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Denny Schreffler
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 11:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Low breathing? Reply with quote

GlenO wrote:
My voice teacher (singing is a new project for me) says use a low breath to sing, which is inhaling by extending the abdomen outward. Does this make any sense for trumpet?


This ties in really well with a new post by Greg Spence about Mystery to Mastery and his new WindWorks online course.

https://www.trumpetherald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1537706#1537706

-Denny
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malden
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have studied operatic singing technique for many years. My singing teacher was an accomplished baritone who sang in Opera houses around the world, and he was also an amateur trumpet player. And he often used trumpet and singing ideas together. “You are a wind instrument!”, he used to say.

Great teachers, like him, often use images and simple thoughts to give students an ability to “feel” the technique and stay out of their bedeviled brains. One learns certain things best by feel not thought. So my teacher used the image Pavarotti used to teach breathing. Pavarotti imagined that the center of his body was a huge truck tire inner tube or a rubberized wine cask. With every “relaxed” breath he tried to fill the inner tube with air. Forget diaphragm, lungs, chest, abdomen, and stop thinking about it. Just fill the tire inner tube as deeply as you can with a relaxed breath and work every day, using breathing exercises, to put even more air into it.

But for a great Tenor, breathing correctly is only half the game. The breath has to be supported, to be used efficiently. Here Pavarotti taught to feel that you are keeping the inner tube or rubber cask full even as you let the air escape to vibrate the vocal chords. This is a much better way to teach the feel of breath support than “stick your abdomen out.” But the direction “Chest Up” is very close to the feeling Pavarotti had in mind.

So it seems to me that the Claude Gordon instruction “Big Breath, Chest Up” is an excellent, clear and easy image to transmit “the feel” of both proper breathing and efficient breath support. And so does the very clear and simple idea “Let the air do the work.” My singing teacher used to say “Allow the air to do the work.” And he used to say that singing was as natural and easy as breathing, if only we could get out of our heads and allow nature to take over. Sounds a lot like “Brass Playing Is No Harder Than Deep Breathing” to me. And it makes loads of “feel” sense to me.
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Mike Sailors
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

These sayings, in my opinion, do way more harm than good for the majority of trumpet players. It's classic "paralysis by analysis".

Breathe in like you normally do, let the air go and activate your core. Keep it activated while you let the air out.

Don't think about pushing out, pulling in, lifting, etc. Activate your core and let the air out.

This is what works for me, and I've had literally every trumpet playing "problem".
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Last edited by Mike Sailors on Thu May 31, 2018 9:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

malden wrote:
I have studied operatic singing technique for many years. My singing teacher was an accomplished baritone who sang in Opera houses around the world, and he was also an amateur trumpet player. And he often used trumpet and singing ideas together. “You are a wind instrument!”, he used to say.

Great teachers, like him, often use images and simple thoughts to give students an ability to “feel” the technique and stay out of their bedeviled brains. One learns certain things best by feel not thought. So my teacher used the image Pavarotti used to teach breathing. Pavarotti imagined that the center of his body was a huge truck tire inner tube or a rubberized wine cask. With every “relaxed” breath he tried to fill the inner tube with air. Forget diaphragm, lungs, chest, abdomen, and stop thinking about it. Just fill the tire inner tube as deeply as you can with a relaxed breath and work every day, using breathing exercises, to put even more air into it.

But for a great Tenor, breathing correctly is only half the game. The breath has to be supported, to be used efficiently. Here Pavarotti taught to feel that you are keeping the inner tube or rubber cask full even as you let the air escape to vibrate the vocal chords. This is a much better way to teach the feel of breath support than “stick your abdomen out.” But the direction “Chest Up” is very close to the feeling Pavarotti had in mind.

So it seems to me that the Claude Gordon instruction “Big Breath, Chest Up” is an excellent, clear and easy image to transmit “the feel” of both proper breathing and efficient breath support. And so does the very clear and simple idea “Let the air do the work.” My singing teacher used to say “Allow the air to do the work.” And he used to say that singing was as natural and easy as breathing, if only we could get out of our heads and allow nature to take over. Sounds a lot like “Brass Playing Is No Harder Than Deep Breathing” to me. And it makes loads of “feel” sense to me.

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JVL
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike Sailors wrote:
These sayings, in my opinion, do way more harm than good for the majority of trumpet players. It's classic "paralysis by analysis".

Breathe in like you normally do, let the air go and activate your core. Keep it activated while you let the air out.

Don't think about pushing out, pulling in, lifting, etc. Activate your core and let the air out.

This is what works for me, and I've had literally every trumpet playing "problem".


When you learn something new, a new technic in whateever field, instrument, sport, most of the time it feels "unnatural".
Most of the time, new and more efficient technic, when not discovered by case, are the fruit of long experiences, experiments, and reflection (analysis).

When Bobby Shew taught me the wedge breathing, it felt unnatural, uncomfortable, hard etc. But immediately it gave me more power, efficiency, and in couples of days and weeks, it became totally automatic for me.

Trumpet playing is not natural, and the breathing can not be the same one than for daily life.
Running is a natural activity, but the technic to run fast and long, to sprint has to be learned or relearned, mostly in our time and society in which people have lost almost all natural, physical, normal capacities.

Best
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Mike Sailors
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Trumpet playing is not natural, and the breathing can not be the same one than for daily life


My experience does not reflect your experience. That's all I can say.

Playing the trumpet does not have to be some overly-forceable experience. Bobby also taught me the wedge breath, just FYI.
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JVL
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you were refering to Malden's post, i see nothing in it motivating this "paralysis by analysis", he said almost the same than you.
Pavarotti nor Gordon descriptions seem, to me, likely to induce confusions in mind.

I agree with you saying that trumpet playing has not to be an overly-forceable thing. But Bobby too says trumpet playing is not a natural thing.
Running is a natural thing, trumpet playing is a cultural one.

Now, if we start talking about these concepts, it's ok, but we go out from the OP.
What i meant joins the saying "first learn, then forget and do". Same applies to running, to playing, to improvizing.
All the difficult, boring, "unnatural" processes need a time to be " consciously forgotten" and become "natural", automatic
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Mike Sailors
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Pavarotti nor Gordon descriptions seem, to me, likely to induce confusions in mind.


Well, that's just you. Believe me when I say that phrases like "support from your diaphragm, breathe low, keep your chest up, etc" confuse lots of people. They certainly confused me, and for a long time. Of course those phrases probably also help some people of course. I'm not speaking in absolutes here.

Quote:
But Bobby too says trumpet playing is not a natural thing.


I never said that playing trumpet is a natural thing. I said that the breathing is not vastly different. What happens after the breath is certainly different from normal exhalation, but if more people breathed (inhaled - exhaled) like they did when in conversation, there'd be a lot less struggling trumpet players. (Again, in my opinion)

That's why I believe that instructing someone to breathe normally, release the air and activate their core is a far better way to describe to someone how to approach the instrument. Most people (again in my experience - perhaps your experience is different) understand what it means to activate their core, and it takes the guessing game (which areas to engage) out of the equation.

Now, if we're talking about playing the instrument in the extreme upper register, yes, I do believe that the wedge breath can certainly assist one in reaching the upper limits of the trumpet. But for "normal" playing, you don't need the compression that you need to play a double C.

Quote:
All the difficult, boring, "unnatural" processes need a time to be " consciously forgotten" and become "natural", automatic.


There's nothing more automatic than breathing (for most of us that are healthy). Most people (including myself, for a long time) complicate the process.

This is what has worked for me - it may be different for someone else. That doesn't make them right or me wrong, but there are of course different ways to play the instrument effectively.

This video below helped me a lot, and I think maybe more clearly demonstrates what I'm talking about in regards to breathing.

https://www.brasschats.com/interviews/jim-pandolfi
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JVL
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What i noticed in Malden's post was :
Pavarotti imagined that the center of his body was a huge truck tire inner tube or a rubberized wine cask. With every “relaxed” breath he tried to fill the inner tube with air. Forget diaphragm, lungs, chest, abdomen, and stop thinking about it. Just fill the tire inner tube as deeply as you can with a relaxed breath and work every day, using breathing exercises, to put even more air into it."
and
"So it seems to me that the Claude Gordon instruction “Big Breath, Chest Up” is an excellent, clear and easy image to transmit “the feel” of both proper breathing and efficient breath support."

So, again to me, it joins your conception, and again to me, it's easy to understand without inducing confusion.

Anyway, i agree that there's a danger with compression breathes such as the wedge, if not correctly understood nor mastered, to create negative pression and constriction in the body where they shouldn't be, so you'll lose energy and will have breaks, while the wedge or so should have given you its power.

These are matters very hard to talk or teach here, the true place is in real life.

Best.

ps: i saw, time ago, your video with 2 other trumpet players on Potato blues if i recall well. Really, very very good and beautiful !
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Mike Sailors
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for listening! It was Potato Head Blues.

That was a fun gig. Jon-Erik Kellso truly is a master.
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malden
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
This video below helped me a lot, and I think maybe more clearly demonstrates what I'm talking about in regards to breathing. 

https://www.brasschats.com/interviews/jim-pandolfi


An outstanding video that ties up the thread between operatic singing and trumpet playing breath technique for me in a useful way.

Pandolfi says, “Pick up your chest!” (Chest Up) at least a dozen times. ”Pick up your chest and fill up naturally. ” Sounds an awful lot like “Big Breath.Chest Up.” And it sounds like Pavarotti’s classic operatic singing instruction as well.

As regards breathing, he says, “You have to breathe naturally” “That’s just natural, that’s just the way it works.” “It comes from how the body works naturally.”

He uses the word “natural” a couple dozen times as regards breathing just like Pavarotti would about filling the inner tube. And a natural breath is both a relaxed breath and a “relaxing” breath. The breath centers a singer.

Pandolfi jokes, “If you blow, you suck!” “Don’t suck, don’t blow, don’t push the air out.” This sounds an awful lot like Gordon’s “let the air do the work.” ”Do you have a physical sensation of air leaving your body?, Pandolfi asks, “No!” And he finishes with an instructive imperative: “Don’t blow, Sing!”

Singers, especially those with well endowed egos, have exactly the same issue, wanting to bellow and force instead of “allowing" the air to do the work.

“It's a world of opposites. For instance, if you want to get a big sound, you have to aim small. As soon as you aim for a big sound, it goes away and you've lost it”, explains Pandolfi. This has great resonance for me. Once again my singing teacher used to say “allow your sound to be big, to fill the house. Stay relaxed, don’t try, don’t force, don’t push. Let it happen to you. ”

Yes and I appreciated Pandolfi’s step into “Zen and the Art of Trumpet Playing (and Singing.)” “It’s more like surfing.” There is “no manipulation, you let it go where it wants to go” “Tone is a transcendental experience” “It’s magic” “It’s a paradox, the only way you can get control is to let go” “You are the instrument, not this thing (trumpet)” “Do you feel where that note is when you just let it go?”

He ends his mystics with the key to it all: “If you hear it, you can do it.” I heard that a thousand times from my singing teacher.

Thanks for the link. I learned alot.
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Mike Sailors
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn’t it interesting that someone can see a video and it means one thing to them and another person sees the same video and it means something else?
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Irving
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine what do you mena by " activate your core"?
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Jerry Freedman
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Irving wrote:
Mine what do you mena by " activate your core"?


I was about to ask the same question. I second the emotion
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Mike Sailors
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think it's beneficial to anyone to over-anylize the phrase "activate your core". I believe that's where people get to in their own brains about what to do, when really this sensation is second nature.

Cough and notice what happens in your core. Sustain that sensation throughout a phrase. That's what I'm talking about.
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JVL
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote : " I believe that's where people get to in their own brains about what to do, when really this sensation is second nature"

Can you please explain what "brain" is ?
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Mike Sailors
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It’s a figure of speech that means to over think or to over complicate.
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JoseLindE4
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ray Crisara called some notes "belly button notes."
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JVL
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike, it was a joke !
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kevin_soda
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread is mostly not good.
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