From: "Reaban, Derek" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2005 11:12:31 -0700
Subject: [TPIN] Breathing
Let's see if I can add to this discussion and answer your questions.
Everyone else has been right on the money with their answers
based on the reading that I have done in the Arnold Jacobs: Song and Wind
book by Brian Frederiksen.
Here are your questions for reference:
> lets see if I
understand the whole concept so far...
> If I'm breathing
incorrectly, I'll still have air
> available to
play, but I'll feel like I'm out of
And this is a result of inefficient CO2
And if the CO2 thing is a sign that I'm
"something" wrong would this also explain other
> issues such
as... range and endurance?
You also asked:
> I always hear
that... "Use faster air on higher notes
> rather than more
> can anyone give
me some good examples of this!
I posted on this topic before, so I'm sure when you read it, you will
say, "Oh yes, I remember seeing that somewhere before".
Consider an extreme case of high notes and low notes. A tuba player
playing a loud, low forte in their range can expel between 140 - 160
liters of air per minute to generate this note. A trumpet player
playing a loud, low forte in their range will expel between 6-8 liters
of air per minute to generate this note. This flow rate has to do
with the physical nature of brass instruments. If the tuba player jumps
several octaves and plays the same note as the Trumpet player with a
similar dynamic, the flow rate requirement will be between 6-8 liters
of air per minute. All of this information is based on a study
that Arnold Jacobs performed in a lab with brass players from the CSO
back in the 1950s and is found in Brian Frederiksen's book.
If you can follow that logic, the same holds true for the trumpet as
you ascend into the higher register. There is less flow rate required
to generate the notes. In fact if you try to generate the same flow
rate in the upper register that you do in the lower register, you will
be fighting the physics of the pipe and the back pressure will be
nearly impossible to overcome. The point is, you don't have to
flow so much volume of air in that register. It's counter
Now, knowing this flow rate relationship this to be true, think about
your breathing when you are playing. If you have a long phrase in the
low register, you will be emptying your lungs faster. Lets say
you are playing a phrase that requires 6-8 liters of air per minute in
the low register. Most people have a vital capacity in their
lungs of between 3-5 liters, so after 30 seconds of playing in the low
register at a forte dynamic you will have empty lungs. If you
play a similar 30 second phrase an octave and a half higher, the flow
rate might only require that you expel 1 liter of air per minute.
In this case your body is ready for another breath because you
are at the point where the CO2 in your blood stream has risen to the
point where your body says, "BREATHE!". But your lungs still have
several liters of air left in them!
Learning how to deal with this is a combination of understanding what's
going on (get Brian's book!) and practicing how to deal with these
situations when you are playing in the different registers.
I hope this helps!