Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Emi, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. Emi

    Emi New Friend

    Jan 8, 2015
    I don't know what it is, but my range is killing me. I play comfortable to a high E, and above if i really blow. But lately, that's all made me super dizzy and and out of breathe. Any insight onto this?
  2. RonD

    RonD Pianissimo User

    Jun 22, 2014
    Ontario, Canada
    Rowuk! You are needed!
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Normally those looking to hit notes do not like my answers.

    When our range stops at a specific note, it is because we are using too much damn pressure. We basically clamp the embouchure down and with pressure stretch it until the note comes out. The problem is that after the chops get tired, nothing comes out - we have clamped the embouchure shut. Blowing harder just causes us to get dizzy.

    The solution is less pressure, but because pressurized players generally have really sucky breathing habits, the path to decent playing needs guidance from a teacher that knows better and is willing to place the size 45 boot where the sun doesn't shine. When we remove pressure, initially the players range and endurance cave for MONTHS until the new habits are built. With the right teacher we don't need new mouthpieces, embouchures or trumpets. We need months of solid practice on the things that aid lip-ear-body-brain communication.

    So, take this for what it is worth. There is no other solution - except to take up an easier instrument. High notes on a piano are VERY easy!
  4. Emi

    Emi New Friend

    Jan 8, 2015
    I am quite aware of the pressure part. I also play euphonium and trombone and have learned to use little pressure. Same starting with trumpet. And I've never felt dizzy unless i was pushing myself to where I'm not comfortable, but now it's through out the range of the instrument. I get short of breath and dizzy from playing that really doesn't require any extreme measures. I guess my body is just physically tired.
  5. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    As you are aware of pressure, I suggest you may be using too tight embouchure and /or closing the glottal folds thus enabling the Valsalva maneuver, I have been there. Our Medical members can tell you more.

    Regards, Stuart.
    Vulgano Brother likes this.
  6. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    I dabble with Eupho and Trombone as well, and they really require much more air support to have a decent tone. Trumpet is a completely different animal. If you are feeling dizzy in the normal range on trumpet, then go see your Doctor. there may be something else going on.
  7. Michael T. Doublec

    Michael T. Doublec Pianissimo User

    Nov 20, 2014
    Getting "dizzy" could result from several different things. Make sure you are physically fit. When I studied with Schilke, he told me a 3 hour gig on lead trumpet spent more energy than an 8 hour day in construction. If you are in questionable health figure out what is wrong in general. That being said, you are breathing wrong. If you ever watch great players breathe, you know they do not "overfill" their lungs. I have watched a lot of players getting primed up to hit a high note, only to take too deep of a breath, tense up all over the body, and then crash and burn. I had a good friend who passed out cold after an attempt at a high f#. If you take too deep a breath you will flood your body with O2, and get dizzy. If you take a deep breath and hold it, have a friend wrap their arms around your mid-section and squeeze. You will pass out quickly. This is exactly what happens when you blow hard. This is a problem that can only be overcome with conditioning. So getting dizzy is part of the upper register game. Conditioning keeps you from going black. Good luck.

    Mike Fesi
    Vulgano Brother likes this.
  8. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Sorry to hear about your troubles. (I added the bold/underline font.)

    We all know that you can get lightheaded or short of breath when over-exerting yourself on the trumpet. Most of the time, this is simple cause-and-effect, and it's nothing to worry about.

    However, it sounds like you may be saying something different. It sounds like you get "dizzy" and "short of breath" when playing "through the range of the horn". You are also saying that this is something new, which wasn't happening in the past. Of course, none of us can really evaluate these statements online. So I don't want to jump to any conclusions. But if you think you are having new physiologic symptoms that don't seem to make sense, then you might want to talk to your doctor.

    This might be good advice for some of us. It's great playing an instrument where high notes and endurance are pretty "automatic", and don't have to be "earned". (I put quotes around that, because nothing is totally "automatic".)

    Those of you who know me, know that I also play the chromatic harmonica. The trumpet is my first love. But like many of us, it can be a very demanding relationship. The harmonic is more like a friend. For me, it's a great escape from the trumpet, and it allows me to explore things musically without the physical limitations of the trumpet.


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