Tearing Sounds!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Soppy, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. Soppy

    Soppy Member

    I've asked quite a few people about this problem, and I'm considering going to the Doctors about it, but I thought I'd try here first!

    I have a problem whereby when I'm playing sometimes, mainly but not exclusively in the middle and upper registers, I get tearing sounds in my throat! It will start as an occasional high pitch buzz, a bit like when you blow on the corner of a piece of paper. This will happen intermittantly and I will loose some air flow.

    After a while, or when I try and play really high or loud (but not always so, and it can happen when not playing high or loud), I'll get a deep tearing sound. Imaging tearing a piece of paper, but with a deeper, thicker sound and slightly muffled. My air flow will just totally cut off, and I can't play. I take my cornet away and can breath fine though. It feels like the top of my throat, starting from where the nose joins the mouth, is swollen up and getting in the way. This feeling can last from minuites to hours. Whilst the first sound won't be accompianied by pain, the deeper tearing noise will be briefly uncomfortable. I can play a minute or so afterwards, but it will often keep happening. It happened just the once though today luckily.

    It first happened at around Christmas 2 years ago, and the problem kept re-occuring frequently for about 2 months, and then went. It's started up again this week, and today I got the full on treatment for the first time. It's totally random really, but it has happen when I've been playing a solo, which meant I had to stop- not good! :(

    I though it might be my synuses (sp), but having tried using Albas Oil to make sure they're clear, and it hasn't helped, so it's not that.

    Has anybody else had a similar problem, or have any idea, because I don't?!!!

    Last edited: Aug 30, 2004
  2. LeDragon

    LeDragon Active Member

    Could it be a problem with your adenoids (spelling!)? I'm no expert, but i'm aware that these can cause problems with the nose, maybe leading to the throat?
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2004
  3. stephen2001

    stephen2001 Member

    I used to suffer something similar when I played a lot with school bands and the like, but now I'm playing less, I've not had any problems for a while.
    I would be very interested to know what causes it and if there is any cure.
  4. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Dehydration? If the mucous membranes are not sufficiently moist they may not be able to maintain proper seals under pressure. I certainly don't for one minute pretend to be an expert, but it seems to be a generally accepted medical fact that many people don't routinely drink enough water (beer doesn't count, unfortunately; nor does tea/coffee!)

    It's just an idea, but why don't you try making a conscious effort to drink water regularly throughout the day (I forget the BMC recommendation; isn't it about 2 litres or something?) and see if that makes any difference.

    I've always found it best to avoid "Olbas" and other de-congestant medications as far as possible, since generally they seem to increase the "drying-out" effect. - but maybe that's just me.
  5. stephen2001

    stephen2001 Member

    I drink water like a fish, but personally, that didn't seem to help me when I was having problems playing.
    Might work for some people though, don't let me put you off!
  6. Soppy

    Soppy Member

    I do suffer a lot from a dry mouth when playing, and will easily get through a 1/2 litre bottle of water and a load of starburst sweets (to help keep my mouth moist) in a concert/ 2 hour rehersal. But how long does it take to re-hydrate? If it takes several hours, that could well be it as I don't drink much water at all sometimes (but I don't drink anything else like tea or alcohol to make up for it).

    And the sound is more airy than I described, so that would go with a lack of sealing.

    I'll give it a go.


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