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Trumpet Discussion Discuss My throat... in the General forums; A problem I've had since I started playing, and should've addressed many years ago, is that as I begin to ...
  1. #1
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    Jan 2007

    My throat...

    A problem I've had since I started playing, and should've addressed many years ago, is that as I begin to ascend in range, my throat has a tendancy to close up. While it was always an issue, I want to correct it now as I begin a more serious adventure with my horn.

    What exercises can I do to get me out of this habit.

  2. #2
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    Jan 2007
    Houston, Texas

    Re: My throat...

    One exercise I use when I have the same problem is to tilt my head back, open my mouth as wide as I can and inhale/exhale slowly. While doing this feel how open the throat is and then try playing again while focusing on maintaining the open feeling in the throat. This exercise worked wonders for me. I hope it helps you as well.

    Bb: Bach 37 Raw Brass
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  3. #3
    Pianissimo User Magnusverdixon's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    Columbus, Ohio

    Re: My throat...

    Think of smelling a Rose ... that sensation in yout throat is what you want to maintain.

    Russell Dixon
    Yamaha YTR-8340EM Custom Trumpet
    Monette Prana (LT) BL-2J mouthpieces

  4. #4
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: My throat...

    This is stuff for a good teacher. Your "throat" cannot actually "close" but all the muscles can become very tense and your vocal chords can be very uncooperative.
    Playing tense usually means you are moving too quickly. Slow down!

    Exhale through the mouth until you have run out of air, inhale deeply through the nose and immediately exhalethrough the mouth without holding the air in. Practice this without the horn until it works then replace the second exhale with play without tonguing. Critical is NOT HOLDING THE AIR IN!!! Play long tones this way until they reliably speak. Tonguing comes after you master relaxed sound production.
    Get a good teacher - they need to keep an eye on your body use too!
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2004

    Re: My throat...

    Although I know what you mean, Magnus, the rose smelling thought may not be as effective only because it takes an inhale to achieve that idea. It's like Rowuk said, the throat can't technically close while exhaling but the tongue and muscles in the neck and face can make you feel as though it is closing.

    I can pretty well guarantee her stomach is tensing considerably as she ascends. That's mostly because of what we perceive to be necessary in order to plaqy in the upper register. The body takes care of itself pretty nicely until we get in the way. We get in the way when we tense our ab area or overmanipulate the embouchure. It's very hard to let go of that kind of stuff when it comes to blowing through a resistant set of tubings.

    What she has to do is blow freely against nothing, no resistance and come to understand that playing a trumpet should feel no differently (well, that's the ideal, anyways) irrespective of the register. Eliminating as much resistance as possible is the aim. Some people like a lot of resistance but I don't and I think it's easier to play trumpet when you can float the air instead of push on it.


  6. #6
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    Jun 2006

    Re: My throat...

    Quote Originally Posted by PrettyT View Post

    What exercises can I do to get me out of this habit.
    Get a breathing tube. A plastic pipe about 3/4" in diameter and a couple inches long. Stick it between your mouth and breath in and out very relaxed through it. (the MacGyver way...use a toilet paper or paper towel roll). This is a very easy way to experience relaxed breathing. This may not be the holy grail you're searching for but it is an easy little exercise to try that I think will help you on your way. Take a couple full breaths on the tube before you play any thing and see if you notice a difference...


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