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Hi friends. I'm pleased to say I recently set out to learn how to circular breathe, and I got the hang of it sooner than I'd anticipated. < /brag > But now I am trying to fine-tune the practice, in two specific arenas. I'd love any feedback from experienced circular breathers.

1. How does one best maintain a solid embouchure while circular breathing? This is mostly affected by the closing and opening of the back of the throat. I reckon this will come with practice, and this is a minor concern.

2. My main concern is *how best to breathe*. I've seen videos of people who seem to be enlarging their cheeks and breathing in-and-out the entire time. I've also seen performers take several shallow breaths in a row, then play normally with the air they've gotten into their lungs. Overall, this is a problem for me so far because after two minutes or so, my lungs feel unhappy from all the shallow breathing.

FWIW, I know circular breathing is regarded as a gimmick by many players. However, as a fan of Roland Kirk and Evan Parker, to my taste, it seems like something that can aid in the execution of excellent work. OK thank you in advance!
 

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I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume this isn't meant to be trolling :)

Like I said, I've figured out how to do it. I'm trying to fine-tune the practice. "The G" seems to think that it just takes time (10 years?!) but that could be said for any aspect of practicing. I'm looking for specific tips if anyone who circular breathes has any!
 

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I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume this isn't meant to be trolling :)

Like I said, I've figured out how to do it. I'm trying to fine-tune the practice. "The G" seems to think that it just takes time (10 years?!) but that could be said for any aspect of practicing. I'm looking for specific tips if anyone who circular breathes has any!
I don't "Troll". Just agreeing, for once, with the prior post. I have onky ever acomplished circular breathing once myself, and haven't been able to duplicate it since!
 
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Julian Bliss spoke to the band members of Fort Couch Middle School - February 19, 2014. He demonstrated circular breathing while playing "Flight of the Bumblebee" for the students. Julian ended his talk by playing "Czardas" by Vittorio Monti.

 

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Hi friends. I'm pleased to say I recently set out to learn how to circular breathe, and I got the hang of it sooner than I'd anticipated. < /brag > But now I am trying to fine-tune the practice, in two specific arenas. I'd love any feedback from experienced circular breathers.

1. How does one best maintain a solid embouchure while circular breathing? This is mostly affected by the closing and opening of the back of the throat. I reckon this will come with practice, and this is a minor concern.

2. My main concern is *how best to breathe*. I've seen videos of people who seem to be enlarging their cheeks and breathing in-and-out the entire time. I've also seen performers take several shallow breaths in a row, then play normally with the air they've gotten into their lungs. Overall, this is a problem for me so far because after two minutes or so, my lungs feel unhappy from all the shallow breathing.

FWIW, I know circular breathing is regarded as a gimmick by many players. However, as a fan of Roland Kirk and Evan Parker, to my taste, it seems like something that can aid in the execution of excellent work. OK thank you in advance!

I circular breathe with every woodwind I have Flute sax clarinet etc just keep practicing . What really helps is watering the technique on the didgeridoo . I have done this for 15 years and then try and play the shakuhachi and do circular breathing with that . I challenge myself with the most difficult instruments and this makes my technique better . Also I dont puff out my cheeks not that it isn't a bad thing to do just that i dont need to do this anymore .

Cheers Dogster
 

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practice...its the only way trying different things...it comes and its not an overnight-sensation....
good luck and enjoy....
of course,didge helps the whole spiritual thing in it too....
cheers,philip
 

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Kirk Whalum is another fantastic Circular-Breather. During a session this summer, he mentioned that it was so nature for him to circular breath that he's no longer aware when he switches from traditional breathing to circular breathing. I've attempted many times over the years, but really have not committed to learning the technique.
 

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After trying to do this after many years I have given up on it. It is nothing but a BS gimmick anyway that dumb non musical audiences think is so great. Like those idiots on cruise ships.
 

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I learned this way: a normal, full breath, closed mouth and puffed out cheeks, a la Dizzy.

While pushing air out, BUT NOT letting any escape, I would breath in and out through my nose.

After doing that for a while, I then started to let a pinpoint column of air escape through my lips. This then required me to "replensih" the air in my cheeks on occasion. In doing that, I learned the "feeling" of closing off my throat to permit that to occur.

When I had that happening in a regular manner, I used my soprano sax, no note fingered, and let the open C# sound . I stayed with that until I could keep it in tune with itself and keep the sound full and centered.

Only then did I start to play melodies and scales, and explore what circular breathing could add to my music.
 

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practice...its the only way trying different things...it comes and its not an overnight-sensation....
good luck and enjoy....
like SO many other things in the realm of technique, it cannot be adequately explained. the only way to learn is to keep making the same mistakes on a regular basis.

One strategy for "pure" technique - the kind where your mind can't really help you - is to avoid thinking too hard. A guitarist told me about needing 3 weeks straight to get the feel of the G chord. To do that and not get bored or crazy, he had to do it while watching TV - letting his fingers do the heavy lifting and build his muscle memory.

(I'd not be tempted to trust the Army band beyond the basic explanation of the technique. The Army way of acquiring any skill is to bang your head against it till a loud voice tells you to stop.)
 
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