Richard Burdick's thoughts for his horn students
For all breathing, (1) open your mouth. (2) Then exhale fully. (3) Inhale with a silent “ahh” which opens the throat. As you breath remain relaxed & move your elbows outwards to allow the lungs to expand more.
I use three different kinds of breathing the fat breath, the
tall breath and the complete breath.
For the fat breathing, breath deep in your lungs first. Making an effort to expand the lungs downward in the lower back & sides. Getting fat then expanding in the chest as well. This should give you a huge breath. Most students who do this the first time are so unused to having so much air that they miss notes. I like this when I want a vibrato, during a very hard concert or when I want a dark tone. , breath in and immediately play.
For the tall breathing, take a fast breath letting the body expand naturally, but keep your attention with the expansion of your chest in the heart region. The breath to the chest has the advantage of expanded chest muscles. The air use is aided by the natural contraction of the chest muscles. There is no forcing of the air outward, or extra tension from overly stretched body parts. Breathing this way eliminates most of my nervousness and I can get a nice steady tone. Breath in and immediately play. The only time I breath and hold in the breath before playing is for really scary high note entrances. These entrances are aided by the built up air pressure in the lungs.
The complete breath has taken me a while to perfect. I had to overcome the problem of too much pressure in weird places of my body. My favorite analogy for this type of breath is that of filling a sealed paint can with air from an air compressor. When it get too much pressure it starts to bend & bulge in strange places. Likewise, a large breath will cause ones horn playing to be out of control in strange ways. I recommend a lager exhale followed by a timed large inhale, then before you play, let out a little air to reduce the extra pressure from the large breath, then play. This is my best breath.A shallow breath is never acceptable. Always take a full breath. The resonance of lunges is important for your sound quality. With practice you learn to use the right amount and speed of air for the quality of tone you wish to produce. Use just enough air to make the correct vibration.
P. S. I Just (17/02/2011) Added a new rule to my list of reules! Breath at dynamic changes. I am not sure this is for all music, but for lots of etudes this really works.
New comments on Breathing:
April 7 2011
For students, I think it is important to practice deep breathing, a breathing that is not natural. One must get used to breathing deeply and by forcing it at first I think you will achieve the goal of deep musicians breathing faster. But, one must be relaxed in performances and forcing breathing in those times is not a very good idea. My most important teacher who talked about breathing, suggested that one can feel the breath at the base of the spine. I never did achieve that, but I can feel it on my sides by my belt and I think that is important for a deep breath. I tell my students to relax their sides under their arms almost lifting ones arms away from the body like they have wings. This allows the lungs to open more.
CD41 American Horn Music vol. 2
CD40 Retrospective II
Horn Quartets No's 1 - 5
CD39 Bach by Popular Demand
CD39 A sequel to
Easter Oratorio CD and his Favorites CD Bach Cantatas, 26, 84 & 99
CD38 Matthew Locke:
Broken & Flatte Consorts
CD38 Richard Burdick performs trios from the late renaissance: all 6 Broken Consort Suites and both Flatte Consort suites - 36 track of Christmas like music.
CD37 Microtonal music of Richard Burdick
Music By Duvernoy & Schneider
of the 40's & 50's
There are many lesser-known 20th century composers, who have great worth!
Let’s not forget the music of: