Strange Cornet Days

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by alks, Jul 31, 2004.

  1. alks

    alks Member

    This is quite bizzare but i wondered how often players suffer the 'strange day' or total inability to play syndrome.

    Ive noticed some days that i pick up my cornet and procede to have a practice and then - Arrggh - i sound awful and struggle to play anything at all. This happens roughly once a month. It just happens and theres now explanation for it. The whole week i could go to band pracice then practive at home regularly --fine. The suddenly a day when you loose all your playing abilities and sound like you've just picked up the cornet for the first time. These are the symtoms:

    1. Tone Sounds rough, wheezy and gritty - generally awful.
    2. Struggle to play easy notes.
    3. Struggle to play any notes...
    4. Tripple and double tongueing is suddenly a no go area.
    5. Playing from red hym book is a struggle.
    6. High notes are not possible at all.

    The only solution is to not practice and wait until tommorow..then everythings back to normal and your happy again. I thought it might be because of me 'overdoing the practice' but it has happened with a day gap between my last practice.

    But what if this were to happen on a practice night? or worse a concert ? or worse still a contest? Whats the solution ? whats going on? what excuse can you use?

    Any one else suffer ? or is it just me?.

  2. TuTuKu

    TuTuKu Active Member

    I don't go to that extreme, but i certainly have my good days and bad days. Good days are great, high notes sail out like a dream and I can play for years it seems, but bad days are poo... range is a problem and my stamina doesn't leave a lot to be desired, which isn't much good at concerts.

    Although they seem to appear randomly, i'm sure there's some complex explanation for it all! :?
  3. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    South London
    I have days like this every so often... start to think "Now, what was the theory behind this? Buzz lips... right... push air through... ok... articulate with tongue... sorted...

    then I try and play and out comes some horrible splurt... (some people may wonder why this is different from normal, but honest, it is!!) I think it's something to do with dehydrated skin around the lips.Usually if I drink a few pints of water and go back after a couple of hours it's ok again!
  4. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    I used to have a similar problem when having lessons with a peri teacher when I was at school. If the lesson was really early in the morning I could hardly play a note! :shock: if it was after 11am I would be ok. Probably more to do with being lazy and only half awake at that time but it was very strange!
  5. 2nd trom virtuoso

    2nd trom virtuoso Member

    I'v heard from some people that if you think about what your doing when playing it can mess you up a bit. Just try and relax when playing, it happens to me far too often when i just cant play anything atall and the sound isn't good. I do notice that this usually happens when I try and change my tongue position or lips when playing. It also usually occurs when I have been playing frequently(like atleast 20 minutes a day for the past 4 days maybe more). I wouldn't let it worry you too much, but if the worst comes to the worst then have a short break from playing for a few days. Then, when you start playing again, make sure your not using too much pressure for higher notes, dont think about it too much though!
  6. dave_cornet

    dave_cornet New Member

    i cant play in the mornings...lips are just too dry.
  7. Decibels

    Decibels New Member

    Inexplicable performance syndrome (IPS)

    This is a very common problem. In my own case it's the other way around - for some reason, on some days I can suddenly play everything without effort. A couple of years ago I did some research (asked a few pschologists and professional players) and their consensus seemed to be:

    (1) What comes out of your cornet is a matter of what your body is doing
    (2) What your body is doing is a matter of environmental factors and what your head is doing
    (3) If the environment is the same then your head is to blame
    (4) You can't just adjust your head in the same way you can turn up the heat or wet your lips
    (5) On a day like this just blow some long slow notes on the horn then stick it back in the case before you start subconsciously telling your self that you are a crap player
    (6) If you are worried about this syndrome appearing during a performance then read Barry Green's "Inner Game of Music"

    I followed this advice and agree with everything but (6) - I am one of the very, very few people I know who found this book to be drivel.

  8. CaharleyFarley

    CaharleyFarley Member

    Stoke on Trent
    I have had a similar problem - but think that I have the answer..........

    In my case, I am very sensitive to salty things, having stopped adding salt to my food - but occasionally eat crisps. Some sausages can be very salty also. What happens with me is the following day my lips are slightly swollen - which can make playing virtually impossible - certainly on quiet passages.

    For me, if I know that I have had too much salt, and am playing next day - I drink extra water.

    I have heard that extra water intake can be a good thing anyway prior to a performance.
  9. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Isle of Arran and lovin' it!
    This is what I'm usually like! ;-) Anyone suffer from 'good cornet days' round here? :) :lol: :lol:
  10. TuTuKu

    TuTuKu Active Member

    that's interesting, i never realised salt had that effect!i'll keep an eye on my salt intake now!!
  11. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Brighouse, Yorkshire
    It's not just cornet players either. I can only speak as a bass player (Cos they don't trust me with anything more technical than pom-pom notes :wink: ) but I do get days when:

    I suddenly find I have to 8vb everything just to get it remotely in tune.
    Anything above a middle G comes in wth a horrible 'pyaaa'
    I lip up by a mile and i'm still flat (But I think that's just me)
    My articulation's like a leather apron flapping (Probably just me again) :oops:
    I can Rasp like a bad-'un at Pianissimo.
    But I felt fine before practice, so go home well gutted.

    Next practice, hit everything in the middle, octave up, octave down, fast stuff, slow stuff and never a problem, go home feeling chuffed.

    I think it's just one of those things. Like bad hair days. Everyone has them, no-one can explain them.
  12. Rambo Chick

    Rambo Chick Member

    Auckland, New Zealand
    deary me mister thirteen ball you didnt half knock yourself in that post!!
    drivel i tell you!! you're doing a great job on bass-keep it up!

    yes we all have off days or even off weeks. just be grateful it isnt one good day and 29 bad ones!!! :lol:
  13. welshmike

    welshmike Member

    North West
    What a good question!!!

    I remember not too long ago have a 'mare' on Tournament for Brass. In all the rehersals for the second movement I had been doin ok. Then on the day of the contest I woke up and felt really strange! I couldn't put my finger on it but as the day went on I still felt a bit unwell!

    By the time I got on stage I was sort of ok and thought it may just a been a bit of pre-contest nerves. When I started playing it felt like my mouthpiece had doubled in size and notes over C were a real problem. Consequently the solos didn't go too well! I came off stage in a right state but then thought it might just have been one of those days! By the next week in a joint concert with Faireys not a prob at all! Weird!
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