I don’t know about you, but – as discussed in a previous post – the weather has adverse reactions to my playing. Now that it is summer, with one of the hottest on record, I’ve noticed that the heat gives me terrible dry mouth. I might as well put cotton balls in my cheeks when I play because it sounds the same. Looking for a holistic approach, I paid attention to my body for a few days and discovered a few things that maybe you’ll find found helpful too:
Brushing before playing doesn’t help
Before these unrelenting heat waves, brushing, and even take that time to exfoliate my lips, before playing seemed to give me a smooth clean surface with which to play. On hot summer days this can have the opposite desired effect. If brushing before playing is a must, try brushing with a toothpaste that is designed not to further irritate dry mouth like Biotine or Act products
Hydrate your surroundings
Singers are good at paying attention to control of their environment for their vocal health and we instrumentalists should take note. Aside from not engaging our vocal chords, a lot of the mechanisms and body parts we use to produce and resonate sound are the same. When I think of my body as part of my instrument, I approach self care with more vigilance.
Drink loads of water leading up an audition (and in general. Water is the sweet, sweet nectar of life. It’s good your you.) Just make sure your first question when you arrive to the audition is “where are the bathrooms?”
Eat foods/liquids that cause salivation
This I figured out this week. Lemon in water can be helping during an audition, especially if dry mouth is an under pressure occurrence. I’m hard core, so today I put lime juice in a bottle and sipped it separate from the water.
Next time, I’ll make sure I don’t forget my water bottle when I go into the audition room…
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