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Breath control

John Setchell

Member
Messages
139
Location
Norfolk UK
My previous saxophone teacher told me that the way I play looks a lot like Joe Henderson (don't sound like him though, have a lot to learn still). And I think that my embouchure is quite similar.
I have no idea what category my embouchure is, and I don’t want to know! It’s private. In defence my tutor tells me it’s “ Pretty good”.
I’m jumping in here for advice svp on phrasing. I can blow four written bars OK, but when jamming’ to iPhone I get carried away and run out of air. Busking 12 bar in B, nice run up to E, hop-the-7th D-E a few times, and then realise I haven’t taken a breath and feel like I’ve just run upstairs! Any advice on this new discipline would be appreciated.
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Café Supporter
Messages
6,127
Location
Whitchurch, North Shropshire UK
Try scat singing your solos. People don't seem to have problems breathing while singing.
Also play in phrases and breathe between them. Do you run out of breath while talking. Why?
Possibly true for some types of singing, but breath control is a serious subject for some of the things I’ve sung over the years.
 

Dave E

Member
Messages
186
Location
Leicester
Many thanks for the exercises. I had an earlier version which I started to practice a few months ago then got distracted and forgot about.. Now I've started to listen to myself more (e.g Weaver of dreams), I've realised my sound is sometimes unstable. Breathing goes back to the top of my list of practice and exercises.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,052
Location
Sweden
Don't run out of air - breath often. Use the natural breaks in the music to fill your lungs. If you are playing a 12 bar blues it's natural to breathe in the end of the bars. Cut/short the last beat of the bar. But that depends if it's a slow blues or a more fast blues.

Here is a sample of a 24 bar rock solo in "driving rock" tempo (110-120/130 bpm). It's a solo that is played with full volume/power. It's obvious where to breath !!! And you need it. Lots of practise for me to play a solo like this even. An easy solo to play according to jazz players. I don't think so. "It not what you play, it's how you play it".

drivingrock.JPG
 

Pete Thomas

Well-Known Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
14,714
Location
St. Mary's
Well we do have our very own section on breathing exercises here!


and:


diaphragm-breathing.gif


NB: I no longer have a 26" waist
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,052
Location
Sweden
Where/when to breath when you are playing.
How to breath (diaghragm).

How to maintain or increase your lung capacity is also important. Running, swimwing, walking, biking is good. I started to do breath excercises last spring when the corona hit us. Here is a good core/diaghragm excercise with breathing involved. The core is also important.

Take some water into a plastic bottle and place a platic hose (ca 10-12 mm diameter) in the botlle.

Do the "plank" (on the elbows or on straight arms)

Inhale through the nose, out through the plastic hose while you are doing the "plank". Think about to activate diaghragm and core while you are doing the "plank", Do this some times every day and maybe you'll get a call from "The Boss";)
 

Dave Dunn

New Member
Messages
22
Location
South Australia
As a singer I stay in shape (or did!) by singing scales, and holding a note for as long as possible. I'd do this at every possible opportunity, especially when driving where you can be as loud as you like without annoying anyone, and when I sing, I'm very loud. I'm finding that singing doesn't translate to playing saxophone as well as I'd hoped though, I think because when singing as loud as you can, the object is to project your voice, but not blow out a candle held in front of your mouth, that vocal exercise is working against me I think.
 

Guenne

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,051
Location
Austria
Hello!

I think there's a lot of misinformation and misconception traded over generations.
I don't want to open a can of worms, but I often find in teaching that problems do not come from lack of air, but of misusing the energy when blowing a note. If you hit a note right in the middle, you need half of the air compared to if you fight against the horn to get the reed to vibrate.

Cheers, Guenne
 

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