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Beginner Out of breath!

Jen B

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Hull
I am about to answer my own question I suspect . Having less than a week of practice after a loooooooong break I am struck at how unfit I am. I'm sure I never used to get out of puff after 6 bars. Does physical / cardio vascular fitness have an impact on blow ability - I guess it must?!

What if anything do you do to improve your stamina? Do I need to start jogging again to get better on my horn?!
 

Greg Strange

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Hamilton, Waikato, North Island, New Zealand
and control of your diaphragm - the muscle between the stomach and lungs...

Greg S.
 

Jeanette

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Relax too, I find if I'm tense and really concentrating my breathing goes to pot :)

Jx
 

Rob Pealing

sax in a kayak (apprentice sax tamer)
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I don't know for certain if jogging will improve your saxophone playing, I suspect it will, but it will certainly improve your cardiovascular fitness and longevity.
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
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I don't know for certain if jogging will improve your saxophone playing, I suspect it will, but it will certainly improve your cardiovascular fitness and longevity.
Jim Fixx, the man who 'invented' jogging died of a heart attack during his daily run aged 52.
 

Keep Blowing

Senior Member
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Bottesford England
I am about to answer my own question I suspect . Having less than a week of practice after a loooooooong break I am struck at how unfit I am. I'm sure I never used to get out of puff after 6 bars. Does physical / cardio vascular fitness have an impact on blow ability - I guess it must?!

What if anything do you do to improve your stamina? Do I need to start jogging again to get better on my horn?!
I believe that core muscle strength exercises helps, I had Sciatica a number of years ago and started doing chin ups and push ups, I haven't suffered from Sciatica since and I believe it has helped my Saxophony.
 

spike

Old Indian
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2,251
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Half way up a hill
I've always had a dog or dogs. Walkies two or three times every day come rain or come shine.
We live half way up a hill so we either walk up a hill and back down again or down a hill and back up again.
Great for the condition. Physical fitness does help enormously with playing the saxophone and when you are reasonably fit it's one less thing to worry about when playing.
 
OP
Jen B

Jen B

New Member
Messages
19
Locality
Hull
@spike I would love a dog or dogs! I think I'm pushing marital harmony with sub standard squonking on the bass clarinet and have been firmly told no dogs for at least 20 years :(
 

altissimo

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leicester
What if anything do you do to improve your stamina?
practice - the more you play, the better you'll get..

physical exercise involves a different kind of breathing to playing a wind instrument, so I don't know if it helps very much - a lot of the great saxophone players of the past weren't exactly renowned for their healthy lifestyles, but had plenty of stamina when it came to playing the sax
 

jbtsax

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Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
If you find yourself running out of air before the end of the phrase, take bigger breaths.

  • Ribcage high
  • shoulders relaxed like a tablecloth on a table
  • expand your abdomen when you inhale
 
OP
Jen B

Jen B

New Member
Messages
19
Locality
Hull
practice - the more you play, the better you'll get..
- a lot of the great saxophone players of the past weren't exactly renowned for their healthy lifestyles, but had plenty of stamina when it came to playing the sax
Very true! I doubt Charlie Parker spent much time on the rowing machine at the gym!
 

Phil

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France
Are you playing a light reed and small tip mouthpiece? Sometimes people start on something way to hard. It certainly takes practice to use air efficiently but I wonder what you are playing.
 
OP
Jen B

Jen B

New Member
Messages
19
Locality
Hull
Are you playing a light reed and small tip mouthpiece? Sometimes people start on something way to hard. It certainly takes practice to use air efficiently but I wonder what you are playing.
A bass clarinet! Vandoren 2.5 classics and an old mouthpiece - the wider bore of the two I have.
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
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McLean, Virginia
If you find yourself running out of air before the end of the phrase, take bigger breaths.

  • Ribcage high
  • shoulders relaxed like a tablecloth on a table
  • expand your abdomen when you inhale
I might phrase that in a different order. I believe that ribcage high should only happen at the last stages of breath intake, as with typical yoga breathing.

  1. Lower part of lungs (think expand abdomen)
  2. Middle part of lungs (think expansion of ricage sidways)
  3. Top part upper of lungs, ie ribcage while still keeping shoulders relaxed like the tablecloth
 

spike

Old Indian
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2,251
Locality
Half way up a hill
Very true! I doubt Charlie Parker spent much time on the rowing machine at the gym!
He didn't need to - he spent all day every day playing his horn. Not to mention his use and abuse of "mother's little helpers".
With time and pratice you'll be able to use your air more economically and efficiently.
practice - the more you play, the better you'll get..
:thumb:
 

spike

Old Indian
Messages
2,251
Locality
Half way up a hill
I'm hearing long notes and drugs will help
No, No, that's a typo it should read: "Long notes and dogs will help".
You've been spending too much time worrying about Yanni and Nanni and Laurel :p
 
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