Trumpet Playing May Be Dangerous to Your Health.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Majestic1, Dec 12, 2007.

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  1. Pete

    Pete Piano User

    Nov 17, 2007
    "Valsalva maneuver: A maneuver in which a person tries to exhale forcibly with a closed glottis (the windpipe) so that no air exits through the mouth or nose as, for example, in strenuous coughing, straining during a bowel movement, or lifting a heavy weight. The Valsalva maneuver impedes the return of venous blood to the heart." -

    If you do this while playing, you are doing it wrong. Arnold Jacobs talked about players who would do this.

    Initiating an attack of a note with no delay between inhale and exhale will most likely prevent this from happening.Some players inhale, bottle it up, and then exhale. This isn't good.

  2. carltonsstudent

    carltonsstudent New Friend

    May 2, 2007
    Richmond, VA
    I have wanted to discuss this issue for a long time but haven't because I am not sure my experience is completely valid for others. But anyway, here goes. I will tell you what I do because it seems to work for me.

    I retired 2 years ago at the age of 66. I learned to play the Maggio way from Carlton MacBeth, having taken from him for about 3 years in the 1956-59 time period. I decided to become a mathematician rather than a musician because I seemed to have much better talent in mathematics and because math opportunities always seemed to be there for me. I did, however, continue playing weekend jobs for severak years with my own 7 piece group in which every other person in the band was better than me. My drummer was at the top of the union list in the entire county, my bass man was the union steward and my piano man had worked the clubs of Las Vegas. Most of our jobs were 5 hour jobs because the crowds usually didn't want us to stop and would pass the hat for an additional hour.

    But I finally retired as a mathematician due to heart problems. The stress of development deadlines and managing a development team was really starting to bother me. A month after retiring I decided to start playing the trumpet again thinking that the deep breathing would be beneficial. For the first month I wasn't sure it was a good idea because I could really feel the stress on my heart. But then it started to ease up. Since then I have incorporated long daily walks with my trumpet playing and have discovered several things that I think are important.

    The first thing is that I think the walk is extremely important to my health. One time I decided to skip the walk and start practicing early in the morning. To my surprise my range was limited to G in the staff. This was a real surprise since I usually practice up to triple E. So I took my 3 three mile walk and when I got back from the walk my range was there and everything was working normally.

    The second thing is that I don't believe that trumpet playing is bad for your health. I think that the deep breathing and proper blowing is good for the heart. I have come to the conclusion, however, that no amount of warmup will compensate for a weakened cardio vascular system. The physical exercise is needed also and I consider it to be part of the warmup.

    I can tell when I not in shape to play by my tone which is not lively and the range which starts to show stress above the staff. My wife can hear it also. Fortunately, exercise brings the tone right back. Usually I check my self ten minutes or so before a student is to arrive to see if I am there. If not I do as much physical exercise in the house as I can, such as jogging in place, touch toes, etc.- any reasonable thing to get the heart pumping.

    Last night before the gig I knew I wasn't ready to play, so I found an empty room where I could be unobserved and I did these exercises for about an hour before the job started.

    Hope this helps
  3. Majestic1

    Majestic1 New Friend

    Dec 12, 2007

    ALLCHOPS Piano User

    Nov 14, 2003
    Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
  5. ccNochops

    ccNochops Piano User

    Sep 30, 2006
    White Marsh, VA
    Valvsaliva maneuver....I used this plenty of times as a kid when I ran out of valve oil..........
  6. Rain

    Rain New Friend

    Nov 16, 2007
    Kingston, TN

    no our ears dont bleed we are supposed to make everyone elses ears bleed!:D
  7. Rain

    Rain New Friend

    Nov 16, 2007
    Kingston, TN
    :lol: WOW, I can't wait to tell My band director that playing trumpet is bad for his health! I mean can we blame everything on trumpet playing, like grey hair or balding, I'll walk into band and declair triuphously " So its NOT us giving you grey hair!" LOL

    sorry I'm being a smart... lol :lol:
  8. bigdog

    bigdog Pianissimo User

    Jul 19, 2005
    okay here we go..............
    valsalva sounds nasty.........i like it
    glotiss or whatever sounds even nastier......... i still like it

    i'm NOT selling my horns / i play valve bone too, does the val thing apply to that also ?
    come on, playing the trumpet does a lotta stuff to you / i like the head rush and learned to control it / i like the head rush, oops, said that already
    did i mention the mean head rush you get ?
    i like it
    valsalver foreveerrrrrrr.........
    quick somebody slap me,you glotiss you.........
  9. Majestic1

    Majestic1 New Friend

    Dec 12, 2007
    I had no idea until now as to what the detrimental effects of VM were.

    As I look back and on a person note, I was accepted into one of the top ten Ivy Liege (sp) colleges wherein one has to be a top thinker in all subjects. I was playing my horn more than ever before and at that same time I could not get my head together to comprehend my other subjects. I withdrew from college before I failed. After taking a hiatus from trumpet playing, I went back to college and succeed with no problem.

    This constant inhibition of blood to the heart and brain seems to lower one’s IQ …. at best on a temporary basis. I am sure that this type of inhibition to one’s system could develop into a permanent condition if the heart and brain were faced with a lack of blood all the time.

    I am sure that there is a great grandmother out there so to speak who has been smoking for 90 years and has not had a sick day in her life; however, judging from the responses to this thread so far, I can say that this is not the case.
  10. Schwab

    Schwab Mezzo Piano User Staff Member

    Feb 26, 2004
    Majestic1, that last post is absurd.
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