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Old 09-13-2017, 07:23 PM   #1
old_dog
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Default Suggestions for breathing exercises?

Hi! So I am working on my breathing technique - I can play long notes, the scale, some slow tunes, etc. on my pipes with all my drones sounding, and my stamina is slowly improving, but the one issue I have is the tendency to preemptively exhale into the bag especially when I am playing a high A or high G, notes which I find tend to cut out earlier if I'm not careful (I do have a manometer that I use as well). In other words, in these instances, my breathing cycle is not decoupled from my note playing.

So what I am looking for is suggestions on simple exercises that will help me out here - to not time my breathing on the high notes. Hope this makes sense.

Any ideas?
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:39 PM   #2
el gaitero
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Default Re: Suggestions for breathing exercises?

Quote:
Originally Posted by old_dog View Post

not time my breathing on the high notes.

Any ideas?
Is this a good,...maybe the best idea?... and within our control.
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Old 09-14-2017, 02:56 AM   #3
CalumII
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Default Re: Suggestions for breathing exercises?

You are most likely playing notes lower on the scale at a lower pressure. Whatever you do to sound the top notes, that's the same pressure at which you should play the rest of the chanter.
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:49 AM   #4
codart
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Default Re: Suggestions for breathing exercises?

in.... then out....

then repeat for rest of your life
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Old 09-14-2017, 11:06 AM   #5
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: Suggestions for breathing exercises?

Swimming laps may help. At lest it will teach one not to inhale prematurely
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Old 09-14-2017, 11:51 AM   #6
el gaitero
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Default Re: Suggestions for breathing exercises?

Learn circular breathing on the practice chanter....find a few u-tubes of it.
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Old 09-15-2017, 09:28 AM   #7
old_dog
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Default Re: Suggestions for breathing exercises?

"in.... then out....

then repeat for rest of your life "

My mistake for asking a silly question on the beginner forum - apparently, blowing and squeezing the bag while simultaneously playing a tune with embellishments is something that I should be able to do right off the mark without any problems.

My question had to do with ways to better decouple the breathing cycle from the note playing - I've seen previous posts of people indicating that they've had issues changing the rate of their breathing cycle when they play faster tunes. This is along those lines, where I some times alter the length of my cycle to compensate for notes I know will be a bit of a challenge so that I exhale into the bag when I need to play that note.

Again, sorry to bother folks.

Last edited by old_dog; 09-15-2017 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 09-15-2017, 10:18 AM   #8
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: Suggestions for breathing exercises?

Quote:
Originally Posted by old_dog View Post
"in.... then out....

then repeat for rest of your life "

My mistake for asking a silly question on the beginner forum - apparently, blowing and squeezing the bag while simultaneously playing a tune with embellishments is something that I should be able to do right off the mark without any problems.
.
Actually my suggestion of swimming laps was serious- it helps develop a cycle of breathing independent of music phrasing while also building breath support, if done right.

When you practice a tune, become conscious of your breath as independent of the melody- sounds easy to do, but it isn't, at least not at first. Suggestion: Try practicing a section of a tune you know, but breath in a different place each time through. Some pipers blow short "phrases" with multiple quick pressed phrases; some blower longer phrases with short, less frequent pressing.
It will come in time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by old_dog View Post
My question had to do with ways to better decouple the breathing cycle from the note playing - I've seen previous posts of people indicating that they've had issues changing the rate of their breathing cycle when they play faster tunes. This is along those lines, where I some times alter the length of my cycle to compensate for notes I know will be a bit of a challenge so that I exhale into the bag when I need to play that note.

Again, sorry to bother folks.
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Old 09-19-2017, 03:39 AM   #9
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Default Re: Suggestions for breathing exercises?

Quote:
Originally Posted by old_dog View Post
My mistake for asking a silly question on the beginner forum

This is along those lines, where I some times alter the length of my cycle to compensate for notes I know will be a bit of a challenge so that I exhale into the bag when I need to play that note.

Again, sorry to bother folks.
Hey Old Dog:
There are no silly questions, especially in a beginners forum.
Decoupling your breathing and playing will become easier - I promise, but it requires an almost automatic playing of a tune. You will find that it just happens bit by bit in the tunes you are most familiar with at first.

I really began to notice this when I started playing bellows pipes a few years ago and it was when I wasn't thinking about it that it all worked beautifully. As in many occasions in piping, thinking is sometimes the worst thing you can do

Keep asking the questions, most of the replies will be helpful and the ones that aren't are usually just folks having a laugh.

Robert
EKPB
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:00 AM   #10
el gaitero
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Default Re: Suggestions for breathing exercises?

[QUOTE=old_dog;1318496


My question had to do with ways to better decouple the breathing cycle from the note playing -

[/QUOTE]

If you can, use a very easy chanter reed without overblowing it.....play a slowly paced tune you are very comfortable with on a well set up and airtight instrument .

After bringing the bag up to full and hard...try for how long ( #of notes or bars) you can play with the blowstick out of your mouth....before you need to add another breath to keep the instrument going.

This is truly "decoupling" the breathing from note playing...and might give you a perspective on what you are or aren't doing to facilitate getting on with it.

Get/keep the bag rock hard.....and without screeching the high A to crack crystal in the next room.
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