FW: [Dixielandjazz] Player's Eyes

dingle at baldwin-net.com dingle at baldwin-net.com
Wed Jun 14 09:04:49 PDT 2006

Jim Kashishian wrote:

>Don wrote:
>You are not taking in enough air and not using your diaphram muscles to 
>support your air stream. That forces you to tighened up the neck muscles 
>and in effect choke off your air stream which makes you force it even 
>more. No wonder you see dancing dots on your screen.
>Thanks for your concern, Don.  But, that is not the case.  Playing, at any
>strength, creates the effect for me, but only on some screens. Besides, I
>don't usually look at a screen when I am playing, but have only noticed the
>phenonema as a curiousity.  It's not dots, but a swimming effect, and could
>be down to the crazy astigmatism I have in my eyes.
>Breathing, good breathing, has always been one of my fortes since my first
>teacher had me stand behind him...put my arms around his belly, and feel his
>stomach muscles as he took in air & used it.  That was my first lesson!
>Can you just imagine today what would happen if a 9 yr old boy went home
>from his first music lesson and told his folks "Guess what I did today?"!!!
>Well, he was an amazing teacher, and that was all he was interested in, at
>least in my case.
>I have, by the way, seen dancing dots when I've attempted to squeeze just
>that bit more out of a phrase, and there was no air left in me.  I hate
>piano players, as they can just plan a phrase of music as they please.  If a
>brass player wants to do something unusually long, he has to consider the
>amount of air available, otherwise the phrase will be interrupted by a take
>in of air (something akin to a coma in a sentence).  If you don't want a
>coma in your "musical sentence", then the air intake must be planned.
Lucky you...all I see are bad commericials...dancing dots would be a break.
Here is a trick I learned from fine studio trombonist Pete Bielmann 
about getting enough air in.
He said picture a long swinning pool you are to swim full length 
underwater. As you get set to dive and take in air and feel you have 
filled up, just gasp in another bit more as if being suddenly surprised. 
You can feel it all the way around your ribs to your back and deep in 
your lower stomach. It is surprising just how much extra air you can 
take in.  As a trumpet/cornet player who doubles on trombone, using that 
trick when going over to trombone has saved the day when playing long 
phrases since the other horn takes more air. As to the apostrophies that 
are marks for breathing, as I have gotten older I find that I use more 
of them than before -- age, a sagging tummy, and fewer playing jobs has 
softened me up. I have to woodshed  a couple weeks to get ready for a 
three hour job. Long tones with increasing length requires me to go back 
to those e arly lessons to get back in resonable shape. Thank god I 
write for a living and have ample outlets for my "priceless" prose, for 
the folks in North Michigan think jazz is over-amped guitar and Fenders. 
But then in North Woods Michigan any waitress can tell you that the 
locals think TIP is the name of a dog.
Don Ingle
PS - Send me your land adress, please. I will send send you something 
just for the hell of it.

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