My throat sometimes hurts when playing, and when not playing

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Vstern, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. Vstern

    Vstern New Friend

    Jul 25, 2010
    I'm in my junior year of high school and marching band. I can honestly say that I have grown as a trumpeter (may have been a result of consistant practicing). However, my neck/throat feels achy when I play, and when I'm not playing. I know how to breathe from the bottom up, and I do it naturally, but my neck still feels achy. I don't think that I'm pushing the mouthpiece against my lips and tensing up, but I do get out of breath with show run-throughs.

    Also, how might I increase endurance and get used to that out of breath feeling? I play the second trumpet part in marching band and it isn't too demanding. However for most of the first song there are constant staccato eighth notes, The highest note I have to play is an A, which is at least a half note, in the fourth and final song. Playing at a stand-still is no problem, but marching, even though easier than last year is another issue.
  2. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    It sounds like you are creating tension in your neck when you are playing. Marching only can make matters worse. I suggest you get with a good teacher who can help you.
  3. Back at it

    Back at it Pianissimo User

    Feb 12, 2010
    Western, NY
    Tension in the throat. Back part of the tongue or the vocal chords. a very important factor in playing is relaxation, often overlooked by your age group. Marching band will not help the concept of relaxation when playing. Focus the air at the front of the mouth. You may find you are trying to cut the air at the back of the throat, focus on the front of the mouth, tension only where it belongs everything else relaxed.
  4. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    All that pressure and nowhere to go!!
    Let me ask:
    Why do you feel it necessary to tense up when you play?
    I know many trumpet players that can play quite loud and in the stratosphere and this tense-ness that you describe isn't there.
    You have to learn to relax!
    At the present time, you're using the trumpet as a "musical weapon". I'm pretty sure you know that I mean by this term since many of us(myself included) have went through this "stage of development".
    However, once you get the hang of it, you'll understand that it doesn't take a lot of force or straining to "sing through the horn". Actually, it takes just about the opposite.
    When you play, sing through the horn.
    Think about it, your neck doesn't swell when you sing or yell to your friend a block away does it? Of course not.
    Here's what to do:
    *First and foremost Make sure you pay close attention to your studies (that's what this stuff is, right?) Make sure your brain is engaged and free of distractors.
    *Watch Urban Agnes videos (free) about "Flow"
    *Read Mouthpiece Pressure Assessment
    *When you play, pay attention to where tension develops. Once you notice it, continue to play but work on relaxing that area.
    *When you play, don't use so much mouthpiece pressure(another big area of potential tension). Use the corners of the lips to manipulate the pitch higher and lower
    *When you play "sing through the horn"
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2010
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Sounds like a classic case of crappy breathing to me. All of the signs are there. There is no way to really "fill up from the bottom". The deep relaxed breath is significant. If your throat is tense, it is much more work to fill up. I am convinced that there is no internet solution for body use, That needs a one on one teacher
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2010
  6. Scatmanblues

    Scatmanblues Pianissimo User

    Jul 19, 2010
    West Texas
    I'm not going to re-type something I wrote elsewhere, but in addition to the very astute things noted above, you need to be sure that your marching technique is not interfering with your playing fundamentals. Your remark about being able to play fine while standing suggests to me that even more than a "tension in your throat" issue, it's an "its impossible to play and breath in a relaxed manner with poor marching technique" issue.

    If you can't march smoothly and your body's core muscles are not strong enough to support you then no change in your playing fundamentals will have any appreciable impact on your problems. If you develop proper marching technique you will likely see a dramatic improvement in endurance with no change in playing mechanics at all.

    See some suggestions in my posts here:


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