Light Headed When playing in Upper register

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Nearpsited3, May 6, 2009.

  1. Nearpsited3

    Nearpsited3 New Friend

    Apr 5, 2009
    Okay guys, im new to this forum, and i tried to find this topic being discussed using the search feature, but i couldnt find much. Please forgive me, and help me with this problem.

    Anyways, I recently began (well finished) my first semester of Graduate school after taking two years off from teaching High School. I never had this problem before, but, now When playing long phrases in the extreme upper register, i get really lightheaded. It really scared me because during our spring concert (I play lead in the big band), i nailed this lick, but at the end of it, i had to rest the next few bars or else i would've PASSED OUT! I know i have a tendency to take in lots of air, but i guess i dont use all of it and i perform a the "sleeper hold" on myself.

    I would appreciate any assistance anyone could give me regarding this issue, and how i could fix it. Id hate to fall off the risers during a performance! lol!
  2. SpiritDCI08

    SpiritDCI08 Piano User

    Feb 11, 2009
    Fort Campbell, KY
    I too experience the same problem.
    I've been told it's from using alot of air to achieve high notes. My instructor told me not to worry about it because it's natural.
    Do you do breathing exercises?
    I try to do them for about 30 mins a day depending on what season I'm in.
    Lung expansions and tension releases are the best for this situation.

    But tell me, do you shake when you start to run out of air?
    Or is it just a sudden sensation of loss of breath?
  3. trptchopdoc

    trptchopdoc Pianissimo User

    Jan 13, 2005
    Port-au-Prince, Haiti
    NOT normal OR "natural"! Be careful to avoid arching the back of your tongue (as if saying "ee"). Instead, bring your tongue forward as if "hissing" Hth, let me know if you need more details!
  4. Nearpsited3

    Nearpsited3 New Friend

    Apr 5, 2009
    I dont run out of air, I can play any not for an extended period of time with control, for the most part. I obviously have too much resistance SOMEWHERE, whether it be behind my tongue because its placement, mpc, stomach, chest etc.... i keep my shoulders relaxed. One thing i just read by Manny Laureno(sp?) is that the stomach should be relaxed. I know for a fact that i tighten my stomach when playing in the upper register. It never hindered me until now. Idk if maybe im in less physical shape, or if my Mpc is too shallow or what.

    I will try the "hissing" thing you were reffering to, however there are several ways to "hiss" i was told before too attempt to make that hissing sound a cat makes. I Notice that this does block a large amount of air. i will try different things and see what works) What other breathing exercises are good ?
  5. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    The only thing I'd add to trptchopdoc is to check out "Tongue Arch and Hiss on the web.
    It gives illustrations that augment what doc is saying.
  6. Nearpsited3

    Nearpsited3 New Friend

    Apr 5, 2009
    Not much help there, but thanks. I guess ill just stop when i fall off the risers and knock my teeth out!
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    It is not normal and you need to fix it before you do pass out and hurt yourself or even worse, your horn.
    I think this needs personal attention, not a quick internet fix. It is unhealthy body tension.

    From what I have read and heard, you should take up Jeannes offer for mor details!
  8. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    I agree with rowuk. watch any video of Cat Andersen and you'll see that you don't need extreme efforts (pressure, air, or body constriction) to play high notes.

    Here are a couple of video clips of people actually passing out from playing in a less than efficient way:

    YouTube - Trumpet Player Passout

    YouTube - BVW Trumpet Passes out

    YouTube - Trumpet Experiment Gone Wrong
  9. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    Sounds like you are overblowing (blowing too hard) for the high notes. This can cause the blood to drain from your head. Back off!! Players sometimes mistake blowing hard for increase in compression to play high. Are you using a lead mpc for stage band. If so back off and let it do the work.
  10. Nearpsited3

    Nearpsited3 New Friend

    Apr 5, 2009
    okay, i hear all the time about compression, and maybe thats my problem. Can someone give an accurate description if what is/how to using compression of your air?As i stated earlier, this has NEVER happened to me before, and it only happens during lead trumpet playing. I dont know if its because i taught two years and havent kept my chops up, if im in less physical shape, or my mpc. I will admit, i am currently playing a lead Mpc (Curry 1Hxs) smaller than i played during undergrad. Shilke 13a4A. However when i did play on a 6A4a i Never felt light headed.

    I think im going to use my summer time do do alot more physical exercise. I just started tai chi classes and hopefully this also help. But i will also use this time to focus more on playing more efficient rather than doing whatever is necessary to get notes out.

    But if ANYONE can give me some more good advice please let me know!!!! Hopefully this summer i will overcome this problem, and will post how i did so! Thanks Guys!

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