Extreme Throat tension

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by MSfortissimo, Aug 20, 2015.

  1. MSfortissimo

    MSfortissimo Pianissimo User

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    I've been dealing with something a little strange for the past couple weeks.

    For a while I had an occasional double buzz in my sound that was certainly strange, but not unheard of. I assumed that the usual lip bends and long tones would work and that was the end of it.

    For the last two weeks however the double buzz has increased dramatically. What my (reputable) private teacher and I discovered was that the buzz was not coming from my lips, but from my throat. I was (and am) softly singing along with the pitches in the middle register. So we began to address that, but the more I've worked, the worse it's gotten. We've tried everything that he or I know to open my throat, but matters have only gotten worse and really crippled my playing. He's recommended that I take a lesson with another pro in our area, and I'm optomistic, but frustrated. I've always incorporated quiet playing and warm breath attacks into my routine, so I'm not sure where this habit is coming from. I put in my hours every day, and can feel the other parts of my playing get stronger, but that's not hugely useful if my tone is as if I'm growling the whole time.

    What is most frustrating to me is that I'm not growling or singing loudly, it's not a "gulp," and I can't feel air being cut off enough to affect the quality of my playing. It's just an incredibly quiet vibration of my vocal chords that isn't noticeable except in my tone. It's astoundingly bad when I sing just slightly out of tune with the note I'm playing. I've considered seeing a doctor, because at this point I'm lost, and in the last day, my throat has been slightly sore from the work I've been doing. I also have a slight neck puff throughout my range.

    Anyone here have experience with this? I understand that this is a habit that I will need to work long and hard on, but it's so unnoticeable and involuntary that it's difficult to know what to practice.

    Thanks
     
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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  3. MSfortissimo

    MSfortissimo Pianissimo User

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    Aha, that's a good laugh. Who shall I make the check out to?
     
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Bob Newhart.
     
  5. JRgroove

    JRgroove Mezzo Piano User

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  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    I like to think of this as "Tough Love". Besides, if I didn't post it, Vulgano Brother would have. Love beating him to the punch, tough love at that.
     
  7. MSfortissimo

    MSfortissimo Pianissimo User

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    Joking aside, does anyone have any insight here?
     
  8. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Without trying to sound too pessimistic, not likely. If you have a reputable teacher you've worked with directly, and you've tried all manner of things to try to eradicate it to no avail, I'm not sure what you'd expect to find here. My only insight would be to seek out the aforementioned area pro and see what they have to say about it.
     
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Hypnotism. No joke.
     
  10. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    Hawaian homey
    Along those lines, meditation.

    In both cases, what you are striving for is not to "cure" yourself of it, as we might understand the word and process, but to learn to ignore it altogether, and to have it always (as much as possible) completely relaxed. This can be helped along by what we might call developing a "relaxation response".

    There are conditioning exercises you can do in conjunction with the above, but probably first by developing your meditation/hypnosis chops.
     

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