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 Getting out of breath
Author: BronzeOrbiter 
Date:   2018-03-02 16:48

Hello everyone,

I'm having this problem where i get very out of breath on playing long peices without rests. I get this feeling that I have too much air in my lungs and I get an urge to exhale. (Sort of like i'm not blowing out through the clarinet quick enough.)

My teacher is not quite sure why. I am making sure I play with plenty of diaphragm support, and that i don't breathe randomly. I'm not sure what the problem is. I'm wondering whether I might be taking too big breaths, or maybe it's something to do with getting anxious.

Any opinions greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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 Re: Getting out of breath
Author: Burt 
Date:   2018-03-02 18:11

As I understand it:
Any air in your lungs will allow you to blow the clarinet.
You get out of breath because the carbon dioxide percentage in that air is too high.
The cause is taking quick breaths when you still have plenty of air in your lungs. (If you wait until you are nearly out of air, you don't have enough time for a decent breath.)
So the carbon dioxide builds up.
The solution is to expel the stale air and fill your lungs with fresh air - easier said than done when you don't have a long enough rest. The next-best thing is to play with your lungs nearly empty, and take short breaths often.

I've experienced the same problem. I suspect every wind player has. I have not learned to do circular breathing, which may be a solution.



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 Re: Getting out of breath
Author: Ed Palanker 2017
Date:   2018-03-02 18:16

Could be both. You don't need to take a full lung of air for a short passage because you do have to let air out before breathing new air in many times. It could also build up to much pressure in your upper chest making it uncomfortable to exhale in order to inhale. Learn to pace the amount of air you take in.
When it comes to long passages without rests one has to plan where to breathe so you can get through the passages without leaving out notes, if possible, by making a longer note a little shorter where ever possible to keep the phrase in line. The worst thing to do is to wait until you're completely out of air and force a breath or to take a full breath when not practical. Plan ahead and practice taking short breaths when needed.

ESP eddiesclarinet.com

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 Re: Getting out of breath
Author: BronzeOrbiter 
Date:   2018-03-03 16:44

Thanks very much for the help. I think you're right, i need to pace myself more when taking breaths and maybe not breathe so deeply.Ed Palanker wrote:

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 Re: Getting out of breath
Author: Adrian_B-flat 
Date:   2018-04-04 06:48

Ive been experiencing that for the last few months. It didn’t occur to me that I may have changed in my breathing. I was chalking it up to having gained a bit of weight (not intentionally...) and resigned myself to knowing I need to lose it. But I should probably consider both. Thanks!

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 Re: Getting out of breath
Author: Speculator Sam 
Date:   2018-04-04 08:26

@Adrian your physical fitness isn't really a huge factor in your clarinet playing. If that was the case, then people like James Galway and Richardo Morales shouldn't be playing so well since they're "hefty". Of course, that's not an excuse to neglect your physical health and not bother exercising and perhaps taking an honest look at your diet.

I say personal health and fitness isn't a factor in clarineting in-of-itself, but staying healthy, avoiding cigarettes, etc., prevents things like, for example, a heart attack or a severe hospitalizing muscle strain from a tense chest that's never stretched. That way, you can stay in good shape so you can play your instrument without worrying about whether or not you're physically fit.

To the OP, I ditto the advice of everyone above. To Adrian, coming from being obese, than scrawny and suffering from mental anorexia and now a few years later after being a amateur athlete and now finally relaxing. It's not the number on the scale you should worry about. Rather, focus on a fitness goal. For example, not thinking "I'm fat", rather think "I have some fat that can I could live happily without"; instead of saying your absolute goal is to lose weight focus like a certain number of pull-ups or how much weight you bench press'd/squatted last week.

It's much like how in clarinet playing instead of thinking "I need to get good! I wanna play like Benny Goodman!" all the time the player should probably simply focus on the few little things they're working on today and what they could do tomorrow to improve upon it. The short-term goals that can be achieved within the week or so. When you aren't thinking too far into the future, you find that time flies by and "all of a sudden" three months that niggle and bad habit doesn't even exist and now you're a GIANT STEP (coltrane joke) closer to sounding like a professional player.

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 Re: Getting out of breath
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2018-04-04 15:39

Speculator Sam,

Your comment "I say personal health and fitness isn't a factor in clarineting in-of-itself, but staying healthy, avoiding cigarettes, etc., prevents things like, for example, a heart attack or a severe hospitalizing muscle strain from a tense chest that's never stretched. That way, you can stay in good shape so you can play your instrument without worrying about whether or not you're physically fit." is so far off-base I do not even know where to begin.

What is your scientific basis for making these statements? Do you have medical training of some sort? Do you believe that staying healthy "in-of-itself" and not smoking will prevent a heart attack? What's hospitalization for a "tense chest that's never stretched..."? Please explain this malady for me.

HRL



Post Edited (2018-04-05 01:30)

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 Re: Getting out of breath
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2018-04-04 16:09

I exhale often when I have too much air. Talk to oboe players - that is something they have to do all the time.

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 Re: Getting out of breath
Author: Speculator Sam 
Date:   2018-04-10 08:20

Never claimed to be an expert. No one's immune to a heart attack, anyone could get that that's common sense. Also common sense, staying physically fit and being more careful with dietary habits improves overall health; happens to lead to good posture habits when playing any musical instrument and improves lung function which means better breathing and air support.

Tense chest came from how never trying to improve your posture, whether playing clarinet, using a computer, exercising, or in general, can lead to a hernia. I've had a few percussion friends suffer from a torn chest muscles, and those few happened to not be in good physical shape aside marching. Of course, sports injuries are somewhat common but not a frequent occurrence. I've pinched a nerve in my neck playing bass clarinet with the peg set too high.

All this is far from the original topic of the OP. In which the answer to that is to find better places to breath within passage and also making sure that you have a good long tones protocol that's appropriate for your skill level.

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 Re: Getting out of breath
Author: Luuk 2017
Date:   2018-04-10 18:06

Oboe players use so little air that they learn to actively exhale excess air before inhaling for a new musical line.

Regards,

Luuk
Philips Symphonic Band
The Netherlands

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 Re: Getting out of breath
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2018-04-10 18:25

Speculator Sam,

Excuse me but you were the one that took the thread in a totally different direction with your mention of physical fitness, heart attack, and tense chest.

It is clear that you are not an expert on these topics and have little if any factual evidence to support your claims. As an example "Tense chest...can lead to a hernia." And what does it mean when you said "sports injuries are somewhat common but not a frequent occurrence"?

It might be wise if you chose your words more carefully.

HRL

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 Re: Getting out of breath
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-04-10 22:21

Luuk wrote:

> Oboe players use so little air that they learn to actively
> exhale excess air before inhaling for a new musical line.
>

Any wind player should routine him- or herself to do this *provided there's time available.* A fresh breath is always preferable to topping off stale air. You can't do this during a quick catch breath.

Karl

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 Re: Getting out of breath
Author: Speculator Sam 
Date:   2018-04-11 02:56

Ok, i is a dumb-dumb. Sorry for poluting this thread. I'll see myself out.

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 Re: Getting out of breath
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2018-04-12 20:47

Shortness of breath can be a symptom of medical issues, possibly including heart problems. The poster didn't indicate any other contexts or symptoms, so it's probably safe to assume it's exactly about CO2 buildup from lack of full exhalations while playing, a thing wind players commonly encounter. However, if there are other symptoms or contexts then it would be best to consult a medical professional.

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 Re: Getting out of breath
Author: MoonPatrol 
Date:   2018-04-23 08:02

One of my teachers said to sit up straight and you will get better air. I don't always do that but it is one way to set up for a long passage.

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