Re: Air problem

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Posted by Oystein baadsvik on September 02, 1999 at 07:51:25:

In Reply to: Air problem posted by Dan Bryce on August 31, 1999 at 22:06:18:

Been there too.
After a few months of this, my throat went sore that it hurt badly while drinking coke..

What's the reason for this very common habit?
This is my theory:
It is a reflex. The same mechanism that allows babies up to six months to be under water without getting water in their loungs. (called babyswimming) The glottis used as a closing device. Both for the babies and for the grown up tubasplayers it appears when the body feels it needs to keep the air in the loungs. Tubist experience it mostly when they are about play with a too small air supply.

There is a very simple way of dealing with it. Fill the loungs properly before playing. Heard it before? :) That way you make the body feel it has enough, and the risk of the closing reflex to appear is minimalized.

How to practice it?
As you would do with any other new habit. Do a 20 min session each day, consentrating on doing only this right. Never during this session allow yourself to fill the loungs half way or use glottis to close. Do everything right! This requires extremely easy playing material so that this will be the ONLY challenge. After this 20 min just forget about it the rest of the day, also when playing. Do NOT attempt to practice this while playing real music in the beginning. After some months, the results of the 20 min daily drill will slowly start to affect the rest of your playing. You have got yourself a new habit.

Best wishes,


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