How I approach breathing exercises: 1) Every day I exhale (squeeze) as much of the air out of my lungs as I can, inhale as deeply as I can and repeat exhaling one last time. 2) I do laps under water ------------------------------ Now for the trumpet and breathing: One of the problems trumpet players have is when they inhale their shoulders go up. Generally, this appears to fill up the top portion of the lungs and the person's chest looks puffed up and out. As stated earlier, I recommend the circle of breathing and a little trick a guy from Eastman showed me. Imagine a hole about the size of a tennis ball in the small of the back. When the person inhales, imagine the air being sucked into the hole. This causes the belt buckle area to go out instead of the shoulders going up. Then fill up the rest of the lungs without lifting the shoulders(generally, filling up the bottom keeps the shoulders from rising anyway). Make sure the bottom is filled before the top is filled. ---------------- Using the air: I appears that one of the big mysteries is how to play and keep tension and force at bay. Most trumpet players use far too much physical tension and too much air force. Granted if I'm playing high "hot" notes then I use my air more like a pressure cooker using my abdominal muscles to create the tension. However (and this is a big however), I use high hot notes when I perform. However, 99% of the time I play with the force of the air that approximates exhaling. It's a real control thing to be able to just exhale and play and not have a strained sound, have a strained look on the face like I'm about to poop, and not shake from the tension when playing "hot".