Breath Support

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by student trumpet, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. student trumpet

    student trumpet Pianissimo User

    Dec 7, 2004
    Mr. McCandless

    I am a high school preparing for my college auditions. It seems as if the root of many of my mistakes is the lack of breath support due to running out of air. So here is my question:

    How can I increase my air capacity?

    Thank You

  2. jeancmoa

    jeancmoa New Friend

    May 25, 2008
    Well, I know where you're coming from. I have the same problem with most of my students. I'll give you a few pointers: Understand how to use your diaphram and use it at all times even when you speak or sing your favorite radio tunes. If you're not sure how to use it, lie down on the floor and place a heavy coffee mug upside down on your belly and without moving your body try to knock it down by pushing your belly out as hard as you can. you should feel a minor discomfort inside. That would be your diaphram working. Try that several times over. Now, every time you take a breath, leave your shoulders down and the air should go straight to the diaphram. As you play your horn your belly should always be out and full of air, and if it goes in take another breath and start over. Fight that human urge to suck your belly in when you're out of breath and you will discover the secret to better air support. I hope this helps, try it and then let me know.
  3. amtrpt

    amtrpt Pianissimo User

    Feb 17, 2008
    Hi Tim,
    I understand how you are feeling. I would suggest two things. The first thing I think you should think about is whether or not you are really using all of the air that you have. A common problem for trumpet players is over breathing. We take in a big breath and because we don't release the air properly we take another breath. We have the feeling that we are out of breath, however the reality is that we too much air and the air that we have in our lungs from the first breath is not helping us in any way. Here is something you could try to work on this idea. Take any scale and play it slurred one octave slowly repeating it as long as you can. When you think you need a breath stop playing and try to exhale. You may find that you have more air than you think.
    The second thing to remember is that breathing should be as natural as possible. I find that if I try to remember to take in a normal breath and try to let it out as freely as possible I am always better off.
    I hope that this helpful. Let us know how it's going and good luck on your auditions.
  4. student trumpet

    student trumpet Pianissimo User

    Dec 7, 2004
    Thank You both, your help was very much appreciated,

    jeancmoa, Your exercise using a coffee mug is a great way to consciously think about breathing from the diaphram.

    Mr. McCandless, i did the scale exercise, and i noticed that I wasn't using all of my air. i have one follow up question,

    How do you "breath naturally" when all the rest you have in between phrases is an eight note (ex. Charlier 1) or no beats of rest (ex. Stravinsky Ballerina's Dance)?

    Again, Thank you both very much

  5. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    Jun 11, 2006

    I see you are in Minnesota. If you are near Bemidji contact Del Lyren at the University. He is head of the trumpet studio. He can show you correct breathing. He contributes to or monitors this site so he may have something to say.

    We have discussed breathing in other threads on this site. You may want to search the site.

    The diaphragm is a muscle that help inhalation. The coffee cup exercise is a way to help the diaphragm pull more air into the lungs. Pushing the coffee cup moves your guts out of the way so your diaphragm can pull more air into your lungs. Your abdominal muscles provide the force that moves the air out of your lungs for trumpet playing.

    Good Luck
  6. trmptr

    trmptr Pianissimo User

    May 10, 2005
    Bemidji, MN
    stchasking - thanks for the vote of confidence! I sent a PM to Tim.

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