While practicing recently, I noticed that I was feeling very tense - pulling upwards, and leaning into and over my music stand. Upon investigation, I realized how much my shoulders, face and throat were tensing.
Forcing Vs. Allowing
When instructed to open your throat, be aware that this can occur by either forcing openness or allowing openness.
I was forcing.
When I let go of my "smile" and allowed the face to drop, (not just the jaw, but the cheeks, forehead, ears, eyes, tongue, and corners of the mouth), my throat tension went away, and everything felt easier. This was especially useful in the low register. Releasing from a smile embouchure and allowing the corners to come forward toward the lip plate led to much more flexibility and consistency!
Do you experience throat tension?
Do you find that it occurs when there is more general tension all over the body, especially the head?
Tell me in the comments below!