Keeping the Throat open Upstairs

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by gzent, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

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    Manny,

    I have always had a tendency to close the throat / arch the back part of the tongue when reaching for the very top notes (above high C).

    What would you suggest for exercises to break this habit?

    Thanks,

    Greg
     
  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Don't laugh...

    Go grab your horn and find a spot on the floor where you can lay down without your feet cramping into anything.

    Put a couple of thin books under your head or a Steven King sized novel will do. Relax and try to imagine unhooking your jaw from the place at the temple where it hooks up. Imagine that instead of your jaw being shaped like this: < that it is shaped, intead, like this: = with teeth parallel.

    It should not be at all painful and rather comfortably slack jawed. Now, grab your horn after you have a GOOD sense of the feeling and play a few scales that rise up. Maintain that feeling of the jaws being unhinged and you'll be rather surprised at how free your upper register sounds.

    Happy playing,

    ML
     
  3. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

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    Thanks - I'll give it a try.
     
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Afterwards you can gross-out violists by telling them about the spit draining back into your throat!
     
  5. Clarence

    Clarence Mezzo Forte User

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    oh man.............that was just plain wrong.
     
  6. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

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    Manny,

    Are you saying that you play with that lower jaw hanging down as if totally asleep? I can't seem to form an embouchure without moving it upward a bit.

    The thing that seems odd to me is that when I was young the high notes would just completely be gone at some point.
    Now, (on my Bb) I can play with full volume (fff) up to high D, then the volume shrinks quickly, and then I can play at mp up to double D or double E.

    It seems that since I can usually produce those 'double' notes reliably at mp that its just an airflow problem and not an embouchure problem.

    Thoughts?

    Greg
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2006
  7. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Greg,

    No, no.. of course not. It's very subtle but it makes a big difference.

    ML
     
  8. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

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    I would like to chime in and say that articulating with "TAW" while playing scales and insisting on keeping that feeling no matter how high or low you go is a great guide. You rely solely on your air when forced to keep this formation of the oral cavity. It achieved for me what he has explained above. Where did I learn this? From Manny. :D
     
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    What is a closed throat? Do we have control over muscles that change the diameter of or can "close" the throat? I think this is anatomically impossible except for certain cases of apnea. Are we talking about the vocal chords? Do we mean extreme tension of the neck muscles? If it was clear what is wrong, we would have a better understanding of what is really happening and maybe how to cure it.
    Has anyone researched this?
     
  10. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

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    The clenching of the neck muscles combined with the arching of the posterior portion of the tongue makes the air passageway smaller, creating more pressure and hence a higher pitch is possible. I learned this years ago after using the popular, yet, IMO, flawed Maggio books.

    Sure, it makes higher pitches possible, but at mp who cares? Its not loud enough to be heard when playing in a band.

    I am now trying to add volume to those notes and learn to keep the throat and oral cavity more open.

    Greg
     

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