Re: breath control

- ----- Original Message -----
From: "Jp Pagan" <coquiblues@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Friday, January 31, 2003 11:23 AM
Subject: breath control

> Hey again,
>    I might be playing with a "band" soon and one thing i'm worried about
> my breathing. i usually have some trouble playing long passages or playing
> continuous back up (breathing IN seems harder to control than breathing
> i fill up fast.), and i don't wanna end up just playing little fills all
> time. i know to breath deep, from the diaphragm, but when i'm into
> it's easy to slip into shallow huffing and puffing. any tips, tricks, or
> exercises some of you can recommend for breath control and especially for
> opening and closing the airway in your nose on demand?  thanks,
>        --Jp

Hi JP,
If you're having trouble with the long passages, especially on draw breath,
the most likely cause is that like most blues players, you're playing the
draw notes considerably harder than the blow notes, and when you play too
hard 24/7, it detracts from stamina, and tonal as well as dynamic control.
I'll bet if you were in a VERY quiet room and taped yourself playing, and
listen VERY carefully to the playback, this is what may be happening. Many
blues players draw far harder than when they play their blow note. I do
recommend taking breathing excercises from a good vocal coach, and do a few
of these in reverse once you get the hang of it. If you're doing what I
believe you're doing, you're clearly making things harder on yourself.

Barbeque Bob Maglinte
Boston, MA

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