Trumpet Discussion Discuss Hourglass? in the General forums; Manny,
I've taken some lessons with a great player who stresses the "hourglass" effect while breathing out. Since you've mentioned ...
I've taken some lessons with a great player who stresses the "hourglass" effect while breathing out. Since you've mentioned it here, I was wondering if you could eleborate on this type of exhalation.
Why is this of use? How do I know if I'm doing it? What should it feel like, etc...?
I know you've touched on this, but I'm looking for more in-depth information.
Very simply, the breathing motion is like a bellows you use for a fireplace. Imagine that you are holding a bellws as you inhale. Pull the bellows upen as your body expands from the intake of air. Now, as you push the bellows shut to expel the air, notice that everything in your middle shrinks. The hourglass analogy is just to illustrate the middle of the body getting smaller as you exhale. We are designed to function that way, James.
Here: put your hand on your stomach and cough once but vigorously.
Did you notice how your abs lept away from your hand in an inward motion? When we release the air to play, that should occur. The problem with many trumpeters is that they inhibit that motion and tighten their guts which is wrong. Support is active MOVEMENT INWARD of the abdominal area not stiffness.
If you don't this you can get a sound, of course but the embouchure has to work much harder and under greater duress because it is making up for the deficiency in the stomach area. The body will always compensate where needed but not as efficiently.
"Support is active MOVEMENT INWARD of the abdominal area not stiffness."
The word I'm interested in here is "active."
I'm just a bit confused--you said that we are designed to work this way, but then you threw in the "active" bit.
I would assume that if this is an automatic thing, then no active movement should be necessary. Of course, perhaps one needs to be active to replace the bad habits one has aquired. I personally have spent much time replacing old stimulus and response mechanisms. It is indeed an active endeavor. Is this to what you are referring?
Do you think about this consciously while you play?
Originally Posted by James Smock
Of course, when you sneeze, cough, or deal with life away from the trumpet everything goes as it should. However, add a piece of brass to your life and people do the darnedest things! That's the problem with stimulus and response: the rules alter when we go to play music using a variety of motor functions for which we weren't designed. Normally we don't exhale through what is tantamount to something smaller than a soda straw so you have to be more active in helping support the expelling breath.
I don't think about except if my chest feel a bit tight on a given day. Then I am more active about making sure the inhale and exhale are efficient.
Thanks for the clarification! I appreciate your help.
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