16

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 ...


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,...


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 ...


10

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 ...


10

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. ...


10

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 the ...


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

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!


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

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

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 ...


5

As a brass instrumentalist, I can only speak for that family of instruments. But the difference required to play in extreme registers is often explained with a simple sentence: Low notes require more air, high notes require faster air. And a simple experiment proves this: have a tuba player play, say, a middle C at a forte dynamic level and see how long ...


5

First, a warning: the best way to improve breath control is by playing long-tones on the instrument. WIthout this, you don't hear the tone quality (or lack thereof) in relationship to breath control. The next-best exercise is to train yourself to breath "down to the diaphragm" at all times, regardless of what you're doing. This means making your upper ...


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 that ...


4

Yawning while singing is not necessarily a sign of improper breathing. Rather, it could be a sign of good throat position. Proper vocal technique across a wide variety of styles (including classical, folk, and pop, all of which I'm trained in) has a singer open their throat and raise their palate in the rear, similar to the motion you make while yawning. ...


4

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 ...


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

There are three main causes of nasty tone on a tin whistle, or indeed a recorder; Blowing too hard or not hard enough Not completely sealing the holes you are covering The quality of the instrument And I'd suggest that you spend a decent time making sure it's not the first two before you assume it's the third. If it's a recorder you're playing I'd ...


4

No, breathing marks are not required. However, if it's important that breathing occurs at a specific place, then notate it. Especially if the location isn't intuitive. If you don't write breathing marks, players will generally aim for the end of a phrase. At least, decent players will. If you're writing for a younger or inexperienced player, more notation ...


3

Well, I don't think the first claim is true. I didn't know how to do vibrato until I was 19. I'm 23 now and I'm still improving it. And I have a very low pitch voice. My dad learned how to do vibrato only in his 50s. But, I don't really know how I really learned it. I was experimenting with my voice one day, and it got easier the more I played with it. It's ...


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

Vibrato is more or less a natural phenomenon once you are singing with nice support and a relaxed larynx. It's absurd that you would have to learn it at some given age: it more or less comes with a well-tended voice at whatever age. Vibrato can be produced somewhat artificially by conscious breath and throat actions but that is rarely convincing and often ...


3

You're right to be aware of your breathing, it really is the core of flute playing and so much depends on it. Firstly, I wouldn't worry too much about the sound. Most people would agree it is preferable to not make a sound whilst breathing, simply because it sounds nicer. The thing I would encourage you to check is that you are "tummy breathing". Place ...


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

Making sure to breath down and supporting your breath with your diaphragm, rather than to the chest, and not to exhale all your air at the same time is extremely important for anything that requires use of breathing. This is called 'breath support' or 'full breathing'. If you're doing it right, you should feel your stomach inflating when you breath in, ...


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