When you hear a trumpet being played, you may think of historical battles, epic fanfares, or maybe Robin Hood. Most people love the sound of a trumpet. However, there are others that may not enjoy the sound as much as you do. And you will be surprised that we are referring to the trumpet players!
Producing great sounds with your trumpet will make you feel happy and can build your career. However, you can also end up suffering some injuries when playing the trumpet.
Below is an overview of the worst trumpet playing injuries you may have to deal with and what you can do to avoid them.
Injuring Your Lips
Blowing up balloons can leave you with sore or numb lips. Now, imagine what blowing a brass instrument like a trumpet would lead to!
The primary way of playing the trumpet is by blowing in it, a lot of air. Trumpeters need to blow prolonged and intense precise air into the instruments using their mouths and with the help of their lungs. Moreover, the soft lips are usually always in contact with the metallic mouthpiece of the trumpet. This explains why many trumpeters end up suffering from lip injuries, especially when they are still beginners.
You can injure your lips when playing the trumpet if you have poor technique or are using too much pressure.
How to Prevent Injuring Your Lips
The best way of ensuring you do not end up injuring your lips is by developing a proper embouchure. Having a good embouchure will ensure your lips are intact and keep you from getting fatigued easily. Ideally, you should place an equal part of the upper and lower lips on the mouthpiece so that there is a balance when pressure is applied on the lips when you start blowing.
However, since everyone’s mouth is different, you should go for the embouchure that you are comfortable with. Just make sure that you don’t blow too hard and that the lips are not imbalanced.
The piano and violin may be difficult to master but they mostly demand physical coordination and mental agility. On the other hand, the trumpet needs these two as well as intense physical straining. This explains why the best trumpet players take years to master how to play the instrument.
Moreover, to be a successful trumpet player, you need to have strong lip muscles, cheeks, and lungs. Without these, it is nearly impossible to execute loud and high passages.
The metallic elements and alloys used to make trumpet mouthpieces can cause allergies as a result of being in contact with the lips for a long time. Common symptoms of the allergies caused by the metals include loss of sensation in the mouth and lips, small bumps, itching, and muscle issues.
How to Prevent Metal Allergies
If you are allergic to a metal used to make a trumpet mouthpiece, the best way to stay safe is to get a mouthpiece made of a different metal or one made of plastic. Using a plastic mouthpiece is also an easy way of determining whether you are allergic to the metal used to make the old mouthpiece. If your symptoms subside a few days after using a plastic mouthpiece, it is highly likely that you are allergic to the metal used to make the old mouthpiece.
If you play any brass instrument, not just the trumpet, you can suffer from hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Initially, the condition was thought to be a rare case of allergic reaction to brass metal due to its symptoms, which include an occasional fever, shortness of breath, and coughing.
However, new studies have shown that hypersensitivity pneumonitis is caused by buildup of bacteria and mold inside wind instruments that musicians inhale unknowingly when blowing. The tiny particles can pile up and get trapped in a player’s airways, leading to inflammation of the lungs and increased sensitivity. If the condition is not treated, it could lead to fibrosis.
How to Prevent Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis
Preventing hypersensitivity pneumonitis is actually quite easy. There are three things you should keep in mind to prevent the condition:
- Clean your trumpet every day. Drown the instrument in a solution of isopropyl alcohol to kill any bacteria
- Practice is well-conditioned rooms. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is more common in hot and humid climates, where moisture makes it easy for bacteria to settle into the instruments.
- Avoid playing the trumpet immediately after eating. The food remains in your mouth are a fertile ground or harboring bacteria. The bacteria is harmless when in your mouth but dangerous when it goes into the tube. Therefore, make sure you brush your teeth before starting to practice.
Playing the trumpet can be musically challenging as well as dangerous. By the time you are finishing your performance, you will have sweated a lot under your shoes, and this can make your steps slippery and increase your risk of falling and injuring yourself.
Moreover, fingering the trumpet is simple. Since the trumpet has three keys only, this means that putting out all the notes is more complex.
Finally, when playing, you will barely see anything at all apart from the music sheet. This is why mastering to play the trumpet can be quite challenging.