it all guys who have posted on this so far?

    I cannot play if I have shaved (wet) within an hour or two of playing. have spoken to others who have agreed - I shave the night before a competition/morning job to avoid this now - through awful and bitter experience.

    A bit of designer stubble never hurt anyone!! :dunno
  15. asteria

    asteria Member

    No it's not a bloke thing, i know very few players who play best in a morning. I hate drawing early in contests, because my embouchure and tongueing won't work properly, but i find the worst bit is my throat feels really tense and i can't get an 'open' sound.

    I wonder if playing in the day later is easier because you've effectively been warming up all day with talking and moving face muscles etc.

    If i've got to play in a morning i get up earlier than usual and do more warm up. For some reason i also find a cup of tea helps relax my throat, does anyone else find this?
  16. Dave Euph

    Dave Euph Member

    I can play in the morning, 4 years of county rehearsals on saturday mornings made sure of that! :)
  17. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    im like this, its a pain especially when you have rehearsals in the mornin and stuff
  18. Soppy

    Soppy Member

    I ususally have to have been up at least 3hrs before I can play well. I can sometimes do it.
    The problem is, if you think you're not going to be able to play well in the mornings, and go into playing like that, you're going to mess it up!
  19. neiltwist

    neiltwist Active Member

    you obviously all don't exercise your mouth muscles enough ;)

    oh dear, too drunk and deteriorating!

    told you sparkly!

    but as I said warm up...

    I was at a band rehearsal earlier, and it took the first hour before I warmed up properly, simply because I didn't have enough time before the start of rehearsal, and this was at night!

    the trick is, make sure you don't have bruised lips, and make sure you know how to warm up properly!
  20. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    I can't get a note out first thing in the morning - I think Tewkeshorn and Helen V are right about talking & eating warming your chops up over the day. Maybe its just a horn thing?!

    As far as shaving goes - I remember Bob Childs always seemed to have a little unshaved patch below his lip, and my husband never shaves above or below his lips for a couple of days before a contest or big gig. Does it work, or is it just psychological?