Body Resistance. What is it and What Cures it?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Sethoflagos, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Ha! Ha! Taint that the truth!
  2. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    Check my avatar.

    If we lapsed from "Sit up straight, chest out, stomach in" we got an edge-on ruler clattering our sagittal sutures. There's nothing beats the traditional British educational system. And if anything did, the British educational system would beat it out of you. Things may have been different for you guys across the water.
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    And with that you score a hole in (between) one.
  4. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 5, 2011
    And that's one of the reasons why "over here" isn't as smart as it use to be. Just look at our overall test scores when compared to other countries. Back in the day, if a kid was told not to do something, and they continued, swift discipline (as used in your country)was the recipe. We realized that not all pain equals harm.
    Nowdays, instead of discipline being used as it had since the dawn of Man, it's Ritalin therapy and a behavior plan. The upside? It creates a whole new level of jobs! The downside? What good is smart if it can't listen or behave.
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I think so.

    I heard lots about "support" as a student, and received all kinds of "helpful" advice. "Tense your stomach muscles like you are about to get hit in the stomach," "pinch your butt cheeks like you are holding a dime," etc. These never worked for me, partly because there was no sense of any dynamic equilibrium, just an isometric approach that added additional body tension.

    Eventually I figured "support" out, and for me it was nothing like preparing for a punch to the gut. It was more like what I later called the RAY OF POWER. Gmonady could probably tell us which muscles get engaged. From one of the original posts on the subject from 2008:

    The finicky thing about air is that, yeah, we must learn the mechanics but then forget about them, because under the stress of performance, as tension sets in, our bodies will lie to us, and it will feel like we're moving huge amounts of air, breathing deeply and supporting when in fact, we are not!

    For this reason, I rely on some Vulgano Voodoo and the RAY OF POWER. It involves the Root Chakra, which is located directly at the base of the spine, also known as the coccyx. The chakras have their own mystic qualities, I guess. I don't know for sure, but they do seem to be located in parts of the body where bunches of nerves meet. (The Vulgano version is situated half way between the places we do our number one and number two in the restroom.)

    In practice and in theory, imagine (and feel) a ray of some sort (red is the most common mystic color associated with the root chakra) shooting down into the ground while playing. For high notes, imagine (and feel) a more intense ray. If we practice this sitting in a chair, we can notice all kinds of muscles come into play, which happen to be the same muscles used to "support" the air stream. By taking attention off of the mechanics and experiencing the mysterious, magical and not yet patented RAY OF POWER we can avoid some of the tension involved in "trying hard."

    Nothing mysterious and magical here really, but the RAY OF POWER does permit me to play with a relaxed but working body.

    Hope this helps.
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I really believe this is the RELAXED isotonic contracted balance between intrinsic chest wall muscles (to keep a relaxed tone in the chest cavity) and pelvic muscles to concentrate more energy at our bodies most important Root Chakra. The cool thing about the balance between upper and lower is that the energy actually averages out into the Root Chakra region or the Red Zone. This really does work the best for me as well (that and combining my phwooo embouchure toward the Northern Quadrants).

    The pinching butt cheeks while holding a dime works for me also however, as I get several hundred dollar bills out of this this technique in treating the hemorrhoids that develop in the individuals subscribing to this practice.
  7. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    Aha, I can relate to this!

    And my own approach to this and indeed just about everything is the rigorous application of


  8. fels

    fels Piano User

    Jun 8, 2008
    Colorado Springs
    i am working on this also For myself i believe it is breathing related. I have engaged lessons with lead players (Wedge breathing etc) and most recently have worked with a Feldenkrais instructor focusing on my breathing. Still a work in progress. But i a impressed with the observations and exercises. It is difficult to resist the urge to "fix"something with very small observations and adjustments versus the weight room approach. when i figure out what exactly i am doing and its results, i will be more specific. At this point i am encouraged.

    I have observed Rowuk's statements about breathing for years now. I concur with his general assertion that breathing is an (very important) appropriate focus. Like theology - there are many ways to approach the goal. But i know i have felt moments where my breathing is allowing my playing to be what i want. Less pressure, open breathing - results.
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Fels, good for you! Feldenkrais is a very good way to find equilibrium that can translate to better playing. It isn't just chops and blow, it is the desire to get the various disciplines "holistic". Your attitude is connected to breathing, just as your sense of balance is connected to your attitude. The brainless try to divide and conquer and simply succeed in making things even tougher. They can discuss chops, breathing, tongue position for hours and never relate that to making music. The funny thing is that we don't even need superhuman skills, range or dynamics to make music, we do need balance however.

    Keep up the good work. The payoffs are great.

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