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My cheeks puff . . .

I am a Spanish trumpeter, I play in dance bands. When I play above high C my cheeks automatically puffed. It´s normal?

Puffing of the cheeks is a phenomenon that comes from a combination of being lax and lazy about keeping your embouchure tight and firm, having equipment that has too much resistance to your air stream and/or overblowing..  Dizzy is an example of what can happen when this condition goes uncorrected.. A little puffing of the cheeks is ok but if it starts to effect your range, flexibility, endurance or control, measures should be taken.  You say high c is where the puffing starts.. When you practice play up to where the puffing starts, as you go into that area, reduce your air velocity and play softer, and concentrate on keeping your cheeks in and firm. Once you  are playing those notes (softer) without puffing slowly, add velocity. When you can’t control it anymore, stop and start again. It’s not an overnight thing to correct this and you may not be able to correct it totally but by doing this procedure you can stop it from getting worse and more than likely make it better. For now when you are  working, do what have to do to play the gig but as improvements come from practice, slowly apply it to the gig.. Remember.. use the least amount of air to get the job done to its fullest..One more thing… Stay on top of the beat but don’t rush.. Good luck.. Carl Saunders

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