Humming while playing

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by JazzyJewels, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. JazzyJewels

    JazzyJewels New Friend

    Jul 21, 2009
    I've realized during private lessons with my teacher that I sort of hum the notes while I play and I'm not sure how to stop. It's really embarrassing. Does anyone else do this? To stop do I just have to focus on just blowing air rather than both air and humming, or is there something else I can do? I don't know what, but I figure it's worth a shot asking.

    I feel like this is the dumbest question ever. Haha. :dontknow:
  2. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    Hi JazzyJewels
    Sorry, The dumbest question is the one you do not ask!

    The humming may be from a tense throat, and is it more a grunt or humm?
    In any case try to relax, and especially the shoulders and throat. There is another thread just recently about grunting while playing...sounds similar. Check it out.

    BTW: ask your teacher while you're there, and when you do it.

  3. JazzyJewels

    JazzyJewels New Friend

    Jul 21, 2009
    Hmm, yeah! That could be it. I'd say it's a hum, really, but I guess sometimes it could be classified as a grunt? But not really.

    I'll try to relax and just let the air flow without tightening my throat. Thank you, sir. :)
  4. bigdanv

    bigdanv Pianissimo User

    Jan 13, 2009
    I had a similar problem that was caused by too much tension in my throat. If you loosen up you'll probably be fine.
  5. Bachstul

    Bachstul Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 25, 2009
    It's occurred before in rock. Jethro Tull... Ian Anderson would sing or hum as he blew through his flute, or, fife. Very unique; a trademark sound he had.
  6. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    Just relax and play. Tension is one of our enemies.
  7. trumpetup

    trumpetup Piano User

    Jan 12, 2009
    Godley, Texas
    I used to do this. Sometimes I catch myself still doing it when I sight read. I am focusing so hard on the sound of the note in my head that I make a ooh, or grunt sound when I play. When I look over a peice that I'm not familiar with before I play it I make the same sound. I just have to remember to not use my outside voice when I play:D Good Luck, Bobby
  8. jsmahnke

    jsmahnke New Friend

    Aug 14, 2009
    I had humming/grunting problem many years back. My trumpet instructor's guidance was...when you find yourself playing with a hum/grunt, stop and practice opening your throat, like when you yawn. Take some breaths with your throat open. You may actually need to train yourself to keep your throat open while playing. Relaxing may not alone resolve this issue. You may need to train yourself to play with an open throat. It worked for me. This may also improve your tone quality at the same time.

    Good luck.
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Humming is a sign of not paying attention during past practice sessions. It is easier to say "relax" than to figure out how to do it.

    I start students with this problem on long tones. If you do a search on "Circle of Breath" you will find the entire method. It is as simple as inhale - exhale. Once you get this down without the trumpet, you replace exhale with play. NO TONGUE to get the sound started. Only exhale. 5-10 minutes of long tones this way, then slurs the same. If you notice a hum, stop and take a sip of water.

    You have a bad habit. Expect to spend a few months unlearning it!
  10. JazzyJewels

    JazzyJewels New Friend

    Jul 21, 2009
    Thanks to everyone for all your input and advice. Today during my lesson my teacher even pointed it out. He said many trumpet players that play for awhile end up coming to some point where their throats become tense and they strain to either get more volume or range - and that's where the vocal chords start to kick in.

    Rowuk... thanks. :) Months is okay with me. I didn't expect to be rid of it in a week.

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