Chop Remedies?

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TromboneFox
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Chop Remedies?

Post by TromboneFox » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:47 pm

Principal bone in college jazz band here. For scale juries on Monday, I have to play some really high classical pieces, and have been relentlessly practicing them, to the point where I pretty much blew my chops out Saturday (my underlip has ripped), and now my teacher's telling me to take a short break. The thing is, I can't afford to rest. I have jazz band every day and need to play every day to keep up the shape I'm in, especially with juries right around the corner. I'm going to rest of course, but I can't afford for a full proper recovery. Are there any remedies along with rest that you all recommend for quick chop recovery? (I've tried chopsaver and it didn't do much for me.)
"You play pretty good for not taking in any air"
"Wow, it almost sounds like you like that piece"
"There are two kinds of music, the flowy kind and the digging-in kind. You're much better at the digging-in kind."
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BGuttman
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Re: Chop Remedies?

Post by BGuttman » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:57 pm

If you have actually cut your lip, applying vitamin E will help your recovery. Get a bottle of the gel caps and a pin. Pierce one of the gel caps and squeeze out the oil onto the injury.

I would suggest minimizing your "chop pushing" exercises for a while to let things heal up.

Good luck with the juries.
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
Doug Elliott
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Re: Chop Remedies?

Post by Doug Elliott » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:43 pm

Freebuzzing, but only if you know how to do it easily and what I consider to be correctly. 5 minutes = an hour of playing the horn. So don't overdo it.

"Blowing out your chops" pretty much tells me you're not playing correctly for your face. And your signature quote "You're much better at the digging-in kind" also tells me you're used to forcing things which is what got you into trouble. And I doubt very much you know how to freebuzz correctly.

So use ice & Advil and then go back to destroying your chops again.
Kbiggs
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Re: Chop Remedies?

Post by Kbiggs » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:57 am

Doug Elliott wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:43 pm

So use ice & Advil and then go back to destroying your chops again.
You might consider taking a lesson from Doug. You could learn how to avoid destroying your chops again...
I have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.
—Mark Twain (attributed)
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TromboneFox
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Re: Chop Remedies?

Post by TromboneFox » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:29 pm

Good to know, I'll take it easy. A special nod to Doug for reminding everyone yet again that he knows more than all of us. There are of course two kinds of replies on this forum, Doug. The helpful kind and the digging-in kind. You are much better at the digging-in kind. I had some great luck with the vitamin E oil last night. Thanks for the help, guys.
"You play pretty good for not taking in any air"
"Wow, it almost sounds like you like that piece"
"There are two kinds of music, the flowy kind and the digging-in kind. You're much better at the digging-in kind."
Redthunder
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Location: Philadelphia

Re: Chop Remedies?

Post by Redthunder » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:40 pm

TromboneFox wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:29 pm
Good to know, I'll take it easy. A special nod to Doug for reminding everyone yet again that he knows more than all of us. There are of course two kinds of replies on this forum, Doug. The helpful kind and the digging-in kind. You are much better at the digging-in kind. I had some great luck with the vitamin E oil last night. Thanks for the help, guys.
This is a great way to alienate yourself from a distinguished player and teacher. Are you sure you want to be that person?
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Matt K
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Re: Chop Remedies?

Post by Matt K » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:58 pm

Chopsaver is really not a recovery aid. It's lip balm that doesn't have certain muscle relaxants in it (such as camphor) or anything to make your lips feel tingly. The idea is the same as say, sodium lauryl sulfate in toothpaste... it doesn't actually make your teeth cleaner, but in its absence people think their teeth aren't clean. (SLS is the stuff that makes your mouth tingle after you brush - not all toothpastes have it).

Treat your lips as any other muscle or tissue in your body... when it breaks, time is the only thing that will actually make it heal. Also remember how you got to that point as well. I did something very similar back when I was in college, before I actually knew what my embouchure was doing. If something tears, you probably were getting feedback up to that point but were possibly ignoring it. I know I was... and did. Had to take more time off than when I had my wisdom teeth out (which actually isn't a big deal as my wisdom teeth removal was actually surprisingly painless and quick).

In either case though, say you want to practice that much again... well, you know that whatever you were doing before it was either too much or you didn't ramp up fast enough. I remember taking an audition a few years ago where I was really practicing a lot for it but I didn't start with enough time in advance and I didn't give myself enough time to recover. My chops were exhausted for the audition. I should have taken a month of endurance practice and then taken the day or two prior mostly off. Live and learn. Fortunately you don't have a career-changing audition coming up! (Or at least didn't mention it !)
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TromboneFox
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Re: Chop Remedies?

Post by TromboneFox » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:11 pm

Redthunder wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:40 pm

This is a great way to alienate yourself from a distinguished player and teacher. Are you sure you want to be that person?
James Markey gave a masterclass in March, where he mentioned how common this sort of thing is in music. Around four minutes in, he talks about it. I think it's on YouTube. About an hour long video. Definitely check it out.

I'm here to get better at what I do. Becoming a good trombone player doesn't come from someone (although, yes, he is very qualified, intelligent, and capable) simply telling me I don't know how to freebuzz correctly. Negativity doesn't belong in the world of music. In that same vein, Doug, if you were offended, my apologies.

Thanks to everyone for their replies! I'm well on the way to full recovery by jury day.
"You play pretty good for not taking in any air"
"Wow, it almost sounds like you like that piece"
"There are two kinds of music, the flowy kind and the digging-in kind. You're much better at the digging-in kind."
Redthunder
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Re: Chop Remedies?

Post by Redthunder » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:23 pm

TromboneFox wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:11 pm
James Markey gave a masterclass in March, where he mentioned how common this sort of thing in music. Around four minutes in, he talks about it. I think it's on YouTube. About an hour long video. Definitely check it out.
How common what is? Music students coming to a forum and asking for free advice, and then blowing off one of the best resources around for not just chop advice, but on making a good living as a highly employable trombone player, just because they don't like the response?
I'm here to get better at what I do. Becoming a good trombone player doesn't come from someone (although, yes, he is very qualified, intelligent, and capable) simply telling me I don't know how to freebuzz correctly. Negativity doesn't belong in the world of music. In that same vein, Doug, if you were offended, my apologies.

Thanks to everyone for their replies! I'm well on the way to full recovery by jury day.
Maybe if you were serious about getting better at what you do, you'd consider paying Doug for a lesson in person to find out what he's all about instead of dismissing him.

I wonder.. how often does James Markey give masterclasses for free?
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TromboneFox
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Re: Chop Remedies?

Post by TromboneFox » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:42 pm

Oh, boy, lucky me. This is what Markey was talking about.

Doug didn't give me advice. He told me to freebuzz, but only for 5 minutes max and only if I did it the way he considered to be correct, but he's pretty sure I don't know how to freebuzz anyway. What am I supposed to do with that information? Even the way I freebuzz is likely not the way Doug recommends.

Come on, man. This kind of stuff has no place here. I've already justified myself to you. Quit picking fights.
"You play pretty good for not taking in any air"
"Wow, it almost sounds like you like that piece"
"There are two kinds of music, the flowy kind and the digging-in kind. You're much better at the digging-in kind."
Redthunder
Posts: 106
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Location: Philadelphia

Re: Chop Remedies?

Post by Redthunder » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:57 pm

TromboneFox wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:42 pm
Oh, boy, lucky me. This is what Markey was talking about.

Doug didn't give me advice. He told me to freebuzz, but only for 5 minutes max and only if I did it the way he considered to be correct, but he's pretty sure I don't know how to freebuzz anyway. What am I supposed to do with that information? Even the way I freebuzz is likely not the way Doug recommends.

Come on, man. This kind of stuff has no place here. I've already justified myself to you. Quit picking fights.
Did you bother to expend a modicum of effort trying to dig deeper, or did you just assume that the forum would place the answers in your lap? I just took a whole 2 seconds to search for "free buzz" on google, and immediately got not just an article, but also a video explaining exactly what it is and how to do it the right way.

But if you think slapping James Markey's name in front of your words somehow validates your attitude and treatment of other professionals, good luck.
Doug Elliott
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Re: Chop Remedies?

Post by Doug Elliott » Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:01 pm

That's a pretty typical attitude before a lesson, I'm used to it.

Here's a text I got a few days ago, which is a pretty typical response AFTER a lesson:

I cannot tell you how much good our lesson has done. I have never been so positively affected by a lesson. Thank you thank you thank you
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Burgerbob
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Re: Chop Remedies?

Post by Burgerbob » Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:45 pm

Drink water, warm up well, play soft, use your air.
Bass Trombone
DL Band
SLO Symphony
baileyman
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Re: Chop Remedies?

Post by baileyman » Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:52 pm

After Burgerbob, find a note that takes no effort. I mean zero. One that happens with no muscle tension.

Then expand that range down and up.
afugate
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Re: Chop Remedies?

Post by afugate » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:00 am

TromboneFox wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:42 pm
Oh, boy, lucky me. This is what Markey was talking about.

Doug didn't give me advice. He told me to freebuzz, but only for 5 minutes max and only if I did it the way he considered to be correct, but he's pretty sure I don't know how to freebuzz anyway. What am I supposed to do with that information? Even the way I freebuzz is likely not the way Doug recommends.

Come on, man. This kind of stuff has no place here. I've already justified myself to you. Quit picking fights.
What Doug teaches is the equivalent of isometric exercises for your chops. I'd venture to guess that even if you're excellent at free buzzing, you probably don't do it the way Doug would have you do it.

It sounds like you have a good handle on how you want to diagnose and correct your challenges. Best of luck to you.

-- Andy in OKC
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greenbean
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Re: Chop Remedies?

Post by greenbean » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:25 am

Here is my take. Do what you want with it. It is free. You have a short-term problem and a longer-term problem. The short-term is to do well on Monday, right? The longer-term one will require some open-mindedness in making a change to your playing. I think almost everyone will agree: if you blew your lip out, you are doing something that needs to be changed. Best of luck on Monday!
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