Plagued with shaky tone; not tired, don't know why

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Vstern, May 15, 2012.

  1. Vstern

    Vstern New Friend

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    I have a distinctly shaky tone when I play. It's obvious when I warmup, but it happens even on the first few notes and occasionally goes away. I do a few minutes of long tones through the whole warmup session, through the low to high range. My whole practice session, minus music that I need to know: warmup long tones; slurs (mid to high range); long tones (I play two or three scales several times; eight counts each note; double octave if lower than a C scale). If I'm tired or very shaky, I will rest then continue at whatever I note I left. I rest a lot more often between scales, long tones, exercises, etc. than I used to.

    Previously, when I felt a burning/achiness, I would continue playing just to the end of the scale if doing long tones, but by that point, I was already on the lower octave if I were doing a two octave scale.
     
  2. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

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    How old are you?
     
  3. patkins

    patkins Forte User

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    Could be anything from nerves, too much caffeine, dehydration, to general fatigue. You need to get an instructor to watch you play and maybe the correct answer will come and the issue resolved.
     
  4. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

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    If I play after morning coffee, but before eating breakfast, it can be shaky.
     
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Shaky tone means either bad breathing, bad body use, deficient tongue control or weak chops - or any combination thereof.

    I normally start students on breathing and body use. Most of the time everything else follows.
     
  6. Vstern

    Vstern New Friend

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    I'm in my early twenties. This was never a problem a few years ago; it started only a few months ago. The only recent change was my warmup. I initially did long tones; four months ago I did slurs instead for the very first thing I did; I went back to long tones three months ago. This shaky tone was no problem until around the warmup change. My jaw sometimes twitches when I play; that will then make the sound shaky, but I'm not tired then. It happens when I've only recently picked up the horn. I cannot get a teacher at the moment. I smile a lot, sometimes to the point that I feel twitches if I continue to do so. I never smiled before as much as I do now, but I have no reason to do so; it just happens especially when I meet acquaintances. Could that be a problem?
     
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    This sound like it could be a tic (not the bug but a trained reflex of the muscle). There are several ways of breaking this if it is a tic, mind control, hypnotism, cognitive reinforcement. But then there is a pharmacological way. Consider taking a 25 mg dose of benadryl about 25 minutes before you begin warm ups, and do start with long tones. Caution, benadryl can make you sleepy, so don't plan on trying this if you have a busy day ahead of you our you have to read or study important information. If you try this, do let me know how it turns out. You will not have to take it that long. I would guess in about a week. Then the tic should be broken, and you can play again drug free.
     
  8. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Oh, only if you have muscle twitchs anywhere else would I worry that you have a more serious medical problem. Do let me know if you have twitches in any other muscle groups.
     
  9. chenzo

    chenzo Piano User

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    I am no expert ...................
    But when warming up with my long tones playing softly and I produce a unsecured sound....That is shaky.. uncentered sound or just doesn't feel right .
    It is most likely the lack of support with the air, I stop relax , refocus try again, until all things gel.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2012
  10. Pat S

    Pat S Piano User

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    Same here. I do the same for the first few minutes of warm-up, then I get my air flow evened out.
     

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