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Trumpet Discussion Discuss What is Breath Support ? in the General forums; what is meant by breath support does it me that when we are playing we must always tense up our ...
  1. #1
    Piano User anthony's Avatar
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    Mar 2009

    What is Breath Support ?

    what is meant by breath support does it me that when we are playing we must always tense up our stomach muscles ? Thanks Anthony

  2. #2
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: What is Breath Support ?

    breathing is one of lifes basic forces. Breathing for the trumpet means having the body relaxed and prepared to take in a big breath without tensing anything up in a serious way. I have often described a circle of breath here. Draw a circle. The left side is inhale, the left exhale. At the top and bottom you notice that the circle is still round. That means when going from in- to exhale, no bumps or corners, just a SMOOTH transition.

    I practice this with my students without the horn first. Once they can breathe deeply without bumps(this can take a whole lesson!), we replace exhale with play. They get 5 minutes of longtones with the mouthpiece and 5 with the trumpet. No tonguing, just exhaling. After 4-6 weeks it becomes pretty natural (at least when I am around )!

    I teach low tension for everything except lead in the big band or salsa band. If you breathe right, you do not need to "think" about your stomach muscles at all.

    We are talking about habits and to form them, we need hundreds to thousands of repetitions. I always have to scratch my head when I read stories about playing getting turned around overnight. I guess fairy tales are still needed to calm the masses even in the information age!
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  3. #3
    Forte User Al Innella's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Levittown , NY

    Re: What is Breath Support ?

    Think of air as fuel to drive the trumpet and your abs [stomach muscles ] as the fuel-pump, depending on how hard or easy we drive, the abs [pump]is always working in various degrees.
    Last edited by Al Innella; 06-01-2009 at 07:23 AM.

  4. #4
    Forte User NickD's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    Chicago northern suburbs

    Re: What is Breath Support ?

    Here are a few more thoughts:

    [ame=]YouTube - On Breathing for Trumpet[/ame]

    Hope this add some grist for the mill.


  5. #5
    Moderator Utimate User Vulgano Brother's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    Parts Unknown

    Re: What is Breath Support ?

    Quote Originally Posted by anthony View Post
    ... we must always tense up our stomach muscles ?

    Think of it the other way around. When we are playing well and moving air and "supporting" the muscles do tense, but this tension is a symptom, not a cause. Go for the feeling of a a full, stable air column in your body and horn. The rest happens automatically.

    The hard part is discovering the feeling.

    Good luck!
    "A tool good enough to be so used and not too good"
    C.S. Lewis That Hideous Strength

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