Nov 9 2009, 09:54 PM
As you may know from a thread in the cafe I have been suffering with a flu-like illness. I was unable to blow the flute as every time I took a moderately deep breath to blow I would collapse into a coughing fit. Today was the first time for about 12 days that I have been able to play at all, but my embouchure was shot after only about 25 minutes.
Does anyone know how long it takes after a lay-off for ones embouchure to recover?
Nov 9 2009, 09:57 PM
This is purely me, it'll vary from person to person.
After the last time I had 'flu, about 13 years ago, my clarinet playing recovered pretty much instanteously, and the saxophone was back up to speed very soon after. Unfortunately, it took a lot longer for me to recover my flute playing, and I'd say it was a good 5-6 weeks before I was satisfied I was back to full power. Why this is, I have no idea...
Nov 9 2009, 10:41 PM
After I had a chest infection it took a frustrating two months before I felt I was anywhere near where I had been before getting ill. (that is two months after I felt I had recovered)
Nov 9 2009, 11:04 PM
Sax - definitely takes a while to get up to full strength again, I'm struggling to think how long because it's years since I've gone more than a few days without practising. But even that few days makes a difference, I have a gap of a day reasonably regularly, 2 days is just about OK, but any more and I feel it and hear it in the sound I'm making.
When I'm trying to get my stamina up quickly ideally I play several 30 minute sessions during the day and concentrate on long tones and scales throughout the range of the instrument. It's not the most interesting practice regime but it does get results fairly quickly. I try and work it like I was taught to use the weights in the gym - practice just to the point of fatigue (but no further), rest then do it again.
Nov 10 2009, 11:44 AM
I don't know what level you are with the flute. But I find it oddly progressive when I do not play for a couple of days. My embouchure surely goes downhill. But after a couple of days I find that in the whole of things the embouchure isn't as tight as it was and usually has improved quite a lot. I have to admit though that I usually play the flute 1 1/2 hours each day, 6 days a week. So it is in training quite a bit. And those periods not wanting to play or not being able to occur only two or three times a year.
Nov 10 2009, 02:06 PM
I haven't not played for more than a couple of days for quite a few years but I know it takes at least a couple of days to get back to where I was after a couple of days off. So maybe that means 12 days to recovery after a 12 day break?
I do a lot of practicing not breathing in first - to work my diaphragm. Perhaps if taking a deep breath is the problem then not taking a breath at all might be useful for future flu bouts. Mostly I work to safeguard the pianissimo highest notes when I'm on emergency maintenance practice. That doesn't need much wind.
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