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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Cardiovascular Fitness in the General forums; Sorry if this has already been mentioned - I had a search and couldn’t find it on here. Has anyone ...
  1. #1
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    Apr 2009
    Ipswich, UK

    Cardiovascular Fitness

    Sorry if this has already been mentioned - I had a search and couldn’t find it on here. Has anyone found that doing cardio exercise like running, rowing, cycling or anything else that you really have to breath hard for, helps improve lung capacity in trumpet playing? When I was having lessons my teacher suggested this as a means of improving lung capacity and stamina (I was incredibly unfit then ). I have since become far more active and when playing can keep the loud notes going for longer and with less discomfort. Is it my fitness, or am I just playing with a better technique now?

  2. #2
    Forte User edfitzvb's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Woodlawn, VA

    Re: Cardiovascular Fitness


    Both, I would hope. Cardio should not only increase your lung capacity but it will increase your confidence.... (I can do more now) .... an important asset when playing a taxing instrument like the trumpet. Likewise, technique improves with practice if we are listening to ourselves. Practice combined with cardio creates a two-edged sword that accelerates progress. Keep it up.

    (It's also GOOD for you.)

  3. #3
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    Jan 2007

    Re: Cardiovascular Fitness

    As a doctor, I hate to be the fly in the ointment, but I would venture to say that your better playing is more likely due to better technique. It sounds good to try and give the credit to better lung capacity, and who would argue about better general health? But remember back to the big band era when almost everyone smoked and drank like fishes. These guys probably didn't have the capaciity to take a brisk walk around the block, yet the played like angels. Stay healthy, but practise, practise.

  4. #4
    Moderator Utimate User Vulgano Brother's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    Parts Unknown

    Re: Cardiovascular Fitness

    I went through a phase of jogging one hour each day and practicing six to nine. (The jogging part was because of this flute player I was interested in, not because of any personal commitment to fitness.) I found that right after jogging I could pick up my trumpet and walk right up to that note (formerly known to some as "double-high c") two octaves above C in the staff). Was it the cardio or the trumpet practice (or the flute player)? I dunno.

    What is known is usually when jogging or such, we tend to take shallower breaths more often than when playing, so cardio doesn't really encourage the development of lung capacity in regards to trumpet playing per se.

    Cardio is good though, and may have some positive influence on endurance, general health and "stick-with-it-ness."

    It can be a good way to hang out with flute players, too.
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  5. #5
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: Cardiovascular Fitness

    Anything that makes you a better, stronger person will make you a better, stronger player.

    I think music helps sports more than the other way around. Running or swimming to a melody helps you exercize longer. Music can help you deal with pain.

    The other direction needs to be carefully implemented. We want LOW body tension to play. That means low impact exercizes. Like sensible practice, too many try to overachieve and only succeed in INCREASING body tension!
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  6. #6
    Mezzo Piano User rbdeli's Avatar
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    May 2009

    Re: Cardiovascular Fitness

    Cardio vascular exercise will make you in better shape and help with your breathing when you play. I can say this from firsthand experience.

    What's even better is to add controlled breathing exercises while walking or hatha yoga to your jogging routine. Maybe do the breathing walking thing on your off-days. These walking breathing exercises do a tremendous amount of good for your breath control, especially when playing long passages and ballads.

    There are various way to do them. Just google conrolled breathing, walking, etc. and you can find some ideas.

    I second Rowuk's opinion about music helping with sports.
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  7. #7
    Pianissimo User
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    Feb 2008
    Kokomo, IN

    Re: Cardiovascular Fitness

    Definately. Playing trumpet is a cardio workout--breathing and heart rate are affected. Anything you can do to improve your physically conditioning is a step in the right direction. Of course, this is just one part of the equation--all of the technical points also needed to be observed but you're better off to have a sound physical foundation.

  8. #8
    Piano User daniel starz's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
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    Re: Cardiovascular Fitness


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  9. #9
    Pianissimo User jtbtrumpet91's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Atlanta, GA

    Re: Cardiovascular Fitness

    Until about 2 years ago, I couldn't care less about my fitness level and I was totally focused on practicing and nothing more. But when I started a regular exercise schedule, I found my focus, drive, and general alertness improved dramatically. I probably will never gain much more lung capacity, but the other effects of a good, healthy physical regiment will help anyone achieve more in whatever they strive to do.

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