Better Air

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Flugellover, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. Flugellover

    Flugellover New Friend

    Dec 20, 2011
    Hey All,
    My director keeps telling me I need to use more air, saying that I should use the amount of air one would use in pep-band during concert band, just with a concert band sound. I was wondering what exercises I could do that would increase the amount of air I use, especially with quiet notes.
  2. DaTrump

    DaTrump Forte User

    Oct 21, 2011
    Huntsville, Texas
    Band director nonsense. I have a couple that you could use though. When you breathe out, get rid of all your air, when you breathe in, make it uncomfortably full. Turn a met to 120 for all of this btw. Stay relaxed, don't let your shoulders come up. Also when you are breathing in and out, don't change air speed. It needs to be consistent! That will help you learn to regulate your air when you play

    Breathe in for 4 counts and sigh it out. When you sigh, all the air should be gone, don't force it out, just let it out. This should be a full exhale though. This is how I start my day. After a few of those and you feel good and relaxed, do what I call Bacon. After the sigh, sizzle for as long as you can without breathing in. The longer it takes, the worse you are doing. It should be max one to two seconds.

    Now breathe in four counts, and sip, sip in more, sip again. Be aware that your shoulders should stay down during this, not tense up. This should feel VERY uncomfortable. Now stretch your upper body but do not let the air escape. Sip some more (you should have some room now) and sigh. Do this a few times then add the bacon!

    Now for a suck and pop. Make a fist with your hand, put it over your mouth and breathe through it. Make sure it is tight. It should feel like you are about to rip your throat out. Resistance is the key here.

    Power breathing, this doesn't expand your lungs as much it just gets you use to not having any blood in your brain. . Breath in for four counts, then out, do this four times. Now go to 2 counts and do this 4 times, now go to 1 and do it eight times. You will feel light headed, if not then you aren't doing it right. After this, bend over so you don't pass out.

    If you need a little more guidance, and this interests you, let me know and I can make video
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  3. codyb226

    codyb226 Banned

    Mar 9, 2011
    Florida, US
    Breath in for 8 counts, out for 4. Repeat until you pass out.

    Not really, but until you cant do it anymore. Do this every single night, dont forget it. It will improve your lung capacity, breathing, and breathing endurance.
  4. jrdbass

    jrdbass New Friend

    Jun 10, 2010
    All of these breathing exercises are awesome! Make sure you take this advice because it does work! Look up breathing Gym and check out some stuff there. There is bound to be some videos of it on youtube! But in the end make sure you apply all of this to your trumpet. More air doesn't necessarily mean louder playing. It just means he wants a more full and rounder sound. Make sure when you play your instrument you keep an open space in your throat the same way you do when you yawn or when you do the breathing exercises. One thing i do to keep an open space is doing some loud playing. NOT marching band loud, but loud enough to where i have a good sound. It is harder for your throat to close off when you are playing loud although it can lead to other problems such as forced playing. Never force the sound out. It should sound and feel natural. Then the hard part is applying that open sound when playing soft. Good luck!!!!

    - Jordan
  5. 7cjbill2

    7cjbill2 Pianissimo User

    Mar 18, 2012
    Athens, GA
    Take up some cardio....seriously, I've been cycling for the past year and have noticed a dramatic increase in lung capacity.
  6. bach37

    bach37 Pianissimo User

    Dec 1, 2011
    There is NO magic bullet. While there are some great pointers here, But if you have to think about your breathing your head is in the wrong spot. Here is a simple trick to show you how to breathe. Take 20 ounce soda bottle and cut off the end then take the end and put in between yout teeth and lips, and when you take a breathe in imagine that the air is coming in through your belt buckle. The inhale should be as low as possible. "THIS IS KEY" your belly button and below should feel " bloated" The exhale should be like haaaa like fogging a mirrow. The water bottle tricks will show you the proper breathe. Once you do that you will understand what everybody is trying to describe.

    There should be NO tension in the chest or throat if there is your not doing it right. The breathe should be compeletly relaxed, the breathe should be free flowing,and The sound should float of the breathe.

    While proper breathing is important it's only a small piece of the puzzle. Like i said ealier if your thinking about breathing your head is in the wrong spot you should be thinking about the music. Having the sound of your favorite trumpet player in your head and trying to match his sound. If you do that the body will automatically do what it needs to do. As long as you have that great trumpet sound in your head your mind will fix your body. Tell us what area you live and we will get you a good teacher who can show you properly rather then getting advice on the internet. Best of Luck bach37
  7. 7cjbill2

    7cjbill2 Pianissimo User

    Mar 18, 2012
    Athens, GA
    I never had problems with breathing or from where, I do concern myself sometimes with obstruction of airflow inside my mouth, which I guess also lends itself to my embouchure concerns. I'm just terrified of going back to the way I was. It was very a depressing and hopeless in that situation, when nothing I tried seemed to help. Thankfully, I think I'm on the right track....but 15 years of doing it the wrong way and only 1 year of it feeling "right" I'm afraid habit may take over. Probably silly to some, but it's a very real fear for me. So, I want to do all I can of the "right" things to try to overpower those "wrong" things, but in short what bach37 is describing is exactly how it should feel to you, at least he put into words how it seems for me.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  8. Steve Hollahan

    Steve Hollahan Pianissimo User

    May 31, 2011
    Charlotte, NC
    Check out Claude Gordon's "Brass Playing Is No Harder Than Deep Breathing", very good advice and exercises for breath control. Also, clears up a lot of mis-information on breath control. Jerome Callet has a pamphlet on Yoga Breathing, very good. Don't know if it is still available.
    In practicing, slur everything. Keeps breathing steady and improves breath control. Later, add tonguing and other intonation to practice for musicality work.
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I really dislike the big breath advice. We don't breathe in a shallow way because our lungs are undertrained.

    The first step is to get your body upright and prepared. We need ROOM for the air, then we need an attitude that doesn't force air in, rather lets it flow in. Getting the head over the spine, hips open, legs relaxed, getting the body pretty much self supporting is what we need to get natural first, then you can get that breath that really sustains musical life.

    Without the body being prepared, every other deep breath makes your body tenser - and teaches you the WRONG way. All of that has to be unlearned before we can start over!
  10. Jerry Freedman

    Jerry Freedman Piano User

    Mar 4, 2005
    This is a repeat of a comment I made in another thread. One of the best player/teachers I know has asthma and damaged lungs. The player has a gorgeous sound and plays beautifully up to and above DHC. Deep breathing, breathing gym, etc doesn't or can't do any of it. The, according to the player, is not lots of air, warm or cold, but making the best most efficient use of the air you've got

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