Light-Headedness

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by tjm127, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. tjm127

    tjm127 New Friend

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    Hey guys,

    I'm kind of a returning player - I'm 19, but I really hurt my chops somehow around last Christmas, and it has taken me up until about a month or so ago to really get back up to my old form, and it took me up to September of this year to even be able to play well enough to get my chair back in my college jazz orchestra.

    But I'm finally back to normal - I play lead in the jazz orchestra - and I've noticed something that was never really a problem before. When I play very high and hold it out, I start to feel a lot of pressure in my head and I begin to even feel dizzy. I've also heard from friends that my face turns extremely red, which it never has before. I don't feel as though I'm needing or using more effort to play the notes, I'm not pressing any more than I used to or anything, but the feelings of internal skull pressure and of (albeit very brief, normally no more than three or four seconds) light-headedness after a held-out note is a little concerning to me.

    I'll note that it's only on very high notes - it almost always happens when it's the last note of a song. It does not happen when I'm playing a shout chorus - like when I need to play between high C and G at forte for an extended period of time during a song. It only happens at the very end.

    For example, at the show we just played, I felt pressure and some dizziness three different times, at the end of three different songs - the notes were, in order, Bb above high C, D above double C, and double C. Each time, I felt okay after a few seconds - but those were a few seconds when I thought I was going to fall off the stage!

    Is this normal? Do most trumpet players feel like that when they're pushing themselves at the top of their range? Or am I doing something wrong? And is my face turning red an indication that I'm doing something incorrectly?

    Thanks for any advice y'all may have.
     
  2. codyb226

    codyb226 Banned

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    First, can you clarify what C's you are referring to? Tell me the ledger lines.


    Also, you are putting all the pressure in the back of your mouth/throat. You need to put it in the front of your mouth. It takes some work to figure it out, but it does wonders.
     
  3. tjm127

    tjm127 New Friend

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    Jan 22, 2011
    When I say double C, I mean the C above high C. So tuning C (in staff) - then high C an octave above - and then double C above that. Think the last note of Gordon Goodwin's "Count Bubba" (which is one of the charts I got dizzy on). So yes, the notes I get dizzy on are "up there." The reason I'm asking is because before I hurt myself, I could play that high with no internal pressure or redness, but now I have both of those things.

    I'm not quite sure what you mean by putting the pressure in the front of my mouth. Is that just something I need to tool around with on my own?
     
  4. codyb226

    codyb226 Banned

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    Okay, just wanted to make sure you knew what notes you were talking about. Double C is confused a lot with the C 2 ledges up when that is only high C.

    Pressure in the front of your mouth....hmmm. Hit a DHC with your mouth right now, no trumpet. Dont make your lips buzz or anything, but set your mouth for it. Feel all that pressure in the back of your mouth? That is making you dizzy. I am pretty sure you could pass out if the pressure got to high. What I am saying is that you need to move that pressure right behind the teeth. It works for me by kind of squeezing my cheeks toward eachother almost so my lips pucker. But nowhere near that much. Your tongue should be arched up a lot in the back and then it is like a roller coaster. Almost straight down. That will make a cavity in your mouth where the pressure should be. Do you understand a little bit?
     
  5. tjm127

    tjm127 New Friend

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    Jan 22, 2011
    I actually do understand, that was a good visual. You're right, as I think about about the physiology without the horn I definitely now recognize that there's pressure there, right around the back of my tongue...looks like I need a couple of hours noodling around the practice rooms until I get this right!

    Too bad for everyone else at my university that the practice room walls are so thin. Whenever I undertake a project like this, or like practicing double tonguing (or when I was recovering from hurting my chops), every single other musician in the building can hear me loud and clear. That's fine when I sound good...it's a little more embarrasing when I'm trying new things out and in all likelihood sounding terrible! :-P
     
  6. codyb226

    codyb226 Banned

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    Thanks, I tried to make it as easy as I could and getting rid of the horn was the way to do it. This is the way I was taught when I got to high school because I played with so much pressure before I learned this. Still pressure, but this is a lot easier.
     
  7. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

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  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Cody,
    with what possible "experience" can you offer advice. I mean come on you are a highschool kid with ZERO commercial experience. I find it really out of place that you act like an expert but completely ignore any possible health issues.
     
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    I second jiarby... you are describing a valsalva maneuver. This means you are tensing up and closing off your glottus in the throat. This increases venous pressure (the feeling in your head) in your central venous system (bet your neck veins pop out as well). This rapidly (about 20 seconds) diminishes venous blood return to your heart, which decrease perfusion to the brain, making most people feel light headed. You are turning red as you pulse rate increases to try to componsate for the decreased cardiac output.

    Here is another description as to what happens when doing this maneuver: Valsalva maneuver - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    My advice is stop doing this. By closing off your glottis, you are compromising air flow. This defeats the trumpet players purpose of producing the best sound possible. Relax and let it happen through more efficient use of respiration. You sound will be fuller, and you will likely be able to hit the notes requiring more force with ease and more clarity.
     
  10. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

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    What Gonady says. I remember reading an article in Downbeat about 40 years ago where Stan Kenton's lead player had to hold a long high D at the end of (I think) the chart Somewhere and blacked out on stage. BestI remember, the D is a decresendo and getting softer on such is sometimes more difficult than playing it well. Bang. Fainted.

    By the way, some of us don't worry about that. Never hit a double C in my life.
     

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