Help with throat problems

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

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    a pivot is a form of added tension to one lip or another. There is a whole generation of players that used this. In many cases, the pivot had nothing to do with embouchure, it had to do with compensating for the natural tendency of trumpets to be flat in the upper register. Dave Monette goes into this in pretty great detail on his website. He also details that this is not necessary and what to do about it.

    Another way to compensate for bad playing habits is with tension in the upper body/throat, etc. Common practice with modern equipment is to absolutely minimize this. The pivot is no longer necessary to play in tune at the extremes. In this respect, hardware has gotten much better and can be played with less effort than many "vintage" combinations.

    As far as recommending a pivot or any other type of increased tension without working one on one with the player, the advice remains terrible. There is no reason to recommend tension to an unseen player regardless of the pro that may or may not use it. This is the problem with "internet advice". It can be easily taken out of context. Without the background, the fact that one player may use a pivot has maybe statistical significance, but is of no use out of the original context. Embouchure is in fact personal and there are a multitude of sins that are committed when we don't have the whole story.

    Trumpetlove is actually on a decent track with his teacher! The vizualisation of the open throat was the question and this is accomplished by taking BIG, RELAXED breaths. The most successful way that I teach this is to play long tones and slurs with no tonguing to get the sound started. I have described the circle of breath several times here at TM. Closed throat is upper body tension.
  2. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Dubai, UAE
    Thanks Robin. Lucid as ever.

    I always saw the pivot as a way of 'releasing' the working lip (upper or lower) and redirecting air flow into the mouthpiece and never saw it as a source of tension but now see the point, thanks.


  3. SpiritDCI08

    SpiritDCI08 Piano User

    Feb 11, 2009
    Fort Campbell, KY
    Try doing good easy breathing exercises. Practice using alot of air with proper mouth form with out straining any part of your body. Tension, in my case, is from not being comfortable with my playing.
    When I played tuba my instructor told me to focus on playing like there was a PVC pipe in my throat and it couldn't close or be made smaller. It really did help in the long run. Since I've been playing trumpet I only very rarely catch myself playing closed off. Hope this probably wont :(
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I still maintain that it makes no sense to try and point your air towards the throat of the mouthpiece. I have done airflow studies with various players and there is so much turbulence in the cup. For those that "play better" this way, I can assure that it is not because of the airflow. It has to do with an improved embouchure geometry or just simply more dedication and attention while practicing.
  5. nplotts1

    nplotts1 Fortissimo User

    Aug 5, 2007
    Atlanta, Georgia
    due to rehearsla before too long, I didn't read all posts.

    You may want to try the Breathing Gym, it works on getting good air flow with an open throat. Another exercise that I have been taught is using a piece of 1/2 to 3/4 inch PVC pipe in about a 1-2 inch length, holding it with your teeth and breathing in, it helps to keep your throat open and relaxed. Not to mention, if you play tense in the upper register, chances are you do it in mid and lower as well, just not enough to notice.
  6. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    How does your teacher know your closing your throat ? When I was younger I had a neck puff and was told it was because of tension in my throat , well 45 yrs. later I still have the same amount of neck puff and never had a problem with sound ,volume , range , or endurance, I just loosen the top button on my shirt and cover it with my tie. Just work on correct breathing and don't over think every little thing , have fun with the trumpet, you will be able to hear it in your playing.

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