Date: Fri, 05 Sep 1997 13:25:48 -0400
From: Tim Phillips <>
Subject: PED: Head Rush/breathing

I have read the many responses to this question, and if you will allow me to offer the following advice:

"Blowing from the lungs" is a term I use to say that the pressure exerted against the lungs to deflate is caused more from collapsing the muscles of the upper torso (ribcage, pects, upper abs) than the lower abs.  Instead of speaking of blowing from the diaphragm (which is an involuntary muscle tissue wall), if you want an area to concentrate on, think of blowing from the anus.  Of course, this gets into some yoga practices as well.

Get the Maggio Book.  It has some very insightful things about inhalation as is applied to trumpet playing.

An analytical description:

The lungs need to be as full as possible and never allowed to get to a point of muscle equilibrium between the inhale and exhale muscles.  The muscles involved in exhale work by returning from a state of being stretched for inhalation (by the other set).  If they get back to a "rest" state, or a non stretched state, you will have to apply much pressure to get the amount of air pressure out of the lungs necessary for loud/high register playing.  This will cause the bodies natural desire to inhale (an autonomic response) to be overridden and will start putting the muscles into states of isometric contractions.  This will tense both groups up and will limit the next inhale, causing you to work harder and harder with each successive breath.  Eventually, you may indeed "feel" full of air, when you are empty.

This excess of pressure on the heart (as some of our more medically knowledgeable have attested) can cause an increase of blood pressure and can even get built up to a point where the heart cannot beat hard enough to override the pressure exerted against it by the chest muscles.  This will cause a build up of blood in the head and the resulting headache or head rush.  It subsides when the pressure is removed.

My GUESS (to the marcher who asked) is that you are not filling fully the lungs and not breathing enough to keep them full so you don't have to push as hard.

Tim Phillips

Gregory Bush wrote:
> Hmmmmmmmm...
> How does one "blow thru your lungs instead of your diaphraghm (sic)"?
> Can you get higher notes this way?