Choking air

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Rocketman, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. Rocketman

    Rocketman New Friend

    33
    0
    May 11, 2004
    NC
    I'm sure there are many opinions on this subject but does anyone KNOW exactly what does the choking of air in the throat? Some of the opinions I'm aware of include the vocal cords, the back of the tongue, the soft palate, other muscles in the throat. etc. I'm quite scientifically minded myself but this is more of a physiology question, I suppose. At any rate, I think it would be very helpful to better understand where this choking or resisting of air flow in the throat comes from. Any throat doctors in the audience? Thanks-Ken B.
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    16,611
    7,950
    Jun 18, 2006
    Germany
    Tension. The more you CONCENTRATE on relieving tension, the worse it gets. Tension gomes from BAD HABITS.

    Players generally need to SLOW DOWN.

    I have several posts on my circle of breath here at TM. Do a search and you will see what I mean. It is free, easy, requires no embouchure or technique changes and will help you build better body use habits. You need about 5000 repetitions to make it really stick, a small price to pay.
     
  3. Rocketman

    Rocketman New Friend

    33
    0
    May 11, 2004
    NC
    Rowuk--

    Thanks for that. At least you attempted to respond and I appreciate that.

    Certainly, your simplistic answer that tension is the cause makes sense. What I'm looking for, however, is an explanation more specific than that. In other words, what is it that tension activates that closes off the airway? Is is the back of the tongue? Is it the vocal cords? How about other muscles in the throat? I have heard it said that the throat itself cannot block air. If that is true, then what is it that comes into play that does block the air? This is something I would like to have a better understanding about. Surely, someone knows the answer. Thanks-Ken B.
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    16,611
    7,950
    Jun 18, 2006
    Germany
    Rocketman,
    the cause IS simple. Tension is caused by not paying attention, not developing at a sensible rate.
    If you look at any books on anatomy, you see that air goes by the vocal chords to get in and out of the lungs. That is one possibility for trouble. More often the problem is the lips. If they are not developed in a relatively low impact way, they are not supple enough to vibrate easily, causing the player to apply more pressure/tension and tongue harder to get the sound going. That is a very inefficient way to produce sound and snowballs into ever more tension, the pressure on the lips causes them to swell further hurting the playing process.

    Choking off is a combination of all of the above PLUS the bodies natural defense system of MORE tension when the going gets tough.

    The only solution is not to focus on individual sins, rather to tackle the big picture by SLOWING DOWN!
     
  5. Rocketman

    Rocketman New Friend

    33
    0
    May 11, 2004
    NC
    If I understand your answer correctly, the mechanism for restricting air in the throat then, is the vocal cords. That's all I was looking for. If I'm not mistaken, this is also the approach taken by Malte Burba (may not be spelled correctly). Your other general comments were certainly worthwhile also so thanks for that. --Ken B.
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    16,611
    7,950
    Jun 18, 2006
    Germany
    Ken,
    Malte takes the whole body into consideration. I knew him before he developed his system of "teaching your body to blow". Many of his students essentially stopped playing music (they continued to play trumpet though ;-) ) for an extended period of time to deal with body issues.

    He has rescued some and made a mess out of others who couldn't follow him 100%. His system works, but you really have to want to delve deep. Some of his students have a slightly more "universal" approach.

    I wouldn't get too hung up on the vocal chords. They are the easiest of those multiple "choke" problems to solve.
     
  7. Rocketman

    Rocketman New Friend

    33
    0
    May 11, 2004
    NC
    Rowuk--

    Fair enough, on your last comments on vocal cords.

    A little off subject here but I assumed you would quite familiar with Malte. In your opinion, would it be fair to describe him as a genius? I watched his DVD with great interest and his presentation was quite convincing. It was there that I first got the notion of what great significance the vocal cords can be in playing. He even attributed unwanted "garbage" in the tone to a possible problem with the vocal cords. That is also what got me to thinking that it was, in fact, the vocal cords that could create unwanted restriction in the throat and you have given some credence to that as well. Fascinating stuff! Thanks again-Ken B.
     
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    16,611
    7,950
    Jun 18, 2006
    Germany
    Malte is a marketing genius. The system is simply hard work and dedication on his part. It wasn't a brilliant idea from jump, rather a methodical approach to improving things.

    He can teach your body to blow, just don't ask him to play the Haydn ;-) !
     

Share This Page