Resistance/Pressure

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Ian000450, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. Ian000450

    Ian000450 Pianissimo User

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    Aug 28, 2009
    Oklahoma, USA
    Hey guys, I have been having a problem this summer! So some background: I am a Senior and I play top split lead in the marching band (up to a high D). I also have braces.

    I got my braces last July and marched lower split lead and started playing Lead in Jazz band last school year. (I feel I should mention that we are taught at my school to use the abs to increase our volume of air and in turn, our range/volume. My instructor has actually said that I should try not to overdue this as it can cause hernias, but I don't know any other way to push the amount of air I need) I originally noticed (around last October) getting some pressure in my cheeks(think Dizzy Gillespie) but I was able to get rid of that and didn't feel any bad resistance, and then a few months later I started to notice some pressure in the back of my mouth/throat in Jazz band. It didn't feel too odd, I use to think it was just me lowering my tongue to achieve a somewhat darker/fuller tone(told to do this by the sax playing director), but I realized that this was something different.

    Forward to late June or early July, and I have these "Fred's" or, I would call them, power chains. They are just these metal rods that connect my upper teeth to the lower on both sides. After receiving them and going to practice I noticed an increased resistance or pressure in my throat. When we began Band Camp this august and began marching and playing, I began to get light headed very easily(which hasn't happened the past 3 years) and oddly enough, I was able to hear my heartbeat very clearly while playing. After talking to the resident Trumpet-playing band director, he told me to see if I was putting resistance into my chest/throat instead of my abs. After paying attention in the next reps, I realized I was, So the next couple of days I was very attentive and made sure to use my abs instead, and I didn't get light headed anymore. Then, yesterday, we had our end of camp performance for alumni and parents, so I was trying my hardest to make sure I got all of my higher stuff out cleanly for the performance. Well, I woke up today with a very sensitive/sore throat. I believe it originated from the playing in camp the past couple of weeks.

    I guess what I'm here to ask is, are the abs an okay place to put resistance or pressure? Should I be getting this pressure at all? Any tips? I believe that the past couple of days I have overextended my self and just used poor habits (placing the resistance in my throat) to get volume and range for the marching show, as I have never had problems before using my abs. I believe the braces may be a factor but I could be wrong.

    (To clarify on the throat problem, it is sensitive/slightly painful to swallow today, especially on the right side)

    So sorry for the wall of text! Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    What's your physical fitness like?

    It does sound more an exercise/strength/aerobic issue than a musical one
     
  3. Ian000450

    Ian000450 Pianissimo User

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    Aug 28, 2009
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    Overweight, but I haven't had any problems the past three years. And the drill we have right now is by no means the hardest we have had before.
     
  4. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    Lagos, Nigeria
    It sounds like you're having to gasp for breath so hard, you're damaging your throat lining, and part starving your brain of oxygen (the feeling faint bit). There are also issues of tensing up your neck and shoulders when these should be fully relaxed.

    There's one or two medical experts on the site who I'm sure will be able to give you sound qualified advice shortly.
     
  5. Ian000450

    Ian000450 Pianissimo User

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    Thanks. I was hoping gmonady or TrumpetMD would be around some time for any advice. Hopefully its just a temporary problem I can fix.
     
  6. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi Ian,
    You asked:
    "I guess what I'm here to ask is, are the abs an okay place to put resistance or pressure? Should I be getting this pressure at all? Any tips?
    -----
    While on the surface it would be easy to say it is wrong to use abdominal pressure, there's probably a bit more to it than that. Air comes in basically three varieties, air speed, air volume, are compression.
    Air speed generally determines the note
    Air volume determines well....volume
    Air compression determines the hotness of the sound (like when Maynard would bite off a note)
    I would recommend reading Ray of Power.
    Hope this helps
    Dr.Mark
     
  7. Ian000450

    Ian000450 Pianissimo User

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    Aug 28, 2009
    Oklahoma, USA
    Is that where you put focus on the base of the spine? I think I have read it before but I am unsure... Could you link it or explain more? I'm interested. (Thank you, Dr. Mark)

    And, now I feel pretty dumb, I realized I could just have a sore throat. I have been having some allergy problems recently...

    But still, I wonder about the placing of the resistance. I remember talking to my instructor about how different pros did it (Dizzy in his cheeks, Maynard in his throat) and the affects they can have. I just wonder if I am suffering those effects right now or if i will. Is this resistance a result of "incorrect" playing style or position or embouchure, or does everyone have this? Could mine just be amplified by the braces? I remember there was a junior when I was a freshman and when he got his braces his cheeks began puffing out while playing. I just want to make sure I am not developing any poor or detrimental habits.
     
  8. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

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    Well, I must say I am no fan of braces which, IMHO, are fitted far to often by dentists out for a quick dollar. I was threatened with them in my childhood, but refused them, and my parents let the matter slide, as it would have been more or less cosmetic and there was no serious issue at stake. Today, I have very flat front teeth (i.e. the front teeth are in a straight line), and I have got a feeling that that is not at all bad for trumpet playing! In fact, my thoughts this way were confirmed by a dentist who has regularly been treating the brass players of the Vienna Philharmonic... So I would recommend seeing a second dentist and getting another opinion as to
    1) whether the braces are really really necessary and
    2) whether they are properly fitted.
    It seems to me that they impede your natural way of breathing... not only while playing, but in normal life, and that can be a serious issue at night. You might actually be in danger of suffocating in a deep sleep (it has happened before). They certainly should not make your throat sore!
     
  9. Ian000450

    Ian000450 Pianissimo User

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    Aug 28, 2009
    Oklahoma, USA
    I wish I could let them slide but I feel as if mine were actually somewhat necessary. I had a MASSIVE overbite (it has gotten better but still exits) and my teeth were so misaligned that it blocked one from growing out. My teeth blocked a lot of my airflow, which unfortunately seems to be somewhat effected by braces now. But my range actually had a sudden increase after I got used to my braces... (I know that it is not necessarily that at all, just thought I would add that).

    And trust me, I am not a fan of braces either!
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2013
  10. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Apr 5, 2011
    I have been having some allergy problems recently...
    -------------------------
    1.During this time of the year, I always use Allegra before I play
    2.If you type in Ray of Power in the advanced search it should take you to where you need to be.
     

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