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throat leaking? hard to explain

5125 Views 25 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Seasax
whenever playing a quite long piece, occassionally i get this weird rumbling in the back of my throat and somehow i breath out through my nose aswell as my mouth, it is quite painful and also means i have to stop playing immediately,
any ideas?
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i dont really play enough tenor to know, my main current focus is alto
I used to get that. I would play until I reached that point and I would have to stop. It was on alto only. What was happening with me was the condoyle in the jaw joint was getting squished causing a chain reaction throughout the facial muscles. (Its like your pinky finger being constantly pulled. Eventually pain will develop up the arm.) It stoped when I was diagnosed with an impropper bite and given a retainer at night to correct the jaw position. The root cause was all my teeth grew in the wrong position even though they looked perfect. That forced the jaw in the wrong position ...

There are many different possibilities for muscles to tire so easily. Allergies can swell up the muscles as well making them tired. I used a doctor, dentist, and an osteopath was the most helpfull in directing me in breaking bad muscle habits.
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I would go to a doctor and make sure there isn't a serious problem. People sometimes have abnormalities that wouldn't show up in normal life but do when exerting extra pressure due to wind instruments. Michael Brecker had such a throat abnormality (don't ask me the details, but I'm sure you could find it on the web).

Just check with a doctor before you start blowing your throat out every day to make sure you're not exacerbating a serious condition.
I had that on tenor - i was using a .130 mouthpiece with #4 reeds -- that was the problem -- I went down to a .110 and 3.5 and it fixed my throat problems
Whew! Thank goodness I've always been partial to 2 and 2 1/2 reeds with 6 and 7* mpcs. I never had to work like a trojan just to get a hard-to-control sound, develop health problems. :)
That reminds me of when I blew my mouth out ~16-17 years ago. It was all coming back up my nose!

That's when I used a Lakey mouthpiece therapeutically until I could blow harder again.
I had the same problem, seemed to come from "overpressure". ;)

Just take a piece that has more power, or try do play softer reeds, to make that pressure impossible without closing.
My overblowing resulted in pleurisy - I thought I was having a heart attack. I got rushed to the hospital, wired up on the monitors... the whole deal.

I was playing in an electric fusion band in the early 80's and trying to compete with amplified everything. That was scary stuff. It hasn't recurred in 20 years - nor do I play in situations that loud any more.
any more ideas? i will get checked out when im next at a dentist, but the problem has just been getting worse and worse since i posted this and is really holding me back.
Isn't that the same(or similar) problem as what Brecker had?
I thought I read somewhere (SOTW?) that it was the genesis of Dave Guardala's original design for the Brecker model mpcs. A powerful piece that didn't need as much pressure to zound good...:cool:
this happens to me sometimes when i'm on a long gig. i'm glad i'm not the only one but i think it is that the muscles get fatigued and it causes a rasping sound in the back of the throat and can make your eyes water a bit because it is uncomfortable. It could also be as mentioned above the position of the bit or how the teeth sit in the gums...
I've had that problem also. Mostly when I'm fatigued or just plain out of shape. It happened on a gig a few weeks ago. I had not played much the week before. Funny thing is, one of the band members (guitar player) said after the gig "that was a cool nasty sound you had going there".
just an interesting add on, i tried gurgling with some water after i had got that problem and the water just trickled down my throat, making me gag, instead of staying in my mouth until i consciously swallow.
I had this same problem for a little while (I'm a beginner). My teach had me change my emb. and airstream and the problem went away, along with my jaw pain. I use the drawstring or 'anus' emb. and I guess there's something about the muscles being drawn forward that relieves the jaw pain.

..he said without the smallest trace of irony. :)
SearjeantSax said:
just an interesting add on, i tried gurgling with some water after i had got that problem and the water just trickled down my throat, making me gag, instead of staying in my mouth until i consciously swallow.
Sarg, not sure if it's the same problem or not but "nasal leakage" or something to that affect has been discussed on this forum and on the NASA discussion forum ( If this sounds like it might be what you are experiencing you might want to do a little searching for suggestions.
right thanks, that definately sounds right
well, this is the only thread where nasal leakage occurs on this forum, i will have a look at saxalliance in a min.
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