Breathing

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SKfabz
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Breathing

Post by SKfabz » Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:59 am

Could anyone help me on ways to breath deeper?
I AM SPATRACUS!!!!!!!

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Dave B
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Post by Dave B » Tue Oct 07, 2008 2:13 am

1) My first tip would be breathing exercises. There are a zillion out there, find a few that go from comfortable (e.g., in for four, out for eight), to longer length (e.g. in for eight, hold for eight, out for sixteen/24/32), to shorter (e.g. in for two, out for six/ten/fourteen w/crescendo). Like I say, there are a ton. Some will help you ration your air for long notes, others will help you learn to open your throat and get that whole chest cavity filled in just a beat or two, others will stretch your lung capacity to bursting, and still others will combine elements of the above. Doing several of these on your own once a day as part of your warm-up will add a few minutes to the routine, but will definitely help to expand your lung capacity.

More importantly, it will also help you use the capacity you already have more effectively. A many people feel like they "need" to breathe way before they actually run out of air, or run out of air simply because they didn't take a deep enough breath. Others don't ration their air well, spending all of it in the first few beats of a long-held note, which leads to loss of support, pitch, and cool points. Breathing exercises will push you to your absolute limits and teach you what those limits feel like, which in turn will help you effectively use the capacity you already have.

2) Do something cardiovascular for exercise. Run, walk, bike, jump-rope, DDR, something. Mix it up if it gets boring, make sure you stretch before and after, and don't push yourself to the point of injury, but DO continue even after the activity gets a bit uncomfortable. Start out with a duration/distance you can handle, then build it up a bit each week or two. If you get to a distance/duration you can barely handle, stick with that level until you feel like you have something left at the end. Then the next week or two bump it up a little again.

The better cardio conditioning you possess, the less oxygen your body will need while you're playing - which means you won't be fighting against yourself to play your horn so much. Also, the deep breathing you do to support the activity helps your lung capacity just as the breathing exercises do.

There are other tricks out there, and other brass players on here that can help out with specifics or routines that worked for them. These two general areas (breathing and cardio) have made the most difference in the players I've been around, myself included.

Oh, one last thing: as much as possible, relax while you're playing, especially when you breathe. The more relaxed you are, a) the more your lungs will expand, b) the easier/less effort it will take to fill them, and c) the less energy your muscles will use, lowering your body's oxygen demands. All of this frees up more of your air to produce beauteous musics.
SPC Dave Ballard
Crossmen '87 - ' 89

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Post by Bandmaster » Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:33 pm

The Breathing Gym by Sam Pilafian and Patrick Sheridan!

http://www.breathinggym.com/

http://www.dillonmusic.com/HeleoCart/Pr ... e/GYM.aspx
Dave Schaafsma
The Sound Machine

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