Your Chops, after the Warm Up

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A topic that has come up quite a number of times in years of teaching is the warm up, and more specifically on how your chops should feel after the warm up is done.

Speaking very generally your chops should feel good. This is part of the enjoyment of the warm up for me. I do my routine and then my chops feel good and ready to go.

If they don’t feel good, this could be an indication that your warm up is either too vigorous (quick) or not balanced. In this respect I feel The Brass Gym for horn is a great resource (more here). This routine starts slowly, with a great balance between high and low.

Another point to consider is if you are playing a lot of high horn, or just a lot in general, you will likely need to warm up in a lower register for a longer period of time to get your chops loosened up and functioning well.

Part of that also is what you practice. The low Bordogni etudes in The Low Horn Boot Camp are good tunes to play in a relaxed manner and register (more here). 

In any case, if you do your warm up and things don’t feel good, something needs to change. Your chops should feel good as you start the day. Maybe a day off would help too, but for sure don’t persist in doing a warm up that does not leave your chops feeling good.

For more tips on getting your chops feeling better see also (Ouch!) Four Practical Tips for Painful, Swollen Lips.

University of Horn Matters