Trumpet Discussion Discuss "I play the moment I'm done breathing" in the General forums; Jack Laumer used to always talk to me about how string players produced sound using the bow. Pretty much on ...
Jack Laumer used to always talk to me about how string players produced sound using the bow. Pretty much on every aspect of playing, I try to imagine how they would use the bow on different articulations, volumes, and timbres - the length of the bow string being the amount of air used, the length of actual bow used in one motion being the volume, and the combination of both creating different timbres. A very natural motion for a first attack on violin is to raise the bow up (off the string) and then down onto the string in one fluid motion. If the violinist were to raise (inhale), pause, then lower (exhale), the attack would be unclear, lack good tone, and most importantly - be out of time. Our bodies love to be in rhythmic sync within it's own body parts. Efficient playing starts when the exhalation, lip tension, tongue, and fingers are in the exact same place and time. That's why it's important to breathe in some sort of tempo and release without pause. This windup prepares the body to be in sync just as a golf swing, football throw, or pool cue strike would need to be successful. None of those physical motions contain a pause.
Mezzo Piano User
I’m usually pretty good at finding references, but I’m having trouble finding the specific analogy related to breathing and the golf swing. In my searching, I ran across this really great article called Fore! by Jay Friedman that presents a really nice analogy.
The analogy that I was looking for also relates to the swing, but talks about the energy on the upswing. At the instant that the swing is reversed and begins the down swing (in a relaxed flowing motion), there is the reflex "snap" in the shaft of the club that is still on the upswing which adds additional energy to the swing. Someone commented on this aspect of breathing, and I can’t remember exactly what the analogy was. I remember it was really great, though!
Does this ring any bells for anyone?
I’m sure it had to do with simply letting the air out and the reflex in the relaxed breathing mechanism would provide the energy to the exhale versus trying to muscle the air out. It was written so well, though, that I would like to read the words of the original author again, and I can’t seem to find it.
Mezzo Piano User
To the original poster,
That brief hesitation between the inhale and the exhale tends to introduce tension to your playing system. That can be detrimental to sound production if taken to extremes.
I love these quotes (Manny, am I allowed to quote you in your own forum?):
Manny Laureano – Principal Trumpet Minnesota Orchestra
Keeping things "forward" is a critical part of the stable embouchure but so is proper weakness of the respiratory muscles. Tense abs, no air. Loose abs, lots of air. "Strength is my enemy, weakness is my friend" was the Jacobs mantra and he was right. Period. I'm a living testament to that philosophy.
Jay Friedman – Principal Trombone Chicago Symphony Orchestra
After playing for almost 50 years, I still cannot over-emphasize the importance of fundamentals. One of the most important fundamentals is the concept of active air, passive body. A column of air produces maximum resonance when the muscles around it are completely at rest.
I tend to think of a wheel rolling along the ground; one moment the tire is descending towards the ground (inhale); then it touches the ground (the period of zero flow...lasting only an instant); and then it is raising up from the ground (playing the note). Same as PH's pendulum.
The quicker the tempo of the music, the faster the wheel rolls.
I'm a mini-golf kind of guy, and a real rotten softball player and tend to hitch at the top of my swing even when playing ultimate frisbee. Luckily I am not engaging in one of those kinds of "moving weighted objects" kinds of activites when playing, and can give some more Vulgano Brother Zen: we breathe in until we start to blow. We do this before the lungs are full, because if they are full we have reached a stopping place, and spoiled our swing.
"A tool good enough to be so used and not too good"
C.S. Lewis That Hideous Strength
I play the moment I stop breathing
I know I have a problem with my initial attack. If I count 1,2,3,4 and then "try" to play on 1 I seem to hesitate quite a bit (almost like stuttering) and then play. If someone else counts for me I'm fine. I started using a metronome and count to 3 inhale on 4 and then play I'm alright most of the time. I sometimes still have some problems. Now, this is only during practice times. While performing, no problem I just play!
Any suggestions as to why I may be doing this while practicing and what can I do to fix it permenantly?
Pretend you're performing when you practice. That is, place a higher standard upon yourself and don't give yourself so many "outs". Produce excellence and practice being successful.
thanks al lot!
Now I've understand the concept!!
Thanks you all. Beppe
Can you come to the concert in Locarno this August? It's not too far for you, right? You are in Milano or at least I thought so. There's another poster from Italy, Anrapa, who is also going to try to be there. My hope is to meet with people from Trumpetmaster in all the cities I visit on this tour.
Good luck with your experimentation with breathing.
A lot of the time when I play I almost feel like I'm stuttering. I feel like the first note just won't come out!!!! Then after it does I'm ok. That first note is a killer.
I don't know if everyones mouth is the same, but about an inch from my teeth toward the back of my mouth (roof) there is an indention. I usually articulate (tongue) from back there. My teacher said quit! The tongue goes where the teeth and gums meet (for the most part). Trying to break myself of playing in my "normal" position is hard and then trying to get that first note out too?!?
I've tried using a metromone and that helps some, but not all the time.
So, playing when I finish breathing seems hard at times.
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