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Breathing & Breath Control Techniques for the Symphonic & Marching Wind Musician

Wayne R. Downey

“Breathing & Breath Control Techniques for the Symphonic & Marching Wind Musician”
By: Wayne R. Downey

Breathing in a relaxed efficient manner is actually a very simple task that we do all day long without consciously thinking about it. Breathing is defined as the process of taking air into and out of the lungs. This process is an involuntary (subconscious) muscle action of the diaphragm and lower abdominals and is aided by muscles in the chest. For now, there’s no need for you to understand the names or functions of the different muscle groups or get wrapped up in the scientific mumbo jumbo of it all, just remember your body breathes all day long without YOU thinking about it. From this point on let’s refer to this involuntary muscle action as our “Natural Breath”.

Simply put, your subconscious mind regulates your bodies breathing in an efficient and relaxed manner. Your goal as it relates to breathing, must be to learn how to exaggerate the “Natural Breath” so it becomes a voluntary or conscious process without sacrificing the relaxed physical condition it creates.

Lastly, taking a full breath every time you breathe is of ultimate importance because “air” is the fuel of a great sound.

For more information and other great techniques for all wind players go to: