im gonna have a heart attack!!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by j4k8, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. j4k8

    j4k8 New Friend

    Oct 7, 2007
    the band stand
    hey everybody just a question, whenever i try to play loud i always end up running out of air and i start to feel my heart pound and i take shallow breaths. i wanna try to solve this so i can play loud during marching season and not pass out lol
    anyways i just wanna know whats causing this problem and if i just need to do breathing excersises or something???
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    what you experience could be one of many things. Do you also run out of air quickly when swimming or running? If yes, go see a doctor first!

    There is a right and wrong way to play loudly. The difference is in how prepared you are. If your chops and breathing are NOT together, then force is the only answer and that is not good for your music or body. If you have a solid daily routine (and stick to it), you will not need to "force" much of anything.
    This is actually more of a project for your trumpet teacher than an anonymous internet forum!

    Correct breathing is relaxed and deep. Think of it as a circle, the left side is inhale and the right exhale. Notice at the top of the circle that there is a smooth transition from in- to exhale and at the bottom smooth from ex- to inhale.

    Without your trumpet in hand, stand up straight, knees not locked, chin tucked in a bit. Then practice inhaling/exhaling as full as you can get without force. If you have a CD with march music, you can listen to it and try to breathe as you would if you were marching (still without the horn). Once this works, march around your room breathing the same way - without the horn.
    This is probably 1 weeks worth of work, not because you are stupid and don't even know how to breathe, rather because you have some bad habits that need changing.

    So assuming you now have a feel for that BIG RELAXED BREATH, replace exhale with play, at first just standing still. DO NOT ADVANCE UNTIL YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH THIS CONCEPT!!!!!! If you move on before you are ready, you have just wasted a ton of time!
    Once your breathing is down standing still, do the same marching in place. Make sure that the additional motion does screw up the breathing circle! If all of this is working, march around in your room to train further.

    Another thing you should think about is putting breathing marks in your part and then practicing breathing ONLY there. If your breathing gets out of sync, the motor to drive your playing (your air and chops) gets messed up and you end up gasping for air, which in turn puts your body in panic mode......
    Practicing breathing ON PURPOSE where you are supposed to, prevents breathing when you have no other choice! That is a lesson for the rest of your life: do things when you are supposed instead of when you HAVE to!
    Good luck!
    tatakata likes this.
  3. et_mike

    et_mike Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 16, 2007
    Chesapeake, VA
    Maybe he should check out the thread on the Valsalva.... oh nevermind...

    Seriously though, Rowuk gave you some great advice.... use it!!
  4. jazz9

    jazz9 Piano User

    Dec 5, 2007
    Chilhowie, VA
    You may also be out of shape. I went several weeks without exercise and came back and did a parade that was over 7 miles long. We played over and over, and every time I had to hold out on a long note or play something high, I got a little lightheaded. Is this what you are experiencing? If so, try a little jogging, but whatever you do, take rowuk's advice over mine, because he definitely knows better than I do. :)
  5. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    Rowuk laid out a really sensible way to establish good breathing habits! I'll just add one little thing that has helped me...

    Sometimes I find my breathing getting worse the farther I go into a piece (or etude or whatever). What helps me is to listen to a recording of whatever I'm playing and practice breathing in time with the recording. It's an easy way to get a full relaxed breath while still thinking about the music you're working on but not having the complication of actually having to play the horn! This was especially helpful for me when I was working on the Hindemith Sonata. After doing this for awhile (a little each day, not four hours at a time!), the good breath became much more automatic even when the playing was strenuous.

    MJ likes this.
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Pedal C,
    great advice. We need to "rehearse" breathing the same as "rehearsing" notes. It is advantageous to look at the score BEFORE starting to work on a piece to discover what is necessary. Add breathing marks, dynamics and anything else that comes to mind. A score is not a finished blueprint! I read somewhere that Beethoven said that "the best music was made with pencils".

    When I guest conduct, I pass out pencils first. Everybody knows then that I mean business - in a nice sort of way! It is amazing how many players show up to rehearsal without this most basic of tools needed to do a good job!
  7. Decentplayer

    Decentplayer Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 11, 2008
    In additon to breathing exercises, I would go to the doctor for a check up, just to be on the safe side. Having your heart pound doesn't sound good. If all checks out ok at the doc, then at least you'll know there's nothing wrong physically.
  8. lmf

    lmf Forte User

    May 16, 2007
    Indiana USA

    Above all means, see you doctor. It may be nothing, but it may be something. Only medical people know! If something is wrong, early intervention gives you an edge.

    Best wishes,

    Last edited: Jan 19, 2008
  9. mrmusicnotes

    mrmusicnotes Piano User

    Nov 11, 2007
    All great stuff.Also,I think the ability to rapidly replace our breath is a great exercise to practice,especially on a technical piece were theres not much room for a big breathe replacement.The deeper you get into such a piece of music,the more your exhausting your air.One of my past teachers helped me with this while we were working on the arbans characteristic studies.They helped with my endurance a great deal. If your interested do a search on Arnold Jacobs Breathing Exercises for a detail.
  10. j4k8

    j4k8 New Friend

    Oct 7, 2007
    the band stand
    thanks for all the great comments im pretty sure its nothing medical because the pounding stops after i play..but i'll still get checked soon just in case. i really think rowuks suggestion is great and i'll definintly try to breath along to music and start practicing Arnold Jacobs Breathing Exercises.

Share This Page