More on Lip Creams

Apparently we have a large number of players with dry lips and for that reason I have included some information on what I use regularly on my lips….not that means anything.

This is what I have been using for years after a friend recommended it. It is a little more greasy than some of the other products but it seems to work well as indicated by the following users comments-

Absulutely Amazing
I have used Expensive cold sore meds, i have even gone to a dermatologist but to no avail.. I have sufferd with severe immune issues relating to the herpes virus. I cannot believe that something so simple and inexpensive and easy to use has solved the problems with sores, pain and severe discomfort. I send jars and jars up to my relatives in Canada as it is not available there yet. THANK YOU SO MUCH
November 16, 2011

GOD SEND!!!!!!!!
I’m just gonna say it. I have big lips. NO bones about it. And with big lips come dryness. They get very dry, very quick, especially at night, and ESPECIALLY if I’m breathing through my mouth. I use to use a lip balm from benefit cosmetics to put on my lips at night. It was very thick and soothing and would stay on ALL NIGHT. But they don’t make it anymore. So I was searching and searching for something. Vaseline didn’t stay on all night, and all the other ones kinda just wore off or my lips kinda “sucked” it all in, like a flower in a dry So I came across this stuff, I thought it would be a good thing to try, because I also can get cold sores (apparently very easily). I think non-cold sore-ers have the virus on their lips and they can pass it to us cold sore people without ever getting it themselves (yeah them). This stuff is MAGIC. MAGIC I tell ya. Not only does it keep my lips moist throughout the night but it minimizes the number of cold sores I get and the length of time they stay. AND, the best part, they stay even less that before my normal regime to make them go away. Typically I can tell the very second a cold sore is about to pop, and I slather on Abreva and pop about 4-5 L-Lysine tablets and continue that regime for a couple of days. That reduces the amount I have to suffer from these ghastly things by a great deal, but now this ointment makes it EVEN SHORTER!. I highly recommend it.
January 3, 2012

I would buy this product again & again!!
I used it all day long for a couple of days and the cold sore never fully developed.. no embarassing scab, no oozing, you really couldn’t even see it after I applied. Love it! Would highly recommend this product to anyone!
November 5, 2012

Simply THE best , you need this stuff!
This is wonderful stuff! I use it since I tend to have cracked chapped lips in winter or in too much sun-use it with the first tingling sign of cold sore/fever blister. For me, it Reduces the overall duration of cold sore/ fever blister too. I have used on sratches, small scrapes and works wonders for that as well. No fragrance really is a positive. Only negative I can think of is If applied in excess, can feel greasy for a bit-so be aware of how much you are using!
This is effective and worth the money.
December 22, 2009

Absolutely the best I’ve found
I love for painful fever blisters and chapped lips. So very soothing. Reduces pain. Aides in healing.
September 17, 2011

Great product for a lip moisturizer. Great product would recommend to anyone looking for a great lip moisturizer.
November 24, 2012

Reduces wrinkles on face – just the fine lines become smoother.
November 23, 2010

My family loves it!
My family has been using this for many years but it is difficult to find in stores. This is the best thing that we have ever found for cold sore and dry lips. I have even used it on sore chapped hands and bleeding cuticles.

The ony thing that would make it better would be an easier way to apply it to ones lips.
November 14, 2011

This is a great product
It continues to work all day long great for dry and chapped lips
December 12, 2012

I have adult braces…
and I was getting horribly chapped lips. This stuff saved me. As long as I keep using it, it keeps my lips soft and fends off the chapping. It has a nice consistency and no smell. The price is very comparable to buying several tubes of chapstick. I highly recommend it!!

Chop Saver by Gosling (Update)


In our previous post, we featured the product “Chop Saver” by Gosling and received several questions as to how effective it is. To answer these inquiries I can only say that the product works as well as Chap Stick and other products I have used through the years. The outstanding endorsements made by the musicians in our previous post should be enough information for all. Try the product and find out for yourself if it is something you need to include in your trumpet case.

I have used both forms of this product and have been satisfied with their results and would suggest that you try any new product on a non-playing day so that if you have a reaction, you wouldn’t have the experience I had one day when a friend suggested I use “Sea And Ski” on my lips before a concert. I had an instant reaction to the lip ointment and within the first number on our concert program, my lips swelled to the point that I had to stop playing. The concert was over and in addition to this total embarrassment, they held a reception for us after we had performed almost one number. We also lost the money for the concert and I had to travel all the way back to the university in a totally silent van. That was the second worst day of my life! So NEVER TRY ANY NEW PRODUCT WHEN YOU HAVE A PENDING PERFORMANCE!

One thing you should know about the actual product and the samples they send you-

The samples I received must have been old for the content of the packages were very thick and difficult to apply. The actual product consistency is much like that of “Chap Stick”.

Would I recommend this product?
“I would recommend that you try this product”.

Chop Saver by Gosling

2016-02-17 10.19.21
Several weeks ago, one of our readers wanted to know if the product Chop Savers by Gosling was any good. At the time I had no idea as to its merits for I had never heard of it. So, in order to be semi “hip” with the trumpet world I took my readers advice and searched through every Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart and found that no one had ever heard of it.

After searching in line, I finally found their home page and decided to request a free sample to try it out. Free sample of course means you get the sample free but then sustain a $2.50 charge for shipping. When my “free” sample finally arrived, I unpacked the shipment with great anticipation for I wanted to test it out as soon as possible.

As you can see from the picture, the samples come in two forms; Chop Saver Original and Chop Saver Broad Spectrum. The Broad Spectrum is geared more towards sun exposed skin. Each sample contained enough trial samples for about three or four applications each.

My first application of the Original sample was applied and after about ten minutes, the area covered began to warm slightly. After a half hour the slight warming disappeared. The ointment is very thick in consistency and had to be worked into the skin for a short amount of time.

That evening, I recorded a demo disk with my Dixieland band on trombone and felt no difference in my playing at all. The following day, I visited my dentist for a checkup and applied the ointment just befor I left for my appointment. Most times when I have my dentist pulling and probing in my mouth, I end up with a split lip so testing the Chop Saver under these conditions was a good idea. This time the softening of my epidermal orbicularis oris prevented any split lips for the first time.

My next experiment of the new lip saver would come that evening. When sleeping, I wake in the middle of the night with very dry lips which can be a problem if it develops into splits. I was very pleased the next morning for there was no sign of dry lips or splits at all.

Now, let’s get into some of the claims made by the originator (Dan Gosling) and its followers.

“ChopSaver is full of amazing things like shea butter, mango butter, avocado oil, aloe, citrus oils, grapeseed oil and arnica – all known for their healing, soothing qualities. There’s really nothing quite like it! You might even call it a “Symphony of Ingredients” because musicians all over the world love it. And now medical professionals from dermatologists to oncologists recommend ChopSaver for their patients with chronic lip problems”. Posted by Mr. Gosling on his Web Page.

Professional endorsements

Richard White,University of New Mexico and New Mexico Symphony Orchestra

“…a product that performs as advertised. When my chops need healing in one of the driest cities in America (Albuquerque), I use ChopSaver!

Thomas Hooten,Principal Trumpet – Los Angeles Philharmonic

“Fantastic! Knowing it is all natural is important, especially when it comes to the way my chops feel and respond!”

Sir James Galway,World Renowned Flute Virtuoso

“…a life saver and in my opinion the best lip salve there is on the market!”

Jay Friedman and Chris Martin, Principal Trombone and Trumpet – Chicago Symphony Orchestra

“We use it and swear by it! A great product!”

Joseph Alessi, Principal Trombone – New York Philharmonic

“After a long day of playing I use ChopSaver. The next day, I am ready to go again with fresh chops. Thank you!!”

Ronald Romm, Canadian Brass and Professor of Trumpet – University of Illinois

“When I apply it at night, by morning any chapping/soreness seems to be gone.”

What more needs to be said?


Three Pack- $13.35 plus shipping

Check it out at their web site……

And there is a very easy to use store finder where you only have to type in your address and it will show you where you can find this product at your closest store.

The CVS store where I was directed to find this product never heard of it. Interesting!

Selecting An Instrument To Study- Part 4: Social, Economic And Political Influences

You may wonder what social, economic and political influences have to do with the selection of our children’s instruments but you must realize that our surroundings have a great impact on many decisions in our lives. This posting addresses all three influences from an historic standpoint and it was written to share information relating to our changing views of the most popular instruments at the time.


During this period in our history, our musical taste leaned heavily toward a new music called Ragtime. The well known composer Scott Joplin led the way to this early example of jazz and the recordings of his famous Maple Leaf Rag was distributed worldwide through the medium of the piano roll. The piano was very popular at that time and many homes expected their young daughters to learn piano as well as perform for friends in the evening after dinner. This had a lasting effect on the selection of the piano as the most popular instrument of this decade. It is interesting to note also that the men and young boys of this period were not expected or even encouraged to study the piano for it was considered too feminine at that point in history. After the popularity of the piano rags began to spread, so did the acceptance of young men playing the piano.


The piano remained the most often played instrument through this decade and with the gaining popularity of Operettas such as Victor Herbert’s Naughty Marietta, the combination of the piano and voice led in the public’s choice of entertainment.


Instrumental preferences began to change at this time and one of the most important changes came about when the Carl Fischer Music Company published the first full band score in our country. When the newly published band music began to circulate, along with it spread the band movement. The piano was now beginning to lose its prominence as the most popular instrument in the public’s eyes. Band instruments brought from Europe would now get a foothold in the market place.


Jazz had started to become more popular and one of the earliest big bands was Bennie Moten’s. Big Bands became established in the Kansas City area and with them came the required instruments for the ensembles. No longer were the community band instruments the only hot items in stores for the trumpet, sax, trombone, drums, and upright bass were also added to the list of sought after instruments. Important during this decade was the formation of Playboys led by Bob Wills. In 1935 Wills had added horns, reed players and drums to his Western Swing ensemble.


Popular music had hit the news stand when Billboard magazine began publishing music charts which documented the best-selling recordings in the various categories. The first song at number one was Tommy Dorsey and Frank Sinatra’s recording of “I’ll Never Smile Again”. The instruments of the big band continued as the public’s choice of instruments to play.


Although the instruments of the big bands continued to hold strong as instruments of favor for most of the public, the musical taste was now beginning to shift to the new music. Rockabilly was first made popular by Bill Haley and the Comet’s recording of “Rock Around the Clock”. The original comets used acoustic bass, accordion, drums, tenor sax, guitar and steel guitar. The popularity of combos was beginning to replace the big bands.


A very important development during this period was the establishment of an easily recognized electric guitar sound called Surf Guitar which was originated by Dick Dale, a local surfer from California. With this sound also came volume, and acoustic instruments were beginning to be drowned out. Another reason the old school band instruments were being left on the music store shelves was the fact that the young musicians were able to produce loudly impressive chords (usually only two or three) with only minutes of instruction. Thus began the first phase of the decline in sales of band instruments. Interest in the acoustical guitar had increased at this time through the popularity of Folk music as performed by such artists as Bob Dylan and others during this decade.


Wide spread rock and roll was in full swing and few bands made use of horns with the exception of bands such as Earth, Wind and Fire, Sly and the Family Stone which used horns for added effect even though the main focus was the driving guitars.


Some popular bands continued with horns but during this period most popular music interest were directed to country music.


Along with Grunge and alternative rock came an unknown singer with a voice very similar to Frank Sinatra- Harry Connick, Jr. We all hoped that through his use of a big band backing we would once again establish the swing era and even though he is still popular today, the big bands are losing ground and thus the exposure to band instruments.


Financial dilemmas caused continued cutbacks in music program funding throughout our school systems. Although this is not new, the degree to which these changes were implemented has made significant changes in many areas of our country. Sports programs continue to be funded but the arts have suffered greatly.

We were still losing ground and now we have the “boy bands”.


Michael Bublé has continued to help stimulate interest in big band vocal backing but this interest is limited only to his dedicated followers. One interesting phenomenon today is the live contests each week such as American Idol, Dancing with the Stars and Skating with the Stars. Through these programs, the viewer is again exposed to real musicians playing traditional instruments. Also continuing to entertain us are the musicians on the late night programs such as David Letterman, the Tonight Show as well as others.

Tribute must be made to the individual musicians who have brought interest to their chosen instrument and in order to recognize them, I have put together a “dream band” for your entertainment. The chance that you agree with my selection is doubtful and for that reason, I include this disclaimer: All individuals listed have been selected for this ensemble by one criteria  and one criteria alone, “these are my choices and if yours differ, I’m sorry”. I have also included numbers which they were most well known.

Sax section-

Alto- Paul Desmond, “Take Five” / Charlie Parker, “Yardbird Suite

Tenor- John Coltrane, “Blue Train” / Stan Getz, “The Girl from Ipanema”

Baritone- Jerry Mulligan, “Birdhouse”

Trumpet section-

Miles Davis, “Birth of the Cool”

Marvin Stamm, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”

Maynard Ferguson, “MacArthur Park”

Al Hirt, “Java”

Louis Armstrong, “Hello Dolly”

Trombone section-

Glenn Miller, “In The Mood”

Tommy” Dorsey, “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You”

Kay Winding, “More”

J. J. Johnson, “Take The A Train”

Rhythm section-

Piano- Dave” Brubeck, “Take Five”

Accoustic Bass- Charles Mingus, “Changes One”

Electric Bass- Jaco Pastorius, “Birdland”

Drums- Buddy Rich, “West Side Story”

Guitar- Jimmy Hendricks, “Purple Haze”

Vibes-  Lionel Hampton, Anything with Benny Goodman

Please realize that the members of this ensemble were selected for only one reason: each had a profound effect on promoting interest for their particular instrument. If this organization had ever performed, it would have been a disaster.

Selecting An Instrument To Study Part 3- Late Bloomers

Whether you have played an instrument before or you are a first timer, learning or relearning an instrument can be exciting and fun. There are many advantages to being in the twilight years of your life. One advantage is that no one expects much out of you. I celebrated my sixty-ninth birthday while playing a seven day a week show in Branson. The trombone player asked me how old I was and when I told him, he stared intensely at me and said, “That’s amazing”. I’m not sure what he really meant but I took it as a compliment to my playing not the fact that I was still playing. As an older musician, I enjoy performing because you have nothing to prove and you have already done more than most of the younger players will ever accomplish.

If you are now interested in learning a new instrument or returning to your old, retired instrument, I would like to encourage you to do so. Learning a new instrument can be easier if you select an instrument written in the same clef that you previously used. Learning the notes in a different clef can sometimes be confusing and the added time necessary to convert would be better spent on your playing techniques. If you have had experience playing the piano, this might not be a stretch for you. Conversions from a valve instrument to another valve instrument are also easier than to a slide as in the case of the trombone.  The transition from trumpet/cornet to treble clef baritone is a very easy switch for most comeback musicians. If you once played on a larger mouthpiece such as a baritone/euphonium/tuba, the smaller mouthpiece used in a trumpet may be more difficult.

Another advantage an older person will have when returning or starting a new instrument is the fact that older people have more time to practice. If you have decided on your new or returning to you previous instrument, you should be aware of a few issues you may encounter.

  • Don’t expect to be as good as you used to be, you won’t.
  • Even though you may have the desire and the time to practice you still are using old muscles and you will need to do your practicing for shorter periods.
  • Endurance and range are your two greatest challenges.
  • When first coming back to regular playing, expect your range to be good and your flexibility to be strong but your endurance very short.
  • As your endurance starts to increase, don’t be surprised that your range decreases and you lose your flexibility.
  • Try to stay away from four hour dance jobs until you have gained a lot of strength.
  • Start performing on very easy solos and lower ensemble parts.
  • Begin your solo performances in your own church, everyone will tell you how great you were even if you weren’t.

If you are returning to your old instrument, be sure that it is in good working condition or if it is beyond repair, plan on replacing it before you begin your comeback. Starting fresh with a new instrument will help speed up your development and the improvements made on newer instruments have been substantial. Plan to spend as much time on the Internet as you spend practicing for the Web can be of great value to you as you begin to have questions. One of the best sites for helpful hints can be found at TPIN. If you have any questions about trumpet playing, you can post them and within minutes, fellow trumpet players will return your post with what they feel is their answer to your questions. As you search the Net for helpful information, you will find hundreds of sites with information from how to breathe to buying used instruments. As with anything on the Internet, be couscous of anything you are not sure of. The TPN site has covered the topic “Comebackers” fully and you will be able to find many posts already in the archive section.

After retiring from fourty-five years of teaching and playing, I sold my horns and turned to fishing. After five years of fishing I was asked to split a concert with a local choral ensemble in Branson. I asked when the concert would take place and found that I had two weeks to get back in shape for the concert, I had been off the trumpet for five years and now I had to be in shape to play a thirty minute recital. I got it done and have continued to play since. I have enjoyed performing with the following organizations since that concert- Lawrence Welk, Bobby Vinton, Les Brown, Jerry Presley, The Rat Pack, Les Elgart and perform regularly with my own chamber group, the Branson Trumpet Ensemble. If I can return to playing after being off five years, you can make a comeback also.

Selecting An Instrument To Study Part 2-Traditional Students

A student is most often faced with the dilemma of instrument selection around the fourth grade and this experience is usually more of a trauma for the parents than it is for the student. Parents are faced with the pressures of guiding their child into an area that will affect their lives (both child and parent) for some time and the thought of the added expense of the instrument, the lessons and the travel to and from the lessons can be intimidating. Fortunately most of us have lived through the experience and are on hand to give the less experienced parent the wisdom of our old age.

If you are about to enroll your child in a music program and are not sure what to expect, you will have ample assistance from the music teachers in your school. Most often your director will announce a meeting of parents interested in starting their child in the school’s instrumental program. At that meeting you will be introduced to the program, informed on how the instruments are supplied and any other information pertinent to the music program. That is the easy part for you and your child will then have to decide what instrument you will be content to invite into your home for the next twelve to  fifteen years. As a parent of a percussionist, let me assure you that all of the jokes about the volume of a drum are highly exaggerated.

Choosing the correct instrument for your child

Your child’s preference should be considered. This might seem obvious but in many cases, parents will choose an instrument they want rather than the instrument their child wants. Your child’s preference can make the difference between a young person starting and continuing their interest in music. The parent will have to decide if the child’s desire for a particular instrument is a “chiseled in stone” desire or just another fad they are going through. If you have learned from past experience that your child’s choices are momentary, then lead them into an educated decision based on your knowledge and their interests.

Often parents are led into choosing a particular instrument by the directors. Just as a baseball coach might anticipate the need for a catcher for his team, sometimes band directors fall into this same practice. If your local high school is graduating the only oboe player next year, there will be a tendency for oboe recruitment to begin at your first meeting. This can be a benefit or it could also be a detriment, depending on whether your child would consider playing an oboe. The advantages would be that your director would be very interested in the new oboe student’s progress as well as the fact that universities pay out fine scholarships for accomplished oboe performers. Do remember the cost of an oboe, the possibility of qualified instruction in your area and again, would your child enjoy playing the oboe?

To give you an example of how far directors will go to fill their sections, I will share my story. While in fourth grade I was asked what instrument I wanted to learn and without hesitation I answered, “trombone”. I have no idea why I was enamored with the trombone at that time but that was my choice. Within ten minutes, the director had convinced my mother that my arms were too short to play the Trombone. So much for freedom of choice! The trombone instructor’s arms at our university are at least three inches shorter than mine, but at that moment there was a need for trumpet players and that’s how I became one.

Financial conditions can also play a factor in the selection of instruments for if your young child desires to play harp, take into consideration that not only will a harp need to be added to your budget, but you will also have to add a new station wagon, (boy does that date me) change that to a full sized van in order to transport the Harp to concerts. On the other hand you might be interested in selecting a horn (incorrectly referred to as a French horn). Most band programs have horns available for student use which could cost you nothing or a small rental fee. I have known very talented horn performers who have gone through high school and college without owning their own instrument! Few will believe this story but this actually happened during one of our searches for a new horn instructor at our university. One of the applicants actually applied for the horn position and requested, “If I am being considered for the open position on Horn, please let me know as soon as possible so that I can make arrangements to borrow a Horn for the audition. This is a true story and I share it only to illustrate how far you could get without investing in your own instrument.

With cut backs in music programs, there could be a situation where your school has phased out all instrumental offerings and if this is your case, you can still make arrangements for your child’s instrumental development. If you have a music store in your area, they will be very happy to explain their instrument rental program to you. Instrument rental programs are a benefit to both you and the store for before you pay top dollar for the a “top of the line” instrument for your child, you will have the option of renting a student line instrument to make sure the child’s interest and talents continue.

Helpful check list for selecting an instrument for your child

  • Make sure they truly want to play the instrument they ask for.
  • Make sure you would be content having them play that instrument they ask for.
  • Is there any future in having your daughter become one of the fifty girls in the flute section?
  • Universities are always looking for talented musicians playing the following instrument- horn, harp, oboe, bassoon, piano, clarinet and all string instruments.
  • Every guitar playing teenager will form a rock band and the chances of real financial success are about one in a thousand.
  • Drummers can play any style of music (if they have to).
  • There will always be a need for gifted piano players.

Selecting An Instrument To Study

When my wife first suggested this topic, I was very excited for I realized how important this subject could be. Then, after thinking about the mass of information and the myriad of directions one could approach this post, I realized that an entire book would be needed to touch on all the important issues. After careful consideration I have decided to tackle the topic anyway. I have never been accused of shying away from the imposable so please realize that I will try to structure this topic from several views and in doing so, the number of post will be more numerous than any I have written before. To begin, we first need an outline-

Selecting An Instrument To Study

A.    Early Bloomers

B.     Traditional Students

C.     Late Bloomers

D.    Influences

1.     Social

2.     Economical

3.     Political

Early Bloomers

The youngest entries into this category will be the people who are influenced by friends and family members around them. Examples of this influence can easily be seen in Branson, Missouri. We are currently inundated with family shows and when I say family shows I mean shows which feature members of a family as the entertainers on stage. We currently offer the families of the Haygoods, Six, Jim Stafford, Lowes, Lennon Brothers, Lennon Sisters, Clay Cooper, Rankin Brothers, Hughs Brothers and the Magnificent Variety Show which either began as early bloomers or are currently featuring young musicians in the three to eight year old category. These musicians were guided by family members either through their love of music or the love of commerce.

A more traditional approach to starting very young musicians can also be found through the influences of education. One such method which is popular today is the Suzuki Method for Strings and other instruments.Traditionally reserved for string players, this technique has been expanded to include other instruments as well. There have been many variations on this concept but due to the fact that most instruments cannot be manufactured in the smaller than normal sizes, the inclusion of brass instruments has been impossible. The basic concept of parent involvement in the young players practice routine can be used and is highly encouraged.

If you are determined to start your child’s musical development at a very early age, I would recommend starting them on a keyboard first. With a qualified instructor, your child would be able to play recognizable melodies in a short time and if you feel that the Suzuki method has merit, many keyboards can be found to  fit the small fingers just as the half-size Suzuki violins fit the younger string player’s fingers. Keyboards are inexpensive and you might enjoy playing along with your child at home while they practice. The real challenge will be to find the best teacher for too many piano teachers try to develop prodigies who will make them look important rather than teaching your child to play well and enjoy the experience. An additional benefit your child will experience is the ability to see how notes and harmonies work together. When the young performer sits at the keyboard, everything is laid out in front of him/her. Each note has a position and relates to each note next to it. Melody and harmony is more easily seen on the keyboard than on any other instrument. The relationship of high and low pitches is understood more easily and producing an acceptable musical sound is also a benefit to the youngster, as well as their parent. I strongly suggest that you consider the keyboard as your child’s first instrument and later in their musical career consider an additional instrument. And with that said, we will next discus the traditional student in my next blog.