Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by anthony, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. anthony

    anthony Mezzo Piano User

    Mar 3, 2009
    HI my teacher told me that I am improving but my breathing is holding me back .He says I do not take a big enough breath when I play.He gave me the paper blowing exercise and a new one where you remove the mouth piece from the horn while blowing and replace it while your still blowing ,I just started that. I am trying my best ,anyone have any breathing exercises ? Thanks Anthony:-)
  2. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    It may be that you're taking a big enough breath but not breathing from the right part of your body to be able to do the most with it. Watch some videos of great trumpet players and you'll notice that they don't take huge breaths -- it's how they compress the air that they do inhale that allows them to play as well as they do.

    If your shoulders rise as you breath in, you're not breathing properly to play the trumpet. If your stomach goes out and your chest expands but your shoulders do not rise, then you are taking a good trumpet playing breath.

    Once the breath is inside of you, use your abdominal muscles to push the air with. Don't think of it as blowing, in the way you would blow a spit-ball through a straw. Think of it rather as how you would take a breath and hold it under pressure as someone places a very heavy object in your arms for you to carry somewhere. It's that pressurized feeling that is necessary to play the trumpet. We don't really blow, we use the air pressure to create the standing wave inside the trumpet which creates the sound.

    One exercise is to buzz your lips without the mouthpiece or the trumpet. Try to go up and down three notes with just your lips. Then try it with just the mouthpiece. The James Stamp Warmup Book is an excellent resource to try to get control of your breathing. But even without the book, if you start playing simple melodies on just the mouthpiece, working to get the best tone you can and the most accurate pitches you can, you should find your breathing change to better trumpet breathing.

    It's all about air pressure, not too much, not too little. Many people refer to this as "air-flow" and there are air-flow exercises designed to help with this.

    Essentially you want your breathing while playing the trumpet to be as normal as possible, otherwise you end up all out of breath, even if you take large breaths, because the oxygen to carbon dioxide ratio in your lungs gets to where you feel out of breath even if you have to exhale before you can inhale.
  3. fraserhutch

    fraserhutch Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 23, 2004
    Novato, CA, USA
    There are many great player who raise their shoulders when breathing. It is not an impediment to proper breathing, imho that's an old wives tale. If you are using it instead of breathing low, then that's another story, but in conjunction with a deep breath, I find it aids in creating compression.

    One thing I was taught in college was to place my hands just above my hips and breathe so that I would feel displacement. When I am breathing correctly (for me at least), I can feel that area expanding outwards. Note that this is the side, not the front.

    Disregarding the Shew breath for the moment, I fill up in that order: bottom, middle chest, and finally the top, and I use a little arm raise to top it off.
  4. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Hi Anthony,
    This is pretty easy to do and I think I can help pending you have an imagination.
    OK, here's what to do:
    1) Imagine a hole in the small of your back about the size of a tennis ball
    2)When you inhale, imagine the air being sucked in through the imaginary hole in small of your back.
    3)You'll know you're doing it correctly because your stomach around the belt buckle will extend out as you breath in.
    4)Breathing like this will also get rid of the "raising of the shoulders"
  5. ska

    ska Pianissimo User

    Sep 12, 2009
    You breath, a thing you must remember - keep your shoulders down - then, if you breath, you must fill all of your lungs with the air - put 2 hands on your waiste and breath in and feel as everything gets filled with air. Pull your stomach in. stand tall and it should be ok. The paper tube exercise is one of the ways you can get the hang of it, what it essentially is making you do is breathing "widely" (i dno how to best put it) - you're forced to open your mouth, when you breathe without the tube you simply mimic the same situation only your lips are focused on the MP.
  6. Bach219

    Bach219 Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 25, 2008
    Oh man, let's see what Rowuk has to say about this....
  7. mrsemman

    mrsemman Piano User

    Apr 8, 2010
    In my case, I realize and can perform a fairly proper breath. My problem is that when I concentrate on reading the music, I forget to breath properly then find the notes thin instead of full. Once I realize that and concentrate on my breathing, I lose it in reading the music.
  8. trumpetgirl13

    trumpetgirl13 New Friend

    Oct 6, 2010
    Hi, new here..
    Just wanted to say, well said!

    I find if I breathe from my shoulders it doesn't help me, its all about the gut. Maybe to each their own on that, but for me if I breathe in from my shoulders I actually feel pressure in my back while playing, if i breathe in from my gut I can hold a note forever it seems.

    My college teacher used to have me stand, he would place his fist on my stomach, and I would have to lean in onto his fist and play. You really got the sensation on how your diaphram should be working if you are breathing properly.
  9. fraserhutch

    fraserhutch Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 23, 2004
    Novato, CA, USA
    How do you breathe from your shoulders?
  10. trumpetgirl13

    trumpetgirl13 New Friend

    Oct 6, 2010
    by physically lifting your shoulders up as you take a breath.

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