Taking a breath

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by fuzzyhaze, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. Johnctrumpet

    Johnctrumpet New Friend

    Feb 17, 2012
    When taking a breath, it is easier to breathe through the mouth, it is quicker and more efficient. There are merits for breathing through the nose, but it is usually a more advanced way of breathing. It is not a way most orchestral players breathe. Breathing in though the corners the of the mouth is the correct way. Make sure that you play 'at the top of your breath' i.e. take the biggest breath and don't hold your air before you play. Breathe in, blow straight out. You will find this minimises tension.

    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  2. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    I've used nose breathing when working on certain exercises in Maggio and Caruso but not in performance. I've tried but I don't take in the same amount air as I can through my mouth. I play lead in a big band that plays a lot of Basie,Woody,60's and 70's Maynard,Buddy,Doc's Tonight Show Band,etc.,some of these charts are written to double C with sustained lines to Bb's. I need all the air I can take in and a nose breath doesn't do it for me,besides I would have to give up a gig everytime I caught the sniffles
  3. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008

    I'll call BS here.

    Arrogance and ignorance are sometimes bedfellows.

    I have never personally met a trumpet pro or teacher who is a nose-breather.

    Wynton Marsalis, Phil Smith, Doc Severinsen, Chris Botti, Chet Baker, Wayne Bergeron, Cat Anderson are/were all mouth-breathers.

    Clark Terry did a lot of circular breathing, but was a mouth-breather when not circular breathing.

    Sometimes this board gets really wrapped in theory vs reality.

    There are probably a dozen things more important for the OP to focus on other than making a switch to breathing through his nose.
    kingtrumpet and codyb226 like this.
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    There are nose breathers out there; there is no right or wrong, but here is the right time to use the nose or mouth breath. Nose breathing before an entrance (in orchestras we often get plenty of measures rests between passages) does help reduce tension, and yeah, there are times when we have to gulp air like a fish out of water. I find the nose breath works really well for students following the concept of forming the embouchure before adding mouthpiece pressure. Until the student gets muscle memory going, breathing through the corners will distort the embouchure. Advanced players suffer less (or not at all) breathing through the corners because they are advanced.
  5. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    I'm with you VB.

    I'll even admit to using my nose to fill up at the beginning of a tune or when coming in off of a long enough rest.

    My point was to counter the absolute, definitive, derogatory delivery of a nose breathing sermon.
  6. diego

    diego New Friend

    Jan 25, 2012
    I prefer to breath trough the nose. I only breath trough the mouth if I don't have time. But I don't practice to do it, it's just more confortable to me.
  7. patkins

    patkins Forte User

    Nov 22, 2010
    Tuscaloosa, AL.
    I agree with Vulgano. As a physician, the nose was built for breathing. The mouth is for deep sighs, or yawning as far as breathing goes. Otherwise the mouth is for eating. Just because you have a mouthpiece attached to your mouth doesn't change physiology. Many trumpet players learn to play one way, but that doesn't mean it is the proper or most proficient way.
    Ot of respect for a Moderator, I would never use a BS card. It is disrepectful and offensive. They are the experts here. We all get toasted sometimes by Moderators and we can accept their opinion, or disagree respectfully. But to accuse them of BS is inapproprate. Furthermore to infer arrogance and ignorance is offensive. I'm glad you quasi-apologized gbdeamer, but am absolute apology is more appropriate.
  8. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    And for kissing! It comes in handy to be able to talk sweetly, 'cuz otherwise I'd never have gotten a kiss in the first place.

    Kissing is a good technique for learning nose-breathing.
  9. shooter

    shooter Piano User

    Jan 12, 2007
    I'm not sure how "efficient" breathing has to be...Unless you're trying to play while running a marathon. I play what I can till my breath runs out, then I grab another one. Nose. Mouth. However you can get air to the lungs should work.
  10. Brad-K

    Brad-K Piano User

    Jun 18, 2011
    I've been a singer since 1981. It's my main instrument, trumpet is just an enhancer to my singing. I've gigged and recorded, trained and studied all this time...I have never once heard anything anywhere that nose breathing is anything but highly and completely incorrect.

    Same goes for Trumpet. Sorry, Mr Rowuk, my respected and esteemed Elder, but I will go with what Mr. Seagull and Ms. King taught me every single time.

    Think about it....How would it sound if a singer inhales nasally before a passage?....MOST PEOPLE MAKE A REALLY LOUD NOISE WHEN RAPIDLY INHALING NASALLY.

    Same goes for trumpet....utterly

    And, "...When there is time..." ...When is there time? I'm supposed to take a leisurely time inhaling through my nose---then hold my breath while waiting for the passage to start, while my lungs fill with Co2? I'm half out of air, and the passage is half shot before I even began.

    Before a passage, whether on horn or singing, one should expel the air already in the lungs, 'cause it's mostly co2 by now, and fresh oxygen should be taken so the player/singer can have the most o2 during the upcoming passage...so you can play/sing without being compromised by limited o2.
    Likewise, this all should occur as close to playing/singing as is practicably possible, so the player/singer has the most o2 to utilize....longer passages can be performed before a new breath is needed, and the performance will be superior because there is a greater abundance of fresh air.

    [Edit] The above is what should occur in the "When there is time" phase. For when "there is no time, no exhalation is needed/done-only a quick inhalation through the corners of the mouth.

    ...And of course, if you have a 4 measure rest, you're going to breathe through your nose....We are talking about actual playing time here. It would be pretty ridiculous to see an orchestra panting like dogs on long rests, and between pieces.

    And yes, the Pro's, Elders, and Mod all deserve respect. That doesn't give them license to treat others with undue contempt.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
    codyb226 likes this.

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