Keeping the Throat open Upstairs

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

  1. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York

    One of my university students (a trombone player) was experiencng this same tightness in the upper register. Hers began around Eb above the staff. Fs got really tight sounding, and she just could not hold a full forte dynamic for very long. So, I used the "Taw" thing. She thought I was nuts at first, but it really opened up her higher register in a matter of minutes. It is still a bit rough around the edges and needs cleaning and focusing, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.

    Thanks, Alex and Manny and Greg (from bringing this up)! Once again, TM to the rescue!
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2006
  2. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

    Aug 11, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    That is GREAT news Glenn! As you know, it is much easier to rein in the power than to try and reach it from below. The air is flowing now and the roughness will refine with time as the muscles and flesh adjust naturally to the new resistance. Isn't it great when those "aha!" moments happen while teaching? I live for those moments as they are so rewarding for both teacher and student.
  3. mazzrick

    mazzrick Pianissimo User

    Sep 16, 2005
    Berlin, Germany
    Tension in the neck / closing the throat can also be related to how you're breathing. Breathing through your nose can contribute to some added tension in the general area. Usually, if the throat "closes" when you breath, it's because you're rushing the breath, breathing shallowly, or just taking a tense breath. Naturally, the throat is the first spot tension will show up. Just try and continually take relaxed breaths and the throat should loosen up after a week or so.

    Manny, could you maybe talk about the ways you locate tension in your students' or your own playing and deal with it if and when you find it?

  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I have always taught, breath through the nose when you have time - why? Because our bodies are designed to work that way. Breathing through the nose moistens the air taken in, filters it and raises the temperature somewhat. At the same time, we do not need to "stretch" the lips or tense the face muscles to "open" passageways for letting air in right before producing a tone. Stretching the lips does not allow for a free blood flow and blood flow is responsible for getting oxygen(=energy) to the muscle. There are times when we HAVE to breath through the mouth because there is no other way to get enough air in VERY short periods of time. My students practice both ways and we talk about when which version is better.

    Our terminology is now: closed throat= tense neck muscles and high rear tongue position? Both could be cured by the right boy/girlfriend.

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