Breathing

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by B15M, Jul 23, 2006.

  1. B15M

    B15M Forte User

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    Hi Manny,

    I have read a lot on here about breathing properly.
    Somewhere I read that all problems can be linked back to not enough air.

    I started really paying attention to this and I found that my first breath is huge but while in the middle of sections I gasp for little breaths. I empty out too much and never fill again, or until the next break.

    I think the answer is to breath more often so I stay full. There doesn't seem to be enough time to inhale a huge amount in the middle of whatever.

    I don't know if there is a question here but I just thought I would throw it out there.
     
  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Joe,

    What you're talking about refers to what are known as "replacement breaths".
    The ability to inhale what you need and a bit more is tough for most players when in the context of playing phrases back to back. It often seems as though there just isn't enough time to get what you want as far as huge volumes of air.

    That's why it's important to practice something like the Ballerina's Dance in two stages. Pictures, too. The technique stage (right notes, tempo, rhythms, phrasing, and intonation) and then the breathing stage. The breathing is a drag because there is no other way to learn the problems in that dance without doing it from the beginning each and every time. There's no way to really find your breathing spots without doing it that way, in context. Yes, I know... "Well, just do it in one breath." Nope, sorry...G-d had other ideas when I was designed and I don't have that kind of capacity. But my brains came in very handy and I just got good at taking the clandestine breaths. Personally, I don't believe that a trumpeter should not take breaths just because they're afraid to take a breath here and there in order not to disrupt the "all-important" embouchure. That's a form of physical slavery to my way of thinking.

    ML
     
  3. W Scott

    W Scott Piano User

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    Dec 8, 2003
    Carson City, NV.
    I used to have the same problem but it's getting much better. Clarks Technical Studies are a big help as you learn HOW to control what you're doing with your breathing. I was letting out too much air on the low notes and wasn't pacing my rthymns right---my exercises weren't smooth.

    The other thing that can hurt you is if you HAVE to breath in through your mouth. My teacher does an exercise with me that is great at teaching you to breath in just through your nose. The exercise is also a real chop builder.

    For the exercise go to Clarks Technical Studies. Turn to p. 6, exercise 10 and play the ink holding the whole notes for an eight count----and NEVER take the mouthpiece off your lips. Breath really deep at the beginning and end of each numbered exercise, but only breath through your nose--don't take the mouthpiece off your chops!

    Go until your chops give out. Rest a day, then try it again. Doing this has really improved my efficiency in nose breathing. I catch myself often sucking in air through my nose with almost no interruption of sound during a long phrase when playing a concert.

    Bill
     
  4. Bill Dishman

    Bill Dishman Piano User

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    Nov 22, 2003
    Gainesville, Florida
    Breathing Properly

    Some good advice here. Keep in mind that the quality of the breath is also of prime importance whether it be the initial breath or the replacement breath. The body can "lie" to you in the sense that great effort yields little results. One "Jacobs" concept that helps me is "Breath to expland,..not the other way around." Think about this. It will really help to become consistant in breathing properly.

    Bill Dishman
    Gainesville, florida
     
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Whenever or however we breathe in we end up with more air pressure inside our lungs than the 14 some odd lbs. per square inch outside our bodies. Depending on the phrase, we will either compress the air more or let it “fall outâ€: either way, playing an extended passage we will reach equilibrium with the outside air pressure. At this point we will use our muscles to get the remaining air out. The quivering we get at the end of long tones comes from our tummy muscles being over-worked. John Glasel encouraged practicing long tones from this point of equilibrium to specifically work on these muscles. Is this a good thing to work on? I would say a qualified yes, provided we “forget†these trained muscles while playing, and take clandestine breaths where it works.
     
  6. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

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    Nov 27, 2003
    Denver
    Manny, both Bill and the Vulgano Bro hit on what I consider a very important point, start with a "complete breath." I think of a complete breath as one that positively pressurizes the lungs and to some extent expands the chest cavity and, depending on the length or height of the upcoming phrase, may even raise the clavicals slightly. Complete does NOT mean 100% of capacity with every breath, but it does include the element of positive pressurization. With the lungs positively pressurized, I find that you can simply control the release of air for many phrase. Also, when positively pressurized, accents are extremely easy to pop out.

    Is this part of your air support concept. I ask, because I've met some very skilled players (one played with the Dallas symphony) that focus on their abs and don't necessarily expand their rib cages. This really surprised me, but there's no doubt that some really good players don't focus on the positive pressurization. I find it personally very useful and important to my playing.

    Dave
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Many years ago I was taught that the first breath DOESN'T always have to be the "5 gallon depressurize the room" type. It needs to match the first phrase. If there is a logical place to breath 3 bars in, don't tank up quite as much, stale air covered up by replacement breaths is still stale. Use up the air and fill up when you should not when you have no more choice.
    I also find students with mouthpieces with the throats bored out (not by the manufacturer) have similar problems. I prove to them that that "free blowing" feel does not improve their sound, endurance or tone. A little more resistance in the mouthpiece goes a LONG way towards longer phrases. Ask Mark Curry, Gary Radke or Dave Monette (or any other small manufacturer with a lot of professional clients). They can optimize for just about anything. This BALANCE in the mouthpiece will help phrasing because the air is being more efficiently used. I glued a speaker to a mouthpiece once and discovered that airflow must be optimal only to keep the trumpet player alive - the speaker was capable of reproducing a clean sound for a limited set of notes. The balance between using your air up in the time alloted AND achieving the sound quality that you want is more important than just concentrating on that big breath. Sometimes I think trumpet players just get too physical.
     
  8. B15M

    B15M Forte User

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    I want to thank you for the reply but I do disagree with what you said.
    I have always been taught, tank up on the first breath. Read some of the other posts above. Also I play on a Monette mouthpiece and the throat is huge. I didn't drill it out, it came that way. It works for me.

    I have been working on making sure every time I breath that it's a big full breath. I think that was the problem before, I would go too long with out a breath and then not take in enough.
     
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree, most of the time it works. My goal however is to make sure that I can get rid of the air in the time alloted and have it when I need it. If I have a phrase like the beginning of the Bass Aria in the Bach Christmas Concerto, I need air just before the high D. A real stupid place to breath however. If I don't fill up completely and breath in the end of the 6th bar/beginning of the 7th, I have a full tank exactly when i need it - no stale air and no embouchure shift directly before a high note. I have found many exceptions to the full tank rule and believe they must be practiced. the rule is breath when you should not when you have no choice!
    I find the Monette mouthpieces well balanced in spite of the large throats - Monette understands the relationships and they are that way on purpose and matched by the correct throat length, backbore and cup design. The throat alone tells us nothing. Gary Radke also has excellent info on his web site pertaining to this. Boring out your mouthpiece yourself (my example) does change things-but destroys the balance and the efficiency. GR and Monette both claim you will destroy the playing characteristics if you do this. You will also need more air to get the same job done as the efficiency goes down.
    Check out this website for more detailed mouthpiece Physics:
    http://iwk.mdw.ac.at/index_e.htm then on Reasearch then Mouthpiece forms
     
  10. W Scott

    W Scott Piano User

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    I don't thiink we are disagreeing so much as talking past one another. What you are addressing is an 'advanced' aspect of breathing. The original poster hasn't even got the basics down yet to allow them a good sound while playing a long phrase.

    Clarks Technical Studies is all about breathing while playing long passages---learning to ration out just enough air to allow you to reach your goal. The original poster needs to get this basic skill down first, taking a big breath in (no not enought to depressurize the room but a big, full breath) and then learning to use that air to make the horn 'speak', and to enable them to play to the end of the passage.

    Later, after they have the basics, they can then quickly look at a piece and decide just how much air they might need. From what I've seen of my teacher (Principal trumpet with the Reno Philharmonic), there are darn few passages where he wouldn't tank up no matter what was coming!
     

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