Warm Up and Warm Down

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Farmer Giles, Mar 9, 2005.

  1. Farmer Giles

    Farmer Giles Member

    hi all

    we all know that it is important to warm up properly before playing, but why do we need to warm down ?

    i have never done so myself, so i am interested as to why it should be done.

    thanks folks

  2. Soppy

    Soppy Member

    Untill recently I had never bothered to warm down either, and my warm up was OK, but not great.

    But I changed mouthpieces and started usign a deeper one. The result was that I wore out much quicker. Fine I thought, it'll get better. But after about 3 weeks I was smashed. My lips felt eternally sore and tired, I lost all ability to play in tune and my flexibitly and internation dissapeared completely. I couldn't play for more than about 15-20mins!

    So i spoke to someone else and started warming up more comprehensively and warming down. The result was that withing days, my lips felt ten times better. I still feel I damaged my embourcher (sp?) in that period and it's still not totally back to normal now. If you don't warm down, the lactic acid in your muscles will hang around and have those negative effects. Ever noticed how, if you ahve a hard blow one day, when you pick the instrument up the next, your lips feel stiff? I always did, even though I wasn't having any real problems. Well now my lips feel fresh as anything the next day, and they even feel good when i pick it up a few hours later. It's like when you play football or something, you wake up the next day with stiff legs. THat's why proffessional football players (and all other sportsmen) warm down, to prevent that. Your lips work in exactly the same way. I've realised that you can do serious damage if you don't warm down. If you're lucky, you won't (I went 10years of plaing and was fine), but it's not worth the risk IMO.

    And totally OT I know, but speed cameras won't be a problem if you don't speed! :)
  3. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    ^What he said. Warm downs help your lips recover after strenuous exercise. When I was playing a show last week with lots of stuff around and above high C, I had to warm down carefully after every performance because I knew that otherwise I'd have to spend 5 times as long warming up the next day. Luckily a pint of guinness is an integral part of any good warmdown....
  4. neiltwist

    neiltwist Active Member

    also consider using arnicker cream after a big blow (as in really big), as this stops your lips from bruising. (Have you tried playing on a bruised lip?)
  5. lewis

    lewis Member

    If you can avoid arnicka I would advice it. It is a very long term problem but it has been proven to burn your nerve endings over a sustained period of time.

    I always try to liken playing to sports with my pupils. If you have a 3 hour rehearsal on a very tiering piece, Rienzi for eg, and end the rehearsal and put it straight away you'll be leaving your chops very tight (just like your leg muscles if you've been for a long run), so a quick warm down of some easy lip flexibilities and some low notes will just relax your chops a little and you will find your warm up the next day much easier.
  6. sterlingsop

    sterlingsop Member

    I always warm down at the end of a rehearsal or gig - partly coz I just lurve blowing the thing, but also partly because it helps to loosen my chops again. Depending on how big the blow was depends on the length and seriousness of the warm down. Short/easy blow = just a few long low notes, hard/difficult blow = long notes, low notes and lip flexes etc.

    Works for me!!!
  7. neiltwist

    neiltwist Active Member

    Well, there you go. Personally I never need to use it myself but have had it recomended by several people. Might be useful for sop players though!

    TIMBONE Active Member

    I don't know the technical answer to the warm down. I first heard about it when my son went to the gym! Kevin does it with Flixton Band, and since he took over as MD, they have got a result in every contest, so it must be good.
  9. sterlingsop

    sterlingsop Member

    I tried a little experiment this week and purposely didn't warm down after rehearsal last night. This morning and up until I played again tonight, I had a horrid feeling round my chops like I'd been smacked in the gob. Needless to say, I warmed down properly tonight and chops feel fine!

    Not a scientific experiment maybe, but proof enough for me!
  10. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    Warm downs are always good :) helps relax and settle things....

    and not for brass either... good for percussionists as well :)
  11. Dave Euph

    Dave Euph Member

    What I was thinking of as well! :)

    Simply put, go for a long, hard run. Once yu are absolutely knackered - stop, sit down, drink a coffee and watch some TV. You'll probably feel a little uncomfortable anyway, but most importantly, the lactic acid will hang around in your muscle groups. You will get tired and sore and possibly even injured. Liken this exclusively to the many different muscle groups around your chops and you'll see why you need to warm-down! ;)
  12. sevenhelz

    sevenhelz Active Member

    ^i agree, but i tend only to really warm down after something really really difficult... and not so often since i stopped using (far) too much pressure :) but i do do the weird almost buzzing type thing a lot, where you just relax your lips and blow? not sure if i've made that clear...