Charles Schleuter on Breathing

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by John Mohan, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. Rick Chartrand

    Rick Chartrand Piano User

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    For me I completly agree with Charles Schleuter's breathing technique and have used it very sucessfully myself for my entire career. Not having enough breath is like not having enough money. I dont think Charles is right...I KNOW he is right. He wouldnt have the professional position he has as a trumpet player if he wasnt.

    However you need powerful lungs, a well developed embouchure and diaphram to fully utalize this technique efficiently. If you have mediocre lungs etc then maybe Charles breathing technique isnt for you. To have complete physical control over your horn you need strength, and disipline. Simply think of air as your fuel to develop your strength and disipline to acheive your goal.

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    Rick AKA Trumpet Man
     
  2. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

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    Don't be confused :-) What I said still applies to the way you are doing things. My main point was that we, as brass / wind players, need to practice playing through our breath and not fear using that last 1/4 of a tank. There is much less tension allowed to interefere with taking the next breath when we do not "store" stale air in little bits. As far as the "quick breath" exercise you are referring to, I am familiar with the exercise and it also can be done within the context of what Charlie is teaching you. I know Jim Thompson was an advocate of this exercise - metronome going at quarter = 60......1.......2.......3 - horn up on chops.......4 - take in air without pause until your initial attack, which would be "1" again. This is just another way to dimish tension before playing. It takes away the distraction of you getting in your own way in anticipation of the breath.

    Good luck with it all. I am sure Charlie won't steer you wrong. ;-)
     
  3. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

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    This is a very interesting turn on this thread. Mzony's post made me think of this:

    At the back of Colin's Advanced Lip Flexibilities is a little blurb on a "clinical appraoch to breathing". Has anyone here studied with Mr. Colin that can expand on this approach? It outlines a process of a full inhale, playing the excercises with a full tone, then expelling any air remaining, and doing it again. When I find it, I'll post it (I'm away from the book right now). It advocates getting rid of stale air and filling full with a fresh supply between.
     
  4. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

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    My intake of air is timed. For me, knowing where the initial attack is to be placed is the reason for breathing in time. The piano entrance in the Oberon Overture is the kind of thing that is a piece of cake with a rhythmic inhale, I can not imagine a slow inhale for this passage. I am a rhythmic breather. I can take full breaths in time.

    Wilmer
     
  5. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

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    I agree with Wilmer, rhythmic intake is the way to go.
     
  6. B15M

    B15M Forte User

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    I had a lesson yesterday.

    Measure your breath intake from 1 to 10 with 1 being no air and 10 being completely full.
    You inhale to ten and use air to play; inhale again at about 5
     
  7. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

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    Sorry, I don't understand this at all. Please give me a musical example.
    Wilmer
     
  8. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    It seems that what B15 is talking about is an awareness of your air usage from two perspectives : full and partially full.

    I've played passages with a very, full air intake because I didn't have any choice, those passages that just requires that, for me. I've also had to play a passage with a very fast breath where i couldn't tank up because I just didn't have the time I needed.

    So, one can develop tha ability to tank up all the way and learn to relax, even in that physical state. It's quite possible, I've done it many times. I don't think being completely full means sitting there shaking and freaked out because you're about to burst like a stuck balloon. I know for a fact that you can develop the ability to take a lot of air and stay relaxed. The bit about breathing a 5 is, again, an awareness thing. Having a sense of what your breathing apparatus can do is a good thing AS LONG AS it doesn't rule your music-making but remains properly a tool of music making. The fuel that drives the engine.

    I like to have my students fill up as much as they can away from the trumpet so that they have a clear idea of how nuch air they have to use, not as a thing to do when they play each and every lick. So, when things aren't going well, I can always ask, "Well, did you take enough air?"

    As far as the breath in time, I do both. I have to breathe out of time for the simple reason that I have less air capicity than most other players and I just have to start earlier in order to keep up! I've had to get really good at the replacement breaths because if I don't I'll punk out and I'm not terribly interested in that punking out thing.

    ML
     
  9. B15M

    B15M Forte User

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    It's a general rule. Fill up as much as you can before playing which should make playing easier and when your about half empty start looking for another place to fill up again. Sometimes you have to go almost to empty but not unless you have too.
     
  10. Derek Reaban

    Derek Reaban Mezzo Piano User

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    I think that B15’s point with this example is to help a player become aware of where to take the 2nd breath of a phrase (or any breath after the very first breath). This concept is the same as playing on “Positive†air.

    Unfortunately, this numbering scheme is a little confusing. Most people will take the first breath from a resting state (where the air pressure in the lungs is about the same as the air in the room). If you assume that this is “one†(1) on the “1 to 10†scale, then the numbering example above doesn’t work.

    This is the idea of this concept:


    Looking at that example again:

    I believe that the first breath would need to be taken beginning at a 5 on this scale going up to 10 (completely full). When I was in High School, I know that when I would dip into “negative†air (let’s say inhaling from 5 to 10 and then exhaling from 10 back down to a 3). This would set up a great deal of tension in my abdomen, and the second breath would go from the 3 back up to let’s say a 7. I would play another phrase that was not quite as long as the first, but this time with the air going from a 7 down to a 2.

    At this point it was extremely difficult to inhale and my intake maybe got me back up to the 5 or possibly a 6. If the phrase continued for several more breaths, I would literally be playing on “negative†air for the majority of the time and my sound and projection would be significantly compromised. I used to call this the death spiral!

    KNOWING where the “zero pressure†line is, or playing on positive air, or breathing before you get below half full is the real trick to great sound production. Being able to take a full, relaxed breath is only possible if you don’t go too low on the tank of air too many times in a very long passage. Playing on your air from 5 to 10 is the ideal case and this is where the majority of playing should be done for best results.
     

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