throat opened too much

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by frankmike, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. frankmike

    frankmike Piano User

    Dec 5, 2008
    Is it possible for throat to be too opened?

    I mean when I open my throat as much as I can although my sound gets fuller and richer -I lose half an octave in range

    why is that?
  2. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    boyles law....

    The property of a gas to expand to fill the space it is contained in... for a fixed amount of air it will be under higher pressure in a smaller oral cavity than a larger one.

    My guess is that your air pressure drops when you open up the throat (like the difference between the 'ssss' sound and the 'aaah' sound)

    Try increasing upward diaphram sharply and lift your shoulders when opening the throat to maintain consistent air pressure. Roger Ingram has some videos on youtube about this.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    First of all, your throat (trachea) is made of cartilidge and can't be "opened". Your oral cavity does have some stretchability though.

    You lose your range only because you are doing things wrong when playing normally. Anything that is closer to relaxed will hurt range until you learn to play that way! All of the standard "tension" band-aids are handicapped.

    Actually, great playing is the organization of our body, mind and soul. When you just "change" something, the body compensates, changing everything else. It is possible to get a big sound up high and still be relaxed. For most players it involves massive reorganization.

    I would not recommend lifting the shoulders or messing with the diaphragm. Roger Ingram is an incredible player, but taking his message out of the context of his type of playing is not helpful. When you stand next to him, many things are obvious but not seen or felt in the YouTube video!
  4. DCIGene

    DCIGene New Friend

    Jan 3, 2010
    I totally agree. Thanks.
  5. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    this is true... a local private teacher will give you the best advice because they can see what you are doing and also demonstrate a concept... internet advice is worth what you pay for it!
  6. frankmike

    frankmike Piano User

    Dec 5, 2008
    this all gets really complicated. I practiced that open throat set-up (relaxed throat) in a place where I do not bother anyone (holiday house 40 minutes drive from home -located in the woods near the lake -next house is some 150 meters away) there I feel like I do not disturb anyone -and I can really play with full sound. And thats where I find out that I lost my range a bit

    But then I went back to my appartment (where I live) that is surrounded by other appartments -and my range improved. Could it be that I am unconsiously closing my throat in order not to disturb my neighbours. And with closed throat(tension in throat) I can play higher.

    Am I building bad habits while I play in appartment? Also while in appartment I play with mute (yamaha silent brass)

    Or could it be that mute improves my range????
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2011
  7. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    I doubt your throat is opening or closing because of where you're practicing.The throat dosen't work that way. You did say you use a mute in your apartment ,but play an open horn at your holiday house. The mute adds resistance, and the Yamaha silent brass is capable making you sound as if you're in a concert hall,while still sitting in your apartment. When you do practice with an open horn,and try to get the same sound,your trying to fill a large room,the woods being an exceptionally large one,the tendency is to over blow.This will negatively affect your range and endurance.Most musicians,regardless of instrument will have a tendency to over blow ,if there is no feed back for them to hear.

    Trust your sound,don't try to fill the entire forest,your sound will carry. My guess is that you're building bad habits at your holiday house ,not in your apartment.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2011

    JNINWI Piano User

    Apr 26, 2011
    Rowuk is right on the money with this. I’m friends with Roger Ingram, have taken lessons from him, and played in bands with him. So I understand his way of playing almost 100%. There are many things in the “Trumpet Mechanics” of your body that has to happen to play this way. Simply opening your oral cavity, which DOES go down into your neck, and stops at your trachea, can actually damage your neck muscles, if you don’t support it correctly. Yes relaxing your neck so it expands to allow a free airflow during playing is very productive to air flow. If your range or any other aspect of your playing is showing negative effects from what your doing then something is being done incorrectly, and you most likely need a teacher that has the knowledge to look at you and help make corrections to your “Body Mechanics”. For instance, when my neck is relaxed, and open, and my head is in the correct position, my range is very easy and freeflowing, but if I'm not in that correct position my range is a lot harder to utilize, feels stuffy, and feels like I loose the overtones.
    As Rowuk said, taking Rogers message out of context is easy if you only watch his videos, and can injure muscles. Please be careful with this and seek a teacher for instruction. By the way Roger teaches and can be contacted and lessons set up. He is an incredible teacher and has the knack for being able to share his technique, which is not easy and does not work for everybody. But when you “Get it” is a wonderful way to play a horn, very effortless, very powerful, and TONS of fun !! :D
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2011
  9. herald4444

    herald4444 New Friend

    Jan 1, 2011
    There are a lot of good comments about the open throat here. With any wind instrument the resonance begins inside the lungs, and an open channel conducts that resonance. Playing without an open throat constricts the air flow between the lungs and the room in which you're playing. It's not a matter of whether to play with an open throat, but how to do it without compensating by tensing other muscles as someone mentioned above.
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I tend to agree with Rowuk's comment as well. When saying you are opening up your throat, do you mean opening up your mouth? This will expand your embouchure and will reset the demand on your lip muscles that had "memorized" a narrower position. This move will limit your range. With that said, if you like a more open embouchure (darker sound is likely) you will need to redevelop lip muscle in this position to regain your range.

    Now while the trachea IS a fixed ringed structure, it does have an epiglottis above the structure that nature gave us to protect our airway. You can close off the airway by changing the "tone" of your pharynx (stretchability of your oral cavity as noted by Rowuk) that will impact on the glottis positioning. But if the force of the airflow is strong enough, this should splint the glottis open. Of course your worse enemy is the valsalva maneuver. This will subconsciously close your glottis down. You will loose sound, and range if you tighten up you body so much that you clamp hard on your airway to performed a valsalva.

    Without seeing you play, it is hard for me to provide advice as to which mechanism is at play. But do consider all of these options in isolating the cause AND use the input from your teacher while watching you play -- You doooo have a teacher don't you?

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