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Role of core/diaphragm



 
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CJceltics33
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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 9:08 am    Post subject: Role of core/diaphragm Reply with quote

I’ve been working on the concept of taking a breath and just releasing the air when playing in a manner as relaxed as possible. I still don’t have a very big sound, and there’s still some air in it. I’m imagining something warmer, bigger and with more core.

This has led me to think about the role of my core and diaphragm as I play. Should it be relaxed, just letting out the air? Should I flex/engage my core muscles? How does breath support factor into this?

Thanks!
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Andy Del
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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are talking about concepts which become very intimate and personal as they can mean very different things to each player, so a one fit all definition does not cover us all.

For most players, there is a need to feel like using abdominal support to generate energy to move air so we can move into higher registers, play with intensity of sound, move easily between notes, negotiate intervals, etc. etc.

That said, if you as you describe, without using abdominal muscles, then you would find things rather impossible, so you in most likelihood, DO, use abdominal support to play. Hoe much you need to use, and should it be more is something you need to explore. If it helps, go for it: if not, then you need to to do something different. An airy sound does nit seem to be linked too closely to a lack of support, but in the mechanisms which create the sound... such as your lips...

Time with a single, experienced teacher will help.

Cheers

Andy
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 1:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Role of core/diaphragm Reply with quote

CJceltics33 wrote:
I’ve been working on the concept of taking a breath and just releasing the air when playing in a manner as relaxed as possible. ...

---------------------------------
'just releasing the air' won't work because there needs to more air flow thru the lip aperture than just a simple 'release' would provide. Unless on inhale, you take in a huge of air and 'pressurize' it inside your lungs - and that is a bad idea!

My view is that you should take a breath to fill your lungs, but not attempt a maximum amount - just a nice, full inhale. Then using your chest and torso muscle, do a 'controlled forcing of air thru the lip aperture' - with the mental intent of making the trumpet produce sound that projects far out in front of the bell.

Yes, many people talk about playing in a 'relaxed' manner. I think they mean to avoid being overly tense, or rigid. Just use the minimum about of effort and tension to produce the desired sound quality.

Jay
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kalijah
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
This has led me to think about the role of my core and diaphragm as I play. Should it be relaxed, just letting out the air?

This can be done as an exercise on lower to midrange notes. It will result in a relatively soft note that will diminish in volume until your lungs are half empty or the note cuts out. It is not possible to do this and sustain loudness of tone or to play actual music for that matter.

What you are referring to is the lung's "elastic recoil", that is; the inherent air pressure of full lungs with no additional muscular exhalation effort. It is PART of the air pressure that we do use to play. It is usually insufficient and rarely excessive.


Quote:
Should I flex/engage my core muscles? How does breath support factor into this?


The abdominal muscles, or more specifically all of the muscles for exhalation, are involved in increasing the air pressure above the "relaxed/recoil" pressure, but this action varies depending on how loud and/or high you are playing and the fullness of the lungs in any instant.

An airy sound is an embouchure/tone-production problem, not an air pressure issue.
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ComebackPlayer
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first US Army band trumpet tutorial describes a "how to" exercise for relaxed breathing in which you whisper HOW while taking a breath and TO when you blow into the horn. Most importantly you do not hold air in your lungs between "how and to" as this creates tension.

This has helped me. What do you think?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-H4Wby6ge3w&list=PLE35F920992180ED5&index=1
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kalijah
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no such thing as a "relaxed" inhalation unless you are empty of air and you relax. One can bring in less than half of a full breath. To take a full breath requires inhalation effort.

Saying "HOW" to inhale does not form a playing embouchure with the lips. I would never do that. Also, the most comfortable inhale for me is nasal inhalation. It is just better, for several reasons.

Holding the air does not create tension if you do it correctly.
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MF Fan
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is definitely value in learning to inhale in a manner that avoids undue stress, particularly in the chest and throat. Be aware on the exhalation side of things though; what feels like relaxed exhalation can result in a lack of adequate breath support, one indicator of which can be playing on the low end of the pitch. Use a tuner to keep an eye on pitch when practicing relaxed exhalation. If you have to push your tuning slide all the way in to stay in tune in the lower and mid-registers you need to increase support.
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To each, his own. Personally, I don't think it's all that complex. Paralysis by analysis is a waste of time.

During a lesson with Bob Fleming, a first-call L.A. studio player including 20 years as first trumpet for Disney, later principal trumpet for the Honolulu Symphony, I asked him about the complexities of breath control.

"Cough", he said.
I coughed.
"See", he said.
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kalijah
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Be aware on the exhalation side of things though; what feels like relaxed exhalation can result in a lack of adequate breath support, one indicator of which can be playing on the low end of the pitch.


Playing with too little air pressure will result in a tone that is softer than intended. Pitch is not determined by the air pressure, pitch is controlled by the embouchure. If one is playing too low on the pitch it is an embouchure/ear issue.

Quote:
"Cough", he said.
I coughed.
"See", he said.


So I take it he only played loud short notes one at a time..
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jmcclaymusic
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The core can definitely be underplayed in creating air pressure and compression. It can also add extra support for harder notes. I like to practice playing where you lightly increase core contraction as you play higher and/or louder. Also play an exercise with purposely way too much core contraction and again with minimal or none at all. Then experiment and find a middle ground to find what's efficient, effective, and comfortable. As Charles Schleuter and Tim Hudson have both said to me, work hard to make it as easy as possible.
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