Posted by Joe Baker on January 26, 2001 at 12:53:58:
In Reply to: Breathing... posted by Matt A. on January 25, 2001 at 09:42:57:
One of my worst things is breathing, but the best lesson I ever got was in some online tips from a (french) horn player. He suggested that breathing is a two step process, filling the belly and then filling the chest. Filling the belly was what I was missing. His excercise was to yawn, and feel what the muscles do when you yawn, then try to imitate that. Filling the chest was then simply a matter of making the chest muscles come out without the shoulders coming up.
This improved my tuba playing, and revolutionized my trombone playing and singing.
As to the comments about how much air is needed, the answer is 'enough to overcome the tension of the lips.' Vibration is a matter of air pressure building up until the lips blow open, then as the air escapes the air pressure drops and the elasticity of the lips pulls them shut, until the air pressure builds up again and blows them open again, etc. If there are people whose lips have the correct tension and elasticity to work with much less air, they can get by with less air, but there must be enough for a consistent flow in order to get a consistent tone.