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!