21

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 ...


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,...


13

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 ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


9

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

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

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 and ...


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

I would recommend to practice the breathing as it is done with some of the woodwinds and brass. Here are some basic guidelines: Don't try to play a song as the first thing when you get your hands on the harmonica. Learn how to breathe with the diaphragm. Many of us don't really know that this is the best way to breathe, regardless of the goal. Play lots and ...


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 ...


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

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

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

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

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 ...


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