Help with throat problems

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpetlove36251, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. trumpetlove36251

    trumpetlove36251 New Friend

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    Mar 26, 2009
    Ive recently started studying with a teacher that works me in many new ways. He says that I tense my throat too much when I play in the upper register instead of using a tongue arc to generate the velocity. I get the tongue arch, but I can't really conceptualize the idea of an open throat. I've tried playing with a mirror,but I can't seem to relax my throat.

    Does anyone have any suggestions??
     
  2. Bachstul

    Bachstul Mezzo Forte User

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    Jan 25, 2009
    After more practice, eventually you will learn you're trying to give too much air. Excess back pressure wears the larynx. Which is why I'm so anti-practice mute.
    Relax and "hit the note", (I dislike that term also), then draw your air down less flow till you lose it. Bring it back up and hold it to a minimum. It's always good to practice your range to a whisper, you know. Never mind right now about the highs sounding flat 20 yards away, your trying to learn the air requirement to do the job minimally.

    The best high notes to work on are ones open, like a G above staff. Completely remove your right hand from the trumpet when you practice it. A tense throat might mean your tense down to your toes, and removing your right hand will help you from pressing too hard on your chops, when your press too hard, "your tires are spinning in the snow".

    If you want an open throat, lift your head a little, A LITTLE. Push your jaw forward A Little! Slight moves here. Now lower the bell of the Trumpet A Little bit to put mp rest on lower lip, this lets the upper do the high note buzz.

    Y'know, when you go low, peddle low, lift the bell up a little to put the weight on your upper lip, so your lower fat lip can buzz the low tones.

    Pending on your teeth structure, there is a 15% chance you have to do just the opposite!!!!
    It's going to be easy, soon !!!
     
  3. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

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    Nov 5, 2003
    Dubai, UAE
    Think about what you do when you yawn.

    Regards,


    Trevor
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    There is no such thing as a closed throat. It has no mechanism to close off. What we call closed is merely upper body/neck tension. Another similar phenomena is humming while playing - the vocal chords can mess our breathing up this way too.

    The solution is NOT to put tension on the upper lip (sorry Bachstul, that is TERRIBLE advice - it is easily possible to play low and high without changing the angle of the trumpet or the embouchure). An intelligent daily routine of sufficient length is the answer: breathing exercizes, practicing softly, long tones, slurs, easy tunes (like a hymnbook).

    Of course this is most easily accomplished when you have someone in the know monitoring your playing. It is hard to identify things that we know NOTHING about. The most critical time to lern to do everything right is in the beginning. We are creatures of habit and bad habits take a long time to unlearn.

    My recommendation: inhale deeply and then blow into your horn WITHOUT using the tongue to get the sound going. Play long tones and slurs like this at the beginning of EVERY practice session. Start in the middle register and slowly expand the long tones up and down. If you don't have a clean note without tonguing and in this relaxed fashion, you haven't earned it yet. More long tones and slurs are in order!
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2009
  5. Bachstul

    Bachstul Mezzo Forte User

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    Jan 25, 2009
    Yes my point is to get the tension off the upper lip playing high by getting the "weight" off the upper lip by resting on the lower.

    Many Trumpet professors preach this bell raising/lowering technique. It works for some. It is not an embouchure shift. They're talking a quarter inch raise or lower, and it happens naturally sometimes.

    Absolutely,.. long tones,...and dynamics
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2009
  6. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

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    Jan 24, 2005
    You might try thinking of the sylables "OH" and "HO" for the inhale and exhale, respectively. This helps me play with less tension in the upper body.
     
  7. Bachstul

    Bachstul Mezzo Forte User

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    Jan 25, 2009
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2009
  8. J-Walk

    J-Walk New Friend

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    Mar 21, 2009
    I had this problem as a young player, and it took a great deal of focus on proper breathing and relaxed playing to reverse this habit. 25 years later, I still have to be careful. It can still happen if I don't keep up proper habits and practice. Trying to focus on faster and more focused streams of air as I play higher is essential... of course, doing this with as little tension as possible is the key.

    A good instructor was also a very important part of this process for me. In the end, ALWAYS striving for a more beautiful and effortless sound will play a large part in solving tension related problems. (listening to players with great sounds is equally important)

    Best Wishes,
    Jason
     
  9. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

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    Oct 16, 2008
    Well before this gets too out of hand I'd like to submit that a young player wait until after they have sufficently mastered playing up to about high C before using horn movement.

    A GREAT trumpet teacher once told me that "Movement is the destroyer!" (yes, he said it with emphasis). Horn and embochure movement is a good indication of poor breath support.

    As a counterpoint, we obviously see that seasoned/accomplished players can use movement or pivoting quite effectively. (I'll admit that I start to pivot a bit starting at E above high C).

    Ultimately I believe that beginners should strive to perfect their basics in order to develop a rock solid foundation. After that..individuals will vary, so we have to find our own path a bit.
     
  10. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

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    Nov 5, 2003
    Dubai, UAE
    I'm confused.

    What does an open throat and playing without tension have to do with a pivot?

    Regards,


    Trevor
     

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