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No breath

Basics of Flute Playing, Tone Production and Fingerings, Using Metronomes, Scales, Tone, Studies, etc.

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SylvreKat
Posts: 133
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

No breath

Postby SylvreKat » Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:18 pm

I've a question, after the fact.

I played the prelude for my church service. I was having troubles breathing beforehand, practicing with our organist. I told him I just couldn't seem to catch my breath, and he said he'd heard before leaving home that allergies were really bad that morn.

Well, it got worse by the time I actually played. I just could not breathe. I kept running out of air, snatching a breath almost every measure, a couple of times just plain skipping a note to exhale and inhale. I was afraid I wasn't going to make it to the end of the piece ("Meditation from Thais," in case you're wondering)

I've played this piece before in church with no issues, so it wasn't the song. I couldn't sing the hymns, either, not without panting. It truly was sinuses shutting down. By sermon, they were squeezing my brains out.

In this specific case, it wasn't really a performance, and nobody in the congregation sits there critiquing they're just enjoying the music. And Mom said afterwards that she could tell a couple times that something was up, but mainly 'cause she knows me. Otherwise it sounded fine to her. And after church folks all complimented me as usual. So for playing in my own church, I would say continue unless that becomes impossible. But what if I'm playing at a friend's church? Or what if my breathing becomes even shorter as I play? So here's my question--what's the proper way to handle a situation like this? Is it best to just plow through playing poorly? Or stop and apologise and end it there?

>'Kat, hoping to never have to play all sinused up ever again!
Flutes:
1975 Gemeinhardt M2 in chrome nickel
1982 Armstrong 80
2006 Yamaha 584

Piccs:
1978 Artley piece of crap 15 P
1982 Gemeinhardt 4S
1980s (?) Armstrong all wood (no model)

Bass:
2006 Jupiter di Medici G0199

Plus many many flute-cousins....

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Flatfive
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:08 am
Location: West Yorkshire, UK

Re: No breath

Postby Flatfive » Fri Jul 29, 2016 1:22 am

I think the instinct of all performers is to keep going no matter what. Your chances of deciding to quit halfway through a performance are quite low. It's better to make an honest appraisal before you actually start... and the earlier the better. Your problem could be related to an allergy, especially at this time of the year, but it may be a good idea to go and see the doc.
Hope you get better soon.
Steve J

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Gandalfe
Posts: 109
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:28 pm
Location: Seattle
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Re: No breath

Postby Gandalfe » Fri Jul 29, 2016 12:29 pm

And the denial to yourself that you are actually sick is high. Fortunately this doesn't happen too much and for some of us we have such lovely and talented friends who would step in at a moments notice and, in my case, do a better job. Hang tough, these things happen.
Microsoft Jumpin' Jive Orchestra ~ Quinn the Eskimo Vintage Horns
I played the wrong, wrong notes. ~ Thelonious Monk

SylvreKat
Posts: 133
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

Re: No breath

Postby SylvreKat » Fri Jul 29, 2016 8:29 pm

Thank you both.

I've seen a nose-throat-ears doc. He even did some sort of scan of my sinuses. I have an extra little pocket on the right side, which is why it's the side that always hurts when allergies or weather front hits. Rarely do my left sinuses act up. And as usual, by later that afternoon they had mostly cleared up. So not sick, most def allergies.

I hadn't thought of not playing when rehearsal showed I was having troubles. My only thought was that it was some weird passing thing--mostly 'cause my sinuses weren't aching yet. And I don't think I've ever fluted during a sinus attack before. I hadn't played in quite a while so was eager to play. Plus our organist is not comfortable when he hasn't gotten to practice a piece. But he could've pulled a previous-worked prelude from his hat. I'll keep that option in mind if it happens again.

As for asking a friend, I do have a flute-friend who lives pretty close. But not close enough for as last-minute as this would've been, since she doesn't go to my church anymore. Only other flutist in the church is NOT a good player, and very definitely could NOT fill in for me like that.

I'll just cross my fingers that fluting and sinuses never align like that again. But if so, I'll hopefully remember the feeling and bow out beforehand.

>'Kat
Flutes:
1975 Gemeinhardt M2 in chrome nickel
1982 Armstrong 80
2006 Yamaha 584

Piccs:
1978 Artley piece of crap 15 P
1982 Gemeinhardt 4S
1980s (?) Armstrong all wood (no model)

Bass:
2006 Jupiter di Medici G0199

Plus many many flute-cousins....


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