Trumpet Discussion Discuss Arnold Jacob's in the General forums; Hey Manny,
When you were having problems a while back with your breathing, or when you were getting that double ...
When you were having problems a while back with your breathing, or when you were getting that double buzz in your sound that you talked about in another post, before you were on Monette equipment, what did Arnold Jacobs tell you to do in that lesson or lessons you took with him?
And also, if tightness creeps into a persons playing, what type of things would you suggest to do to get rid of it?
It was very simple: I had developed a pattern of breathing where my breath was too shallow and I was also holding my gut stiff when I exhaled. My embouchure was starving for air and my lips did weird things to compensate. Nobody noticed on the job but me however I knew something wasn't right. He got me to expand when I inhaled and support properly when I exhaled.
In order to alleviate tightness you have to notice how loose you are away from the horn in daily life. If you can swing your body around in an easy way, if you can dance with relative ease, if you can do sports in a relaxed, efficient way, you can play trumpet in a relaxed way. How much ease of movement do you have when doing these ordinary, human things? It's those instincts that help bring relaxation to the extraordinary act of playing a brass instrument.
How loose is the rest of your body when you play? Is your right hand flexible and snake-like or are you stiff like the Tin Woodsman? It's all about the ability to let the music "move" you.
I'm in track right now, and I'm mainly a sprinter and ocassionally do long distance. I've noticed that after that, even after a while of waiting before I practice any, my breathing has been really difficult...I've never really had this issue before, and then again this is my first year in track. I used to be able to fill my stomach with air and now it's been hard and all I've done so far is relaxation exercises, along with the Alexander Method. What is a girl to do?
I know you girls are somewhat different in physiology - but not that different in regard to breathing.
Air goes into and out of the lungs. Food and drink goes into the stomach.
Sorry, but how can you say you fill your stomach with air? [Perhaps you are thinking of the 'so called' diaphragmatic breathing (?)]
See if you can get hold of a copy of Brian Frederiksen's book "Arnold Jacobs: Song and Wind". This has a good section on the mechanics of breathing, pages 97-122.
Originally Posted by Kristine
Weren't you complaining that you weren't doing well in your academic subjects becasue of the amount of time you were devoting to trumpet but now it turns out that you're into after-school athletics, too?
If you're athletics you may be dealing with an abdomen that stays tight while you exhale and inhale just because you have a sense of keeping that area "strong" and tight. That doesn't help trumpet playing or running.
Loosen up and fill your lungs then let it go!
Yes, you do breathe with your lungs, but the air goes into your stomach for support. If you just breathed through your lungs, and attempted to play trumpet you wouldn't even be able to hold out for four full measures, you'd end up breathing at every measure. Maybe two because guys generally have bigger lungs than girls. It's kind of like taking shallow breaths under water. You wouldn't be able to hold your breath as long as another person would if they had support in their stomach. Generally this goes for all wind and brass players. Oh and I think I actually have that edition in my house somewhere.
Manny, I've figured things out...I talked to my teachers, and my parents...They're giving me another shot. And the reason I joined track was to help my asthma and hopefully give me more endurance in my trumpet playing. (Unless my Dad is lying to my face and he just wants me to do something else...)
You could say I found my balance.
Kristine, take a look at the Arnold Jacobs information (Windsong website) that I mentioned in another thread. There is some good information there if you can sit through the 35 minute video.
Originally Posted by Kristine
Far be it for me to sit here and argue biomechanics with a 9th grader but in your case I'll make an exception.
I don't know what edition you're referring to but you don't have your facts straight. What you are referring to as the stomach is actually the diaphragm and air doesn't enter the diaphragm. It's a flat, dome shaped muscle that begins the inhalation process. It's like the ceiling for your stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas... all that stuff. It's also the floor for your lungs and heart. The only time air winds up going in your stomach is when you actively swallow air, as in when you're eating. That's why we burp. But the air we use to play goes in then out the lungs with support from the abdominal muscles as you blow out.
Support is the act of the abdominal muscles slowly moving inward as you exhale through your trumpet, not just tensing up in a fixed position. I don't care what anyone told you. They're wrong. Let them call me and argue the point if they wish.
I'm glad you've figured things out with your folks. I have also suffered with asthma. Trumpet helped me with that but now that I'm older, I use an inhalant that my doctor prescribes called albuterol for days when I'm feeling a bit tight only.
We have a wonderful female trumpet soloist over here called Alison Balsom - I'll quote something I found on the internet.
"As the basis of her trumpet technique (80% of it, Alison Balsom told me) she has developed an ease and naturalness of breathing which would be the envy of many famous singers. Add upon that a consummate beauty of tone and virtuosity that can be taken for granted and here is an artist who may have British young clamouring to learn the trumpet, as James Galway did for the flute."
There are also many ladies from your own country who play or have played trumpet marvellously; Susan Slaughter, Bibi Black, Carole Dawn Reinhardt and Laurie Frink come to mind.
Sorry to hear you have problems with asthma, Manny says he has learned to overcome it, and Arnold Jacobs overcame it and managed a career in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on Tuba with a diminished lung capacity.
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