Shortness of Breath (Please Help!!!)

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flutepower
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Shortness of Breath (Please Help!!!)

Post by flutepower »

So...I begin to play "Beautiful Dreamer". I am floating on the melody
enjoying each beautiful note when a huge "GASP" slices through
my dream.
No matter how hard I gasp for air, I can't play more than
half the line!!! What can I do with this problem? It ruins all the long
and soft songs like " oh danny boy"
Please HELP !!!
~Melissa :P

PS: Sorry if I sound crazy to u :oops:

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flutepower
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Post by flutepower »

Hello.......any one? :P :P

lula
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Post by lula »

Of flutepower, it looks like you want an answer to your question. My answer may not be the one you are looking for but I'll try to help. When I had just begun playing flute, this is my sixth year now playing, I had problems with my shortness of breath. Usually long tones help to build breath support and I found the more long tones I played the more breath support I have. In band we are told to play about four or five measures without taking a breath. Can you do that? How long have you been playing as well? Try playing a Bb scale in half notes everyday and see how far you can get without taking another breath.

Hope I helped but I probably didn't!
-Lula
...MUSIC HAS REPLACED HER HEARTBEAT...

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MissyHPhoenix
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Post by MissyHPhoenix »

Are you taking lessons? Have you asked your teacher about it? You could simply not be breathing correctly, or deeply enough. That is something about learning the flute that people don't think about most of the time. It does take a LOT of air to produce the sounds you want. None of us here can diagnose the problem without seeing you, so go to a professional to find out what is going on. Good luck!
Missy

Why Be Normal????

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pied_piper
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Post by pied_piper »

Unless you have asthma or other breathing issues, most likely you are experiencing problems with not using your air efficiently or not breathing properly.

One common problem is breathing only from the upper chest and not using the diaphragm. When you breath in, your shoulders should NOT rise or move much at all. Most of the movement should be in the diaphragm area. If you are breathing properly, you should be able to observe your belly moving above and around the belt area. It should move out when you breathe in and the belly should move in as you blow into the flute.

Another problem could be the lack of focus in the embouchure. As the other replies stated, long tones can help to develop the embouchure so that you make more efficient use of the air. If the lips are open too wide, you end up wasting a lot of air because it "spills" out around the flute embouchure hole and does not contribute to the sound.

Private lessons with a good flute teacher would help you correct these issues.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

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flutepower
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Post by flutepower »

Thanks for the advice. I have been playing the flute since
late December 2009. I have not been practicing holding long
notes at all so I will begin that. I do not have a teacher at
all because I simply can't find one that is VERY close to my house.

Thanks again,
Melissa :P

lula
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Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2009 7:58 pm

Post by lula »

Long tones help. Try to find a teacher. I know it's hard to find someone willing to teach, but I did. My teacher just graduated high school two years ago and is now playing for a college band on a music scholarship; he was the best in our state and has taught me so much already. He's home for the summer and then he'll be gone again and I'll be in search of a flute teacher again. :cry:
...MUSIC HAS REPLACED HER HEARTBEAT...

accidentaltourist
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Post by accidentaltourist »

As an adult "crash course" beginner, here are my two cents:

- use your breath efficiently: goes side by side with your embouchure, get a good teacher asap. Helps not only with long phrases but also you will hear the difference in your tones very quickly... :roll:

- buy a copy of Michel Debost's book "The Simple Flute" and read it. What a treasure - you will understand that taking a deep breath (ie stuffing in all the air you can take) is not the solution but aggravates the problem instead... :oops:

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flutepower
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Post by flutepower »

Hey guys,

Thanks for all your help -
I'll look at the book accidentaltourist.
~Melissa :P

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