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

  1. Pete Anderson

    Pete Anderson Pianissimo User

    Feb 27, 2008
    I spent a couple years trying BE (balanced embouchure), and when I first started out I experienced the same symptoms you're describing when playing above high C. They gradually went away over time.

    I don't know what the science is behind this - hopefully someone can correct me if I'm wrong here - but I think we build up a tolerance to the air pressure. When I was doing BE, I went from having a range stuck below high C to suddenly playing high G's (when doing the exercises). I wasn't used to experiencing the higher air pressure needed to create those notes, hence the light-headedness. As Rowuk might say, I definitely had not earned those notes. Over the course of 6 months or so the symptoms went away completely. It could be that I built up a tolerance or become acclimated to the pressure, or maybe my technique just became more refined. I'm not sure.

    If you were forced to take a year+ off the horn due to an injury, you might be able to regain the chops quickly but have lost that tolerance you built up as a result of gradually expanding your range higher and higher over many years.

    My advice would be this:
    1) Get a teacher, even if you only take a lesson once per month or less... It will do wonders for your aural concept and keep you on the right track

    2) Ignore almost all the embouchure advice you read on internet forums. Keep in mind that very few people can play a loud double C. If you can do it without using a trick embouchure or compromising your sound and flexibility in the "money register", it's likely you're doing something right. That doesn't mean you don't have room to improve or that the advice of anyone who can't play a DHC is useless - just question everything you read and don't be too eager to believe everything everyone says.

    2.5) Then again, that you injured yourself so badly it took a year to recover would suggest that there are some serious problems... In the first post you imply that you don't know how the injury happened, and later you say that it was the result of not enough upper lip and too much pressure, so you moved the mouthpiece up.... How do you know you won't injure yourself again? You're just gonna be more careful this time? Get a good teacher. Even if you only see them once a month it will go a long way. How much time and effort do you put into your playing? It sounds like you owe it to yourself to invest like $50-100 a month into your playing...

    3) IMO, don't worry too much about this just yet. You've only been "back to normal" for a month or so? Be careful not to pass out when playing, and see if the symptoms lessen over the next month or two. If it doesn't get a lot better after ~3 months I would worry.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  2. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Hi TJM. Hard to evaluate online. Can you find someone to evaluate you in person?

    Hi Steve. What you're describing about the valsalva effect is essentially correct. But you got the name wrong. "Hyperventilation" is when you breath too fast, which results in too much carbon dioxide (an acid) being expelled, and causes the pH of your blood to rise (to become more basic).

  3. Dave Hughes

    Dave Hughes Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 19, 2010
    Rochester, NY
    I know very few people who can play a loud Double C for over 8 counts without getting a dizzy! I wouldn't worry too much about it!

    And I agree with Pete, it does go away as you become used to the range.

    PS: Some think its kind of a good buzz...OK, OK, let the criticism come!
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  4. chenzo

    chenzo Piano User

    Jul 18, 2008
    At what tempo are we talking about here
  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I agree with TrumpetMD, I believe the OP is describing a valsalva effect leading to pre-syncope. But to be absolutely sure, I added a symptom checker to help compare the two events of syncope and hyperventilation:

    Symptom Checker: Symptoms & Signs of Hyperventilation

    Hyperventilation refers to overbreathing, in which ventilation exceeds the metabolic demand, and its related physiological consequences. Excessive breathing can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, weakness, shortness of breath, a sense of unsteadiness, muscle spasms in the hands and feet, and a tingling feeling around the mouth and fingertips. All of these symptoms are the result of abnormally low levels of carbon dioxide in the blood caused by overbreathing.

    Symptom Checker: Symptoms & Signs of fainting (syncope)?

    With fainting (syncope), the patient is unaware that they have passed out and fallen to the ground. It is only afterward that they understand what has happened.
    There may be symptoms or signs before the syncopal episode, which may include: The person may feel lightheaded, nauseated, sweaty, or weak. There may be a feeling of dizziness or vertigo (with the room spinning), vision may fade or blur, and there may be muffled hearing and tingling sensations in the body.

    With pre-syncope or a near-faint, the same symptoms will occur, but the person doesn't quite lose consciousness.

    During the true syncope episode, when the person is unconscious, there may a few twitches of the body which may be confused with seizure activity. The person may have some confusion after wakening but it should resolve within a few seconds.
    After a syncopal episode, there should be a quick return to normal mental function, though there may be other signs and symptoms depending upon the underlying cause of the faint. For example, if the individual is in the midst of a heart attack, he or she may complain of chest pain or pressure.
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I know one specific person that can post countless number of posts that offend without even getting dizzy. Won't mention any names but it rhymes with ThingDumpet.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  7. codyb226

    codyb226 Banned

    Mar 9, 2011
    Florida, US
    nevermind......stupid laptop.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  8. Dave Hughes

    Dave Hughes Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 19, 2010
    Rochester, NY
    Took me a second, there.

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