Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by jonathansedlacek, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. jonathansedlacek

    jonathansedlacek Pianissimo User

    Jul 23, 2011
    I have been told in the past that I need to relax when playing, and, if you want to hit that high note, you gotta relax. The only thing no one has ever told me is how to relax.
    If any of you have any exercises or tips based on relaxation, could you tell me, they would be greatly appreciated.
  2. patkins

    patkins Forte User

    Nov 22, 2010
    Tuscaloosa, AL.
    Diaphragmatic breathing; otherwise known as deep sighing before you play. It increases Oxygen flow throughout the body. It reducues anxiety by decreasing heart-rate and blood pressure. Try it you'll like it.
  3. thatsmagic83

    thatsmagic83 New Friend

    Dec 6, 2011
    Seven Eleven breathing is excellent for help against anxiety. Breathe in deeply for seven seconds then slowly exhale for eleven seconds, the longer outbreath makes the body naturally relax. You might want to look into progressive muscle relaxation techniques too. Learning to relax is easy as long as you practice this skill daily. There are plenty of relaxation cd's around so try and find one that works for you. I suggest building a trigger action like placing your thumb and finger together so when you do this as your playing your body will register it as a signal to relax.

    Hope that helps a little!
  4. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    Playing relaxed involves practicing to play without excessive body or facial tension. There is no one thing that will help as it's a learning process that involves not just the muscles but the mind. When do you know if the tension you feel is Ok or excessive? Only a good teacher can help you there. I could tell you to play soft long tones starting on middle G, But that won't ensure that you play without excessive tension. This is true for anything I tell you. Telling you is not teaching you.
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Yoga, martial arts, Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, swimming, long walks, practice after a hot shower.

    Body use is the key to avoiding excess tension. That requires awareness on what can be wrong. Here is a link to get started with:

    David G. Monette Corporation
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Think AFTER the high note is played, not "hope I can hit it". As rowuk eludes to above, it's all mental. I might add to rowuk, on other stress reduction technique before you rehearse to try to improve range.

    Close your eyes, tense your forehead muscles. Now let them relax. Feel the blood and the warmth flowing back to those muscles. Then tense your eye lids closed. Then relax them. Again, feel the blood and warmth return. Then tense your eye lids full open. Then feel the changes. Next your jaw closed, then open. Then your Neck, flexed, extended, to right shoulder, to left shoulder. Finally your lips, tense them into a smile, relax, tense them closed, then relax. Once this is done, try your note excercises. Don't give up. Do this at least every 2 days. You will get results in relaxation in a month... two tops.

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