I have been playing the clarinet for 7 years, and have only been encountering this problem recently. I have had a long term sinus infection, and the symptoms made breathing very difficult what with the post-nasal drip and everything. Now that it has cleared up, when I try to practice, most of the air I am breathing out seems to be trying to escape up my nasal passage, rather than through my lips to the reed. I get a very airy sound that comes from my mouth, and I can't sustain notes for long at all. I have seen a doctor, but there does not seem to be any medical issue. I have no idea what to do about this. Any suggestions?
Re: Major Breathing Issue 17:24 on Thursday, October 09, 2008
DISCLAIMER -- I AM NOT A DOCTOR (I don't even play one on TV). But I do know some doctors who are also musicians. That being said.
If you had a sinus infection for a long time there is a good chance there is some damage to some of your soft tissue. It may not be considered significant to most doctors because much medicine is very general and many doctors do not know the requirements of playing a muscial instrument. It could also be that your muscles controling your soft pallette are tired or so used to being afraid of closing completely they need to be re-trained.
Here is a simple exercise that can help. Stick your finger in your mouth ans suck on it a little like a straw. Do this for a few mintues each night. perhaps while you asre watching Tv before you go to bed or something. The sucking action requiresthe soft palatte to close and seal the passge to the nose. Don't do too much. Just a little every day to retrain your muscles.
Re: Major Breathing Issue 12:27 on Saturday, October 11, 2008