WindWorks Trumpet Academy Forums WindWorks why "chest-up"?

Viewing 6 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #57527
      chris
      Participant

      Hi. Somewhere on the site is info re: how to use the re-breathing bag. In the instructions, it says, “Be sure that the chest stays raised as you exhale. A fuel tank doesn’t collapse as it runs out of fuel.”
      That analogy does not work for me. Can I get an explanation as to why it is important? I believe that it is also taught by Claude Gordon in his books.
      Thanks.
      cc

    • #57531
      Ronald Carson
      Participant

      If I could find my volumetric lung exerciser, I would give you a comparison of lung capacity with the chest up and chest not up. Part of this has to do with good posture. Most people tend to slouch and this is often reinforced by hutching over computers and game consoles. Lung capacity is increased by good posture. The chest up promotes resonance. Good posture includes keeping your chest up and this helps us produce a more resonant sound. I believe this explained more in the Adagio Fundamentals “The Body’s Concert Hall”.

      Perhaps someone will chime in and explain this more fully.

    • #57675
      stefan.funk
      Participant

      I would add that poor posture and a collapsing chest inhibit the flow of air for both, what Greg refers to as passive and active, and thus invites choking. The diaphragm wants to come up. A relaxed chest helps with this. My experience is that a collapsing chest most often goes together with tight arms and shoulders moving to the front and inwards instead of floating. If this tension is removed however by not collapsing the chest, then inhalation also becomes more easy and is more full as Ronald mentioned.

    • #57816
      chris
      Participant

      Thank you both for your replies. I checked the Adagio Fundamental BCH video but it was not mentioned there. Stefan, your comments gave me some insight to why I am asking this question to begin with.
      Greg likes to use the balloon as a demonstration, as you know. He inflates the balloon and then, citing “passive reduction”, allows the air to escape using only the energy supplied by the elasticity of the balloon. He just lets the air out until the pressure equalizes. The ‘chest-up’ exhalation does not match the balloon. With the chest up on exhalation, it is as though the body is acting like a bellows…’squeezing’ with the abs while holding the chest up. That seems a lot different to me than letting the stretched-out intercostal muscles just relax, like letting air out of a balloon. Or perhaps I am overthinking it. Anyway, I at least understand my own question better and can explore how it works for me. thanks!
      cc

    • #57841
      stefan.funk
      Participant

      Hi Chris. This is a great observation that I have been struggling with myself in terms of whats the difference between passive and active and how does it all relate to posture. The way I see it:

      The diaphragm cannot be controlled or used in order to push air. It simply contracts, which causes air to be drawn into the lungs and then it releases, passivly going upwards while the lungs are being emptied (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thoracic_diaphragm). There is no notion of this in the balloon mental-model. Nevertheless, the self-shrinking balloon shows what happens when the diaphragm relaxes and no forced exhalation is involved.

      If I now want to create more air-support, I use the muscles in the abdominal area, the forced exhalation (active, kick or squeezing of the ballon).

      In both scenarios, passive and active, I can use some (actually very, very little) muscular support to keep an upright posture. To me, keeping the chest open and up is more a matter of letting the shoulders float (backwards and down) while keeping my head over the center of gravity, always thinking the body is widening, a feeling that any relaxed motion is possible at any point in time. Alexander Technique gave me some insights into this (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Technique).

      This support is not to be confused with pushing air. In fact, one can do this while holding ones breath. The benefits however are tremendous. If you keep your chest open this way during (forced) exhalation until little air remains, and you then open the mouth and relax the abdominal muscles, you will find a massive amount of air streaming into the lungs in no time without you doing anything, setting you up for the next phrase. This creates a very relaxed and natural flow of air in-out-in-out.. . Probably the opposite of what people may have in mind when they think “chest up” which can cause the idea of overusing muscles and actively stretching the body. I think this is not covered by Greg – I however experience this quite clearly.

      (
      Related to this: I was taught to belly-breath for playing. This led to a stiff chest, choking, collapsing posture and tension in the body. Also see Greg: breathe to the lungs.

      In retrospect I think the belly-breathing exercises that we probably all know just help experiencing the relaxation of the abdominal muscles, which in turn feeds the air-in-out-in cycle mentioned above.
      )

    • #65624
      fmaziers
      Participant

      Hi all,
      For me chest up allow me to control the flow of air with “passive” (it will be more correct to say no active concentric = active eccentric contraction) reduction.
      For example I do that i want to play pp. I don’t let go my chest like the ballon!
      best regards.
      Francis.

    • #65625
      fmaziers
      Participant

      Hi all,
      For me chest up allow me to control the flow of air with “passive” (it will be more correct to say no active concentric = active eccentric contraction) reduction.
      For example I do that when i want to play pp. I don’t let go my chest like the ballon!
      best regards.
      Francis.

Viewing 6 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Recent topics

Recent replies

Members