Save Your Chops!
Indiana falls are beautiful. The chapped lips fall brings are not. This can happen for any number of reasons: perhaps the air is very dry. Practicing outside in marching band is especially hard on your lips. Heaters dry out the air when you are inside. Your “Chops” are one the most important pieces of brass and woodwind performance. If they are dry and cracked, it becomes incredibly uncomfortable to play your instrument at all. Here are some things to keep in mind to protect your lips!
- The most important to keeping your chops hydrated….is to hydrate! This is a true for everything: from dry hands to dry lips. Drink water whenever you are feeling a little bit thirsty and you significantly less likely to have dry lips.
- Think of your lips as an essential organ
- It can be easy to forget that your skin and lips are an organ. They don’t seem vital in the same way that the lungs or heart or brain is but they absolutely are! You spend hours perfecting the sound made by your air and buzz—think of them like the quads of a runner or the shoulders or arms of a quarterback. Basically: be careful with your lips and remember that they are essential to a great performance.
- If your lips are tired or in pain, put your instrument down. In this case, the best thing you can do to play better is to not play at all.
- Use a high quality lip balm
- I have been fascinated with skincare ever since my partner introduced me to the incredible world of Sephora (stay with me gentleman!). I had no idea there were so many types of skincare products for any issue you can fathom. For wind musicians, this means you can find plenty of products specifically designed for lip hydration.
- I highly recommend using a clean* product that avoids harsh chemicals that may dry your lips yet or cause you to have a negative reaction. My personal recommendation is Chopsaveror Chopsaver Gold(SPF 15) but most natural lip balms free of harsh chemicals will do the job!
It doesn’t take a lot to care for your lips! Being aware of your lips and their condition will go a long way towards making it easier to play through the fall and winter.
* Check out safecosmetics.org to research ingredients you see on ingredient labels