How to eliminate too much tension ??

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Mast, May 20, 2011.

  1. moosicles

    moosicles New Friend

    Nov 9, 2010
    Longwood, Florida
    Rowuk is right, changing something too fast can be recipe for disaster. However, here is my tension story. it didn't seem to have any adverse affects on my playing.

    A couple weeks ago, I looked up Jim Manley on youtube and I saw a couple of videos where he explained his approach to trumpet. MAN! WAS I BLOWN AWAY!! Anyways, I took some of his Idea's and tweaked them a little. I decided to breath while thinking 'accordion'. All you do is pretend you're an accordion and expand sideways instead of just frontwards while you breath. It seems to help me take in just the right amount of air before playing. Also, I found THAT by moving my air through the horn before I play, relieve excess tension. Upon combining the two, I immediately noticed a large drop in tension and facility of playing, especially above high C. I thought that my results may have been just psychological, so I took it to school and tested it with one of my friends. He struggles greatly with excess tension in both the throat and chest area, but can still squeak out a pinchy E on a good day. While we sat, waiting for everybody to get ready to play, I explained the 'accordion' way of breathing and how I noticed moving air through the horn before I played got rid of excess tension. After we were done playing, an hour and a half later, he picked up his horn and tried it. He went alllllllll the way up to a G above high C and he looked completely relaxed. He was even looking around while playing, and as soon as he saw me, I noticed he had a look of question in his eyes that said: "Why in **** is this so easy?!?" My results didn't seem to only apply to myself after that. I decided to share my findings with a few of the freshman that were struggling with trumpet and after they tried it, they all saw an increase in both range and tone production, some more than others. I can't say it will work for you but it sure did work for us!

    Here's the links to the youtube videos of Jim Manley that led me to this:

    YouTube - ‪Jim Manley - Approach to Air & Airmen of Note trumpets‬‏
    YouTube - ‪Jim Manley & Airmen of Note trumpets hang‬‏
    YouTube - ‪Manley on tone‬‏

    best wishes to you!
    -Marcos H.
    Last edited: May 22, 2011
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    This post reinforces my post 2 back. I totally agree and truly appreciate the videos supporting this concept. There are so many posts related to people wanting to increase range. The problem is under unsupervised attempts, tension overtakes their technique, and inhibits progression. As I stated in opening line, breath is key. I will repeat the great mystic Yoda that knows all:

    “Time this will take. But the right amount of time give it. May the force (of the air column) be with you.”
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Please do let me explain one concept clarification about the above videos posted. The reader is left with the impression that taking that deep breath by expanding lower intercostal muscles (accordian breathing) will result in air coming lower down (from the knees). This is not exactly true. Air will ALWAYS go to the lower regions (better ventilated areas of the lung) when upright because of the simple pressure and compliances differences between the atmosphere and the lung physiology.

    Demonstration of Differences between Dependent & Nondependent Regions
    If a normal subject, seated in the upright posture and breathing normally (inspiring from the FRC), takes a single breath of a mixture of oxygen and radioactive 133Xe, the relative ventilation of various regions of the lung can be determined by placing scintillation counters over appropriate areas of the thorax, as shown in Figure 3–11.
    View Large[​IMG]Figure 3–11.Add to 'My Saved Images'
    Regional distribution of alveolar ventilation as determined by a breath of a mixture of 133Xe and O2. (Data of Bryan, 1964. Reproduced with permission.)


    It is assumed that if the oxygen and 133Xe are well mixed, then the amount of radioactivity measured by the scintillation counters in each region will be directly proportional to the relative ventilation (the ventilation per unit volume) in each region.
    The results of a series of such experiments are shown on the graph on the right side of Figure 3–11. In a subject seated in the upright posture and breathing normally from the FRC, the lower regions of the lung are relatively better ventilated than the upper regions of the lung.
    If a similar study is done on a subject lying on his or her left side, the regional differences in ventilation between the anatomic upper, middle, and lower regions of the lung disappear, although there is better relative ventilation of the left lung than of the right lung. The regional differences in ventilation thus appear to be influenced by gravity, with regions of the lung lower with respect to gravity (the "dependent" regions) relatively better ventilated than those regions above them (the "nondependent" regions).

    So bottom line. What he says is true in that taking deep breaths fills the lung with more air, which gives you greater researve (residual volume). What he is really doing in the video is opening up he glottis. In other words relaxing to give less resistance to the air column.

    In this way ONLY will the force be with you.
  4. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Hi Mast,

    Sorry it took me so long to get back to you, been busy with gigs and a teenager who lives on the computer. Any way ,I had an early jazz concert and am now home.

    As for the breathing problem, I learned to take a full breath,not a full and a half one. Don't try to take in too much air, this is what causes headaches dizziness, and blackouts. Always make sure to expel all unused air before taking you next breath.You will be surprised just how little air it takes to play up there.

    As for the other problem of mentally playing high notes before you have to actually to. Trust your ability.You don't worry about a high C ,because you know you can play it, if you know you can play a G above it, just play the note.
  5. Mast

    Mast New Friend

    May 19, 2011
    Many thanks for all of your excellent advise !

    I just came back from a rehearsal weekend and tryed there something i found on the monette Homepage...It sounds too simple but it helped tremendously ! You might give it a try:

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Demonstration: Opening the Hips as You Play[/FONT]
    [​IMG][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and parallel. Move your hips backward and forward, and notice the change in weight distribution. When the hips are forward, the body weight is up on the balls of the feet and/or the toes. When the hips are back, the body weight is more on the heels.[/FONT][​IMG][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Find the position where your body weight is evenly distributed front to back and side to side on your feet. Then unlock your knees. This is the most efficient and aligned way to stand. This simple shift in how one stands may make you feel like you are falling forward slightly compared to how you are used to standing. You may also be uncomfortable standing with your feet parallel rather than splayed. If, however, you concentrate on your feet, legs, and breath with this new approach, you will notice you feel more solid and grounded as you stand, and your breath will be much more open and free.[/FONT][​IMG][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Try playing and holding an easy G in the staff standing the way you are used to standing, and then play the same note and hold it with the improved use and more open hip alignment outlined above. You will notice the pitch will drop, you can breathe fuller and more effortlessly, and you will imimediately produce a more open, connected sound.[/FONT]
    David G. Monette Corporation
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Inspiration can happen in seconds or minutes. Success is measured in months and years.

    Post back in a month after the honeymoon is over.
  7. Mast

    Mast New Friend

    May 19, 2011
    This might be true for you ... :-)

    No need to, i found the answers i looked for.

Share This Page