Air problem

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Posted by Dan Bryce on August 31, 1999 at 22:06:18:

I've found a nasty problem with my air flow that is driving me nuts. So I was hoping to enlist the aid of some of you master players and teachers. The problem is, I seem to be using my epiglotus(or glotus, I'm not sure which) to help me change smoothly between some notes. For example going from bottom of the staff G to A. Open to a 1 and 2. I've trained myself to make the transition reletively smoothly, but when I really slowed it down, I realized that for just a fraction of a second my epiglotus was shutting off the air supply. If you don't know what I mean, make a very light coughing noise. My guess is I started doing this as some form of funky tounging replacement thing, that was helping me to move more smoothly between notes. I don't do it on every note just the ones that go from less valves to more valves, or on leaps of 6 notes or more. If I slow it down a lot, I can force my self (with great effort) not to do it. But in the words of the great master Yoda, I must unlearn what I have learned, and retrain myself so I can do it naturally. The other thing I've been trying is mouthpeice work. That seems to really help. So my question is, Aside from stuffing a tube down my throat to keep the air passage open, (remember, this is not a problem with closing down the back of my throat.)How would you suggest I conquer this definate hinderance to my playing? (After I fix this I'll be perfect...riiiiggghhht.)How do you break bad tuba playing habits?

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