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19

One cause of yawning can certainly be that your body needs more oxygen, so key to solving the problem is getting enough breaths in. Some scores have breaths marked, but for others you'll need to work out for yourself where you can fit your breaths in. You can train for bigger breaths but some people find it difficult to breathe properly. I know a couple of ...


14

Yes. They might be brash and full of bravado, but they will see the long term effects when they age. They will not be able to play for as long during their lifetime as they would if they were healthy. Quite simply: Wind instruments need wind. Smoking inhibits your ability to create wind. Therefore, reduced wind production reduces tone production, stamina,...


13

There may be a small amount of "performance practice fad" about that, but for the most part it does serve a purpose. Breath is used in many styles of music as a cue. If you think about wind instrument players, for example, every phrase is preceded by a breath, and experienced players will take that breath in rhythm. As a rhythmic gesture, it can be used to ...


13

Here are three exercises I use with students: Lip-buzzing through a phrase of a song (i.e. one long lipbuzz - as you need to engage your support to lip-buzz). If you can't lip-buzz, then rolling an 'r' also have the same effect. Slow breath in for three beats, then make a sizzling sound out for 10 beats (and then gradually extend this during practice to 15,...


12

Circular breathing is a technique used to replenish your air supply while maintaining a tone on your instrument. The difficulty comes from coordinating the inhalation and exhalation, and maintaining a tone while the oral cavity is being utilized for air support. The method is generally the same for all wind instruments, and you should start without the ...


12

As the horn section you met has demonstrated - smoking and brass playing are not completely incompatible. People can play brass, and play well, despite smoking, at least for a period. Smoking definitely damages your ability to breathe; it reduces lung capacity; it stiffens lung tissue; it narrows breathing passages; it causes excess mucus; it reduces blood ...


9

There's a couple of things you can try: Angle the microphone a bit downwards. This shouldn't affect the sound too much (which largely depends on the horizontal position, not so much on vertical angle) but slightly reduce the breathing loudness. Use another polar pattern, figure-8 or at least supercardoid. These of course sound notably different (but not ...


9

Martin Schuring of Arizona State University music dept, and author of the book "Oboe Art and Method" writes: Circular breathing is an essential part of oboe technique. Everyone who has learned the technique will never give it up. However, circular breathing is regarded with suspicion by some, who regard it as a virtuoso party trick that distorts ...


8

Generally, yes, it is considered less-than-ideal performance practice for a few reasons: It is distracting to the audience. It takes away from the character of the music (unless it's notated in there.) Hearing a performer take a breath indicates that they are straining, restricting the amount of airflow they intake, and as such, are breathing inefficiently....


8

You could also have an iron deficiency, which affects the amount of oxygen your system can use. I'd say go and talk to a GP and see if it's possibly medically related as well as a technique thing.


8

One of the first thing you could do is to train yourself to yawn : yawn and alternatively inhale and intonate at a standard voice level at the same time, opening the mouth as wide as possible. Do that slowly, several times before starting to sing. It will flex your face muscles in a good way and place your lower jaw. A little side benefit is that you will ...


8

One "game" is to get a piece of paper and place it against a wall. You then have to keep it up for as long as possible using only your breath. Without any support, you just can't keep it there. If you make this competitive - against other singers, or just against the clock - it could be a way to encourage improving support.


8

It is true that most of your singing should come from your diaphragm. The diaphragm is able to push large volumes of air across your vocal chords with little to no strain on your throat while minimizing any strain on your vocal chords. UPDATE: In reality, (from a purely technical point of view) you don't actually control the diaphragm itself when singing ...


7

When your shoulders rise, you engage your ribcage with a mixture of breath work and other mechanical business. Both disrupt the connection to the diaphragm where you want to anchor the base of your breath control and resonance. Controlling breath with your rib cage is like trying to run with your calves. Of course they are involved, but you don't want to ...


6

There are hundreds of different types of breathing exercises, so I will mention a few and suggest important concepts to cover. 1.) Teach them how to visualize their breathing. This one is extremely important and is the root of good breathing. I always teach my students to think of taking big, large, open, relaxed, deep breaths. 2.) They should be silent. ...


5

More generally about breathing properly while singing: Stand up straight. Don't raise your chest when breathing. Instead, breathe down into your stomach. Your lungs will expand downwards and you'll have more control over the release of air as you sing. If you put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach, the chest hand should remain still ...


5

Do see professionals both in vocal technique and a physician if you can afford it, since you say you've already been diagnosed with a small nodule. I have a friend who had great promise in musical theatre who had to drop out of music just after starting college due to his nodules. Nodules can be nasty business, as also evidenced by Julie Andrews' botched ...


5

I would add to @jjmusicnotes answer that if you can hear the breath, then something is likely interfering with your intake of breath - which is not good. One of my old instructors said "Think 'HO' in reverse". This means to shape your throat and mouth into the same shape as when you say 'HO' and then breath in. Try it!


5

Not being able to hold certain notes as well as others could have to do with a number of things. 1) Range - it is very possible your range is higher than these notes you mentioned. I would recommend having a vocal coach determine your range for you. Sometimes after years of singing, your range can go up or down. Sometimes you might lose the ability to sing ...


4

You should be at least able to delay your breath in such way that it does not interrupt with your singing. Being able to sing more is a big bonus, but we can't really put a value on that: Just as long as you can... You shouldn't be trying to sing more than you are able to, as that will also interrupt with your singing. Unless you are practicing of course, ...


4

It can be used for communication, as already pointed out - and this certainly seems to be the most cited explanation when you query that of a musician who seems to be doing it excessively! Showing emotion is also a common reason given, that it somehow brings out more authenticity and heartfelt contrast in the piece. However: What is up with that? Is ...


4

The best I can offer is a couple of analogies: The longest ball I ever hit, in baseball AND in golf, felt like NOTHING on the hands. Like I had swung at air. Of course, there was a lot of power going through my hands, as both the baseball (400+ feet) and the golf ball (300+ yards) showed. Same with the voice. If you feel it in your throat, then you're ...


4

For the most part, yes, volume is determined by the amount of air. You're not going to be able to play loudly with a tiny amount of air, or quietly with a lot. However, there is an efficiency factor. Part of this is the player, and part is the equipment. If you can play in a proper relaxed manner that doesn't choke the vibration in the mouth, and use ...


3

I don't play now, haven't for over 20 years. But when I was in high school and took lessons, one concept helped me immensely when trying to overcome reaching for the high notes. Incidentally, with my lessons I became first chair in the upper level symphonic band, orchestra, and jazz ensemble, so I agree with the other post about taking lessons...you'll do ...


3

There are many ways you could approach this, but the best way is to find a qualified teacher. For something like this, even one lesson a month, (or even less frequently) would do much to help your tone along. Since embouchure and tone are such individual characteristics, both of you and your equipment, I can only offer a few sweeping generalizations. In my ...


3

There are 2 devices that can be used to help exercise one's diaphragm. In alphabetical order, Expandalung and PowerLung. The Expandalung is aimed more at athletes and comes with 1 resistance range. The PowerLung comes in several different models with different ranges aimed at different activities (sports for one series, music/singing for another). The ...


3

A properly played oboe uses very little air and rather high pressure. It's not uncommon for quite good players not using circular breathing to play wonderfully long, lyrically sculpted legato lines audibly ending up almost suffocated. It's not as much exhaling until the lungs are empty as it is holding your breath: they end with a gasp followed by sharp ...


3

Excluding wind and vocal instruments, I would say precise breathing technique is probably not important for it's own sake. However... Breathing problems often indicate a more systemic problem with muscular tension, and this can definitely be an issue with any instrumental performance. Especially since, in your case, you seem to be switching technique during ...



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