Advice regarding leaking throat

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by BEKanak, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. BEKanak

    BEKanak New Friend

    Jun 19, 2008
    Chicago Burbs
    I'm an older player attempting to get back in shape after a couple of years off. I'm having a problem and am looking for some advice.

    As I build up air pressure and get into my upper register, I'm getting a sort of leak in the upper back of my throat / mouth. It makes a vibration and noise. I doesn't really hurt, but feels like its triggering a gag reflex. Once it starts, I can't play higher. More air pressure just produces a greater leak. I seem to remember this happening when I was a kid just starting, but at some point it just stopped.

    Any suggestions?
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Hi BEKanak!

    This kind of stuff is real, real hard to diagnose over the internet, as you can imagine! I've tried to replicate your problem (we want students to emulate their teachers, but a very useful teaching technique is the ability to emulate students [it is fun, too!])

    So, here is one thing to try: Try making your torso longer, from tailbone to the top of your head, "aim" your airstream higher. The idea is to keep the airway open at all times, even if it costs us a couple of notes in range.

    That being said, try stuff out that makes your condition worse, then do the opposite.

    Good luck!
  3. BEKanak

    BEKanak New Friend

    Jun 19, 2008
    Chicago Burbs
    I don't know my anatomy that well, but I'm pretty sure whatever seals of the air flow from going into your sinuses and nose is leaking. I was wordering if anyone knew some exercies to strengthen that area.
  4. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    BEKanak, Is it an unpleasant sound, if not you may have stumbled on the trumpeters version of throat singing.:dontknow:

    Doesn't help does it?;-)
  5. oldlips48

    oldlips48 Piano User

    Mar 1, 2007
    I play dixieland with a couple of friends that are older (in their 70s). The clarinet player has a problem that sounds like yours. He says the part of the throat that seals off between your mouth and nose is called the "Glottis". If he plays too loud or too long he will run into this "leaking" problem. The only thing that fixes it for him is to rest it, perhaps as long as a day or two. Unfortunately he hasn't offered any real solutions.

    Perhaps a discussion with an Ears, Nose, and Throat specialist?
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    maybe it is time that you considered a lower pressure approach to playing trumpet? For most cases, simply learning to exhale through the horn will solve the problem.
    If your air needs an alternative route, then you are probably playing with too much pressure on the lips, thus "squeezing" off the airflow. Do a search on "circle of breath" for one way to solve this.

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