Breath Flow Exercises?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by bhavjain, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. bhavjain

    bhavjain New Friend

    Jun 7, 2014
    Hey Guys,

    I was wondering if any of you know of any Breath Flow Exercises that could potentially help with Endurance and High Range Development while playing the Trumpet, as those two aspects only come with a good breath support.

    Exercises both on the horn and off the horn are going to be beneficial in this aspect. I hope these exercises not only help me but others reading this thread.

  2. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    IMO, I don't believe "endurance" for wind instrument playing is any different than the extensive participation in any physical activity, and yes, this breaks down to our body's ability to breath optimally and absorb oxygen into our bloodstream. I also believe most of us now cannot run 100 yards as fast as a football quarterback without gasping for air or "breakdown" in our body movement and function, and to attempt such may be life threatening. Thus, I recuse myself from any referral absent any who inquire having had a complete medical exam inclusive of a spirometric analysis, all with optimal results which personally I now never expect to receive again having now been diagnosed with COPD.
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    What I find helps with air flow is the "Magic Bubbles" approach that I first posted in 2008:

    Time for one of the more esoteric Vulgano Brother observations. When we play a note, the air column inside the instrument has defined and mathematically predictable areas of high pressure and no pressure. In physics these are known as nodes and anti-nodes. The higher the tone, the more of these nodes instide the instrument. With a horn of sufficient light weight, we can play a long tone we can gently run a finger around the leadpipe and/or bell and feel some of the vibrations. Change to a different harmonic and that place will move.

    Now for the esoteric part. Playing a long tone, we can shift our awareness to inside the trumpet, and imagine/feel a point of resistance somewhere inside the horn. I call these "magic bubbles." To slur up, we can "blow" this magic bubble further away, backing off will allow the magic bubble to return to its place closer to the mouthpiece.

    Our body will memorize the feel of these notes and nodes much more quiclky than the cognitive control of several variables can. Remember that the embouchure is (or should be, in the Zen Vulgano philosophy)formed in part by the note that it is playing.

    Experiment a bit, and have fun!

    As for endurance, I find there are several types. There is the low impact/many repetitions type such as low register Clarke Studies that help with playing Bruckner, Wagner and Philip Glass or in a jazz combo where the horn stays on the face for minutes at a time, and the high impact frequent rest endurance like playing the Christmas Oratorio or a four hour dance gig. For this type of playing, tonguing lip slurs can help.

    Once again, experiment a bit, and have fun!
  4. bhavjain

    bhavjain New Friend

    Jun 7, 2014
    Sounds interesting! I will definitely try this out and see how this approach works! Interesting, as it combines a mental approach with the physical approach.
  5. Clarkvinmazz

    Clarkvinmazz Forte User

    May 11, 2013
    Oberlin, Ohio
    There is. Video called breathing gym, made by two tuba player's who's names escape me, but it has many different breathing excecises and it really helps. It's on Amazon. I suggest everyone do it, but that's just me.

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