Circular breathing

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by chet fan, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. chet fan

    chet fan Piano User

    Jul 3, 2009
    I was intersted in findig out about "circular breathing" now I know it isnt something that is a must, but It would be nice to try it.
    I found this steps:

    1. Learn how to Circular Breathe.
    * Start by breathing out normally.
    * When you are at about half a 'tank' of air, puff your cheeks out and continue breathing normally with them puffed out.
    * Breathe in through your nose. As you do this, push your cheeks together. You will find that air goes out your mouth and in through your nose at the same time.
    * Continue breathing outward and repeat as necessary.
    2. Extend this knowledge to the trumpet.
    * Take your mouthpiece out and do circular breathing through there. The hardest part will probably be maintaining good tone quality when you puff out your cheeks, so you may want to practice that by itself first.
    * Do the same thing that you did in the above step, but put your mouthpiece in the trumpet this time. Start with lower notes, then gradually increase range.

    So, now I would like you who are more experienced than me to evaluate this steps. Also I am interested how usefull circular breathing really is, and since one of the steps is puffing the cheeks I am worried that I may ruin my technique in the process.
  2. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    It is more of a trick in trumpet playing. There is a 99% chance you will never have a peice that needs it.
    I would learn it if you are interested, but really, it isn't vital to know.

    Sometimes when I am playing in a band and I don't take a full breath I use it to finish the phrase (which has to be pretty long because you can make it through most things with good breath control....) but I can count on my hands the amount of times that has happened.

    I don't suggest learning on the mouthpiece because there isn't enough back pressure to get you used to shutting off your throat and switching to your nose quickly. The whole action takes a split second, so once you get used to making a smooth motion for the circular breathing, you won't be affected by the puffed cheeks.

    To facilitate the air pressure needed to sustain a note on trumpet I suggest using your cheeks as well as a little push of your tongue. I find cheeks alone don't do it for me.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    This is something where everybody finds their own way! If you are getting at least an hour a day, 10 additional minutes of this will hurt nothing!
  4. john7401

    john7401 Pianissimo User

    Jul 3, 2009
    This'll probably be next summers goal along with other improvement...
  5. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    A tiny coffee straw might be the first thing you try, just the get the feel of how it works. That should have enough resistance to make it do-able.
  6. ozboy

    ozboy Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 17, 2007
    I have a lot of Aboriginal or Kurri mates who can all play good didge. They say the best way to learn is to get a straw and a glass of water. The idea is to blow through the straw and keep the bubbles going.
    Didgeridoo is one of the only instruments I know where circular breathing is a necessity. If you google 'didgeridoo circular breathing' I sure you will find what you are looking for.
  7. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    OK here goes.
    Close your lips and puff your cheeks out. The tongue keeps the air from going back down the throat and the lips keep it from escaping form the mouth.
    While playing, you puff your cheeks and close off the area with your tongue and forse the air thru the aperture with your tongue and cheek muscles. The real trick is to get a smooth transition between the captured air in your mouth making the aperture work and playing like you normally would. Its a handy technique to have in your pocket.

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