Stress and Breathing

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Sethoflagos, Sep 18, 2015.

  1. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    I went back to a couple of Arban exercises I'd not looked at for a while with a view to possibly incorporating them into my daily routine.

    One of them was Pg. 21 Ex. 47.

    It's two 16 bar phrases and aside from a crotchet rest halfway through, I'd previously found it pretty difficult to find other places to breathe. Sometime or other I'd marked in 3 addition places where I could snatch a quick breath, but they were hardly natural.

    More than a little surprised this evening to find that I could get through it fairly comfortably with just the one breath in the middle. I was taking it at a pretty pedestrian pace (maybe 112 or thereabouts), and can't come up with any explanation other than a change in the amount of tension between then and now.

    In which case tension has a much bigger effect on the length of phrase you can play in comfort than I'd imagined.
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    There is nothing "natural" about a big, quick breath. It is generally reserved for panic. The secret for trumpet players is the "big", prepared body. We have to make room so that we do not excessively compress when filling up.

    I suspect that your body is in place, more naturally big and that lets you breathe deep with less tension.
     
  3. ChinTurret

    ChinTurret New Friend

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    I have found breathing is challenging both for taking air in and getting unused air out. Too big of a breath leads to problems too. Anyone else consider this?
     
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    I find breathing works best when you don't have to think about it.
     
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Having air left over or no strategy means that you are not intelligently practicing breathing, rather taking a big breath and chance controls the rest. If you mark your score with breathing marks, and it works reliably in the practice room, on stage is no issue. If you breathe only when you think that you need it, everything can easily get out of sync. There are a variety of things that happen on stage that can take advantage of poor breathing preparation. Adrenalin is one, endurance failing is another, that feeling of suffocation is third.

    You simply have to conciously practice breathing as much as practicing notes, you have to make your breathing reliable and musical. What Seth mentioned is different. Big breath means that we need a place for the air to go. That is body use and ignored by too many players that have been "lucky" up until now.

     
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  6. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

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    I've had that problem whenever I was playing important gigs... lots of air inside, no oxygen left, no time to get rid of the empty stuff... can be agonizing. And then I trained on what I call the Circle of Breath (it's NOT Circular Breathing). Before every warm-up, I just stand straight up and breathe - in, out, with my hands makig circular movements before my body: Hands moving upwards - breathe in. Hands moving downward - breathe out. And the important bit is that you come to an understanding that breathing in and out are essentially the same movement and that with only a bit of practice it is easy to switch from In to Out extremely quickly - no pause between. Ad from that moment onwards, my breathing out problems were gone. I had found out that it's not the actual process of breathing out that hampers us when playing, but the change-over between In and Out. Eliminate that, and you're a good way to solving that problem.
     
  7. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

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    Very well said, rowuk. That's why I always recommend singing lessons for any trumpet player - voice coaches usually are best at training one's breathing technique and capacity...
     
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Good voice coaches are also VERY strict about LEARNING repertory including where and how much to breathe. Nothing is left to chance!

     
  9. cb5270

    cb5270 Pianissimo User

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    Hmm. I just tried that and I've got a ways to go. At 11 measures I'm giving out. Gives me a goal to go for.
     
  10. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    About where I was six months ago I guess. I doesn't appear to be the unbridgeable gulf you might think it is. For me it was just a combination of tonguing exercises, flow studies and steady range building until I wasn't really struggling with anything at that particular technical level.

    I must admit that holding that last low C for an extra bar or two gets the bladder twitching a little (sorry if that's too much information) :-)
     

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