Topping off the Lungs-Breathing technique

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by wnaus, Jan 9, 2010.

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  1. wnaus

    wnaus Pianissimo User

    Dec 4, 2008
    A breathing technique for all brass and woodwind players.
    Wayne Naus

    I would like to share a breathing technique with you that I have been practicing and that will help you increase your range, power, support, endurance and sound. The technique, which I refer to as Topping Off The Lungs, is synonymous with topping off the gas in your car’s gas tank. I adapted and then modified the technique for brass and woodwind players from a technique used by deep-water divers holding their breath for long periods of time. Although I am a trumpet player and familiar with the Yoga breathing techniques as described in the Science of Breath * I have not heard of anyone (not even Maynard) describe this particular technique until now. The technique is not about holding your breath but rather using additional air to create more diaphramatic support while playing. Here is the technique:

    1) Place the mouthpiece on your lips and then take your normal breath for playing.

    2) Before playing, take six quick, short sniffs of air through your nose. You should feel the area just below your rib cage (not chest) expand with each sniff of air.

    3) After the last sniff of air, allow the newly expanded stomach area just below the rib cage to remain extended while you play. Feel the extra support here and use it to, as they say, “sit on the air”. This feeling of support should feel good and give you added strength, range, power, endurance and sound.

    I hope you find this technique helpful. I used it while recording my recent CD titled “Touch The Spirit”, a collection of Spiritual and Patriotic songs for trumpet and symphony orchestra. The recording and accompanying videos can be seen and heard on my site Welcome to Wayne Naus' World or youtube>wayne naus. The CD, which includes play-a-long tracks, can be purchased with printed music for Bb,C,Eb and bass cleff instruments through CDBaby>waynenaus. Warning: Trumpet range ascends to concert Bb 6.
    Copyright 2010 NausomeMusicPub.All rights reserved.

    *Science of Breath 1903, Yogi Ramacharaka,W&J Mackay & Co. Ltd, England(Expired)
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2010
  2. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Cool Stuff!! Thanks much!
  3. daniel025

    daniel025 New Friend

    Aug 20, 2009
    That sounds pretty good, ill give that a try next time i practice ! :)
  4. ryancibc

    ryancibc New Friend

    Nov 8, 2008
    That is neat!
  5. Hoghorn

    Hoghorn Pianissimo User

    Dec 30, 2008
    Manitowoc Wi.
    Hey Wayne,

    Thanks for posting your article on here. There is no doubt that if anyone trys this technique they will gain an advantage to their playing, as it does exactly what you describe, when done correctly.
    Your touch the spirit CD is incredible. Anyone who buys this music minus one package will surely be challenged playing it, I know I was !

    Thanks again for all your support to us Trumpet players !! :thumbsup:

  6. trumpmac

    trumpmac Pianissimo User

    Aug 8, 2009
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    This is very siliar to the "Yoga Breath" or "Wedge Breathing" that is taught by Bobby Shew, Roger Ingram and Maynard. It works! Thanks for sharing.
  7. Ric232

    Ric232 Pianissimo User

    Apr 30, 2009
    Coastal GA
    Are you supposed to do this with every breath or somehow maintain it after the first breath?
  8. wnaus

    wnaus Pianissimo User

    Dec 4, 2008
    It would have to be done on every breath in order to get the diaphramatic support I'm describing. Once you get the feeling down it can be done without really even thinking about it, it becomes automatic.
  9. wnaus

    wnaus Pianissimo User

    Dec 4, 2008
    Hi Ric, let me rephrase my response to your question. You should use the breathing technique anytime you need extra trumpet horse power. You might not need it for everything you play but for exceptionally long or high phrases the technique will give you some extra needed power and support.
    Good luck!
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The diaphragm doesn't support anything. It is a muscle that only contracts to help us "suck air in". Due to its shape, it can't push anything.

    Thoracic diaphragm - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    There are many takes on what should happen after we inhale. For most (non-lead) players I do not advocate "pushing". The same goes for those without well developed embouchures or breathing habits. Most of my upper register playing is "low-impact". If one pushes air, it is with the abs, not the diaphragm. This is not necessary for most things musical.

    The sniff is a great idea as many of us do not take a big enough breath.

    I am not sure that sniffing your way to higher notes is a good motto..................
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