Can doing situps help your breathing?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trmpt_plyr, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    don't attempt an embouchure remake -- simply do as many people recommend on this forum and play lots of long low notes quietly. Your embouchure will naturally evolve to the best formation.

    And stop stressing about range -- you need to take things gradually and be patient. The Complete Solfeggi by Concone (published by Balquhidder Music) is a great book to work out of in my opinion because all the exercises can be played slowly and you can work on tone, air-flow, comfort, etc, without obsessing over difficult rhythms, difficult key signatures and range. Combine that book with Arban (Eric Bolvin has a terrific guide to the Arban method for sale at his web-site which can help you a lot to get the most out of the Arban method) and a regular schedule of daily practice, with warmups and pacing yourself (rest as much as you play) and you should be just fine.

    And get yourself a good teacher as soon as you can -- nothing can take the place of having a person right there observing everything you do and offering advice as to how you might change things to play better.

    And as for being stuck in a hole -- quite often the hole we're stuck in is in our heads and not in the physical world. Just a change of practice regime and you might find you start advancing to where you want to be.
  2. john7401

    john7401 Pianissimo User

    Jul 3, 2009
    I agree with what you're saying, but what if my embochure never naturally forms to the best way it can because I started off playing with certain bad habits whether they are embochure related or not, and I'm stuck with them never working themselves out naturally?

    On a side note I would like you opinion on this...Just the other day I made up a schedual that consisted of 30min running/aerobic excercise, 30min breathing excercises, 30 minutes of buzzing excercises (false scales, buzz-play and play-buzz *to work on less pressure and more control*)

    For playing I'm going to do 5min warmup, 25min Arban book work, 25min Jazz Band/All Star Brass Band music, 10min lip slurs, 10min long tones, and a 5min warmdown.

    I also had on there to do 30min of breathing/fingering music to work on subdividing in my head and other breathing things.

    Any suggestions for changes to this schedual?
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2009
  3. glorybe

    glorybe Piano User

    Jul 29, 2009
    There are online lessons available for a small fee. Some may be better than others. But why not give them a try?
    As far as higher notes are concerned are you practicing daily? If you don't have at least one hour a day to put in you may never get to where you want to be. And if your goals are to get to the top you might as well weld that horn to your hand!
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    DIY is trial and error. No honest internet poster can point you in the right direction other than by pure luck.
    An embouchure change with a real teacher can take a year - and not necessarily make any improvement. You insist on DIY but don't even have any basics down. You post tons of complicated stuff but ignore the tried and true simple things. Pretty soon I am going to cap this stuff and put it all in the lounge. Posting the same mistakes a thousand times is not going to get any serious teacher/player to agree with you. Get serious and you will improve. Keep bouncing around and turn into a CD-Player instead of a trumpet player.

    You need to stick to a standard simple routine, not an embouchure change or anything else. Once all of the "standard stuff" works, then the fine tuning starts. In your case, I suspect repair will take in excess of 2 years because you do not listen.
  5. Jurandr

    Jurandr Pianissimo User

    Feb 23, 2008
    This morning I talked to a gym teacher and he told me that doing repetition situps will help you control your diaphragm, effectively helping you breath better. He also told me that yoga, palates, and other aerobic exercises would also help bring in more controlled breathing, which as far as he knew should help any musician.
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Now we are back to the "myth" of the controlled diaphragm. The diaphragm only contracts to draw in air. We simply exhale to play. There is no "controlled diaphragm" necessary. Breathing for sports has NOTHING to do with making music.

    Good personal health and hygiene is always sensible. Situps do not affect the muscles that make your playing better.
  7. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Breathing for sports has NOTHING to do with making music.
  8. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    When I started playing I was told to use the stomach or diaphragm. Looking back I think I just misunderstood the concept. I think they wanted me to open up down there and not have a throaty type of sound.

    I have heard of compression playing. There are some great lead players that do this. How can you argue with them, just listen to what they do.

    There are others that do the same job and are relaxed. I would rather be the relaxed player given the choice.

    I believe that being in shape is a better choice for a trumpet player. I also think that an out of shape guy with a heavy smoking habit can play the trumpet. Does the out of shape and cigarette help him play? NO!
    Does being in shape help him play? Most likely.
  9. Ed Kennedy

    Ed Kennedy Forte User

    Nov 18, 2006
    Check out Jean-Christophe Wiener How to Play James Stamp's Warmups Check out the concept of "support."
  10. jdostie

    jdostie Piano User

    Feb 20, 2008
    It's amazing the contrast in what you read about this. Nick D. has some video about the wedge, Claude Gordon has "Brass Playing is No Harder Than Deep Breathing," and on and on.

    Interestingly, the more I focus on having strong breath support the more I tense up, which I believe works against me. The times when I've played the highest notes (A above high C) though only once, I was being coached by my teacher in a range study . . . What was going on?
    1. I was mostly relaxed.
    2. I was not thinking about taking in a huge amount of air.
    3. My posture was good: chest up, shoulders back.
    4. I "left myself something to work with" in the arpeggio . . . I didn't play too loud in the lower part of the arppegio, and I accented the top notes sufficiently.

    Now, this was a range study, and not really musical, so I'm not sure how well everything applies, and I've not duplicated this, I've really not figured this out beyond what I've written here - I assume that's the point of the range studies - to get the feel for doing this properly - not to beat up the chops . . . But my point is that when I focus too intensely on "breath support" it works against me. Sufficient focus to apply the air (the accent) at the right moment seems to work - and without tons of "muscle." So, take from that what you will, but I doubt that working any kind of exercise that exercises your lungs (running, deep breathing, yoga, playing your trumpet) will do much for your "breath support."

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