Essential trombone breathing exercises

Airflow (not air force!) will make your trombone sing

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Some claim that you need to breathe to stay alive. That might be, but more importantly: you need to breathe to play the trombone. And since you are using this site, one could probably argue that you need to play the trombone to stay alive.

You could spend hours every day working on just breathing. It is a neverending pursuit of perfection and it really makes a difference for your playing, chops, and sound. You probably don’t spend hours working on your breathing every day, and that is fine (I don’t!), but spending a few minutes every day makes a HUGH difference. Do that. Always remember:

  • Maintain a good posture – straight back and relaxed low shoulders.
  • Stand up during all breathing exercises.
  • Always fill your lungs up from the bottom up (sometimes spoken of as getting air deep down in your belly or breathing with your belly although this is obviously not what you actually do).
  • Fill up all the way when inhaling and empty your lungs completely during exhale.
  • When filling up the top of your lungs, make sure that you expand the rib cage all the way around your body – DO NOT RAISE YOUR SHOULDERS, but actively keep them down.
  • Make sure your throat is open during inhaling – and keep it that way during exhale
  • Do sports – make sure your body is in good condition. A half marathon every second day is more than enough.
  • Do yoga – besides being great for your body yoga is a lot about breathing, and many of the breathing techniques used in yoga are very beneficial for brass playing.


Now go breathe!


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