Breathing from the diaphragm...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Pedagogy' started by edcon1981, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. edcon1981

    edcon1981 Mezzo Forte User

    Jun 25, 2008
    Central Jersey
    So my drum major noticed my higher notes were sharp and static-ey. He said to try breathing from the diaphragm, that i'm currently using my chest and neck. He tried describing it to me, but I don't know if i'm doing it right. Any pointers as to how or what it feels like? I don't know any other way.

  2. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    Jun 11, 2006
    The diaphragm muscle pushes your guts down so your lungs can expand into the space. They don't help breath out. Here is a start:

    When you inhale, push your stomach out so your lungs feel like they are filling from the bottom.

    When you blow through your horn keep your throat open and pressurize the air stream by using your abdominal muscles.

    Micheal Tunnel suggested this: take a deep breath as instructed above while sitting in a chair.
    bend over and play your horn into the floor. That is correct breathing.
    Now stand up straight and replicate the feeling of using your abs to pressurize the air stream.

    If this doesn't work for you others will comment. I often suggest contacting a voice teacher at the University level and ask for a breathing lesson. Take your trumpet.
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    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 airstream. 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.

    Give it a try, and have fun!
  4. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
    Wow, Vulgani, my brain hurts! My approach is nearer to stchasking's. Take a deeeeep breath, starting from the bottom to top. A simple truth - warm air, creates usually a warm sound. So after a deep breath (if performed correctly) you take a miror and blow into it it must get blurred because of the warm air. If that does not happen that means that you have used only the air in your throat/chest which is not warm. Of course, a high note need your abdominal mucles and diaphragm to get the support to maintain the airstream and also good chops and excellent control, which are usually developped by soft playing of slurs, arpeggios and intervals.
  5. MFfan

    MFfan Fortissimo User

    Sep 13, 2006
    Kalamazoo, Michigan
    As a very long time choir singer I agree with the vocal coach idea. It is essential to use the diaphram breathing to get the most out of your vocalising as well as trumpet playing. I learned the diaphram importance from my choral director many, many years ago.:-)
  6. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    Try breathing starting down in your feet, filling up everywhere
    (yes I know your lungs don't extend down to there)
    Often when we breath, we don't really fill up our lungs totally, and the image of breathing down through everywhere (I go lower legs, upper legs, base of spine, stomach, back, lungs)
    Sounds strange, but it works...
  7. et_mike

    et_mike Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 16, 2007
    Chesapeake, VA
    Why does my RAY OF POWER smell funny? ROFL
  8. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    Because it is NOT red like VBs.:roll: You seem to have the alternate colour (color),
    the Green Cloud Ray of Power.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2008
  9. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    Google click on Mouthpieces, and follow the Acclimatization links - read, have fun, breathe, develop your own RAY of POWER through RELAXATION - all the rest, including diaphramatic breathing will simply fall into place - I think.:play:
  10. oldlips48

    oldlips48 Piano User

    Mar 1, 2007
    So edcon, exactly what instrument does your drum major play?

    How does he define "static-ey"?

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