rowuk....breathing exercises?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by crowmadic, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    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
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    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.
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    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".
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2009
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    very simple, the tongue is initially in the way of a perfect exhale. It also is what many players with weak chops use to get the lips to start vibrating - especially if they are using too much mouthpiece pressure!

    By reducing the process to its simplest form, we are developing the proper production of tone and can ADD the tongue at a later date, but only as much as necessary to articulate the sound. That also will aid quicker articulation because the tongue does not have to work as hard!
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2009
  3. Ric232

    Ric232 Pianissimo User

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    frankmike, thanks for asking.
    rowuk, thanks for answering.

    This simple question and response answers a lot for me, and I think it describes me.
     
  4. Leland Vall

    Leland Vall New Friend

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  5. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    Robin, the fascinating thing for me with respect to this approach is, not only does it work but i seem to gain something more from the description each time you post it - thank you.
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Ted,
    simplicity is beautiful in itself. I think every time that I post it I use 3-5 fewer words.

    In a real lesson, I draw the circle and need very little explanation at all.

    This concept does not disagree with any method I have ever seen or used. It is as close to universal as I have come across and even DIY players with twisted embouchures, 45 mouthpieces and sticky valves needing lapping can benefit. For the player with no money, you can use it without buying a mirror or paying me royalties.
     
  7. Trumpet-Golfer

    Trumpet-Golfer Pianissimo User

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    ROWUK said
    ‘Inhale through the nose and exhale through your lips into the horn’

    My teacher has me do this whilst performing lip slur exercises. For two reasons;
    i) It reduces movement in my embouchure.
    ii) It helps achieve a longer relaxed inhale.

    Trumpet-Golfer.
     
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    The rule for performance is a bit different then what I advocate for basics practicing.

    My rule on stage is to breathe through the nose when you have enough time. The nose filters, moisturizes and raises the temperature of the inhales air which is of benefit for the lungs.

    On stage we can't always get enough air in the short periods that some composers allow (perhaps a deficit on the composers ability to create natural musical phrases......). Then we have no choice.

    This also should be trained with the circle - just MUCH later, when the rest is working.
     
  9. Trumpet-Golfer

    Trumpet-Golfer Pianissimo User

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    Originally Posted by rowuk
    very simple, the tongue is initially in the way of a perfect exhale. It also is what many players with weak chops use to get the lips to start vibrating - especially if they are using too much mouthpiece pressure!

    ROWUK,
    Do you think starting lip slur exercises with a breath attack rather than a tongue attack will aid the gradual building up of weak chops?

    Trumpet-Golfer.
     
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I think you are moving too fast. My philosophy is to breathe this way first until we can reliably repeat it (100-500 repetitions). Then come long tones-at first in the easy middle register and then expand up and down, always taking a big step back if tension appears. After a month (sometimes more) of long tones, we can add easy slurs to the routine.

    The point is not to "prove" that we CAN, it is to turn this philosophy into a permant habit that cannot get shaken by unrelated events on stage. Only when we have this stable foundation can we correctly build more advanced techniques. Habits are built on THOUSANDS of repetitions!

    I know that most players think that breathing is easy, and they look at my circle of breath, perhaps try it a couple of times and check it off as solved. They are lying to themselves! I have been playing since 1966. I still continue to improve my basics today.

    Considering all of the embouchure, range and endurance posts here with no basic routines, I have more than adequate proof that the biggest problem is the simple foundation. Players are more willing to spread embouchure, Stevens method, Cat Anderson, blah, blah, blah BS all over the web than to just get back to simple, stable and effective.

    So that being said, IF you have the prerequisites down, yes, removing the tongue on lipslurs is beneficial for much more than weak chops. My point is, if you have the longtones down, your chops are not so weak anymore. Jumping into the deep end of the pool normally means that you never learn to crawl correctly, you are too busy struggling to keep afloat.

    My beginners generally have a C above the staff in their first 12-18 months of lessons (and double tonguing at quarter=152, triple tonguing at quarter=120, all major scales memorized from 4 sharps to 4 flats and a bunch of beautiful songs). I have to beg for more than 20 minutes practice per day with many of them. Braces can add 12 months to the above.

    Doing it right from the beginning means not having to waste time unlearning bad habits. DIY is 99% luck even with qualified internet help.
     

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