Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Alex Yates, Oct 25, 2006.

  1. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

    Aug 11, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
  2. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Dubai, UAE
    Looks like an upmarket version of the 'ping pong' ball in a tube that Keith Johnson (UNT) introduced me to over the summer and has all his students working on. The original is a lot simpler (and doesn't come with it's own little bottle of wash or drawstring bag!!).

    I have been using a version of this simple one since then designed by Kristian Steenstrup (RAM,Aarhus Denmark..he also has an excellent book for Jacobites called "Teaching Brass') which has a few more bells and whistles than Keith's. I use it as part of my warm up. It opens my airways up and makes me take full, relaxed breaths and then turn them around smoothly without interruption.

    Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but I think I remember Keith saying it was an Arnold Jacobs idea and used by his students.


  3. Liad Bar-EL

    Liad Bar-EL Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Jerusalem, Israel

    Excuse me!! I received a couple of these or rather something similar for free after a family member or two were in the hospital and was given these devices to either restrict inhaling or exhaling. Ok, so much for that.

    I mentioned before awhile ago that my friend and neighbor is a lung surgeon. While we were walking back home and discussing lungs……what else would a lung surgeon know the most of?..........I asked him how I could develop my lungs more so as to play the trumpet better, have more power and I mentioned these lung exercisers. He said to me, if you want to develop your lungs more in order to play the trumpet, the best thing to do is to play more trumpet.

    This sort of shut me up…………….and then a day later I thought about playing the hoseaphone with a 12 foot pipe about 1/2 inch thick……..now that would really be a super trumpet and develop your lungs more but then I thought that I would enjoy playing my trumpet more and get more out of it as well.

    Of course if you have money to burn, I'll give you a break and only charge you $79.99 for this bit of advice.:D

    Liad Bar-EL
  4. Groggles

    Groggles New Friend

    Mar 3, 2006
    Hi Alex,

    Ive been using the powerlung for 3 months now and i think it is a good tool but an expensive one. I would buy the book by Mark Boren. He explains the main ideas and advantages of powerlung.

    It is different to the ping pong ball trainer because you can control the resistance by inhale and exhale.. so as you train and get stronger you can increase the resistance equally. Something the ping pong ball doesnt do.
  5. W Scott

    W Scott Piano User

    Dec 8, 2003
    Carson City, NV.
    Technically, those 'ping-pong ball' things are Incentive Spirometers. They were invented (and are used) after surgery to give people an 'incentive' to take deep breaths, which in turn helps to prevent pneumonia. By having something visual to play with it's more fun and hopefully they really do use the device. But, the device does NOTHING that you can't do just by playing the trumpet. If you want to develop your lungs, play and play lots. Also, any aerobic exercise done at a fast clip will help. In reality though, if you don't start out as a kid, you're not going to really increase your lung capacity---you will just optimize what you have.

    How do I know? I was a Respiratory Therapist for 20 years. I started playing trumpet when I was 10. I've done a lot of pulmonary function tests on folks, and those of us who started out as kids playing wind instruments, swimming or singing usually have about double the usual capacity of most adults.

  6. talcito

    talcito Piano User

    Feb 18, 2004
    I have been using the Powerlung for about 6 months and its probably the best thing I have done for my playing in a very long time.

    By using the Powerlung I have been able to increase my air intake and just as important I could manage the air better.

    The would strongly suggest that you purchase the instructional DVD that is sold separately. It has many exercises that simulate real life playing situations and the quality is just great.

    I have studied and played with some of the best players. Conversations about Air support, yoga exercises , reading books Maynard suggested.....well I have done all that , but not until I started using the Powerlung did I really understand what air support is supposed to feel like.
  7. ebtromba

    ebtromba Pianissimo User

    wow. I didn't realize it was that drastic.

    here is the whole gamut of breathing devices, the only thing missing is the powerlung. I suspect it isn't that much different than these, maybe it has a feature or two these don't have.

    http://www.windsongpress.com/breathing devices/breathing devices.htm
  8. trumpet blower88

    trumpet blower88 Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 15, 2005
    Flagstaff, AZ
    I dunno, I've never bought in to any of those type of devices... But you can never go wrong with some good ole' Pat Sheridan's Breathing Gym.
  9. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Dubai, UAE
    Just to clear something up.

    I think the point of the ping pong ball device is to stimulate the correct feel on the inhale and exhale not to build lung capacity. Bill's right, your actually capacity is pretty much limited by the time you leave your teens.

    Luckily I was a great swimmer and played tuba from age 10 all the way through high school so volume of air isn't a problem. I still feel the device adds to my playing though (even if it is mental). The one I have has a series of different size holes in the top so that you can change the pressure in the tube.


  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    All that any of these devices can do is make your "breathing" more visible. There are no "muscles" that these devices train better than more playing.
    As (wo)mankind has become more graphical, it is maybe easier to show why breathing correctly is useful. Any tool that helps us to become more aware of what is good for us is not bad - maybe just too expensive. $80 would buy a lesson or 2 with a real good teacher - that would have the added advantage of getting a checkup on other things that we may need help with............

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