Tighter abs?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Myshilohmy, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. Myshilohmy

    Myshilohmy Pianissimo User

    Jan 6, 2009
    I was in a lesson with my teacher today and we were working on the end of Fanfare and Allegro and he said for a long hit like that I need to push with my abs and not work with my face so much. He had me play it and pressed against my abs and told me to push back while I played it. Is there anyone who can better explain or help me visualize what he means or wants me to do?
  2. mchs3d

    mchs3d Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 30, 2005
    Provo, UT
    Well, truth be told, but your abs don't control your breathing. Only breathing controls breathing. So, I think what your teacher is trying to tell is to make sure you are really pumping out the air. How has he taught you to breathe?
  3. Big Daddy

    Big Daddy Mezzo Piano User

    Mar 22, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    I would believe it to be your diaphragm not your abs. The diaphragm is the main muscle of respiration. Contraction of the diaphragm muscle expands the lungs during inspiration when one is breathing air in. We rely heavily on the diaphragm for our respiratory function.

    It is the diaphragm that causes the lungs to swell and fill with fresh air, then partially collapse to expel used gases.
  4. abtrumpet

    abtrumpet Pianissimo User

    Nov 14, 2009
    Well here's a crazy idea but why not ask your teacher? :dontknow:
  5. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    Inhale and then exhale while saying: "ha ha ha" in short explosive syllables. Put your hand on your belly while doing this and you should be able to feel it move. This is where the push comes from when we talk about breath support.

  6. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Another way to get this feel is to take a full quick breath with your hand on your stomach ,and cough, or do the same thing then yell, you will feel your abs tighten when you exhale.When you use your abs this way you let your air do the work and take some of the strain off your embouchure.
  7. tptCarl

    tptCarl Pianissimo User

    Jan 17, 2006
    Cottonwood, Arizona
  8. Pete Anderson

    Pete Anderson Pianissimo User

    Feb 27, 2008
    Wow, he sounds great! Why haven't I heard of this guy? He has a great vivaldi video up that deserves more than 350 views....

    YouTube - Urban Agnas & Joakim Agnas play Vivaldi

    But in the flow video he talks a lot about relaxing the stomach, and instead focusing on the embouchure. It seems like the OP's teacher is trying to get him to basically do the opposite.

    Of course, as with everything, there needs to be a balance between the two. But I don't think we should go confusing Myshilohmy too much at this point with new and seemingly contradictory advice!
  9. jbkirby

    jbkirby Forte User

    Sep 10, 2009
    Dothan, Alabama
    This is how we were taught to breathe, pushing from the diaphragm, not the chest walls. We played Fanfare and Allegro for State Contest (and our 12th superior rating in a row in 1972). It can be a workout when the tempo increases at the end!
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    There are conflicting methods as to what happens in that area of the body. I have put the big picture together like this:

    The diaphragm cannot be controlled directly like arm muscles. It only pulls down causing low pressure in the lungs, that will consequentially fill up with air IF we let them.

    There is a natural exhale that has NOTHING to do with the diaphragm. Anything else requires adding TENSION to the breathing cycle.

    There are some players that insist that the abs are needed to push the air out at some higher pressure. I will disagree for almost everything except lead trumpet playing. Here a bit of extra tension seems to be beneficial.

    If your inhale is big enough, you don't have to concentrate on the exhale (except to stay relaxed). This is what I have successfully taught for over 30 years.

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