Mujitsu and Tairaku's Shakuhachi BBQ

World Shakuhachi Discussion / Go to Live Shakuhachi Chat

You are not logged in.


Tube of delight!

#1 2010-08-05 00:05:47

Galactic Dog
Member
Registered: 2010-04-29
Posts: 10

Diaphragmatic breathing and loud tones

I'm a bit confused on how to properly blow tones with the diaphragm.  When I blow a tone only using my diaphragm the tones seem soft but when I use my mouth and diaphragm to blow a tone they seem louder.  When people speak of blowing a tone diaphragmaticly are they referring to a tone sole made from the diaphragm or is it a combination of a little mouth and mostly diaphragm.  Thanks

Offline

 

#2 2010-08-05 01:38:40

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 2185

Re: Diaphragmatic breathing and loud tones

Galactic Dog wrote:

I'm a bit confused on how to properly blow tones with the diaphragm.  When I blow a tone only using my diaphragm the tones seem soft but when I use my mouth and diaphragm to blow a tone they seem louder.  When people speak of blowing a tone diaphragmaticly are they referring to a tone sole made from the diaphragm or is it a combination of a little mouth and mostly diaphragm.  Thanks

Google this: breathing from the diaphragm

and read the first several links (or even further; much of interest there). Should help you understand what diaphragmatic breathing is, as opposed to costal breathing (breathing with the chest).

Google is our friend...mostly.


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

Offline

 

#3 2010-08-05 04:14:24

Jeff Cairns
teacher, performer,promoter of shakuhachi
From: Kumamoto, Japan
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 517
Website

Re: Diaphragmatic breathing and loud tones

Ed, I would like to add to your footnote:  Google is your friend...when you get past Wikipedia...mostly.

Galactic Dog, imagine that a deflated balloon is inside your belly with its aperture connected to your navel (don't waste time pondering over how it ever got there.)  Hold that vision and physically take a breath through your nose while virtually filling the balloon through your navel.  Imagine the balloon expanding as a balloon does to the point that it is full  keeping it within the confines of your belly.  Now slowly deflate the balloon as a balloon tends to deflate; that is, equal pressure exerting from its outside inwardly at all points (physically blow out through your mouth creating some back pressure with your lips, but virtually deflate imagining the same back pressure through your navel.)  Deflate the balloon completely then repeat the process.  This, if done properly, should activate the muscular process for diaphragm breathing and should give you the control over time to produce a controlled breath all the way from a very high velocity to a whisper. 
Of course there is much more involved in producing certain dynamic aspects of breath, but this is a good place to start.


shakuhachi flute
I step out into the wind
with holes in my bones

Offline

 

#4 2010-08-05 06:09:24

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 2185

Re: Diaphragmatic breathing and loud tones

Excellent description.


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

Offline

 

#5 2010-08-05 14:30:17

Lorka
Member
Registered: 2007-02-27
Posts: 303

Re: Diaphragmatic breathing and loud tones

Seconded.  Very good visual tool there Jeff.  I might just call it Balloon Breathing from now on.  I am half way there with this type of breathing.  When I focus on it with intention, I notice a dramatic increase in tone, and also I think I can exectue phrases where I would normally have run out of breath.  So it is quite practical.  Other times, when I am not paying as much attention, I often fall back to the "regular" chest breathing which is, of course, much less effective.  Anyways, just wanted to say kudos on a nice description.


Gravity is the root of grace

~ Lao Tzu~

Offline

 

#6 2010-08-05 16:58:28

Bas Nijenhuis
Member
From: Groningen, the Netherlands
Registered: 2008-10-30
Posts: 160
Website

Re: Diaphragmatic breathing and loud tones

yes description is very nice and accurate of how it feels. Not to make things more complex, but to stay within the balloon analogy, the right feeling also occurs like if you're inflating a balloon. That takes more pressure and -with me- that activates the right breathing.


Read more about my shakuhachi adventures at:
Bas' Shakuhachi Blog!

Offline

 

#7 2010-08-05 17:37:39

Galactic Dog
Member
Registered: 2010-04-29
Posts: 10

Re: Diaphragmatic breathing and loud tones

When I am "deflating the ballon" I keep my abdomen out yes?  If I understand you correctly, the back pressure from blowing out and the pressure inside my belly will create the tone.  If I want to increase the volume of my tone do I increase the pressure in my belly, thus pushing the tone out from my lower abdomen?  Thanks

Offline

 

#8 2010-08-05 18:00:38

radi0gnome
Member
From: Kingston NY
Registered: 2006-12-29
Posts: 1030
Website

Re: Diaphragmatic breathing and loud tones

Galactic Dog wrote:

I'm a bit confused on how to properly blow tones with the diaphragm.  When I blow a tone only using my diaphragm the tones seem soft but when I use my mouth and diaphragm to blow a tone they seem louder.  When people speak of blowing a tone diaphragmaticly are they referring to a tone sole made from the diaphragm or is it a combination of a little mouth and mostly diaphragm.  Thanks

Maybe this will help (the link to the book in the post at the top of the page): http://www.shakuhachiforum.com/viewtopi … 82&p=2



Part of the problem is that when players talk about diaphragmatic breathing is that what they are really saying is that they've been taught to engage, contract, and expand different muscles than they would have if they were left up to their own devices. Many teachers call it "breathing from the diaphragm" which is a misnomer because outside of medical support systems the diaphragm is used in any breathing, even weak, unsupported, incorrect shakuhachi blowing or flute playing. Many flute teachers learn the physiology involved and explain exactly what muscles to use in detail, like in the above link, but that's often a problem because it's difficult to explain how to work internal muscles. So a lot of teachers see that they get better results from explaining what it should feel like. Then it doesn't really matter what you call it, and "diaphragmatic breathing" makes sense because that's kind of what it feels like if you imagine your diaphragm moving along with what you're actually doing with the various abdominal muscles that are supporting the movement. 

Teachers are really important for sorting out breathing techniques, and then expect some frustration even with a good teacher. Experiment with the imagery earlier described in the thread, keep in mind that the breathing process for both normal function and shakuhachi should be relaxed without any heaving chest-movement, and at least think about a teacher (especially if you've got an unused free one that came with a Yuu purchase).

Riley Lee's "Breathe!" DVD is also very good with exercises that should get the breathing at least close to correct with just practicing them.

Last edited by radi0gnome (2010-08-05 18:07:13)


"Now birds record new harmonie, And trees do whistle melodies;
Now everything that nature breeds, Doth clad itself in pleasant weeds."
~ Thomas Watson - England's Helicon ca 1580

Offline

 

#9 2010-08-05 20:08:57

purehappiness
Member
From: Connecticut USA
Registered: 2009-01-13
Posts: 528

Re: Diaphragmatic breathing and loud tones

I exhale and my stomach goes all the way in. That way you get the very last bit of breath out.

Here is a link. Consider the pursed lips statement you playing shakuhachi. smile

http://www.cchs.net/health/health-info/ … index=9445

Last edited by purehappiness (2010-08-05 20:13:19)


I was not conscious whether I was riding on the wind or the wind was riding on me.

Lieh-tzu

Offline

 

#10 2010-08-06 02:17:44

Jeff Cairns
teacher, performer,promoter of shakuhachi
From: Kumamoto, Japan
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 517
Website

Re: Diaphragmatic breathing and loud tones

Galactic Dog wrote:

When I am "deflating the ballon" I keep my abdomen out yes?

In keeping with the balloon analogy, the air is pushed out of the balloon from a force exerted by the tension of the balloon wall inward.  As such, when all of the air is out of the balloon, the belly is not kept out.  It should deflate.

Galactic Dog wrote:

If I understand you correctly, the back pressure from blowing out and the pressure inside my belly will create the tone.  If I want to increase the volume of my tone do I increase the pressure in my belly, thus pushing the tone out from my lower abdomen?  Thanks

Although you can practice this exercise while attempting to play the shakuhachi, I think it's good to practice it without a shakuhachi at your mouth for a short while.  At first, this type of breathing requires concentration.  Be patient and get used to it.  When you become comfortable with it, then apply it to playing.  As I said previously, there are many other things that contribute to tone that require attention.  There's no sense in confusing things.
Increasing the pressure in the belly will speed up the air flow which will increase the volume of the sound produced when several other aspects are in line.
Start with small steps and experience what happens to your body.  You are creating a foundation for future gratification.


shakuhachi flute
I step out into the wind
with holes in my bones

Offline

 

#11 2010-08-06 04:39:44

Zakarius
Member
From: Taichung, TAIWAN
Registered: 2006-04-12
Posts: 361

Re: Diaphragmatic breathing and loud tones

Jeff Cairns wrote:

Galactic Dog wrote:

When I am "deflating the ballon" I keep my abdomen out yes?

In keeping with the balloon analogy, the air is pushed out of the balloon from a force exerted by the tension of the balloon wall inward.  As such, when all of the air is out of the balloon, the belly is not kept out.  It should deflate

It's also worth noting to keep your back relatively straight. (To draw from a chi-gong/qigong technique, you might also try imagining a string attached to the center top of your head, slightly pulling you upward.)

Zak


塵も積もれば山となる -- "Chiri mo tsumoreba yama to naru." -- Piled-up specks of dust become a mountain.

Offline

 

#12 2010-08-06 05:04:02

Galactic Dog
Member
Registered: 2010-04-29
Posts: 10

Re: Diaphragmatic breathing and loud tones

Thank you all for your input, it is very helpful.  I've been practicing blowing long tones for the last two days and something is starting to click.  Thanks again.

Offline

 

#13 2010-08-06 06:08:30

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 2185

Re: Diaphragmatic breathing and loud tones

Galactic Dog wrote:

Thank you all for your input, it is very helpful.  I've been practicing blowing long tones for the last two days and something is starting to click.  Thanks again.

After a thousand long tones, meted out in a daily regimen, something will really start to click. The most difficult part of 'Balloon Breathing', at least at the beginning, is actually remembering to do it enough to build up some habit strength.

Last edited by edosan (2010-08-06 06:08:55)


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

Offline

 

#14 2010-08-06 07:45:20

Karmajampa
Member
From: Aotearoa (NZ)
Registered: 2006-02-12
Posts: 574
Website

Re: Diaphragmatic breathing and loud tones

This region of the lower belly is refered to as the 'Hara'.
There was an excellent workshop at the 2008 Festival after which I practiced it and it did not take long to notice an increased strength to my blow, not just power but sustain.

Only problem I have is convincing my wife I am not putting on weight !


Stan Richardson demonstrated doing this while lying on your back, blowing shakuhachi and abdominal breathing.

K.

Last edited by Karmajampa (2010-08-06 09:11:23)


Kia Kaha !

Offline

 

#15 2010-08-06 14:17:25

Musgo da Pedra
Member
From: South of Brazil
Registered: 2007-12-02
Posts: 332
Website

Re: Diaphragmatic breathing and loud tones

It's also nice to try the "4 parts" breathing with the balloon thing. It's used in some kinds of meditation and during some yoga postures.

You can keep using the ballon visualization but try to inhale in counting through 4, count through 4 with lungs full (hold the air), exhale in 4 and stay empty of air for more 4 countings... you can notice the muscles used in each step, and also as you start to use longer countings, you will be more aware, will have more control and will not became so anxious during the breathing.

Nice topic!


Omnia mea mecum porto

Offline

 

Board footer

Powered by PunBB
© Copyright 2002–2005 Rickard Andersson

Google