I have confusion now ….the full concert hall breath which I do understand gives me a sensation of an expanding upper body..everything very open. There is no sensation of a deepness to it ..it doesn’t feel like it goes to the bottom. I would think the air gets to the bottom but there is no sensation of that. The ‘bottom’ is the way it was always explained to me…the ‘bottom’ also gives me that urge or almost necessity to push…thoughts?….with thanks..Jim
I am actually about to do a video along the lines of “the air goes in to the lungs” for the Allegro Status Stage. What we do with the ribs and musculature around the lungs can determine how much the lungs expand and therefore the quantity of air in the lungs.
If you relax your abdominal muscles and let the belly fall out (not pushed or forced out), the diaphragm drops allowing more air in to the lungs. For louder, longer notes, abdominal muscles become involved, raising the diaphragm increasing the flow.
It does not take very much air to play a brass instrument and your sensation may be misleading you. If you are doing the BCH breath slowly and softly and allowing the body to relax when you do it, you are getting plenty of air in to the lungs.
I encourage you to have a look at an anatomy picture and look exactly how high the lungs are in the body and really appreciate the sensations of “low breathing” of which I took about in M2MII. It is simply about getting an efficient breath easily and quickly.
The “urge and necessity to push” is what I am trying to reduce. You have more than likely been overexerting your whole playing life. The Singing C Series addresses this exact problem.
Go back to the 1% Rule and the idea of humming, singing and body resonance and really relate it to the process of playing.
so…I take breath…backswing…then the slingshot…at that point the air seems to be just falling into the horn..no direction to it or any sort of intensity to it. I am not suggesting a ‘push’..but it just feels weak and lifeless to me..Jim
Hey Jim, without seeing you, it is a little difficult to say BUT imagine the full balloon i.e. full lungs, can you sit there and after taking a full breath, seal the mouth either at the lips or with the tongue so the air cannot escape? IF so, do this and totally let go of any contraction in the air support muscles. The air still want to come out.
I want you to recognise that feeling of the air right at the lips or the tongue. Quite a bit of pressure can build up purely because of the elasticity in the system. When you then open the lips or lower the tongue, there is a small explosion of air. It won’t last long but that is OK, you are not playing the horn yet. Just get familiar with the feeling of the build up and release. DANGER: Watch out for closure in the throat doing this!!!
NOW, experiment with your voice. Full lungs and hum a note. How much sound can you get from using Passive Reduction? Work on getting more sound by letting go in the body.
I want you to play as freely as when you sing i.e. I want the lips to interact with the air as if they are the vocal cords.
I think the biggest single factor for me…and I am not suggesting I have everything working perfectly, is the the release of the air..the slingshot. When I focus on it more than anything else, everything seems to work better…there is less instinct to push..it is almost hard to push when the slingshot is implied. The aperture corners seem to arrive in the right position…the accuracy on virtually any note within my current range is substantially better….it keeps me encouraged…Jim