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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,

I've just upgraded from a Yamaha 4C mouthpiece to a Yanagisawa No. 6 Ebonite. Whilst practising my long tones I'm finding that I'm getting pains across my back (more specifically on my left side). Is it possible that I'm overdoing it and placing pressure on my left lung somehow? Should I just 'work through' the pain or take a break from long tones? The more I persist the worse it gets, so I find that if I take a break from the long tones and practice a few tunes instead, it eases the pain. As a late bloomer, my ould lungs prob aint what they should be anyway, although I'm pretty healthy and exercise regularly without any problems.

Although its early days, I'm definately preferring the tone the No. 6 gives me. Whilst trying it out in the shop I was told that I'm well able for it and my teacher seems to agree. He says it'll take a while for me to adjust to a more open mouthpiece.

Any advice appreciated.

Audrey
 

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When you switched mouthpieces, did you also switch reeds?
 

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Yeah, but you were used to them on the Yamaha mouthpiece. They probably behave rather differently on Yanagisawa beak. I'd step down a notch (following the logic that an open mouthpiece wants a softer reed). Or switch brands altogether, maybe a Hemke, who knows?
 

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Hi there,

I've just upgraded from a Yamaha 4C mouthpiece to a Yanagisawa No. 6 Ebonite. Whilst practising my long tones I'm finding that I'm getting pains across my back (more specifically on my left side). Is it possible that I'm overdoing it and placing pressure on my left lung somehow? Should I just 'work through' the pain or take a break from long tones? The more I persist the worse it gets, so I find that if I take a break from the long tones and practice a few tunes instead, it eases the pain. As a late bloomer, my ould lungs prob aint what they should be anyway, although I'm pretty healthy and exercise regularly without any problems.

Although its early days, I'm definately preferring the tone the No. 6 gives me. Whilst trying it out in the shop I was told that I'm well able for it and my teacher seems to agree. He says it'll take a while for me to adjust to a more open mouthpiece.

Any advice appreciated.

Audrey
If you lean to the side while practicing you are most likely straining the muscles on that side of your spine and not putting pressure on your lung.
Usually issues with 'lungs' are felt inside the chest.
If the problem persists I would suggest a visit to your primary physician for a chest X-ray or MRI.
 

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there is a trumpet method book of Breathing Exercises by James Stamp.

they are excellent....I recommend them for ALL wind instrumentalists!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone for the advice. I've dropped down to a size two reed for the time being, which seems to be helping. Also, I woke this morning with pains across my back and for the first time I realised that I'd been sleeping on my back with my left arm under my head, supporting it, which I suspect maybe the cause of the problem (think that would echo what you've suggested Bandmommy). I think a change of pillow might be in order! Will try some breathing exercises too. Thanks again to all.
 

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do you breathe through your diaphragm? it can hurt if pushing hard with shallow breath. doing situps help to strengthen your core, which supports the back and improve posture.
 

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do you breathe through your diaphragm? it can hurt if pushing hard with shallow breath. doing situps help to strengthen your core, which supports the back and improve posture.
I usually breathe through my mouth, or through my nostrils... ;-)

Anyhow, do bear in mind that EXHALING is just as important as INHALING (not in a Clintonian sense), and sometimes this gets forgotten. Sometimes you have excess air in your lungs even if the O2 in there is exhausted, so you need to actively breathe out. Else you'll get stitches (that's the word?), and it often happens with a new mouthpiece/reed combination (or from switching from bass to soprano or somesuch) that your used-to air household gets messed up and you need to re-learn things a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks again Madhag and tictactux. I do indeed do situps and some core work in the gym. Breathing through the diaphragm is a work in progress however, it doesn't come naturally! Interesting point about exhaling. I'll certainly keep that in mind. Cheers again!
 
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