What is Breath Support ?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Pedagogy' started by anthony, May 31, 2009.

  1. anthony

    anthony Mezzo Piano User

    Mar 3, 2009
    what is meant by breath support does it me that when we are playing we must always tense up our stomach muscles ? Thanks Anthony:dontknow:
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    breathing is one of lifes basic forces. Breathing for the trumpet means having the body relaxed and prepared to take in a big breath without tensing anything up in a serious way. I have often described a circle of breath here. Draw a circle. The left side is inhale, the left exhale. At the top and bottom you notice that the circle is still round. That means when going from in- to exhale, no bumps or corners, just a SMOOTH transition.

    I practice this with my students without the horn first. Once they can breathe deeply without bumps(this can take a whole lesson!), we replace exhale with play. They get 5 minutes of longtones with the mouthpiece and 5 with the trumpet. No tonguing, just exhaling. After 4-6 weeks it becomes pretty natural (at least when I am around ;-) )!

    I teach low tension for everything except lead in the big band or salsa band. If you breathe right, you do not need to "think" about your stomach muscles at all.

    We are talking about habits and to form them, we need hundreds to thousands of repetitions. I always have to scratch my head when I read stories about playing getting turned around overnight. I guess fairy tales are still needed to calm the masses even in the information age!
  3. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Think of air as fuel to drive the trumpet and your abs [stomach muscles ] as the fuel-pump, depending on how hard or easy we drive, the abs [pump]is always working in various degrees.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2009
  4. NickD

    NickD Forte User

  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown

    Think of it the other way around. When we are playing well and moving air and "supporting" the muscles do tense, but this tension is a symptom, not a cause. Go for the feeling of a a full, stable air column in your body and horn. The rest happens automatically.

    The hard part is discovering the feeling.

    Good luck!

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