WindWorks Trumpet Academy Forums WindWorks Focal Dystonia

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    • #32153
      Alan Wright

      Hi Greg, Really really enjoy the WindWorks, it has changed my sound completely I cannot thank you enough.

      I have been playing the cornet in a brass band from the age of nine, I am now 57 years young. these passed years I have developed a lip quiver on notes over G on the stave. I am not sure if this is focal dystonia or performance anxiety, which i do suffer from. In my youth I loved standing up and performing solos, now if I play my tuning note, C third space, for the conductor in band the lip quiver comes in and the sound goes all to pot. At home during practice the quiver really appears.

      Do you have anything that I could work on to rid myself of this.

      Best regards, Alan

    • #32162

      Hi, Alan,

      I’ve experienced unintentional vibrato when being put on the spot for a tuning note, only to be able to play it perfectly fine at home. I’ve also had playing situations where I was totally in the zone, playing in front of a mic in front of the band. Unfortunately, my discomfort with certain playing situations and the physical response to these built up a pattern of extreme tension, which eventually seeped into my playing and practice. I’m working on rewiring now. This involves a complete teardown of playing psychology in favor of a healthier mindset to develop new neural pathways, along with paying close attention to triggers and finding ways to reinforce more efficient playing. Personally, I suspect that there is a strong link between focal dystonia and performance anxiety/perfectionism. When they are both present, they feed each other like crazy. Look closely at Greg’s playing psychology. It’s deep and part of the path. What you’re describing could be the beginning of a dystonic pattern, but I’m no expert. Patterns can be changed with focus and effort.

    • #32192
      Alan Wright

      Thank you very much for your response and for letting me know I’m not on my own with this problem.
      I will take your advice and focus on the triggers and try to work on a more positive thoughts linked with more efficient techniques.
      I believe there is not one thing that will stop this but a number of paths which is always a hard thing to achieve. if there is any literature out there that you have found that helps I would appreciate a heads up.

    • #32278

      Wow, thank you both for sharing. Alan, I think you’ve come to the right place–I am sure Greg will be able to help.

      I had a big gap between when I was playing in high school and college, then coming back a year 1/2 ago, but I believe much of my issues were mental.

      And still now, the issues i have are mental–I lose focus on what I should be focusing on (process, technique, relaxing, openness) and begin focusing on results and manipulating.

      Had another setback the other day, kind of losing the sensations I had gained to play easily above the staff with passive air.
      So I just focused on backing off the air and trying to play openly and focusing on a resonant sound, and I turned it back around again–had a great day today, perhaps the best I’ve ever played.

      I try to focus on playing openly, as relaxed as possible with the only tension being in my aperture corners (as needed).

      Closing my eyes helps me as well, but realize you can’t do that when you’re watching your conductor queue you for a tuning note, but perhaps you can practice doing the tuning note at home that way repeatedly–perhaps that will condition your mind to new sensations.

      My $.02 FWIW.

      Thanks for posting to the forum and sharing your experience, I think that’s helpful to us all. We’re all on this journey and have different perspectives, some of which may help others.



    • #32290
      Alan Wright

      Thank you John really appreciate your response.

      I have been concentrating on keeping a grip/tension at the aperture corners and it seems to be working.

      I have been concentrating on relaxing the body so much I have forgot that I need to keep tension on the aperture.

      When the quiver does come I have got rid of it by putting some vib on and it has stopped it. I am still working on eliminating it but this is a performance anxiety related problem and I will need help with coping mechanisms.

      Thank you John and good luck with your journey.

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