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Old 09-20-2017, 11:57 AM   #11
will granger
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Estero, Florida
Posts: 141
Default Re: Suggestions for breathing exercises?

While there may be some effective exercises, I believe the best thing is to simply play as often as possible. Gradually, you will gain endurance and at the same trim learn more about tuning. You will notice when you gain endurance and before long you will be happily surprised at how long you can play.
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:30 AM   #12
Steve Law
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Norwich, UK
Posts: 155
Default Re: Suggestions for breathing exercises?

OD, with respect, as others have suggested, maybe you're over-thinking this...

Question - do you link breathing frequency with tune playing on the practice chanter? No, didn't think so, you just blow until that breath runs out....then you either break rythm of the tune while you draw new lungfuls, keep the tune going in your head while you breathe, or if you're clever ( and I'm damned if I can do it) perform that circular breathing trick and keep both going.

So, suggestion...since you don't link the two things on the chanter, ask why you're doing it on the full pipes....maybe you can work it out for yourself (not being sarcastic here, but I don't think you have a real problem, just a glitch you thunk up.

I do have sympathy with the issue, as a friend let me try his bellows smallpipes recently and I got myself out of breath because I got so focussed on wrestling bellows, bag and fingers that I forgot to breathe myself! Now that's plain stupid 'cos it's an automatic function, but it bit me anyway...

Persevere and keep the questions coming, we're all on the same team...

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Old 10-04-2017, 09:11 AM   #13
Holy smoking keyboard!
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: North America
Posts: 2,894
Default Re: Suggestions for breathing exercises?

Ah, Old Dog (and still learning... New Tricks!! :)

I found... that my best... avenue of approach... to
this tricksome Great Waltz About with our Great
Beast (Oh, God!! Anybody got a harmonica?! :) ...
with all of its many, many subtle skills that must
be learned... and employed... was to trot myself
out in to the forest (in warm weather)... and a nice
warm room (in cold weather)... and just play... and
play... and play!!... and all by myself... and to learn
how to hear... and to feel (in my fingers)... the where
and how my (many :) mistakes were being made...
and then that uphill slog... to simply... Do It Better!! :)

Your ear (a very fine tuning instrument, that!! :) and
your arm... will soon lead you arightly... and let you
know (and along with your lungs :)... where the rough
bits are... and then along with everyone else... the work
on and of... the refinement... begins....

Just stay tore in to it... and it will come... Promise!! :)

All the Best!!

My friends all know,
With what a brave carouse...
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Old 10-05-2017, 08:45 AM   #14
LJ Neville
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: NJ
Posts: 279
Default Re: Suggestions for breathing exercises?

The OP was looking for an exercise to do. With respect to my fellow Forumites, advising him to simply "play more" is not really helpful as he wants to know what to play, not how much to play, to get better at powering his instrument. In my opinion, one needs to link the feeling of the need for a breath (automatic) with use of the arm (we want this to be automatic, eventually). I have an simple exercise that has always done this for my students - it gets them blowing good tone steadily, using their ears, and building stamina and chops over a four week period so that at the end of the month they are blowing the full pipe steadily, tuning themselves, and playing tunes with relaxed fingers. One of my students dubbed it "3's and 1's". I shared it with the OP via private message - if anyone else needs such an exercise, message me, I'm happy to share.
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