Problems with Air and Nose



  • Rencently I have been having problems with my nose and air being that when I play air begins to come out of my nose. Which is distracting while playing and I lose a lot of air in the process. Does anyone know how to fix this or what the problem is?



  • Go to an E,N,T doctor?



  • ...OR come to me... I can always use more cash:

    ...OR not because here is your problem. You most likely have a hyper mobile soft palate or velopharyngeal Insufficiency. Many times, this relates from over playing prior to the problem starting Before you spend lots of cash on people like me, try these steps:

    1. Play with a good posture
    2. Rather than buzzing, try playing with the Dr O patented "vertical smile" with the coroners of you lips up (not out) or others have called this to "smile inside". This helps close off the pharyngeal passage
    3. Consider backing down the length of your practice sessions which may help eliminate the fatigue creating the insufficiency

    Hope this helps.


  • Global Moderator

    You may or may not have this issue, but it's worth considering:
    https://academic.oup.com/occmed/article/61/7/480/1461600

    I remember there was an article in the ITG journal several years ago about this very issue. It was written by the former professor of trumpet at Ithaca College (not Kim Dunnick, the other one). If anybody remembers where this article was, I perhaps still have the journal somewhere and can send you the article.



  • @administrator do you know if they ever came up with all treatment plan?



  • @Dr-GO Can you explain the “vertical smile” again just a bit confused.



  • @Carsen-Abraham
    Rencently I have been having problems with my nose and air being that when I play air begins to come out of my nose. Which is distracting while playing and I lose a lot of air in the process. Does anyone know how to fix this or what the problem is?

    An ENT is definitely a possibility but here's something to try before you make that appointment. Can you suck a soda from a bottle with a straw? Can you shoot a spit wad with a straw (No shooting spit wads at people please), can you sing without air going through your nose? If you can do these things then its probably not a medical problem. Unlike piano or guitar, we just can't pluck a string or push a key.
    This is one of the reasons we use imagery to help explain what we need a student to do.
    Here's what I want you to do;
    Air going through your nose as you send air through your mouth is something you've learned to do. I know it sucks but now you must unlearn this. Lucky for you the fix is an easy fix.
    Purse your lips and blow through them as if playing the trumpet. That means your abdominals are engaged. Not strained but firm as in "support. Now as you blow through your mouth, allow the air to go through your mouth and nose like it does when you play. When you do this, you'll feel something happen when you engage your nose. No joke, Its like something you can actually feel. Something must give way in the nose area for the air to escape through both nose and mouth. Once you figure this out, you can manipulate it. If you can manipulate it you can stop it. This is a very common problem and you are no where near the first trumpet player to have this issue. Once you've mastered this. When you play, imagine the sound coming out of the bell like a laser. Always find something to point the bell at and send the sound out of the bell like a laser. Now, in a couple of weeks (or sooner) we'd like to hear back from you as to how you're doing. You're lucky, this is a small esy fix. I just finished with a guy that learned this week he has oral cancer!
    Like I said, you're lucky. This is an easy fix.



  • @Dr-GO said in Problems with Air and Nose:

    I can always use more cash


    Damned straight! Everyone could use more Johnny Cash.



  • @Dr-GO
    Did you forget "play soft". If the palate is giving way (which it more than likely is). then playing soft can possibly help.



  • @Dr-Mark I can do everything except for sing without air coming out of my nose. Should I be trying to strengthen my soft palate so it doesn’t give out?



  • @Carsen-Abraham said in Problems with Air and Nose:

    @Dr-Mark I can do everything except for sing without air coming out of my nose. Should I be trying to strengthen my soft palate so it doesn’t give out?

    Carsen-Abraham. I searched PubMed and while there are articles (as our administrator posted) that tell you about the problem, there is little on reports of therapy. In the medical literature the most specific recommendation I could find is REST. They recommended 3 months of NO TRUMPET PLAYING. There is little comparison evidence to go full court press on this recommendation.

    While resting the pallet makes sense (that IS what we as physicians recommend for any sprain), ANOTHER option is to try to BUILD back the pallet. That is where the vertical smile comes into play.

    When most traditional trumpet players buzz, they are doing a lateral smile... they use muscles of the cheek and jaw that project East and West. I am recommending you use muscles that go North. The muscles of the cheek that insert into the zygimatic arch (bones along the lower eye sockets). Smile toward your eyes. THAT is a vertical smile. It pulls the pallet up not out. This will hopefully close the gap causing the air leak AND give you the BETTER TRUMPET embouchure that will increase your endurance with the minimum amount of strain. I have discussed this technique before on this TB forum (as well as on TM) as the Phwooooooo techniques as that is the sound this embouchure makes... not that inefficient disgusting buzz that most trumpet players seem to have drilled into their heads.

    I have circled in the figure below the muscle groups to which I refer:
    6e307d04-3888-4797-b878-7a2e79a84ce7-image.png

    Watch my embouchure in this video of me playing:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HaK1sYi5_cfSw3C1N7Hv-Y9oA3PliAaR/view?fbclid=IwAR1MakCr297ZHEIPTQSav-MpA2DdE_aQVK43HU44d9KpLI-oir7Rh32ahB8

    Note how my eyes buff out (not my jaw) when I play. Not how there is a ridge between my Orbicularis and jaw. That is because the muscles filling in the space (the buzz muscles) are not in use. This is the vertical smile that produces the Phwoooooo sound. Hope the anatomical and video illustrations help you but this together.


  • Global Moderator

    @Carsen-Abraham said in Problems with Air and Nose:

    @administrator do you know if they ever came up with all treatment plan?

    It would be specific to your needs, if this is actually your situation.



  • @Dr-GO said in Problems with Air and Nose:

    ... with the coroners ...

    I can just imagine a ME saying "Looks like Dr. GO misspelled another prescription."



  • Well . . you do know what they call a doctor who was last in his class? 👹



  • @Carsen-Abraham said in Problems with Air and Nose:

    I can do everything except for sing without air coming out of my nose. Should I be trying to strengthen my soft palate so it doesn’t give out?


    Air should not be coming out of your nose when you sing. It will be up to you to stop the behavior (notice I said behavior). If you can physically "feel" when the palate gives way and lets the air travel through the nose, you can control it. Here's a small cut and paste that might help.
    Lift Soft Palate to Keep Air From Going Through Nose
    Imagine the back of your mouth wide open when singing. You can think of an egg caught in that space or create the same feeling as when you sigh or yawn. Close your eyes and pretend to smell a rose. Your soft palate lifts and the tongue flattens in the back. After identifying how it feels to create space in the back of the throat, the next step is to apply it to singing (Trumpet playing). Imitate the feeling while singing (Playing) and then practice, practice, practice. Remember old habits die hard, so be patient.



  • @Kehaulani said in Problems with Air and Nose:

    Well . . you do know what they call a doctor who was last in his class?


    Dangerous!



  • @Dr-Mark said in Problems with Air and Nose:

    @Kehaulani said in Problems with Air and Nose:

    Well . . you do know what they call a doctor who was last in his class?


    Dangerous!

    Dr Mark. I so agree. And what scares me about the current age of medical education is we are not permitted to assign grades, only pass or fail. So we no longer know who graduates last in their class. We are now teaching the generation of medical students that played T-ball as kids, where no one kept score, and everyone won the game.

    So what if the doctor amputated the wrong leg, after which the correct leg is finally removed. Everyone is a winner. The doctor gets twice the pay, the patient finally gets the correct leg removed, and the patient cannot sue the doctor as he won't have a leg to stand on.



  • @Dr-GO said in Problems with Air and Nose:

    the current age of medical education is we are not permitted to assign grades, only pass or fail. So we no longer know who graduates last in their class.


    Its all about the University raking in the bucks. Higher education should be hauled to Congress for misappropriation of Federal funds. I've seen advisors lead kids towards Federal loans that had no business in college. I've seen it first hand. On my part, when I see a kid that shouldn't be attending college because they're just not college material, I would request that they see me in my office. I'd then go over their grades and ask them why they are failing? More often than not, they had poor study skills, math skills, and minimal critical thinking skills when applied to academics. These kids were not dumb, just not academic material. Their future needed to be in something else.
    I would then have them to take an Interest Inventory Assessment. This is a (for lack of a better term) survey that gives me and the student a snap shot of their interests. I've headed tons of students away from academics and towards a technical school where they can learn plumbing, auto repair, CAD, carpentry, etc.. As the years have gone by, I've had many of these "tech" students to stop me in the Mall or on the street thanking me. Interestingly, some of the students that took my advice and went the tech route are now rich enough to buy us twice over. One guy went into plumbing and now has a prosperous plumbing business and lives in the most exclusive part of the county. Interestingly, the most hell I caught from administration while I was a professor was for sending kids away from the college and toward the technical school.



  • @Dr-Mark said in Problems with Air and Nose:

    @Dr-GO said in Problems with Air and Nose:
    ...One guy went into plumbing and now has a prosperous plumbing business and lives in the most exclusive part of the county. Interestingly, the most hell I caught from administration while I was a professor was for sending kids away from the college and toward the technical school.

    I always told my medical students that cardiologists and plumbers have a lot of similar knowledge as to how fluids flow through tubes... only difference... plumbers make more when applying the skills that apply.


  • Global Moderator

    I don't know...of course, this has nothing to do with OP's question. However, I got a degree in Music and now work in tech. Can't say the music degree hurt me. I learned critical thinking, teamwork, creativity, humanities, etc.


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