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Thread: Swollen lips

  1. Swollen lips

    Hello. Iím high school euphonium player and Iíve been playing for around 6 years. In the last month or so Iíve been having an issue when I play where after a few minutes my upper lip starts to swell and my tone suffers as a result. I tried reducing the pressure on my lips, but I would still get the same result. I also tried taking around a week off from playing, but that didnít seem to work either. Iíve noticed that my upper lip rolls under my front teeth a little bit whenever I play and was thinking that that could have something to do with it, but I have no idea. Is there any way I can go about fixing this?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by cole7877 View Post
    Hello. Iím high school euphonium player and Iíve been playing for around 6 years. In the last month or so Iíve been having an issue when I play where after a few minutes my upper lip starts to swell and my tone suffers as a result. I tried reducing the pressure on my lips, but I would still get the same result. I also tried taking around a week off from playing, but that didnít seem to work either. Iíve noticed that my upper lip rolls under my front teeth a little bit whenever I play and was thinking that that could have something to do with it, but I have no idea. Is there any way I can go about fixing this?
    This sounds like a possible soft tissue injury. Have you tried taking a week or so off from playing to see if it helps?

    Mike

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    California
    Posts
    27
    The lip roll isn't that common for low brass players. If the time off didn't help, maybe there's excess tension somewhere. I fought tension through my college career into my professional career and it still creeps back up. Try to see how little effort the horn really requires.
    -Maintain relaxation with the mouthpiece to your face and your lips resting together,
    - take a full relaxed breath (you should feel your body naturally want to expel the air like an inflated balloon)
    - release the air through the instrument, no extra force, let the body do it naturally.
    you should be able to play a great low Bb without any effort, just deep breathing and a horn to your face.
    for the octave up it should only need like 1% more effort.
    there's also a "whisper" exercise I do sometimes.It's pretty similar; you just see how little effort, mpc pressure wise, embouchure wise, and air wise it takes to play a note.
    Don't even form an embouchure first, if the note doesn't come then tighten the corners and firm up the chin a little. You should get an airy note at first, but then see how little of a difference it takes to get to a relaxed well centered note.
    The euph has a reputation as being easy, but it can be deceptively mean. If you're trying too hard to play it, it's gonna backfire. Just remember that "brass playing is no harder than deep breathing"

    hopefully that helps, and good luck
    Alex S

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