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Beginner Nose itches big time when I play, any thoughts?

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This is not a joke - it is a supreme act of worship. Does anyone else have this problem. Any thoughts about what might cause it?
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
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interestingly....I have never had this problem until today...
however, today I was practicing long, long notes.
My teacher is getting me to work on my technique, and I have been set homework to practice long notes, and today I got an itchy nose, I found myself rubbing it after each long note.
Very odd.
I have a mouthpiece patch.
This was on my bari, I have yet to try on my alto.
No suggestions to the OP however.
 

rotate

Member
Messages
49
Thanks for replies.

interestingly....I have never had this problem until today...
however, today I was practicing long, long notes.
My teacher is getting me to work on my technique, and I have been set homework to practice long notes, and today I got an itchy nose, I found myself rubbing it after each long note.
Very odd.
I have a mouthpiece patch.
This was on my bari, I have yet to try on my alto.
No suggestions to the OP however.
That is very interesting indeed. *Long* notes, i.e. notes that put a lot of stress on the circulation/lungs?? I have a theory about this thing because I also get a feeling of lack of blood to the head - it is not hyperventilation, the rubbish you normally get served up with in this sort of context. Athletes, after a race, lean forward in a characteristic posture with their hands on their knees - this is the sensation.

It seems to me that the saxophone is somehow robbing the head of resources. Nice to know the mechanism of this. Surely there must be someone who is a genuine student of anatomy and does not talk drivel?

The itching of the nose provokes scratching the nose. The purpose of the itching would therefore seem to be to increase the circulation of blood inside the nose. Perhaps therefore the circulation of the blood in the nose (and presumably head and neck) has been diminished by the saxophone.

Let's work this out, our lives could depend on it.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Thanks for replies.



That is very interesting indeed. *Long* notes, i.e. notes that put a lot of stress on the circulation/lungs?? I have a theory about this thing because I also get a feeling of lack of blood to the head - it is not hyperventilation, the rubbish you normally get served up with in this sort of context. Athletes, after a race, lean forward in a characteristic posture with their hands on their knees - this is the sensation.

It seems to me that the saxophone is somehow robbing the head of resources. Nice to know the mechanism of this. Surely there must be someone who is a genuine student of anatomy and does not talk drivel?

The itching of the nose provokes scratching the nose. The purpose of the itching would therefore seem to be to increase the circulation of blood inside the nose. Perhaps therefore the circulation of the blood in the nose (and presumably head and neck) has been diminished by the saxophone.

Let's work this out, our lives could depend on it.
Reading this makes me wonder - are you relaxed or stiff when you blow? You should be relaxed, and doing little more than breathing out, driven by your stomach/diapragm, not tense ribs.
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
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3,557
I have also experienced the lightheadedness / wooziness (whatever you might call it). Once so severly that I had to sit down at band and wait for the world to come back to me! Fortunately i was only playing the alto, I suspect the bari could have taken both me and it down! Mind you that followed a very enthusiastic few bars.
I'm not sure that I can attribute that solely to the sax, though. I have (and always have had) low blood pressure. Some days I'm absolutely fine and on others everytime I move, the world is off on a spin!

And Kev, I think I'm relaxed - just a deep breath and a slow blow.
Oh and long notes on the alto this morning were fine.
 

ArtyLady

Well-Known Member
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1,030
I don't get an itchy nose or lightheadedness with the sax at all but strangely with the flute I often get a bit lightheaded - been playing for many years and never used to - so I always put it down to perhaps just being used to taking in so much air on the sax and doing the same with flute when maybe I don't need to?! :confused:
 

Gallen

Senior Member
Messages
397
I don't get an itchy nose or lightheadedness with the sax at all but strangely with the flute I often get a bit lightheaded - been playing for many years and never used to - so I always put it down to perhaps just being used to taking in so much air on the sax and doing the same with flute when maybe I don't need to?! :confused:
I think I use the same capacity of air for sax or flute - probably a tad more on flute - and I do get lightheaded with the flute at times. Haven't had that with the sax though, backpressure and all. Itchchyness.... hmm I've encountered that with the low tones when the whole sax is reverberating. Don't remember it recently though...
 

rotate

Member
Messages
49
Thanks kevgermany - relaxed, no ribs - I'll do that. :)

I have also experienced the lightheadedness / wooziness (whatever you might call it). Once so severly that I had to sit down at band and wait for the world to come back to me! Fortunately i was only playing the alto, I suspect the bari could have taken both me and it down! Mind you that followed a very enthusiastic few bars.
I'm not sure that I can attribute that solely to the sax, though. I have (and always have had) low blood pressure. Some days I'm absolutely fine and on others everytime I move, the world is off on a spin!

And Kev, I think I'm relaxed - just a deep breath and a slow blow.
Oh and long notes on the alto this morning were fine.
So is that the explanation, lowering of the blood pressure? That would reduce the blood supply to the head and neck presumably - you need a high pressure to get the blood up high. It seems consistent with my theory above.

A poor blood supply to the the head, such as is associated with diabetes for example, is famously associated with 'emotional lability': given to tears or laughter with little prompting. Might this account for the dodgy reputation that saxophonists seem to have?

It is very interesting that some sort of faintness as it were seems a common experience.
 
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