Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by turtlejimmy, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    Hey everyone,

    I just had my 3rd private lesson and it's clear that I need to build new breathing patterns for trumpet. I'm a singer and the method I was taught ("vocal ease") had natural breathing (mostly) without much attention to the abdomen area. Works great for relaxed singing but is not low enough, or efficient enough, or fast enough for the much more demanding trumpet playing. Also the "light, physical squeeze" (in the chest area) for singing is worthless for trumpet, we are finding, and the "squeeze" needs to be lower.

    Any specific EXERCISES (w or w/o the trumpet) that could help me achieve this??? We only do 1/2 lessons and there's a lot of other things we needed to cover too. Just didn't have time .... Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    The Turtle
  2. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    High Turtle.
    An exercise you can do away from the horn is while walking ,inhale for each step, for 5 or 6 steps, so your stomach protrudes a little,then exhale for the same amount of steps,pushing with your abdominal muscles, as this gets easier you can increase the amount of steps.
  3. The Kraken

    The Kraken Piano User

    Mar 28, 2007
    Gold Coast - 805
    Go to Eric Bolvin's webpage and find the "Tongue Level & Air" he has book & video explaining in more detail what has been mentioned by Al Innella.

  4. sd4f

    sd4f New Friend

    Dec 30, 2009
    one i was taught was to get a sheet of paper and blow air on it to keep it stuck on a wall, keeping your head away by about 30cm.

    I did some singing as well, but went from brass to singing, and that actually brought along a few technical issues to do with breathing for singing, however i think it is much the same, you breathe low to use your diaphragm for support, and i think applying the singing breathing techniques makes more easier playing, the problem is for brass there is another variable, how your lips buzz, and that can lead to a lot of bad habits trying to force a note out or sustain long notes, loudly.
  5. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010

    That suggestion is the cat's pajamas!!! That sounds purrfect (sorry:oops:) for me because I'm already doing 30 minutes a day on the treadmill, walking fast with Jazz radio cranked up.

    Thanks for that one!!!

  6. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    The control of breathing is essential for winning. Whether you are firing a gun, throwing darts, dealing with an angry person, swimming, marathon running, trumpet playing the control of your air is paramount.
    1)Read: Science of Breath which is written by a Yogi. Its free to read on line and it will be hard to understand but like a lot of things in life, a person will learn something only to understand it a couple of years down the road.
    2) playing the just the lead pipe with your mouthpiece(yes, I know it will sound bad and unmusical but that's OK). Play as soft as you can and do not let the sound quiver or waiver which means your air is kept steady and you are not changing the mouthpiece pressure against the lips. Time yourself and when you run out of air, write down the time. Always try to better the previous time.
    3)Walking or jogging
    4)Swimming with a lot of it done under water. Learning to control your air under water is tough but it is also one of the exercises advocated by Rapheal Mendez.
    Hope this helps
  7. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I might be out of line for suggeting this, but is there anything wrong with suggestion to simply keep practicing and be patient? Improved breath control should come from that if you are practing things like long tones and melodic playing.
  8. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010

    Quote: "I might be out of line for suggesting this ..."

    Not at all, amigo. Everything helps, especially when it comes from experience. Patience is definitely not one of my strong points (I'm working on it but it's taking way too long!!! :cool:)

    I think I need extra help with the breathing because I have so many things to think about already when I'm playing ... Reading (former drummer :oops:), intonation, anchoring the corners of my mouth, keeping the cheeks in, etc.

  9. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Fair enough. There are a couple of things I could suggest.

    This might come off sounding kind of silly, but strangely enough I think that it helped me as a developing trumpet player - I have always been able to push a lot of air with the ability to play longer phrases than my peers when I was in school, and I think that part of it came from swimming. Specifically swimming underwater for as long and far as I could on one breath. This started clear back in about 1st or 2nd grade when we were watching old Tarzan reruns. One of things Tarzan could do on the show was to swim for long, long periods of time and long distances under water. We'd have contests at the pool to see who could swim further underwater, and at one point I could go both across and back on a single breath. Maybe I've just had larger than normal lung capacity, but maybe it was something I developed. I practically lived at the local public pool in the summer time and swimming for long periods underwater on a single breath was something we did daily.

    When was at the Armed Forces School of Music, one of our instructors had us do a couple of breath building exercises prior to starting rehearsal. On one of them, he told us to take in as much air as we possibly could, sipping it in after normal breath intake was done, and then to blow it out hard, as completely as we could, pushing and pushing to fully exhale. We'd do that 3-5 times.

    Another one was to break the air intake into 3 or 4 quick, short intakes, and to fully exhale it out in 3 or 4 short, hard blows. We'd do that 4-6 times. We'd get a bit dizzy doing that, but once we recoverd and started the reheasal, it was like we had loads of air to use and it made playing easier.

    Another exericise I have been told about by a guy who was a contra player in drum corps is to lay on your back on the floor, and just slowly breathe in and out, focusing on fully filling and expanding and contracting your lungs.

    There are a couple of breath building tools out there too. This is the one I have seen the most and I knew some tuba players who used it.

    Buy Breath Builder Isomeric Exerciser | Breath Building Devices | Musician's Friend
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I have posted my "circle of breath" here at least 50 times. The search feature will get you to an easy, safe and efficient method.

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