Throat and Chest tight after a two hour rehearsal

Hi – I’ve learned a lot from reading your website; I
hope you might have some advice for a problem I’m
having with my throat.

After a two-hour-plus band rehearsal, my throat and
chest felt really tight and strained. Now when I play
in the upper register, the back of my throat feels
very tight and strained – as though I have a big lump
in the back of my throat. I’ve found references to
“herniated” throats and “throat pouches” (Zenker’s
diverticulum) – I’m really hoping it’s not either of
those or anything requiring surgery.

I realize now that I must be blowing into the horn
improperly, although I’m not entirely sure how to fix
that. (I don’t yet have a teacher – I recently dusted
off my clarient after 25-plus years; I love it and
would like to find a teacher, but in the meantime, I
don’t want to destroy my physical ability to do so!)
Have you heard of this type of problem?

Many thanks!
L.
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Hello L:
I have not heard of the maladies you mention, however I have exoerienced the very same symptoms you have described and immediately will say that for me, it was simply a question of rest and relaxation in between playing sessions. If you play for a couple of hours plus at or in a band rehearsal, everything gets tired. It is very normal to have a certain amount of discomfort, This should diminish and disappear after several rehearsals and also please remember, you do not have to play every second during the rehearsal. I have seen many students really get tired giving their all during a band rehearsal and suffering after.
My own fatigue of this kind disappeared almost without me thinking about it, or it may have been either the beginning or the end of a cold or an allergy problem.
I think that not playing for many years is part of the discomfort and that given time it will leave you in peace.
Good luck.
Sherman Friedland

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