Breath Capacity

Home Forum Teaching and Learning Breath Capacity

This topic contains 7 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Jason Cone December 3, 2019 at 8:01 pm.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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  • #840

    Jason Cone
    Participant

    I’m trying to develop my breathing, and specifically my breath capacity. (I play piano and guitar, but I’m a beginner on recorder.)

    I’ve been doing whole note scales (4/4 time, 80 bpm), but I usually run out of breath after about 6 bars. I’m wondering what a reasonable target should be. That is, about how many bars should a competent player be able to sustain when playing whole notes in common time at 80 bpm?

    #842

    Jason Cone
    Participant

    Well, just a day after posting that I found that I was able to play the whole note scale for 8 bars. I think I was using my diaphragm more.

    #852

    Aulos303
    Participant

    Try to breath from your stomach rather than your chest.

    You don't stop playing when you get old. You get old when you stop playing.

    #855

    Jason Cone
    Participant

    Yeah, I’ve watched some youtube videos on breathing and breath support, and that’s what has been lacking, for me. I’m working on it. “Breathe from your stomach” is a nice, concise way of putting it. Thanks!

    #860

    Aulos303
    Participant

    Its how children breathe naturally. We tend to lose it as we become adults.

    You don't stop playing when you get old. You get old when you stop playing.

    #867

    Jason Cone
    Participant

    After a few weeks of practice on this, I’m pleased to report that I’ve at least doubled the number of bars (4/4 80 bpm) that I’m able to sustain, compared to where I was in my initial post (actually, it’s often more than double that). Breathing low in my diaphragm and keeping the breath supported made all the difference in the world.

    I’ve been using something like the following in my practice:

    • Play a sustained note with consistent tone for as many bars as possible (4/4, 80 bpm)
    • Play a sustained note with consistent tone for as many bars as possible (4/4, 60 bpm) – record the number of seconds and aim for a little more each time.
    • Play one octave ascending scales with each note getting an entire bar (4/4, 80 bpm). Goal is the entire scale (which I can now do pretty easily). When the top note is reached, descend in the same manner for as long as possible.

    That routine has worked well for me.

    #873

    Carolyn Hanlon
    Participant

    Check out Team Recorder YouTube videos (NFI.) She has a video about phrasing and breath control.

    #877

    Jason Cone
    Participant

    Thanks! I’ve been going through her videos: there’s a lot of good stuff, there. The breath support video had some useful exercises (and also confirmed that I’m on the right track).

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