How to relax and to open thoat

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by chet fan, May 12, 2010.

  1. chet fan

    chet fan Piano User

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    OK as you all know I have some serious issues with breath suppot. My teacher diagnosticised it as a closed throat. Well not really closed throat but some unconscious movement in the throat that happens when our brain registers there is something strange going on (I cannot really re-tell what he said, but basically he told me that my brain sees trumpet playing as something extreme and potentially harmfull to my body so it makes that movement in throat thus obstructing air flow)

    thing is he diagnosed it, but couldnt really tell how to get rid of it. He just said that I should relax and that that movement will not happen, but it just isnt happening. I can feel the movement happening when I play 5th parital (concert D) and above, belowe that is OK, I can play middle octave w/o problems I just blow through the trumpet (as he advised) and everything goes smooth
     
  2. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

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    Though it is difficult to cure such issues on the internet without actually seeing or even hearing you, I would take an educated guess.

    When somebody plays in the high register on any brass instrument, he is supposed to keep the throat open while making the lip/facial muscles work hard. What happens is, that the by sympathetic movement/effort you may get a tensed/stiff throat. My wording in English may not be the best around, but I hope everyone will understand my idea. How to cure that? Personally, thinking of playing trumpet as like I was singing helps me. I am not a high note specialist, so other people may have other suggestions. Another thing to remember is, that not the power and the quantity of used air counts, but the control.

    As many people have pointed out in previous threads, playing Clarke exercises and tunes up an octave in soft dynamics will help as well.
     
  3. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

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    The trick is to relax,you're trying too hard for the upper register,over tensing your embouchure and forcing your air, just concentrate on playing with a full round tone .Take deep breaths so that your stomach expands, not your chest, and keep your elbows away from your body.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2010
  4. chet fan

    chet fan Piano User

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    hold it right there! First you cannot see it, its invisible little movement inside the throat

    Second, you all heard me here few times (despite your statement; "thank god not all of the begginers post their playing on internet forums")
     
  5. chet fan

    chet fan Piano User

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    I can do it but than I cannot get passed 4th parital. Only when I push a bit than I can play up to high C, sometimes D

    does it actuall mean that my range is only up to C in the staff:shock::-(

    thats full octave less than I thought:shock::-(

    OMG
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    There is no such thing as a closed throat. The trachea is not flexible in that way. There is nothing in the throat itself to block airflow. The vocal chords could be a problem BUT what we think is closed is neck tension, mostly accompanied by upper body tension.

    The solution is simply to slow down. Look up my Circle of Breath posts and do it EVERY DAY. Take a glass of tap water when you practice and if you notice tension, take a sip, then a deep breath.

    That tension occurs when we do not have our air under control. I describe that in detail in the thread that I mentioned. It works. No books required!
     
  7. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

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    Well, Rowuk have put it better than me :thumbsup:. Yes Chet, I have seen you vids, but I haven't heard you play lots of high notes there. I know that is happening in the throat/vocal chords, but tension is often demonstrated by visible signs. Don't mix it all up.

    Back to my initial statement - singing may help your awareness of what happens with your vocal chords and how to control them. Implementing that, combined with Rowuk's statement should help your high register playing.
     
  8. chet fan

    chet fan Piano User

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    I am sorry but I cannot find that thread. Can you please provide me a link. Thank you.
     
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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  10. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    The two basic ways to close off the throat is:
    1)Getting strangled in a MMA cage match
    2)Be on the recieving end of a hanging
    ---------
    I'm guessing your sound only goes about a couple of feet.
    When you play, play to something.
    Think about it, yes you play but do you play to something?
    It sounds silly but Maynard and many others (including guest artists on American Idol) talk about the importance of projecting what's in you to the audience.
    PROJECT YOUR SOUND!! not necessarily louder but more focused.
    If you don't play to something, your sound will generally seem choked or amemic

    Do this:
    Imagine a very pretty girl leaning against the far back wall (of where you might happen to be playing) and play to her. I promise your sound will pop out like you won't believe. Also, seriously read circle of breath. Once you understand the connection between what you are doing and getting it across to the audience your closed throat phenomenon will cease to exist. Next private lesson you have, play to your teacher.
     

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