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Thread: Circular Breathing

  1. #1
    Senior Member Argus's Avatar
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    Default Circular Breathing

    Anyone here capable of this?

    I play the suling (a bamboo flute that's like a mix between a shakuhachi and a recorder) and think I need to learn this technique to get the most out of it, especially as in the higher octave you have to blow pretty hard and your breath runs out much quicker.

    How did you learn to do it? Did it come naturally to you or was it a laborious process? Once learned is it applicable/interchangable to all wind instruments?

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    Harvey Pittel taught me in a unique way for a saxophone. He gave me a plastic toy pipe and some rubber stoppers. First I put in the end of the pipe a stopper with a small hole and practiced circular breathing. Then I progressed to stoppers with progressively larger holes. I was up to speed in a pretty short time.

    I don't know how that will translate to a suling.

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    A few years ago, while surfing the net for this for my son, I came across this site on circular breathing.

    Seems like some great tips and a pretty good graphic explanation on how to accomplish this. Granted, this if for the Clarinet, but would think the same could apply to the Recorder as well
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    From what I know circular breathing takes a long time to master. This video of Trombone Shorty is ridiculous....

    2:10

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kq8ZqVTrOFI

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    Senior Member Argus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manxfeeder View Post
    Harvey Pittel taught me in a unique way for a saxophone. He gave me a plastic toy pipe and some rubber stoppers. First I put in the end of the pipe a stopper with a small hole and practiced circular breathing. Then I progressed to stoppers with progressively larger holes. I was up to speed in a pretty short time.

    I don't know how that will translate to a suling.
    The hardest part on trying to do it on a flute type instrument is that you don't have a mouthpiece to maintain the air pressure in your cheeks. It's also tricky to stay blowing slowly and smoothly for the lower notes when I'm working so hard to keep my cheeks full of air. I keep jumping up an octave. I'll work at it anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Krummhorn
    A few years ago, while surfing the net for this for my son, I came across this site on circular breathing.
    Those water excercises should be useful. It should stop me driving the neighbours round the bend by trying to play a continous tone for ages. The way you close your airway from your lungs to your mouth while you breath in through your nose feels so counter-intuitive.

    Quote Originally Posted by the_emptier
    From what I know circular breathing takes a long time to master. This video of Trombone Shorty is ridiculous....

    2:10

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kq8ZqVTrOFI
    As a demonstration of what the mouth and cheeks should be doing during circular breathing that part is excellent. In the context of the music it just sounded totally out of place and gratuitous. If you've learned a difficult skill like CB at least put it to good use.

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    I agree, he does it a lot as a show off thing...I like its applied uses in classical brass instruments, and world instruments

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