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I have learnt circular breathing over 1 week and can play a long note for more than 3 minutes. However, when I try to take a deep breath and push the air out of my oral cavity, the sound start to vibrate and become weak at the instant that I start to use the air from my lungs again. How can I solve the problem?
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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camry said:
I have learnt circular breathing over 1 week and can play a long note for more than 3 minutes. However, when I try to take a deep breath and push the air out of my oral cavity, the sound start to vibrate and become weak at the instant that I start to use the air from my lungs again. How can I solve the problem?
A few more weeks!

Also practise breathing in while playing phrases, not just holding long notes.
 

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Pete's right. Once you get it it it will take some time and practice to get it smooth The key for me is make sure I'm still supporting the airflow with my diaphram. When I breath in through my nose it feels like it's a shallower breath but when you kick back in with blowing from your lungs the support needs to be there. It takes some time to get to know how much support you need and how hard you need to push out the air with your cheeks. The key is equalizing these two things so the sounds sounds constant. The only way to do that is practice.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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camry said:
No points to note?
Well, just continue regular long note exercises, but with the circular breathing and focus your mind and ears on sustaining that note without wavering.

I think the most effective use of CB is for extended phrases, so practising playing phrases while breathing in is very good.

Circular breathing in order to play one very long note is a kind of novelty effect (often good for some applause, I've done it several times myself). I mus admit that when I've done this as a novelty, I do a big bend on the in breath. I'm not as proficient at sustaining the note as I could be so I do the reverse and don't make it appear I'm trying to keep the note even, soi I do the big bend.

However if you need to sustain the note because that is written or directed, then I'm afraid you must just persevere at holding the note.

Well done for getting over the first big hurdle of actually breathing in.
 

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Try playing didge :D.

Serious, I wouldn't know how to get it out of my sax, but I would suggest to breath in a bit quicker, so you can inhale with shorter breaths like a didgeridoo player does. That way it's easier to keep the tone stable.

I also have the impression when you push the air out of your cheeks, you change your embouchure. You figured that one out probably already...
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Discussion Starter #9
Yes, you are right. I have also recognised the points you mentioned. Maybe I'm still nervous when taking a breath. So I raise my shoulder and take a long breath.

I noted my emboundure was changed, but I would like to improve the situation later.

Now the problem I'm facing is that sometimes after a take a breath deeply, I still feel that there is not much air inside my lungs and I need to take another breath less than 10 seconds later...

It become harder to make the sound stable as you may note from my video. I don't know why.
 

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Practise more and more

Just practice. It seems to me that you're still doing to much effort to accomplish this. It should become an almost natural process.
 

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smileylyndall said:
I am struggling with this too - i have the ACTION under control, but I don't feel like i'm actually breathing in when I breathe in, i have to breathe again fairly quickly...
That's because you are not getting rid of the stale air in the lungs.
You breath in, but there is still air in the lungs which does not have enough oxygen content. Then you have to breath-in, in increasingly shorter time periods, until you have to eventually stop or you will black-out.
The trick is to not take too deep a breath, so that the amount you breath in is equal to the amount you push through the instrument before taking the next breath.
Another way is to learn to breath out quickly through the nose before taking the in-breath.
Try learning didgeridoo, it's fun! Then you'll have conquered circular breathing.:cool:
 

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camry said:
Now the problem I'm facing is that sometimes after a take a breath deeply, I still feel that there is not much air inside my lungs and I need to take another breath less than 10 seconds later...
I don't know how to do circular breathing myself, but from various videos I've watched of professional clarinet players doing it, they usually inhale twice using circular breathing.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Are you sure about that?

Another way of saying that is that they are stopping halfway through a breath then starting again, and I really can't see why they would do that.

The main thing is to fill every last bit of lung capacity as quickly and effortlessly as possible - it should be one smooth inhalation into three areas of the lungs - lower middle and top in that order.

However a common problem (depending on what you are playing) can be too much inhalation, which can cause hyperventilation.

You need to match the type of breath to the musical passage.
 

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It's called "circular" for a reason. You have to think of it like a cycle, and with each new breath, it's like going over the top again. You'll tend to feel stuck at the top of the circle, but yeah, with practice it'll smooth out. But I find thinking circular as I do it tends to help. Like being on a ride.
 
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