Tighter abs?

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

  1. RichJ

    RichJ Piano User

    Jan 16, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    I think that the most important thing is to be relaxed when you inhale. If you are tense on the in-breath, then you won't get as full of a breath and things go downhill from there. It's nearly impossible to be relaxed on the exhale after a tense inhale.
  2. oldenick

    oldenick Pianissimo User

    Apr 10, 2007
  3. oldenick

    oldenick Pianissimo User

    Apr 10, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2010
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    The internet and forums are at their best when knowledge and information gets passed around for free.

    I like TM.
  5. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    We all breathe without voluntary effort. That is a process of our autonomic nervous system. It HAPPENS, or we don't.

    When we play a wind instrument we must impose voluntary control over that system which runs just fine on its own. Much of this has to do with air management - having the air we need, not too much or too little, inside us when we need to exhale it. The best way to gain the upper hand on this is by practicing deap breathing such that we make the best use of abdominal, intercostal, and chest muscles. In Brass Playing is No Harder Than Deep Breathing, Claude Gordon describes the practice of taking deep breaths beginning with the abdomen/stomach area, continuing into the intercostal area, and then using finally the chest muscles. In doing this he constanly reminds us to KEEP THE CHEST UP. Doing this exercise of inhaling and exhaling deep breaths, in sequence, KEEPING THE CHEST UP, eventually allows us to do in one process all three steps. If you do these exercises, first at rest, and then while walking, the deep breathing merges with the autonomic process and we don't have to THINK about it.

    When the proper habits (air management, fingers, embouchure setting, posture) become part of your body's natural autonomic process, you can then THINK about playing the music. That is why we practice. Repitition takes the conscious brain out of the process so you can use it for the ART of MUSIC.

  6. Sam24

    Sam24 New Friend

    Feb 11, 2009
    Apology accepted but let me rephrase. No need to condescend.

    The whole point is you're still focusing on your abs and pushing air out from there.

    When your inhale is big enough you're not going to be able to hold it in with ease. There will be some air pressure waiting to be released because you're holding in so much air and thus tension as rowuk said. This is why the cycle of breathing needs to be working so that there is no stopping point.

    When you focus on pushing air out with your abs you're stopping the air at some point and causing tension to arise.

    When you just inhale big enough and let the exhale naturally progress from the inhale you're going to be pushing with your abs and diaphragm anyway without any conscious need to think about it.

    It all depends on how much air your inhaling and how your inhale. Imagine taking the biggest breath you can and blowing into the horn with no stopping and releasing all that air into the horn. Of course there's going to be pressure when your lips are attached to a metal mouthpiece on a brass instrument. Your embouchure reacts to that air pressure and your abs compensate to keep air moving through the resistance.

    The point throughout is the cycle of breathing. If your breathing is not stopped, naturally the body will have to compensate to keep the cycle going.

    Here you don't have to worry about "over doing it" because you can't. You're only letting your body naturally take care of what it needs to do. With your method you're always worried about over doing it.

    But in the midst of it all, just breath and :play:
  7. Bixel

    Bixel Pianissimo User

    Jan 1, 2010
    I didn't say (and I didn't mean) one should focus on one's abs.
    I said abs are involved in trumpet playing.
    They deliver tension to let the air do its work.

    A poster "disagreed that the abs are needed to push the air out at some higher pressure".
    I didn't like that announcement because it may well mislead beginners.

  8. jbkirby

    jbkirby Forte User

    Sep 10, 2009
    Dothan, Alabama
    Interesting, rowuk. This proves we can learn new things even as we age. I never knew the diaphragm had no effect on exhaling, but that fact does solve some questions I've had on why I never seemed to feel the push anywhere but my rectus abdominus. Since I learned to breathe this way 40 years ago, it has never failed to be an aid either when playing a horn or singing. Another important point is to be sitting up erect, not leaning on the back of the chair.
  9. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Ta-da! The VULGANO RAY OF POWER meets real-life.

    The sitting part has to do with the Alexander Method, in which we make ourselves as long as possible.

    This stuff works, and is free.


    Send me money.
  10. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    I have played with both methods.

    When I first started I was taught to push from my stomach. Lay on the floor and put your hand on your stomach and breath. You will feel it. The ha ha ha method also works.
    I used this method for years and I have alwayse had a nice sound with better than average insurance.

    Later in life, I learned to play relaxed. Big relaxed breath in and the same out. No pushing. You don't need a lot of air moving through the trumpet to make it play.

    Fill up and when you are about half way empty fill up again. Forget about your stomach. Just fill and expand your lungs. They will naturally push air out when you relax.

    Having used both systems, I found the relax method works better for me. Even when playing lead I try to stay as relaxed as possible.

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