Beginners breath discovery

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Blind Bruce, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. Blind Bruce

    Blind Bruce Pianissimo User

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    I have always assumed that when (I think) I run out of air while playing, I need to intake more. But I have discovered another situation when I play. I do not actually run out of air, I just need to exhale before I take in fresh air. Why can't I use that air to continue another bar or two?:dontknow:
     
  2. RobertSlotte

    RobertSlotte Pianissimo User

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    You probably have too much carbondioxide and therefor feels a need to exhale in that situation. Timing of breath would perhaps be the solution.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2009
  3. johnande

    johnande Pianissimo User

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    Bruce... Your "need to breathe" is driven by carbon dioxide buildup in your blood and to a much lesser extent by a decrease in blood bourne oxygen It has nothing to do with the volume of air in your lungs. At the same time that O2 diffuses out of the lungs into the blood CO2 is being produced by the active tissues and carried by the blood back to the lungs where it can be "breathed out." It is possible to condition your body to "not breathe" when you feel the need to do so, as in swimming underwater. If CO2 concentrations in the blood rise too high you would lose consciousness. If this happened while you were swimming underwater you risk drowning. While playing a horn, not a problem...
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Bruce,
    the human body is a complex thing. I was also taught to exhale before I inhale. Nobody has ever been able to explain why, so I put the pieces that I have found together like this:
    you all know the saying: move it or lose it! I am sure that also applies to our lungs. When I exhale deeply, the body realizes that something dangerous could happen (the parts of the brain that control oxygen intake are not part of the cognitive areas) and lets us inhale more deeply. You CAN play longer, you just need to ignore that suffocation feeling (that is pretty powerful!). You may also need to practice so that your lips vibrate with even less air pressure. That means lots of pianissimo!

    You can also stretch your breathing. I do that at the pool. Underwater, you can't cheat! 50 meters should be doable!
     
  5. operagost

    operagost Forte User

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    As a young player, I developed the habit of taking breaths whenever possible, whether I needed them or not. You actually suffocate yourself that way, because you never get a change to EXHALE and get rid of the CO2! Sometimes this problem comes back, and when it does, I take whatever I'm working on and mark in APPROPRIATE places to take a breath.

    When improvising or playing entirely from memory, this never seems to be a problem for me.
     
  6. Blind Bruce

    Blind Bruce Pianissimo User

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    Thanks guys, I have learned! Sounds a bit like sleep apnia only in reverse.
     
  7. nordlandstrompet

    nordlandstrompet Forte User

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    So true.

    When playing like this, we breath "normally" as the day we were born.

    When a white sheet of paper with black dots is placed in front of us.....
    then we stop to breath normally....
     
  8. Pseudonym

    Pseudonym Pianissimo User

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    In my third year of playing, post OP, I also had the same feeling of desperation with breathing. During that time I mainly worked on my sound and breath control throughout the course of my school year (I was in eighth grade at the time). I've found, that if you train yourself to breath-hold, it helps you get over the suffocation fear.

    The average human being will only be able to get to a minute before feeling like they cannot go on anymore and they need to breathe. The feeling of suffocation sets in around 40 seconds, and most people can endure the mild "torture" of asphyxiation for around ten to twenty seconds. You, being a wind player, will probably last about 1:30 before giving up unless you hate the feeling. If you get your initial time, and it's lower than you expected, that's fine. Each day I encourage you to try to add :10 onto your previous day's time. You should try about five times in one setting, and within a week or two you should be able to do this and ignore the suffocating feeling.

    My record time was somewhere around five and a half minutes, but mind you, I had been doing it for a year and a half. I don't do it anymore because I got out of the habit of taking the half-hour a day to do it.

    But within two weeks, your feeling of suffocation in regards to playing phrases should end, and your breath control as well as breath size should increase. :)

    It's good fun, cheers.
     
  9. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    Bruce, do you play before or after you eat? - I find that to gain best use of my lungs, my not insubstantial belly must not be very full when I play.

    Hmm - thinks - I could have made that a little easier to read.
     
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    translation:
    Players that do not merely fill the part, rather overflow, have additional work when inhaling deeply.

    Is this what you meant Ted?
     

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