Good News, Everyone! I’ve Got a New Site

Back in November, I posted briefly about the future of this site and where I saw things going.

I felt like I’d said most of what I had to say about trumpet players’ lip injuries, and I was becoming more interested in writing about broader topics like personal development and productivity. At the same time, I felt like The Lip Rip Blues served a valuable purpose to the brass community, and I didn’t want to dilute it with other kinds of content. Continue reading

Hey, Where Did The Lip Rip Blues Go? An Update.

You may have noticed (or at least I hope you’ve noticed) that dear old Lip Rip Blues hasn’t seen many updates in the past six months or so. You may have wondered if all is well.

All is well! So don’t worry. I’ve been a little unsure which direction to take this site, and as a result, I’ve let it kinda … sit. Continue reading

Beekman's Homemade Ice Cream

Happiness Is a Choice: What 7 Days On a Bike Taught Me About Music

This post is the last in a series of three on riding RAGBRAI, a weeklong bike ride across Iowa. Here’s the first one, and here’s the second one. Thanks for reading!

One of my favorite quotes is from Tony Robbins: “What’s wrong is always available, and so is what’s right.”

We Choose What We Focus On: Positive vs. Negative

There is a lot to complain about on a 7-day camping bike ride. For instance, watch this: I’m going to name three common household objects in my field of view right now, and I bet there’s a hardship associated with each one on RAGBRAI. Continue reading

Cleveland Museum of Art

Personal Update: Visiting the Cleveland Clinic

In November, my lower lip started acting up: weakness, muscle spasms, etc. It’s been hard to figure out what exactly is going on with it, so I recently went to the Cleveland Clinic to see Dr. Richard Lederman, a world-renowned neurologist who’s written extensively on performance injuries, particularly embouchure problems in brass players.

Here’s what I found out! Continue reading

RAGBRAI Rider

Manage Your Self-Talk: What 7 Days On a Bike Taught Me About Music

This post is the second in a series of three, so, you know, expect another one on this topic. Here’s a link to the first post. Thanks for reading!

My last post was all about the importance of perseverance. Whether you’re riding a bike across Iowa or trying to become a better musician, all you really have to do is keep pedaling. Everything else pales in comparison to perseverance.

We gotta put in the time and keep putting in the time. There’s no substitute for not quitting. We can make the journey more pleasant, though, by controlling our self-talk. Continue reading

RAGBRAI HIghway Pic

Perseverance: What 7 Days on a Bike Taught Me About Music

This post is the first in a series of three, so, you know, expect a couple more on this topic. Thanks for reading!

The past two summers, I’ve spent the last week in July riding my bike across Iowa with 15,000 other people.

I speak of RAGBRAI, a weeklong rolling Mardi Gras that’s been a fixture in Iowa culture for the last 43 years. I’m taking a break this summer, and I want to reflect on what the experience has taught me about being a musician. But first, here’s a little background on this strange phenomenon. Continue reading