Friday, April 23, 2010

Like lifting with a tourniquet

Ah mouthpiece pressure. It so easily creeps into the playing.

For those of us who are light-skinned, we often see a white ring on the lips immediately after the mouthpiece is removed.

I like to call this the "white ring of death"

Notice how that white ring quickly turns into a red ring.

In case it isn't obvious, I'm guessing those changes of color might have something to do with blood. As in,
white=blood has been squeezed out by mouthpiece pressure
red=blood rushing back in

Now, I'm no expert but I seem to recall learning in school that blood does good things for muscles. Let's see....nutrients....OXYGEN.

Hmm, so what happens to those muscles (you know the ones we rely on to sound good) when we cut off the blood supply?????

Imaging going to the gym and seeing someone lifting weights with a tourniquet around their arms.

Ok, so as I often do, I ran a Google image search with the keywords "weightlifting" and "tourniquet" I didn't really expect to find anything. And then, boom, there it is: kaatsu training in which people actually lift while starving the muscles for blood.

I don't know but this REALLY sounds like a bad idea. Let's just safely say that it might not work for brass players.

(on the other hand, what are the odds that I'll go to one of these conventions and find some new miracle product designed to increase mouthpiece pressure. Maybe the Power Lung guys will the seize opportunity for a new product line here)