--- Gary M Whitmore <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> I would like to also know of some good excercises
> since I have a tendency to tightnen my throat once
> in a while.
Something Jim Manley had me do that really helped was as follows:
Before you warm up take a toilet paper roll (empty) & stick it in your mouth & breathe in & out. Stick it in far enough where it causes your mouth to open up fairly wide. This will get you used to the feel of an open throat. Don't force the breathing just breathe as naturally as possible.
In addition to the above exercise I found it helpful to yawn several times to stretch or loosen up the throat a little before using the toilet paper roll. Yeah, I'd say loosen up - this doesn't involve stretching or doing anything unatural because that will bring tension into the mix. Tension is to be avoided like the plague!
Someone else mentioned fogging the mirror up & that is another way to look at it. Jim did the same thing by putting his hand in front of his mouth & breathing like Darth Vader - that was his metaphor & that also helped. You can feel the warm, relaxed & steady flow of air you need to play sweet sounds on your horn!
The last thing he had me do & I did this for months (maybe even a year if I remeber right) before I understood & was able to do it - was to start on Low C below the staff & relaxed & unforced worked on doing a very slow & relaxed gliss (slide) with no valves pressed down to pedal C & back up to low C. Over & over again! When you got it right your sound will resonate with a wonderful ring all the way down & up again. Jim said it was ok to cheat a little at first & half valve to help the gliss & to press all (3) valves down to lock in peddle C - but that is a temporary thing that you use to transition into doing the exercise with no valves pressed.
This took me what seemed like forever to get locked in & when I started doing too much analysis it just fell apart. So this is one of those things you have to do naturally & listen to the sound & trust your body to get the benefit from. Yes that is what Jim said, "Trust your body & listen to your sound". He also said most people have a hard time sticking with this exercise long enough to get the results. I stuck it out & I'm glad I did.
Hope this helps,