Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by 9horn, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    As the OP's performance is only 5 days away I do not think anything will make much difference.

    Regards, Stuart.
  2. johnande

    johnande Pianissimo User

    Jun 3, 2009
    western Wyoming
    Stumac... re: I agree, 5 days until OP and it may be a little late to change. However, for your consideration, I would offer a different opinion from some the previous posters....

    The term “winded” usually refers to a subjective feeling of a need to breathe. This feeling is triggered primarily by a buildup of CO2 in the blood and to a much lesser extent to either O2 depletion or decreased volume of air in the lungs. (Increased CO2 concentrations in the blood stimulate chemoreceptors which in turn stimulate the feeling of a need to breathe and therefore increase lung function). While the volume of air in the lungs may be relevant to feeling “winded,” it is also quite possible that failure to more or less fully expire the air from the lungs creates a buildup of CO2 in the lungs and reduces the diffusion of CO2 from the blood into the lungs, resulting in a “backup” of CO2 in the blood and an increased feeling of a need to breathe.

    Applying the above to playing the trumpet, I think it is important to not “over-breathe,” (as suggested by some posters above), but rather to take in only enough air to get to the next point in the music that allows a breath. The bottom line is that a more or less full expiration occurs while executing the phrase and thus no forced expiration is necessary at the next breath to “blow off” the CO2 in the lungs. A forced expiration is also more time consuming.

    As for what I call “over-breathing” as described by previous posters, I suspect it might be somewhat beneficial if used in conjunction with a full or forced expiration. But, without a relatively full expiration of CO2 in the lungs, feeling "winded" is still likely....
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    With a full breath, the shoulders will rise, but it is a symptom and not a cause; it is not dependent on the style of music we are playing. Endurance is built through long, low-impact practicing. Clarke studies in the lower register work well, a tingling in the lips is a signal that blood is circulating. When playing, even a brief instant of taking pressure off the lips and allowing blood to circulate can increase our endurance.
  4. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

    Jul 5, 2010
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    In many cases - i.e. in mine, before I got proper tuition, - it's a question of the right mind-set, not a matter of endurance.
  5. BustedChops

    BustedChops Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 1, 2011
    Forget volume the bell will do the work. Change the mouthpiece to an el cheapo 7c and you'll play it just like the 5th grade.
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Interesting and I bet much of this is subjective. My question to the OP is... Was your playing cousing you to feel winded BEFORE you were asked to and expected to play this performance in 5 days? Perhaps the OP is experiencing performance anxiety, which would be more of a problem with hyperventilation (loss of CO2) rather than hypoventilation as johnande suggests. So if the endurance was fine prior to this performance preparation, anxiety would be a more likely cause. I have not seen any further response from the OP, but if you can answer my question above that would be helpful.
  7. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Know it must be frustrating. Many good ideas here. When I have this problem I back off the volume level. P and f are relative. Once when I was worried about this during my early comeback time I carried both a Kanstul 1000 (Beenge) and a King Liberty (small bore) to the performance. Going to a smaller bore horn gives you more endurance and let's you reach the end of phrases. Ease off on long notes. Talk with the director and let them know you are having an endurance issue and need to lay out a verse, or pick phrases to omit on one verse. Best of luck.
  8. 9horn

    9horn Pianissimo User

    Feb 25, 2009
    New York
    Thanks for all of your good advise,
    This post hit the nail on the head in my case. After reading i played and studied what was happining I found that as I got to my breathe mark, in order to inhale I had to exhale just a bit. I started to take a smaller breaths until I got to a point where I didn't notice any exhalation, and am pretty amazed that I can go further.:D
  9. johnande

    johnande Pianissimo User

    Jun 3, 2009
    western Wyoming
    Gmonady.... First, let me say that I agree with you about the very real possibility of performance anxiety increasing blood CO2 because of muscle tension and thereby increasing the drive to breathe. Your question re: hypertension is interesting and I am not certain I can answer it but will give it a try. Hyperventilation is generally defined as an extended faster breathing rate that would be normal for a given situation, ie, panic attacks which trigger fast breathing. The end result is generally an increased diffusion of CO2 from the blood to the alveoli in the lungs. This decreases the CO2 in the blood and therefore reduces the internal mechanism which drives pulmonary ventilation. It also can trigger negative effects such as dizziness. This seems contrary to Stumac's situation. HOWEVER, some studies have shown that during hyperventilation there is an increase in the diffusion of O2 from the air in the lungs to the blood, which would possibly delay additional CO2 accumulation in the blood. For example, I do know that some high level competitive swimmers used hyperventilation before the start of a race to delay the buildup of CO2 in the blood and thereby increase the time/distance they could swim before breathing. It appears to me that hyperventilation might aid some breathing problems in playing a trumpet by reducing the feeling of a need to breathe by delaying the onset of CO2 buildup in the blood. One would have to question the practicality of hyperventilation as well as its other possible effects on breath control, tone, etc. Research studies dealing with the physiology of playing wind instruments are rare, but this topic might lend itself to some academic interest. I would certainly appreciate any other thoughts (pro or con) you or others might have. Geez, I gotta try it!!!!! JA
  10. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Blowing air into the instrument is different than swimming underwater, and I'm not two convinced that CO2 plays a factor. What I think is most likely is that our bodies, under anxiety and stress will lie to us, convincing us that we are taking huge breaths when in fact we are not. Learning to breathe in and out properly for trumpet is a long battle; there are some exercises that can help.

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