High Note Headaches

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by TrumpEd, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. mellowmood_in_ventura

    mellowmood_in_ventura New Friend

    Dec 4, 2008
    But, seriously, I am also susceptible to headaches...in fact, most of my life they have been a considerable problem for me. As someone with a perpetual craving for sweets, I find that limiting my intake of sugar helps me avoid some pain. Also, insufficient sleep can contribute, as can hypertension. Furthermore, it may be a useful idea for you to acquire a specialized mouthpiece that's designed for lead players. If it makes things more comfortable for you, then it'd be well-worth the money to have a means to gaining that upper-register. I wish you well in becoming the world's next Cat Anderson!:-)
  2. lovevixen555

    lovevixen555 Banned

    Nov 5, 2008
    That is all very true but I doubt he is munching sweet's while playing.Headaches are not natural or normal so if you have a problem with them on a regular basis you have some problems that have not been addressed. I would suggest if you have not already that you try a Chiropractor your neck is probably badly out of alignment. The most common cause of headache's outside of stress and circulation problems is when the atlas the vertabrae that rest direct against the skull get's twisted to the right or left. It pinch's the nerves and also disrupts normal circulation to the skull. While I am sure Western Medicine has you convinced headaches are normal and all you need is some Asprin or Alieve that is not true. Headaches always have a cause and it is usualy not ever found out by an MD unless it turns out to be a brain tumor. No part of your body should routinely ache for unknown reasons and that fact that it is common does not make it acceptable. Being fat is common in American but it is not considered acceptable and ok. Same thing with headache's. I would seriously look into a Chiroprractor or Yoga and see if one of those two does not fix you up with your headaches.

    If your blood sugar is not controlled tightly as in your body is starting to become insulin resitant due to years of over indulgence then you bet it can give you headache. Going to high or too low can cause all kinds of short term and long term health problems. If it gets to high your blood get thick andhard to pump which push's the blood pressure sky high combine that with high blood pressure to start and hello headache!

    This is one of the reason's why people on this sight need to consider takeing better care of themselfs. Just think how bad you are going to feel when you have a stroke or heart attach and can no longer play when simple dietary changes and some modest exercise could of prevented it all. It is different if the information is not their for you or you get in a bad car accident but to eat yourself to death or to a point where you can not play the trumpet is really kind of silly.

    So guys and gals i mean it seriously think about makeing some changes. You do not start all at once you start with 10 minutes of exercise a day and try to eat on more serveing of vegtables a day. After a few weeks or months you increase to 15 minutes a day and cut back on some of the simple carbohydrates and starch's and replace them with more complex ones etc........ In a year or two you have completly changed your diet and exercise habits in a pain free manner. It is when you try to make drastic changes that we usualy all fail. Babby steps and build on each day's triumphs!!!
  3. Rich Wetzel

    Rich Wetzel Pianissimo User

    Dec 27, 2003
    Tacoma, WA
    Lot's of good points. To keep it simple, if it is not some other health or diet, sleep combination of issues, more often than not, it boils down to blowing too hard. Intuitively or wrongly many players are trying to blow the house down when frankly laying back, relaxing, thinking about playing efficiently and easy, going for resonant intonation and a pure sound, great mechanics, vs brute force, will win the day every time. That kind of resonant intonation, pure sound, will sound better, project better, and frankly is a more fun way to play!

    Warming up and your individual practice at soft to moderate volumes at most, thinking about the sound and being relaxed, effortless type feeling, getting to where the notes speak easily, and doing this with some consistency, then pacing yourself a bit and not trying to blow the house down, usually will take care of this, sound better, and generally be a much more pleasant experience.

    Think about the sound. Remember it is a trumpet, and if you are playing high with a bright sound, chances are everyone can hear it, lol...
  4. mellowmood_in_ventura

    mellowmood_in_ventura New Friend

    Dec 4, 2008
    That is a terrific reply there, Love Vixen...very useful info!!!

    I, too, may have neck-related problems. What began happening several weeks ago, and something that I could notice from the onset(and also a phenomena that followed intense high-register work, or should I say high-register attempts! was that an odd sound began. A 'percussive' sound that accompanies just about every note that I play, but this peculiar sound began when I earnestly tried to increase my range. I had explained in an earlier posting that I had never played out of standard 'Bb' books, but rather used conventional songbooks that are geared for piano and guitar, too, which is fine because I play those two instruments in addition to trumpet, and so easy piano charts are useful for me, but typically, those songbooks very seldom go beyond G3(or G above the staff). So, for me, 'high-register' is playing(if possible) up to G4...and I'm lucky to get up to E4. If I go beyond that, I'm totally astonished, but it has happened

    you know the nearer the destination, the more you're
    slip-sliding away-Paul Simon

    So, I simply stick with realistic goals to play within the instrument's 'Arban' range...hey! there a name for all of you that want to know who the best-ever trumpeter is or was: J.B. Arban!:thumbsup:
    But seriously, I have come to accept the fact that my playing will never sound like a whistling teapot, and that makes it easier for me.
    As for those funny 'noises' that I hear when I play, I have to ignore them, and just go on playing. They are just like tinnitus, which only is a problem when I focus on it; otherwise, I don't hear it. I know that doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but it's possible to not hear it. It just seems to become amplified when I think about it. Otherwise it remains in the background, or even better yet, imperceptible. Some things can be de-emphasized with the right attitude:-)

    oh! so much to learn, and yet so little time...

    Again, I sure appreciate that well-written response that addresses the issue in depth. This is the very sort of information that we all need!
  5. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    What your doing is hyper-ventilating , which is caused by trying to take in too much air ,then letting it all hang out on the high note, when hitting a high note always keep something in reserve as if you were going to go up a 4th or 5th so ease up on the air pressure and don`t worry about volume ,just center the tone and it will carry over the band.
  6. Bach219

    Bach219 Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 25, 2008
    I don't know, but for me, IF I crack my neck before playing, I have a higher chance of getting a BAD pressure headache. If I DON'T crack my neck, they usually last for 1-2 seconds, and I barely feel them too.

    But I can tell you guys, that I have definatly improved since last years school or this past summer's practice. I remember I couldn't even play as high as a high A-C, without it hurting so bad that I just wanted to stop playing. Now, I can play the upper register with less effort and practicly no pressure headaches!
  7. courtois.evoII

    courtois.evoII New Friend

    May 8, 2008
    from me, it's an ussualy reaction of body when you play high tone for 1st time or after long time not play.

    it's like if you in high mountain and you run (lossing the air on your body)
    then you got headache

    don't worry! you have to practice faster and faster blow until you not headache anymore.

    (i ussually do blow on trumpet without a mouthpiece)

    so practice your breath

    good luck
  8. thebugleboy

    thebugleboy Pianissimo User

    Dec 10, 2008
    Deep South
    Excellent words. Also do diaphragm exercises and breath control exercises. I think this is in line with where Trumpet Guy is going when I say that you are probably hyperventilating somewhat. Back when I used to do a lot of skin diving, I found this helped me to keep from having headaches after dives. It also helped my musical performance.
  9. thebugleboy

    thebugleboy Pianissimo User

    Dec 10, 2008
    Deep South
    Also excellent advice. It still goes back to Trumpet Guy's RELAX. You can't relax AND pinch off a note.
  10. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    if the headache hits as soon as you stop playing, you are overblowing. has this always happened or is a recent development? Is this your first time playing these notes? If so you are approching them like most players do. you are blowing too hard and it builds up pressure in your head (blood vessels, sinusis) when you stop the sudden release of pressure causes a headache as everything rushes back to normal. you don't have to be playing loud to overblow.

    try this. when you approch these notes try and "feel' your lips just "floating" on the air column. this should help you to not overblow. let me know how this works. been there done that.

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