Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello SOTW'ers!

Recently in the past 3 months, I've had an issue where my lower left lip has been bleeding when I play my alto for long periods of time and I've been using the same setup for years.

I've been using the same brand/strength reeds for years now, I've had numerous opinions from my teachers that it is not an embeouschure issue, my tone has not been suffering and is exactly the same (good way), I have tried everything to solve this ( coconut oil internal use, medicated balm you name it).

I use Rico Jazz Selects 3H on alto on a metal mouthpiece JodyJazz DV. I've tried taking a week off playing, and gradually coming back not playing from my usual 3 hour practices and going for about an hour or less, I prepare the reeds with warm water and have been doing so for years, I cannot find any change in my routine that has affected anything and none of my teachers notice anything too. I notice there is excessive dryness coming from the reed after playing a awhile, which has only been happening since then and since Rico changed to a different cane on their jazz reeds as I believe, maybe that has something to do with it ( allergic reaction )

for two weeks up until yesterday I was playing lightly and had no bleeding because 3 weeks ago i took a week off playing completely however last monday I played 5 hours total ( 3 hours straight ) which think is the cause of it bleeding yesterday even though i did not play on Tuesday.

I heard Rico made a a change from different canes over the last year and I noticed the reeds played better and looked a little different in a good way and are wondering if you could shed any light on this issue and maybe a new pesticide or something to keep the wood dry has something to do with it with my lip.

Should I try another brand ( I don't like Vandos on alto's though ) ? I haven't tried others i've been using the same strength/hardness wit the same mouthpiece for years. Any thoughts??

this has been incredibly bothersome and really want to get focused back on music and my career, thanks!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2010
Joined
·
3,310 Posts
I use RJS too and have never experienced anything like this, but then I am not you.

The only way you will be able to find out is to try something different.

Maybe a plasticover or a legere synthetic would at least cast some light on things and rule out cane related issues entirely. Even if you dont end up using them full time for musical reasons you will at least know if the particular cane that is causing the issue. If your lip still bleeds then its something physical and you can at least stick to the RJS while you figure out what else is causing it.

Maybe its nothing to do with the reed, could just be wear and tear from playing 3 hrs a day. There are many things that didnt used to bother me, but as Ive got older that has changed.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
32,936 Posts
Do you use lip balm only when playing or all the time?

Ever consider a dermatologist?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Do you use lip balm only when playing or all the time?

Ever consider a dermatologist?
I've been using it all the time since this happened, i'm a hardcore cyclist and bike pretty much everyday, my area is very hilly,going up huge hills and down them a lot lol so they were chapped but it's been lasting for so long though, and out of curiosity, what could a dermatologist do for me? prescribe something? that made me think I might contact one now.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
32,936 Posts
Iwhat could a dermatologist do for me? prescribe something? that made me think I might contact one now.
Diagnose the problem, I should hope. You may have some manner of infection or sensitivity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,809 Posts
Another idea - do you work on your reeds? Try running a very fine sandpaper or reed rush along the entire vamp, especially at the edges, to take off any little fibers that may be present. This won't change the playability of the reed, just a couple very quick strokes to take off roughness.

However, I suspect that your chapped lips may be the real issue - I know when my lips are dry that playing will create cracks and sometimes blood, especially if I have taken time off playing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I've got orabase, i'm going to try it and pick up the alto in a few days and see if that helps. Thanks for the advice!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,131 Posts
Take a piece of plain white paper and rub the tops and bottoms of your reeds vigorously. This helps keep them sealed to moisture, and they should be much smoother on your irritated lip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Just an update, I was going to take a week off playing alto to let it heal, however after using the Orabase for a day then playing the same day, and I took a risk and tried playing and usually it would be bleeding because of the little time between when it last bled, but I played for an hour ad it didn't bleed!! i'll give it a month,, thanks for all the advice again, and dshook I'll try the paper too!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
381 Posts
If you are taking aspirin or any blood thinner, that could cause bleeding and should be stopped. Check the medications or food that you are taking for possible effects.

Are you biting hard on the reed while you play? If so, try a softer reed as biting is not really necessary. The embouchure can be formed by stretching the lower lip across the lower teeth and then shaping the lips round as in saying "Cheerios". Be sure to provide high pressure air not high pressure lip while playing.

Three hours practice seems a lot per day. Can you practice less while still keeping up your skills. How about a half an hour a day for a while? If you have a fairly relaxed embouchure, you don't need to practice as much.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
wesbrow, thanks for your response! I am not on any blood thinner or aspirin, I had my wisdom teeth recently removed 2 1/2 weeks ago when i posted this I hadn't played in awhile due that, now i'm back great :) Also, i'm trying this new food thing, I haven't been having more of dairy the past 1 1/2 as much as I had due to more of a veggie based diet but I think that's helping my lip feels fuller again ( I researched more dairy/protein helps heal lips and keeps them stronger)
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top