More Tips on breathing…: TIPS #2 11/20/20

Breathing…

Gents?In order to get the sounds you want (Or remember having), you need to continue with fundamental things every day. Before getting into tips, a mentor from my collegiate career. I was lucky enough to take Brass pedagogy from a wonderful man-We called him Bud, the world knew him Adolph Hersath, Principal Trumpet of many years for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. I had several opportunities to see him in action as he did his daily rituals before ever giving lessons to his students.

  1. His personal daily ritual included several breathing exercises in order to keep his lungs expanding well and in lithe condition. He held his breath for a regimented amount of time and actually did some vocalizes. This was before everplaying a single note on his trumpet. And much to my amazement he proceeded tothen do all the primary scales and pages in the famous trumpet pedagogy book known to musicians as ARBANS. (I have my copy)?. All before attempting the workfor the day or students. Should we be as diligent as Bud Hersath? Let me answer in a couple of ways. Would that every musician have a ritual of fundamental music making, and work it every day. Then again not all of us havethat time in a given day. However, Many of us like to think that we have no time whatever, which when truth be told is not factual.Music is a discipline … amongst the many other things it is (all wonderful I might add) and in order to make progress musically speaking it requires Time In. Frequently during my day I will stop what I?m doing and just inhale deeply and slowly and do the same exhaling it four or five times in succession. It oxygenates the blood and helps to keep the lungs lithe as mentioned previously. It takes essentially just a couple of minutes at a time. Then of course, Mike has sent you all a grouping of the Warm ups we do at rehearsals. Do them once a day minimum, especially if you are going to sing your tracks on Sound TrapAfter that try some of the pieces we are working on in the Sound Trap program. You will find your voice pick up a tighter sound and often as not an extra note either at the high or low end.
  2. Sing whenever you have the opportunity. We all have songs that float around in our heads or that we remember fondly. Sing them out loud somewhere in the house or in the car. Sing all the time though…whenever you are able.
  3. Many of us find ourselves in church on Sunday and in those hymnals are some chestnuts you really like to belt out! Ask your Pastor and Music Director if you might borrow a choral copy and take it home to keep your Voice intact. Unless I miss my guess, safety protocols are not allowing people to sing, choirs to sing, or to use the books in church at this time. Remember, when you are sing of course you are breathing, however to get and control your sound you need expand our volume of air. That's a start.
  4. This one tip gives you permission to stare at yourself in the mirror! If you have a full sized one, so much the better. I want you to stand and stare at yourself in the mirror, then pretend as if you are about to sing with the group. Take a couple of those big breaths of air, and notice your posture. You need to have shoulders squared up, arms down and relaxed. Head is squared away horizontally.
  5. His personal daily ritual included several breathing exercises in order to keep his lungs expanding well and in lithe condition. He held his breath for a regimented amount of time and actually did some vocalizes. This was before everplaying a single note on his trumpet. And much to my amazement he proceeded tothen do all the primary scales and pages in the famous trumpet pedagogy book known to musicians as ARBANS. (I have my copy)?. All before attempting the workfor the day or students. Should we be as diligent as Bud Hersath?Let me answer in a couple of ways. Would that every musician have a ritual of fundamental music making, and work it every day. Then again not all of us have that time in a given day. However, Many of us like to think that we have no time whatever, which when truth be told is not factual.Music is a discipline...amongst the many other things it is (all wonderful I might add) and in order to make progress musically speaking it requires Time In. Frequently during my day I will stop what I?m doing and just inhale deeply and slowly and do the same exhaling it. 4 or 5 times in succession. It oxygenates the blood and helps to keep the lungs lithe as mentioned previously. It takes essentially just a couple of minutes at a time. Then of course, Mike has sent you all a grouping of the Warm ups we do at rehearsals. Do them once a day minimum, especially if you are going to sing your tracks on Sound TrapAfter that try singing some of the pieces we are working on in the Sound Trap program. You will find your voice pick up a tighter sound and often as not an extra note either at the high or low end.
More tips and reminders coming…:
I will always try to explain. And none will Override another if I can help it. One last thing…I'd keep the heavy breathing to interiors of the car or house. Heavy breathing in publi…not so good.

Lev Sangen!
Chuck Kessell