What's happening to me!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by sunny_jimbob, Apr 14, 2004.

  1. sunny_jimbob

    sunny_jimbob Member

    Having taken the weekend off practicing (shock horror!) having been overloaded with banding for the past few months, I went back to playing last night. Imagine my dismay when my right cheek kept puffing out as I played, sapping a good deal of my power in the process. Anyone got any idea why this might be happening? The only thing I can think of is that it's something to do with the fact that I was tootling about with a narrow bore tenor bone on Sunday. But I can't figure out what that would've done! What can I do! Help!

    (Oh, I've got a concert tonight and a march on Sunday... ARGH!)
  2. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    I'm sure it's probably just down to you've dropped out of a routine that your cheek muscles had grown accustomed to.
    Take an asprin and you'll be fine.


  3. IJK

    IJK Member

    No probably playing in a hard working band with a good looking conductor does it. Do you remember the days crawford?
  4. Rambo Chick

    Rambo Chick Member

    i haven't practised properly for 2 weeks. picked up my instrument 2 days ago to get down to some proper blowing only to discover someone had swapped my instrument for a DRAINPIPE!! imagine my horror. :shock:

    Dont worry, your playing will return to normal!! i hope mine does!!

    utd coop yorks.
  5. VenusTromster

    VenusTromster Member

    LOL!! Know the feeling, but are you sure that someone hasn't just swapped your valves around?!?!?! :twisted: :roll:

    Don't panic sunny_jimbob, it will all come back to you soon, that'll teach you to take the weekend off!! :p :wink:
  6. Dave Euph

    Dave Euph Member

    Same here, picked it up yesterday, and actually played OK ... which was a relief with these recitals coming up! :)
  7. sunny_jimbob

    sunny_jimbob Member

    Why does this answer not surprise me? Thanks to everyone else who gave vaguely constructive answers :lol: :lol: :wink: :wink:
  8. IJK

    IJK Member

    Well Nick I only tell the truth. :roll:
  9. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    Nope...never had that pleasure, sorry.
  10. Emb_Enh

    Emb_Enh Member

    You relaxed your corner muscles outta their normal shape is all...

    Try some of these OFF HORN exercises....


    Lip buzzing.
    THE best mpc pressure cure is [per day] 5 mins LIP buzzing simple etudes to start then progress, the reason is it works the embouchure harder than when using the horn AND of course you train your lips to work efficiently without mpc pressure. If you then decide to mpc buzz as well make sure you have the same buzz on LIPS/MPC and when on the horn itself oitherwise you will NOT have a co-ordination between all 3 types and this will upset your normal modus operandi.


    The Pencil Exercise
    Place a pencil between compressed lips, no curl (not teeth) and slowly raise it to a horizontal position. There are a number of concepts we are dealing with here. It gets the player used to holding an open teeth aperture, and also to bring the bottom jaw out to support the mouthpiece more efficiently in a more even top / bottom jaw alignment.

    Lightly steady the pencil.

    Next up, without pulling back the corners, bring the center of the lips toward you until they touch the pencil.

    Keep the corners firm.

    What we're trying to achieve is that due to the pencil causing a teeth opening, the muscles in the lips and cheeks will have to slightly tighten to just stay still. That is our ultimate aim!
    Try and hold the pencil horizontal for 4 mins. Beware of overdoing this! Once or twice a day is enough I believe! Start with less time perhaps and incrementally build up to 4 mins. Don't hurt yourself.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------"The best lip exerciser I have found is holding a short pencil or an inch and a half of long plastic tube (quarter inch to half inch diameter) in the center of the lips, without using teeth, and pointing the object upward and alternately flexing the lip muscles and relaxing them.
    Pointing the object upward brings the lower jaw in a good position and the lower lip concentrates inwards and upwards, which is definitely an endurance aid." -- Armando Ghitalla CHICAGO SYMPH


    Pencil / Mpc exercise alternative...

    Here's a suggestion, in a head downward position, elbows on spread knees and face
    parallel to the floor. Use a lightweight / regular CORNET mouthpiece never a megatone, and use the shank end of the mpc rather than a pencil.
    Now, all your focus is in the centre of the chops area rather than as in the pencil exercise where tension can spread to the jaw muscles in an effort to keep the pencil up.

    While doing the normal pencil exercise lots of people find that they go into a "smile"
    as they get tired, which is exactly what we're trying to get away from. With the head down it seems to focus all the effort exactly where it's supposed to go. It also allows for proper alignment of the teeth. Be careful of the length of time you take to do this one. It can be detrimental if overdone.


    Lion pose
    Widen your eyes as big as possible, go on, you know, as if you just had a tax bill the size of
    Herb Alpert. Open your mouth as wide as possible and stick your tongue right out as if you were going to lick your chin. Hold for as long as it takes for the muscles to burn..or ..just before for safety, then release. Then try again 3 times. You should feel a relaxation of the obicularis oris..the main artery area around the mouth. Be careful not to get lockjaw, otherwise we'll have to call you Eddie!

    Lips 1
    Sit upright facing forward and purse your lips together. Lift your pursed lips towards your nose and keep there for 5 counts, relax and repeat 5 times.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Lips 2
    Pucker your lips slightly and when in this puckered position try with your mouth muscles to bring the corners of your mouth together as close as possible. Keep lips in this position for 5 counts, relax and repeat 5 times.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Lips 3
    Sit upright facing forward and keep your lips closed and teeth together. Smile as broadly as possible, without opening your lips, keep there for 5 counts and when relaxing start puckering your lips in a pointed kiss. Keep there for 5 counts and relax - repeat 10 times.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Lips 4
    Move your lips into a puckered kiss and while relaxing the kiss keep your lips closed and curl your lips into your mouth across your teeth. Hold this position for a count of 10 and repeat 5 times. Point in the direction of the wife to gain extra points.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Lips 5
    Sit relaxed with your lips hardly open and pucker your lips outwards. While your lips are in the outward position, move your puckered top lip towards your nose. Hold in this position for 10 counts and repeat 5 times.

    Cheeks 1
    Sit upright facing forward with lips closed but relaxed. Pucker and pout your lips using the muscles in your cheeks. (Feel with your fingers that you are using your cheek muscles.) Keep puckered for a count of 10, relax and repeat 10 times.
    Cheeks 2
    Have a relaxed smile with your lips closed and then suck in your cheeks towards and on to your teeth. Hold this for 10 counts, relax and repeat 10 times.

    I hope some of this helps... :)
  11. BassBlaster

    BassBlaster Member

    Or you could try to play a bass!, once your cheeks start puffing out, your stomach will follow, you will soon find the urge to sit at the back, in practice playing crotchets, waiting for the chance to play a solo of less than 3 notes.
    Face it my friend one day you to will have over 30 foot of tubing in your hand, loike moi. :shock: :shock: :lol:
  12. sunny_jimbob

    sunny_jimbob Member

    Thanks for that Emb_Enh, great stuff!

    Never. NEVER, I say! I have issues with valves (quite aside from having issues with basses) :wink: :lol:
  13. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    If you don't work it with your thumb, it's an abomination... :wink:
  14. nickjones

    nickjones Active Member

    you never played a Cimbasso then.... :shock: the child the tuba family never talks about...a horrible half breed of bass trombone and tuba...looks odd , sounds pretty good tho...used in Italian Opera ( force of destiny and other Verdi stuff )..also some sound tracks have used it.. ( Batman Danny Elfman , Bram Stokers Dracula )..In the right hands it's a real monster!!!!! :shock: .it's only a short step from Bass trom from Tuba...you watch it my old son..."IT IS YOUR DESTINY" :roll: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
  15. sunny_jimbob

    sunny_jimbob Member

    I do have one that i work with my index finger as well, but it's not a pushy downy jobbo so it's alright :wink: :lol:

    Please stop, I'd like to sleep tonight if that's OK with you all...!
  16. stopher

    stopher Member

    Sounds familiar Nick! What have you and Mr Davies been up to then???
  17. Toni2

    Toni2 Member

    Don't worry Dave, your playing will soon return to normal too!!
    Lol!! :)

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