Entry 40, April 15th, 2011, 11:33pm (ship time, GMT -5)
I bit my lip really hard about three days ago while eating. You'd think that after twenty two years of eating several times a day I would have figured out how to do it without injuring myself, but apparently not. I caught a fairly large portion of lower lip in my bite, which distributed enough of the pressure that I didn't break the skin, but I managed to bite it so hard that I bruised the flesh pretty much all the way through.
My trumpet playing hasn't suffered much (luckily!), but since today was an off day and it is still tender after having three days to heal I decided to take it easy. This meant a lot of free buzzing, exercises that I do without the horn that keep my strength up but do not involve pressure from the mouthpiece on my chops. I did play some things on the horn, but I focused on technique and an altered dominant line that I'm taking through the keys instead of developing range or sound (both of which are more stressful).
Besides this incident and another brief bout of “cigar lip” (a term coined by the great brass pedagogue Donald Reinhardt) I have been in good playing health. After six weeks of playing between two and five hours a day, I am in great physical shape – warm ups come quickly now (maybe five minutes, maximum) and I've got a consistent high concert Eb above the staff. Yesterday I played a tech run, two shows and a pretty tiring hour-long set with the pool deck band (their singer, Tomas, gave me some of their tunes to learn and I'm going to sit in again next week. My salsa and merengue education begins!) and I still had enough to play another show with no problems if I had needed to. Another month or two and I'm hoping for a consistent high concert F – I had a consistent F for a couple days in January, and again for a couple days when I signed on, so we'll see. Once I get it I'll truly be able to say I have a three-octave range, which seems to be requirement #1 for professional trumpet players. After that it's just a matter of making those registers consistent and useful – the Schlossberg and Clarke books should be useful when it comes to that.
Later . . .
I am starting to feel the need to compose again. This a good thing – it tends to come in bursts. I spent most of last summer writing for the CD, and ended up with a couple things I was really happy with. Early last winter I did some writing as well, but was mostly frustrated with the result (one workable song emerged, and half of another one that still needs work). It's a hard feeling to describe . . . we'll see if anything comes of it. I gotta track down a piano.