Sax on the Web Forum banner
21 - 40 of 45 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
Joined
·
5,584 Posts
Re: Sudden Cops Fatigue

Really , I'd do a bunch of mouthpiece work and just see where the fatigue comes from just making the reed vibrate. Pushing all the buttons is tech, it sounds more happening before you get to running lines. Good luck. I've been forced to not play when I broke a finger or my back was an issue. I couldn't play for a month years ago but i gently blew the mouthpiece and did scales, long tones, songs whatever to keep it interesting. my tone actually improved from this work. K
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Re: Sudden Cops Fatigue

keep your whole body in shape too. sonny Rollins went running and lifted weights. I have always been an avid swimmer and cyclist. I wish I could swim before very gig as part of my warm up - I am always so relaxed, physically toned up and clear-headed after swimming. sound body / sound mind / sound sound :)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
652 Posts
Re: Sudden Cops Fatigue

Up until yesterday, I was able to shed for hours on end with a relaxed embouchure and focused air stream. Starting yesterday, I can't play for more than a few minutes before my chops are tightening up. I haven't changed mouthpieces, reed strength, etc. I shed (long) overtones religiously (Allard exercises). This feels like what week 1 felt like, can't play **** for more than a few minutes. Have any of you multi-year players run into this?
What we do is athletics, but unlike athletes most of us do not train our bodies to be able to withstand the kind of stress we put on it playing. I had to overcome carpal tunnel in my mid-twenties. It was so bad the doctor recommended surgery, surgery that had a good chance of failing. I got very lucky in that in my determination to try everything else first, I found a very knowledgable yoga instructor who prescribed 2 postures for carpal tunnel in addition to a full daily 26-posture practice. I was skeptical, but I was also desperate. Within a week the pain had decreased a great deal. Within a month I was playing again and within 6 months of doing as she instructed, I was completely cured and it never came back. Your issue is in a different area but you can condition those muscles in similar ways. I would recommend trying self-massage first. Rub down the muscles in the area where they are fatigued, and stretch them with your hands/fingers, then do all the muslces around them all the way up into the thin muscle on your head behind your ears and above your temples and back. And then work on stretching the muscles in your throat the same way. I stretch mine with my hands pushing on them and doing neck rolls. There are mouth yoga postures where you make really ridiculous faces, sticking your tounge out as far as you can, grinning ear to ear like an idiot, making a monkey kiss face, stretching the muscles as much as you can in the process. It really does help. All in all think of your shedding routine like a runner getting ready to for a 10K. You need to stretch the holy hell out of every muscle involved, and good to work on building them up stronger with yoga postures too. I don't recommend any finger strengthening or hand strengtheing devices. You can actually really hurt yourself with those. Mouch more difficult to hurt yourself with yoga because the prop is your own body and it's very difficult for your body to hurt itself just doing poses without props.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Re: Sudden Cops Fatigue

These are all great, thank you!

I've actually started increasing my exercise time recently, for various reasons (bp / hypertension, etc). I'm a software developer, so I'm sitting from 8 - 16 hrs per day on the week days, which ain't good.

Again, I really appreciate the input!
 

·
Administrator Emeritus
Joined
·
18,482 Posts
Re: Sudden Cops Fatigue

Try to take in more mouthpiece, your issue could come from being a tip player (which can make your embouchure go down faster).

But really suspect your reeds are too hard.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
41,139 Posts
Re: Sudden Cops Fatigue

But really suspect your reeds are too hard.
indeed, this is an issue that many underestimate.

Especially under the pressure (nice pun) by the former generation of players (and teachers) to whom only lollipop sticks qualify as reeds.

The tip players close the reed onto the mouthpiece and get red in the face while producing hardly any sound (I am not saying this is the case but I see this very often in beginners whom OP is not)
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,493 Posts
Re: Sudden Cops Fatigue

indeed, this is an issue that many underestimate.

Especially under the pressure (nice pun) by the former generation of players (and teachers) to whom only lollipop sticks qualify as reeds.
+1. As I mentioned in my first response, I suspect it's a reed issue also. I would also say most likely the reeds are too hard, but ShedShark didn't mention what reeds he's using, so maybe or maybe not.

ShedShark, what reeds are you using?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Re: Sudden Cops Fatigue

+1. As I mentioned in my first response, I suspect it's a reed issue also. I would also say most likely the reeds are too hard, but ShedShark didn't mention what reeds he's using, so maybe or maybe not.

ShedShark, what reeds are you using?
Here's an excerpt of one of my comments on another post that the overall chops experience spawned:

Reeds. This one is tough. I tried Java Red and Greens (2.5 for both) and neither gave me what I wanted. The feeling of a light reed on that piece is unpleasant. I know this will be contradictory, but there wasn't enough resistance. I ended up landing on 3.5 Reds and that was getting closer (this is all before I jumped on the Legere, which I was playing before getting that piece), but still not what I wanted. I did actually try the blue box Rico's (#3), didn't like those, either; just not for me. Didn't try the orange box Ricos, I've played enough of those to not even bother anymore. I tried Gonzales ...#3 I think (?), can't remember. Didn't like those reeds at all, on anything. Tried some LaVoz MH, didn't quite do it for me, but they were close. The reeds that I'm having the most success with are the Reserves in a #3+, but earlier tonight I ordered some regular #3, a bump down in size due to all of the research / suggestions I'm getting. I've tried light reeds on the piece, but not Reserves. I haven't tried Hemke on this piece, either, and I dug those a bit on alto and soprano years ago. I'm curious so hear / feel how those work on a high baffle mpc.
Here's the post it's from:

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?358106-On-the-Search-for-a-Metal-Tenor-Mouthpiece-Again

Specifically this comment: https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...hpiece-Again&p=3948696&viewfull=1#post3948696

Even though I didn't run into this issue with Legere Sigs, I'm still thinking the combination of a more closed piece + harder reed is going to be the way to go for me if I'm going to be using cane, which I am now.

I'll respond in more detail after work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Re: Sudden Cops Fatigue

+1. As I mentioned in my first response, I suspect it's a reed issue also. I would also say most likely the reeds are too hard, but ShedShark didn't mention what reeds he's using, so maybe or maybe not.

ShedShark, what reeds are you using?
By the way, I took the suggestions to heart and they've yielded some very usable data.
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,493 Posts
Re: Sudden Cops Fatigue

Ok, got it. I hadn't seen that other thread where you mentioned the reeds you've been using. It doesn't sound like the reeds are too hard (2.5-3), but the brands you are trying don't seem to be working well for you. I'll give my usual suggestion; like everyone else I'm going to mention the reeds that I prefer: Rigotti Gold. I've tried the Javas and they don't respond nearly as well (for me) as the Rigottis. Don't know how you'd fare with them, but it would be worth a try.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Re: Sudden Cops Fatigue

Ok, got it. I hadn't seen that other thread where you mentioned the reeds you've been using. It doesn't sound like the reeds are too hard (2.5-3), but the brands you are trying don't seem to be working well for you. I'll give my usual suggestion; like everyone else I'm going to mention the reeds that I prefer: Rigotti Gold. I've tried the Javas and they don't respond nearly as well (for me) as the Rigottis. Don't know how you'd fare with them, but it would be worth a try.
Nice! I haven't tried those, yet and had completely forgotten about them. I'll grab a box and see what happens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Re: Sudden Cops Fatigue

Something just hit me like a ton of ebonite. I may not be a metal-piece guy. I've never seriously tried a/n HR piece on tenor, except for one time, years aog. I played a Doc Tenny Slant Sig, or whatever it was called that saxquest (I think) was selling at the same (I think they have a new one using the same mold). I didn't really dig it, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't dig something with a different profile / chamber / whatever. Hell, I might dig the Tenney, I've put a few years in since then. This hit me while I was taking a break from shedding and noodling on my soprano, on which I play a Morgan. It occurred to me that I've always dug how Morgans sound, so I'm going to do some research and see what's what.

You all have much more time and experience with the horn as your primary instrument, so, is my thinking on this unreasonable? Shouldn't a person spend real time on various materials to figure out what fits them best?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
Super Action 80 Tenor, Yamaha Vito YAS-21 prototype, Kessler Soprano, Superba II Bari, Fender J-Bass
Joined
·
4,909 Posts
Re: Sudden Cops Fatigue

This happens. If it happens frequently, reevaluate the mouthpiece and Reed combo. Otherwise, you can relax you lips and maintain your tone/pitch if you mess with your voicing a little bit. I wouldn't stress about it too much. It happens. With Summer upon us, and the heat causing us to sweat and lose electrolytes, it happens more frequently.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Re: Sudden Cops Fatigue

OOOK, so this happened:

Well, first I should say, I ordered a Morgan Indiana in a .095 tip from JunkDude, because I haven't tried any HR pieces on tenor. Having been on alto, primarily until last year sometime (I think), and with months in a row where I couldn't shed (practical and work blockages), tenor is relatively new to me.

Again, shedding tenor gave me no issues, stamina-wise, but yesterday I ran through some things with a friend who asked me to fill in for his usual guy. My chops were absolutely destroyed by the end of the rehearsal. DESTROYED. My intonation was pretty good throughout, except when I started to fatigue and it snowballed from there. I'd get it back in line, and next thing I know it was like I was trying to chew through a bear trap that my face was caught in. A tense embouchure isn't something I typically suffer from, but I guess I do now. Huh. Surely, moving from synthetics couldn't have cause all of this. Maybe it did, who knows.

I've dropped some extra bread to get the mpc here in time for me to play overtones, etc and get at least a little bit familiar with the piece. I don't expect to be problem free for the set, nor do I expect it to be a miracle cure. Beyond the attempt at a quick ramp-up, the session made clear several things I need to double-down on during my shed sessions, which is great.

Any thoughts / advice on this update? Specifically the quick-change from one mpc to another days before a set. On one hand I feel like it could be disastrous, on the other hand, I feel it might be the only way I make it through.

I love this!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2017
Joined
·
6,231 Posts
Re: Sudden Cops Fatigue

Another possibility might be a simple leak...IF I find my gigs are wearing me out more than usual several day in a row, I take my sax in for a check-up. At a minimum, stick a leak light into it. Over time multiple small leaks can really wear you out as you compensate by working harder

I initially suggested it might be a tuning issue because that sometimes happens to me, because you specifically mentioned your chops (or at least your Cops - but if the Cops are wearing you out a few well placed, "Yes sir's", or a jelly doughnut should fix that).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Re: Sudden Cops Fatigue

Another possibility might be a simple leak...IF I find my gigs are wearing me out more than usual several day in a row, I take my sax in for a check-up. At a minimum, stick a leak light into it. Over time multiple small leaks can really wear you out as you compensate by working harder

I initially suggested it might be a tuning issue because that sometimes happens to me, because you specifically mentioned your chops (or at least your Cops - but if the Cops are wearing you out a few well placed, "Yes sir's", or a jelly doughnut should fix that).
True! I put the light in just under a month ago, so I haven't since this started. I'll do it tonight. Good call.

I'll look further into the tuning idea, too. I work with The Tuning CD fairly regularly, but again, I haven't much since this started.

LOL, I'm always at the ready with the 'yes sirs', but I'm not sure how offering a doughnut will go over. If I'm not back on the forum for a while, you all will know why. :)
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,493 Posts
Re: Sudden Cops Fatigue

Fader makes a good point. I was assuming your horn is in top condition, but if you're not sure, definitely take it in and have your tech look it over (it won't cost you anything to get it checked out unless it needs work). And now you're talking about mpcs. Assuming this is an equipment issue, then you now have to look at reeds, mpc, and the horn. The horn is easy to rule in or out by a trip to your tech. Once that's done, reeds are less expensive than a new mpc, so do some experimenting there (at the risk of sounding like a broken record, try the Rigottis and see if they work for you). If a reed change doesn't solve anything, then it could be time to look to the mpc.

Something strange is going on if you can't make it through a rehearsal (never mind a gig!) without your chops being "DESTROYED," unless you haven't been playing much at all in recent weeks or months. But you say you have been playing regularly. Not sure we can solve this for you over the internet, but let us know how it goes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Re: Sudden Cops Fatigue

Fader makes a good point. I was assuming your horn is in top condition, but if you're not sure, definitely take it in and have your tech look it over (it won't cost you anything to get it checked out unless it needs work). And now you're talking about mpcs. Assuming this is an equipment issue, then you now have to look at reeds, mpc, and the horn. The horn is easy to rule in or out by a trip to your tech. Once that's done, reeds are less expensive than a new mpc, so do some experimenting there (at the risk of sounding like a broken record, try the Rigottis and see if they work for you). If a reed change doesn't solve anything, then it could be time to look to the mpc.

Something strange is going on if you can't make it through a rehearsal (never mind a gig!) without your chops being "DESTROYED," unless you haven't been playing much at all in recent weeks or months. But you say you have been playing regularly. Not sure we can solve this for you over the internet, but let us know how it goes.
Good idea. I dropped the leak light in, and didn't see anything, but I'll still run it to the tech.

I got the Morgan in today, put a little air through it, and it feels better, but we'll see how things go over time.

Since tenor is comparatively new to me (I was primarily focused on alto until a year or so ago, can't remember), I think I'm going to allow myself to start on the quest for a truly comfortable setup. I was of the mind that I'd get good mouthpiece, play that, and that's it. I'm still there, but I just haven't found what's right.

For alto, I landed on one of Phil's pieces and that was the end of the quest. On tenor, I think I'm going to try some crazy-closed pieces and harder reeds (I made have mentioned this). For instance, I'd like to try a STM or Tone Edge in a 4 or 4*, etc.

Thank you all again for your responses. I hope this made sense, I'm writing it at work between compiles.. and error-fixin' (which may be because I'm on Sotw and not 100% focused on my work).

Edited: found the marketplace rules, and I may have violated one, so I took that part out.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
34,386 Posts
Re: Sudden Cops Fatigue

I think I'm going to try some crazy-closed pieces and harder reeds (I made have mentioned this). For instance, I'd like to try a STM or Tone Edge in a 4 or 4*, etc.
Why the extreme of "crazy-closed pieces and harder reeds"? What's wrong with the middle ground (.085 - .100")?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Re: Sudden Cops Fatigue

Why the extreme of "crazy-closed pieces and harder reeds"? What's wrong with the middle ground (.085 - .100")?
I want to either rule the combo in or out, generally. I just picked up a Morgan Indiana in a .095, so I'm definitely trying middle-ground openings, too. I'll likely pick up another in the middle range with a shorter facing, too. Once I settle, most of what I buy will either be sold or given away, like I did with alto. I kept my PT Meyer, John Thomas, and a/n S80, iirc.
 
21 - 40 of 45 Posts
Top