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Diaphragmatic breathing

Mg1

Mg1

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Hi

This is for all of those that is struggling to get their head around breathing from the diaphragm .
The other day i discovered that when you blow your nose , it is exactly the same as when we breath from our diaphragm . Try it and you will see what I mean.
 
Rob Pealing

Rob Pealing

sax in a kayak (apprentice sax tamer)
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I agree getting your head around breathing with your diaphragm is not easy. The diaphragm cannot actively push air out of your lungs, the abdominal wall muscles do that by pushing your diaphragm back up into your chest., which is what happens when you sneeze. The easiest way to think about contracting your diaphragm to suck air in is to think "push your stomach out. "
 
jbtsax

jbtsax

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A very good woodwind player and teacher in my area teaches that the rib cage be held as high as possible with the shoulders relaxed. With this posture, the breathing automatically moves to the abdomen.
 
Tenor Viol

Tenor Viol

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I've previously posted an exercise for developing breathing technique by lifting the rib cage etc that I was taught by my singing teacher
 
R

RichardSX90

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I saw a great idea about Diaphragm Breathing on a sax tuition video several years ago - it might have been from Pete Thomas or Dave Liebman.

1. Bend over as if you're going to touch your toes.
2. Breathe - it is easy to "feel" the diaphragm moving.
3. Straighten up slightly and breathe. The diaphragm feeling won't be quite as strong, so concentrate on it as you breathe. Try to get the same feeling.
4. Continue to straighten in stages and breathe.
5. Standing straight - you should still be able aware of the diaphragm as you breath.
 
Sue

Sue

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Yoga is great for different breathing exercises. Loads of YouTube videos to choose from from beginner to advanced (yoga not reathing :)) 5 minutes every morning really wakes you up for the day :)
 
Colin the Bear

Colin the Bear

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Breathe in and hold. Breath in some more and hold now breath in again and play from there. I find holding the ribs high will let the weight of the rib cage assist in pushing out the air. Less tiring and more control.
 
Juju

Juju

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If you didn't use your diaphragm for breathing you'd be pretty poorly. The diaphragm is the breathing muscle. That's what it's there for. Trust your pathologist...:D
 
Guenne

Guenne

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Austria
Hey,

I'm not sure if it has more to do with "using the diaphragm" or the way you manage your soft palate when blowing your nose (often mentioned in clarinet and sax books (for instance The Art of Clarinet Playing)), allowing "support". But it works, and so it's fine.

For me effective breathing is more "not-doing" than learning something you "have to do" or "think of".

A nice video explaining what the diaphragm does and what it does not do:



Cheers, Guenne
 
Last edited:
Juju

Juju

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Pittel doesn't get it quite right, though - he says "as the lungs expand the lungs push the diaphragm down". The reverse is the case: As the diaphragm contracts, i.e flattens, the thoracic space becames larger and air is sucked in - now the lungs can expand. This works in conjunction with intercostal and some other accessory muscles. A bilateral paralysis of the diaphragm is a pretty serious condition and results in respiratory failure.
 
Juju

Juju

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Would be great, if people would get that right.
Instead of trying to suck air in which often results in noise.
Cheers, Guenne

Most people don't know much about the anatomy and the physiology that's involved in breathing (and yet we're all still alive :D). There are so many misconceptions and I'm surprised how many music educators offer advice which is based on anatomical/physiological misconceptions.
The only thing we really need to know is in what way any kind of forced/conscious inhalation/exhalation (that includes playing the sax) differs from natural breathing, i.e how - in addition to our diaphragm - to employ our intercostal/ accessory muscles to optimum effect. The diaphragm will always do what a diaphragm needs to do... ;) If it's not in working order you will know!
 

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