Breathing Problems

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by sunnydaze, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. sunnydaze

    sunnydaze New Friend

    Apr 11, 2009
    Ancaster, Ontario
    Within the last couple days I have been experiencing some breathing problems that are beginning to worry me a little bit.

    When playing runs up to C above the staff I get extremely light headed and feel extremely dizzy. I never used to have issues before with light headed-ness or anything of that nature, and the problem only started occurring within the last couple days.

    When playing higher parts I always breath in fully from the bottom up and blow the air with pressure from the abdomen. I don't see how this problem could really result from lack of air as I'm taking full breaths and the lines I'm playing are not very long at all.

    Does anyone have an suggestions or theories as to why this is happening? Am I being too tense around the neck or shoulder area? I'm using the breathing techniques recommended by Bobby Shew for the higher parts but I'm still getting the light headed feeling. I try to relax but this doesn't seem to help much. I would really like to fix this problem and would appreciate any advice to rectify it.

    I appreciate the help!
  2. Bach219

    Bach219 Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 25, 2008
    You could just be tense in those areas. Or you are taking in too much air to start off with?!?

    Do you have a private teacher? A second opinion from a person who is there and knows what their doing is always good.
  3. SonicBlast

    SonicBlast New Friend

    May 7, 2009
    Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
    I remember having something like this a couple years ago. Sorry I can't be more help, but I think it passed after a while (couple weeks or so).

    I can understand your anxiety, but you don't just need to relax your muscles. You might try relaxing your mind. Just sitting back for a few minutes or taking a few hours one day to do something you really enjoy that isn't trumpet can really help.
  4. Sol

    Sol Pianissimo User

    Jan 25, 2004
    Could be that you are taking in too much air. High notes need less air, low notes need more. Try taking in less air, and see what happens.
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    this happens to many players that force their high range. The internet is not a very good tool to analyse this.
    Possible issues:
    too damn much mouthpiece pressure
    upper body tension
    too shallow breathing - quantity of air required has nothing to do with this.
    tongue too high in the mouth (too arched)

    Cure: find a decent teacher, quit playing "runs" to high notes and until the issue is solved replace them with very quiet slurs like from the Earl Irons book. Passing out while playing is not good for you or the horn!
  6. Nearpsited3

    Nearpsited3 New Friend

    Apr 5, 2009
    If you search the forum you will find a few others with the same issue, myself included. I found it to be helpful when reading the book "Arnold Jacobs Song and Wind". There is a very comprehensive section on breathing and how to do so minimizing any friction in your air stream. There also has a website Welcome to WindSong Press which also has videos of him discussing the same thing.

    One thing i noticed i was doing when playing in the extreme upper register is performing what they call the "Vasalva Maneuver" This is basically when you tighten up your stomach and throat muscles ; ie if you strain during defecation, cough, clear your throat or if you make yourself strain to let one loose ;-) . if you try this, you will notice the muscles in your throat tend to close off and tighten up. Trying to play a wind instrument and having that friction in your air stream will definitely cause an issue.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2009
  7. BennyBGoode

    BennyBGoode New Friend

    Jun 11, 2009
    In addition of all the great comments up here, I would say that you could try to do some cardio exercises, it would help you and your lugs to get into a better shape
  8. sunnydaze

    sunnydaze New Friend

    Apr 11, 2009
    Ancaster, Ontario
    Thanks everyone for the help! I think I've determined that the problem is not enough air flow like rowuk said. I'm trying too hard to force higher notes which is causing my problem. Thanks everyone for the helpful advice!

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