Bobby Shew Breathing and Warmup

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by gdong, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. gdong

    gdong Piano User

    Jun 7, 2008
    LA/Lake Tahoe/NYC
    Here is a distillation of my breathing and warmup notes with lessons from the SHEW!

    Breathing types for various needs of playing:
    1. intake (small), abdomen moves outward slightly, but relaxed.
    2. Intake (Large), abdomen moves inward (horizontally) to create wedge postion.
    3. The Shew Breath:
    - Intake (Large), abdomen holds position (not tense) shoulders lift straight up.
    - Grip (isometrically) abdomen muscles, mantaining innermost position (lock wedge tension)
    - Relax and lower shoulders to comfortable playing position.
    - Blow (as if shooting a blow-gun)

    He said to do the shew breath 60 times for 20 days and it would become automatic, so I could use it when i need it.

    As for the warm up, i know pretty much everyone knows this, but flap your lips in a controlled manner, then buzz isometrically with the lips, then play the MPC with clean tone, and a small warm up on the horn.

    Pretty effective, i tend to add some long tones in the warm up, and then some stamp stuff. The breathing is phenomenal for really screaming.
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    My memory of a Shew clinic 20 years ago is a bit different. My old man's understanding of the three-part breath is as follows:
    1. The "normal" breath, which used to be called "diaphragmic" or "abdominal" breathing, in which the abdomen does expand (the symptom, but not the cause, please note!)
    2. Continuing, the rib cage starts to expand (old-school "chest breathing").
    3. The shoulders raise naturally as a result of packing even more air in (again, a symptom, not a cause).
    With practice, the three steps become one mf big relaxed breath.

    When playing loud screaming high-notes, the air gets compressed, using the wedge and pushing down at the shoulders at the same time, "shooting for the moon," as he put it.

    Letting the air "fall out" works great for loud beautiful high notes.

    Thanks for the reminder, gdong! Air is everything!

Share This Page