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Help! I’m a Woodwind Player with Chapped Lips.

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“I’m a woodwind player. Why should I use ChopSaver?” That is a question I get a lot from people who play a flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone or bassoon. The fact is, anyone who uses their lips to make sound on a musical instrument will benefit from ChopSaver. In the woodwind world, there are three ways to create sound. Think of a flute player. And if you don’t play the flute, imagine trying to make sound on a soda or beer bottle by blowing air across the top. That is exactly what flute players do except they are blowing air in a very focused way across a hole in a metal (or wooden) tube. And after doing that for several minutes or maybe even many hours, your lips can get tired and chapped. Holding one’s embouchure (the way you form your lips when you play a woodwind or brass instrument) in position combined with a constant flow of air can lead to irritation.

Instruments like the clarinet or saxophone are called “single reed” instruments because they use a flat reed (made from cane) that is strapped against the mouthpiece. Air is blown into the mouthpiece, across the reed which causes the vibration which is then amplified by the instrument. Whereas a brass player pushes the mouthpiece against both lips, a clarinet or saxophone player is pressing the reed onto their bottom lip primarily (which is slightly curled in to protect the reed from the teeth) all the while holding the reed and mouthpiece in place with their top lip. In either case, there is a lot of work going on with the lips and in some cases there can be here irritation and soreness after long hours of playing. Of course, one shouldn’t bite down too hard as that will constrict the vibration of the reed and affect the sound.

Finally there are those instruments that use a “double reed” system such as an oboe or bassoon. With a double reed, you have two thin pieces of cane lying flat against each other. It is similar to the way one uses a drinking straw except instead of sucking in the air, the player gently blows air between the two pieces of the cane reed. They then vibrate causing the distinctive sound of an oboe or bassoon. Once again, holding your lips in position for long periods of time while holding a vibrating reed in place can cause lip fatigue and irritation. For those instances, there is nothing better to soother tired lips than ChopSaver 100% Natural Lip Care.