Breathing Life Into Your Trumpet

Breathing Life Into Your Trumpet

Air is everything when playing the trumpet. It controls tone production, articulation, dynamics, musical phrasing, range and endurance. To get your air right, you have to get your breathing right. Here’s some pro tips from Myriad to take your breathing – and your trumpet playing – to the next level.


Relaxed, Controlled Breathing

Remember, your inhalation directly affects your exhalation. In other words, if you inhale with tension, you’re probably going to exhale with tension. This will pinch the sound, and make the embouchure work harder. To make sure that while you’re playing trumpet, you’re breathing in a relaxed manner, make sure you’re not tensing up your body anywhere before playing. For example, a lot of people have a tendency to bunch up their shoulders when they’re playing – if you do this, focus on keeping your shoulders down. It can help to do a little light stretching just to get your body feeling light and loose. This will make it easier for you to breathe comfortably while you play.

When Playing Your Trumpet, Match Your Breathing to the Notes

Without a full inhale you may notice that you can’t play a 4 measure phrase or get to the top note of a scale. The speed of your exhale is also a factor. For high notes, imagine a cold laser beam shooting out of a small hole from the center of the lips, straight down the lead pipe and out of the bell. For low notes, imagine warm slow air filling up every nook inside the trumpet.

A Warm Up Routine for Inhalation

Press your mouth against the back of your hand, inhale and create suction. While exhaling, remove your hand, let your lungs quickly fill with air, and exhale. Do a few sets. This helps warm you up for proper inhalation while playing.

Proper Breathing Will Make Your Trumpet Sound Better

When you’re playing the trumpet, you are in a sense becoming a part of the instrument. Your breathing needs to be in proper working order, just like all the parts of your trumpet. It takes practice, but once you get your breathing on point, it will take your trumpet playing to the next level. This rings true whether it’s a casual hobby for you, or if you’re hoping to someday play like Louis Armstrong. Of course, the best way for you to learn is with the best teacher for you – and the best music teachers in the Bay Area are at Myriad.