Breathing Exercises

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by JustinG007, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. JustinG007

    JustinG007 New Friend

    May 14, 2009
    Metro Detroit
    Hello everyone!

    I was just wondering what are some good breathing exercises each day to increase the amount of air I use when I play. I have been told that breathing exercises can increase my playing abilities, however, I cannot find which exercises to do.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks a bunch!

  2. hhsTrumpet

    hhsTrumpet Piano User

    Dec 3, 2011
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Actually, the goal is to use LESS air. The more efficient that your chops are, the less energy that you need to get them and keep them vibrating. That is why you can/should NEVER adjust ONLY the breathing. Body use (removal of tension) and chops all have to line up and synchronize with the BRAIN. Google my Circle of Breath. It is free and just about all you need to get started is explained. I have posted it here at least 10 to 20 times.

    Even better, look up Chuck Willard. He is also in the metro Detroit area and if he doesn't have time, can get you hooked up with the right people!
  4. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011

    One way to think of breathing is as increasing the total capacity of air in the lungs but NOT over breathing nor taking in air close to your total capacity. Let me try to explain.

    Most of us have a certain lung capacity around oh say 3/4's of a liter. That's a rough guess but probably close enough for our purposes here. Now you wouldn't want to take in a full 3/4s of a liter as this would stress out your body before playing. "Over-breathing" is the technical term for drawing in your maximum breath. This might actually be bad for you depending upon your health. It certainly will feel uncomfortable and make you tense. Because by holding in your maximum amount of air supply you must retain unnecessary TENSION. Tension = Bad.

    However if you increased you over-all air capacity to 1 full liter then a 3/4 liter breath would feel normal. A significant increase in air capacity but without holding in the air with stress or over-breathing. You now can compress this 3/4 liter breath down to about 1/2 a or even 3/8ths a liter. Now that is some serious compression. Enough not only to last through a long phrase but to blow with the extra punch to put some good volume above the staff.

    Long deep breaths without the horn to the face can help increase lung capacity. As can playing the lower brass instruments and (surprisingly the flute). You could try bagpipes too but you'll surely lose friends.

    the late great tubist for the Chicago Symphony Arnold Jacobs had a lung capacity of close to THREE LITERS. And here's the killer:

    Jacobs only had one lung!

    Also Maynard's clinic lecture is very helpful. here: Maynard Ferguson Clinic: 06. Breathing Exercise - YouTube
    maynard of course was a low brass instrumentalist too.

    So there's a hint: get a concert band gig on the Euphonium or Trombone. that's what i do.
  5. soluna1

    soluna1 New Friend

    Jan 15, 2012
    Chattanooga, TN
  6. Brad-K

    Brad-K Piano User

    Jun 18, 2011
    I find that I play better after my workout (pushups, crunches, 45-60'ish minute run).

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