Topic: Playing bassoon/Throat

So I performed my graduate recital and in my piece after intermission I began to breath heavier (although I kept my nerves under control throughout)
and also my throat began to get really dry and I get these scratchy sounds in my throat (its quite painful too) and you can really hear it.

My teacher and I discussed it and this never happens when I perform with orchestra, or ever in practice. So we think that it is just nerves and tension that cause improper breathing that causes it.

Has this happened to anyone? If so any suggestions how to address this?

The problem is I have to be performing solo for this to happen so its hard to address because it never happens until I get up on stage!

I would appreciate any suggestions.



Re: Playing bassoon/Throat

Hi Tyne

Have a look at the topic Air "leaking"? in the Health Section for a possible cause of the "scratchy sounds" and a comment about dryness.

Also  "Teaching - General: Solutions, Question, Tips
» Odd noise made by student" which covers a bit more of the exchange.


Neville Forsythe
Christchurch New Zealand
Bassoonist / Teacher / Conductor

Re: Playing bassoon/Throat

I don't know how well hydrated you were during the recital, but I'd consider increaing your water intake during the intermission/interval. Your symptoms sound much like a dry mouth/throat, something I've noticed regularly at altitude (Aspen, CO is 2500 metres). Dryness also is an effect of performance anxiety; although you didn't think this was a factor, it might acutally have some relation to the combination of circumstances you mentioned.

Bill Dawson

Dr. Bill Dawson, bassoonist and teacher
IDRS medical consultant
Past President, Performing Arts Medicine Assoc.
Author of "Fit as a Fiddle: The Musician's Guide to Playing Healthy"


Re: Playing bassoon/Throat

Thank you both your comments!

I believe its going to take some time to first find the problem then address it in my playing.