Breathing?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Sneakyheathen, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. Sneakyheathen

    Sneakyheathen New Friend

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    Jul 30, 2008
    So I'm extremely small (like 110lbs) and I can produce a pretty clear sound but most days it's kind of muffled, and I run out of air very easily. What breathing excercies can I do to maybe get more air and to use it better?

    Any help is awesome! :-)
     
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Tank up, to be sure, but make sure you blow out more air than you take in. That will get you going!

    Have fun!
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2008
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Your body size really doesn't limit your ability to get the job done. Expanding your air can be done with swimming, Yoga or martial arts. Your breathing is a HABIT, and that takes time, dedication and persistance to develop.
    As important is getting your playing efficiency up. Practicing at least an hour a day VERY softly is a BIG help here!
     
  4. Jon Kratzer

    Jon Kratzer Pianissimo User

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    Sneakyheathen,

    Although yoga, swimming, running, and martial arts are fantastic ways to help your health and breathing, nothing can short change putting time in on the horn.

    The fact that you can hear that it is muffled is great, you're using your ears. One suggestion I'm going to make to you, if you don't already, take some quality time and sit down to do some long tones. Try taking an easy note right in the middle of the lower range, say a G in the staff, and hold it out. While you play this note, make sure you're listening to it and hold it for as long as you can. You can expand upwards and downwards in half steps. With each note try to get the richest and most pure sound you can. Often times listening closely to yourself, you will subconsciously fix these issues that you're experiencing, you ears are your friends. Every time you attack a note or play a phrase try to make it the most lyrical thing you've ever played.

    Developing a good sound starts inside of your head, and knowing what you want to sound like is very crucial to development. Starting with very simple pieces of music and slowing them down can make a difference. The important thing is to pace yourself, if you're playing and it starts to hurt, or you feel tired, put the horn down and go get some water, relax for a while to let your muscles heal.

    Getting in a warm up every day should be in your plans if you really want to develop a good sound. You want your lips to remain supple and free blowing, so taking time in the morning to start the day off right is important. Your warm up doesnt have to be any large production of excersizes as some people may suggest. I am a student of two student of Bill Adam. Anyone who has studied with Bill Adam or one of his student undoubtedly are familiar with "routine". However, we found that this method wasn't right for me, and suggested I continue to do what I had been doing in the past, because it works for me. There is no need to subscribe to any particular school of trumpet, so to speak, the goal is to find what works for you and to constantly strive for improvement.

    Just as a side note, in addition to your long tones try to get your hands on Vincent Chicowicz flow studies, I always found these extremely helpful in my practise when things aren't quite sitting well for me.

    I hope what I said can be of some help to you.


    Jon
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2008
  5. Sneakyheathen

    Sneakyheathen New Friend

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    @rowuk
    I dunno why, but it seemed important to include, haha. Thanks for the anatomy lesson. I practice for more than an hour, but I wasn't really aware that playing softly helped a lot. I usually just do it not to annoy my parents, haha.

    @Jon
    Thanks, I'm actually working on long tones now. (My tutor told me to) Who's Bill Adams? Or Vincent Chicowicz? Sorry but I've never heard of them.
     
  6. Jon Kratzer

    Jon Kratzer Pianissimo User

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    Bill Adam is professor Emeritus at Indian University , you can find more information on him here :
    Bill Adam Tribute Web Site

    As far as Chicowicz goes, he was with the Chicago Symphony from 52-74(I think..) and he is also Professor Emeritus at Northwestern University.


    To quote Bud Herseth and wrap this up in a nutshell, Every time you sound good, your breathing is good.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2008
  7. nordlandstrompet

    nordlandstrompet Forte User

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    First of all, breathing is not mysterious at all. You do it all the time!
    The clue is to do it naturally, and if you look at a sleeping baby,
    you will see a relaxed movement when breathing in and out.

    As you can see, the movement doesn't stop between inhale and exhale.

    Lay down on your back on the floor with your hand on your stomach area
    and feel how it works.

    If the movement stops when you have breathed in, you will build up tensions
    in your body, so the ultimate situation is to inhale and start playing directly
    on the exhale. Do the playing just as your normal breathing.

    When you breath normal, you only use a part of your lungs capasity.
    When playing a wind instrument, you often need to use your full lung capasity.

    An excercise I have used, and still use, to develope the capasity is to find a hymn or other well known tune
    and play it in one single phrase at a given metronome tempo.
    The ideal tempo can be at 60 beats/min.
    When I feel comfortable with 60, I reduce the tempo to e.g. 56 and practice until this feels comfortable. (I play the tunes softly and "piano").
    Next step can be 54 - 52 - 50 - 48 and downwards.
    I always use the metronome!
    This forces me to push myself until I totally run out of air.
    It is not done over night, but with some serious practise, you
    will be able to extend your capasity a lot!

    Mick Hesse has written some good excercises, and you can get
    an overview by looking into his web site here: Perfecting Your Practice for peak performance

    Good luck with your playing!
     
  8. blanier

    blanier New Friend

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    Sorry -- V. Cichowicz passed away last year. He, along with Arnold Jacobs, P. Farkas, Herseth, and others were instrumental in the development of the "Chicago School" of brass pedagogy -- commonly referred to as "Song and Wind". You don't say how long you've been playing, but you might want to search for posts, web articles, or visit your library for materials related to particularly Jacobs. You may also want to find a teacher in that style (you don't mention lessons) who can help you learn to breath "above the line" -- taking large efficient breaths and exhaling only to the point that you would in normal respiration. The rationale is that pushing all of the air from your lungs while playing -- past the point that you would on a normal exhale tires a player unnecessarily and makes it more difficult to take in a full breath. Your breathing becomes more efficent and relaxed, facilitating your ability to produce a good sound. Jon's comments concerning tone production and conceptualizing what you want to sound like are very much consistent with the Chicago approach.

    Some of the things to look for in a Chicago style teacher would include (by no means a full list) undergraduate or graduate degrees in trumpet performance from Northwestern University -- particularly under Vincent Cichowicz and Luther Didrickson, and study with Cichowicz, William Scarlett, Arnold Jacobs, Bud Herseth, and other teachers known for their contribution to and dissemination of the Chicago approach. AND ask plenty of questions -- the teacher student relationship is two way and it doesn't hurt to take a lesson or three with several teachers before you settle on a primary teacher. If you already have a teacher that you're happy with, explore different breathing concepts in your lessons. You may even want to take a lesson or two from someone else to add to what you learn from your primary teacher.

    Most importantly, keep at it. Persistence and a good work ethic will get you there.

    Good Luck,
    Blake
     
  9. Goldie

    Goldie New Friend

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    I was always taught to expand your diaphragm (sp?) to its fullest extent.
     
  10. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    I think I've found out the secret to the Chigaco School, the New York School, the Philidelphia School and the rest--make the sound you hear in your head come out the bell! It will involve breathing and chops and all that, but in the end, if we pursue that trumpet in our imagination, it will come out the bell. It is not a mental thing--it is not much different than a baby reaching for it's toes. It is that simple.

    Easy is it not.

    Fun it is!
     

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