Thursday, February 16, 2012


I think I made some major progress today with rehabilitation. This last week my embouchure muscles have felt less tense while warming up, and oddly the muscle spasms go away after about half an hour compared to the 2 hours of routine it takes just to feel slightly less tense and uncontrollable. Still doesn't feel completely natural, but one small step closer. Also, I haven't been swelling up as quickly.

I've been doing a lot of mouthpiece buzzing/free-buzzing, pedal register playing, long tones if can (all very difficult things to do with embouchure dystonia), stretches, ice-packing/heat-packing, taking my daily nutrients ( I added Womens One-a-day to my daily intake), and making sure I don't take things too far (nothing above a treble clef "B," and a lot of middle/low/pedal register focus). Today I felt strong as it’s been one of my good days, and I thought I would try out my G17 mouthpiece. Usually I can't because it's too big of a cup, doesn't have enough resistance, and my embouchure can't handle it, resulting in spasms, troubleshooting, and air leaks on the spot.

But I had a gut feeling I should try switching after about 15 minutes of warm up on my Farkas DC; which is the one I've been using for rehabilitation because it provides the right amount of resistance and comfort, and it's the one I started on when I first began horn.

I attempted to switch and the G17 worked!!! I didn't have spasms, and though I couldn't play high like usual, it at least didn't feel foreign like everything with my playing has been feeling for the longest time. Then again, rehabilitation is always two steps back, one step forward, and repeat. Who knows if I'll be able to do it again, but I will keep trying. It is improvement, even if short lived. It's a good sign that the control of my muscles are coming back. Eventually the capability to play will last longer. I just know it will….I believe it will!

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