SYOS

tired muscle

1954pip

Member
Messages
124
hi to every one
i've been playing for about weeks now just starting to get my head round when the saints come in:mrcool.
when i play for about an hour i get a strange feeling at the back of the throat /nose like there is some thing there,>:) a bit like flem at the back of the throat ,if i try to carry on it's like i can't hold on to the air and i just go to c-rp so stop and leave it.
any tips ideas
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,664
I think you've answered your own question. It's probably a tired muscle and so practice will strengthen it. Hopefully.
It's not something that I've ever come across. No doubt someone else will know more than I do!
 

JasonC

Member
Messages
217
I've had a similar problem while trying a new reed which was a little harder than I normally play but sounded great. The first hour or so of playing on it there was no problem and then gradually it got harder and harder to blow and then eventually I struggled finding the air at all, with a funny feeling at the back of my throat.

What reed strength are you using? maybe try something weaker unless you already at the weakest, in which case it will just take some time to build up whatever muscle is needed to stop the problem, which is what I'm aiming to do when I get some time back to practice more.
 

1954pip

Member
Messages
124
hi jason i am using rico royal2 at the mo i have been playing around with reeds to see which i prefer and the royal seems to help me play better, i have noticed that i am not using my mouth so much and started to use my throat is that right may be i am starting to get it and will need to build some muscle in my throat ,
it's hard to explain but i feel like when i open my throat the sounds a lot better,but it's early days yet
please reply as any ideas wecome, i need all the help i can get at this stage
thanks for reply
pip
 
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Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,093
Hi Pip,

It took me a long time before I was able to play for an hour, in the early days it was literally minutes before everything ached! The Saints was the first thing I learnt from Pete's video and I can remember it being quite a challenge at the time.

This morning I must be driving everyone in ear shot mad because all I've been doing is long tones and experimenting with articulation! But in doing all this I was reminded of your post about the strange feeling you got in the back of the throat. I'm no expert but I'd suggest first you look to see if the strap is correctly adjusted, if it's too low or too high the tendency is to try and compensate with the tongue and soft parts of your mouth, this could lead to the strange sensation you described. I've just been playing around with the strap height and by bringing it up a fraction I get a much clearer tone, and there I was getting more and more disheartened by my nasily tone over these last months and part of the issue was the strap height!

Is your tongue in a position as though you are saying "EE" or is it higher like "AH" or perhaps lower like "AW" I'd suggest "EE" would be a good middle ground which shouldn't be over manipulating the softer parts of your throat.

Best of luck,

Chris
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,558
I'm impressed that after playing for a few weeks you can play for an hour. I've been practicing 3 times a day for at least 30 minutes for 22 months and still struggle to play for an hour.
Strap length - my teacher got me to stand straight against a wall, keeping my heels, shoulders and head on the wall. Pull the strap up so the mouthpiece fits square into the mouth, no slouching or leaning. I was surprised just how high the sax needs to be, but it works - far less tiring on the face.
Embouchure - because my face was aching regularly, my teaching had a close look at my embouchure - I used to puff my cheeks out, but she got me to imagine that I was smiling slightly at the mouthpiece, and make a concerted effort not to puff my cheeks out.
Taken together, these 2 steps have made a significant difference to my endurance in only a few weeks. I still struggle after about 40 minutes, but can keep going for an hour at band practice.
 
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