Sitting

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by flugelgirl, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. flugelgirl

    flugelgirl Forte User

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    Jan 20, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Hi, all,
    I'm hoping you can give me a little help here. I've always put a lot of effort into correct breathing and posture - I try to be as efficient as possible so I can keep up with the big guys, since I'm a pretty small person. Still, I find that my breath support and power are much better when I play standing as opposed to sitting. I would always rather play standing, but right now every group I play with sits. I watch my posture and sit on the edge of my seat (I kind of have to, being short!) What else can I do?
    Thanks!
     
  2. misty.sj

    misty.sj Forte User

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    Jan 27, 2008
    Brisbane, Australia
    I had terrible sitting posture until I took some violin lessons. For some reason all that contortion really helped me to focus on my posture. One thing I like to do is turn the chair 45 degrees so I'm sitting on one of the corners. Also make sure that your feet are completely touching the ground and your thighs are just slightly angled downward. You may need to find a better chair! I'm very short (4'11") and a lot of chairs don't work for me. Try using a stool and bringing your own.
     
  3. Bourbon City

    Bourbon City Pianissimo User

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    Jun 8, 2004
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    A lesson on setting in a chair:
    1. set towards the front of the chair
    2. set with back straight
    3. set with one foot just forward of the other
    4. now with good breath and breath support
    5. play

    Sorry flugelgirl the devil made me do this so don't hate me for my attempt at being funny.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2008
  4. commakozzi

    commakozzi Pianissimo User

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    Oct 30, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    I'm not sure if this will help you, but it helped me. I sit through most of my playing during the day, and the thing that has helped me make sure that I'm supporting with air is to keep my chest up... almost like I'm posturing around, about to beat on my chest like an ape! It's easier to keep that posture when you're standing but your tendency when sitting is to slouch your upper body (chest, shoulders, etc.) So, keep your shoulders slightly back and poke your chest out. Jeff Purtle's got some interesting clips from the Claude Gordon Brass Camp that talk about this. To hear the clip I'm talking about click here and then click on the Quicktime logo next to "Wind Power".

    Hope that helps!
     
  5. flugelgirl

    flugelgirl Forte User

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    Jan 20, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Commakozi, that's an excellent link - thanks! I'm going to try that with my chest over the next week - that might be the problem. I know I tend to slouch forward after a long day of plaing just from holding up the horn all day, so I'll keep thinking about it, and try not to go into automatic pilot mode.
    Wow, Misty, you're short like my sister! I'm 5'3" - not quite that short, but I have thought about taking my own chair. Makes for a lot to carry on a gig, though, and I can't do that or sit to the side in a military formation, although I may try it in a civilian setting.
    Thanks, guys!
     
  6. Eeviac

    Eeviac Piano User

    I'm practicing mostly sitting. I'll notice a temporary improvement if I get up and stand, because it temporarily gets me over what I can only think is a reluctance to use enough air, because it's (trumpet playing) an unfamiliar activity and my body has some self-protective responses.

    "Sitting at attention" seems to be the way to go, if you have to get loud etc. and can't stand.

    As for violin, yeah, you have to have super-posture to do that right, there's no fooling around with that thing. It's like shooting rifle standing.
     
  7. mrtrpt

    mrtrpt New Friend

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    Sep 23, 2007
    Ever try sitting on a big yoga ball? Sitting on those is great for your back and it's practically impossible to play with bad posture sitting on one of those. Worth trying...

    MR
     
  8. misty.sj

    misty.sj Forte User

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    Jan 27, 2008
    Brisbane, Australia
    Those yoga balls make you support with your abs. Maybe just isolating the abs is what you need. Try it and see. Those yoga balls are only $20! I have one sitting under my desk at work.
     
  9. commakozzi

    commakozzi Pianissimo User

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    Oct 30, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    I doubt she's going to sit on a yoga ball during a navy band rehearsal.
     
  10. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

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    Aug 14, 2005
    It seems to me that you are doing the right things: posture, edge of the seat, chest high, back straight. I'm not sure there's much more you CAN do. I would say that if you find yourself in any kind of discomfort you might want to find someone who teaches the Alexander method of movement. I haven't studied this discipline personally, but I have bunches of friends who have (both musicians and non-musicians) and they all swear by it....

    bigtiny
     

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