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windplayers: 'exhalers' vs inhalers'

Jack Campin 21 Dec 09 - 01:08 PM
GUEST,TIA 21 Dec 09 - 05:00 PM
katlaughing 21 Dec 09 - 06:12 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 22 Dec 09 - 04:34 AM
SteveMansfield 22 Dec 09 - 05:33 AM
Hamish 22 Dec 09 - 06:22 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 22 Dec 09 - 04:09 PM
katlaughing 22 Dec 09 - 04:20 PM
Jack Campin 22 Dec 09 - 04:39 PM
Weasel 22 Dec 09 - 04:48 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Dec 09 - 04:48 PM
Hamish 23 Dec 09 - 07:04 AM
Weasel 23 Dec 09 - 12:36 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 23 Dec 09 - 12:50 PM
Jack Campin 23 Dec 09 - 05:16 PM
michaelr 23 Dec 09 - 05:21 PM
Jack Campin 23 Dec 09 - 05:24 PM
Tootler 23 Dec 09 - 05:48 PM
Hamish 24 Dec 09 - 03:48 AM
BusyBee Paul 24 Dec 09 - 04:12 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 24 Dec 09 - 04:38 AM
Jack Campin 24 Dec 09 - 11:58 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 24 Dec 09 - 12:54 PM
Jack Campin 25 Dec 09 - 04:37 PM
Richard Mellish 25 Dec 09 - 04:54 PM
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Subject: windplayers: 'exhalers' vs 'inhalers'
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 01:08 PM

This is an interesting idea from the recorder maker Adriana Breukink:

http://www.adrianabreukink.com/ADRIANA/INHALEROREXHALER

She divides wind players into "exhalers" - who breathe out actively and inhale passively - and "inhalers" - who inhale actively and let breath flow out of its own accord. The implications for her are that the two kinds of player prefer differently designed windways - open ones with little resistance for the inhalers, narrow ones with more resistance for the exhalers.

If she's right, one instrument where this would matter even more than the recorder is the moothie.

(I think I can be either, depending on the music. Maybe an exhaler most of the time, but for pipe tunes I tend to adopt the "inhaler" posture, with flat fingers).


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Subject: RE: windplayers: 'exhalers' vs inhalers'
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 05:00 PM

Interesting. I just fiddled around to see if I can tell which I am. I think I am an inhaler on the recorder. Perhaps from years of playing brass instruments where you must be an inhaler.


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Subject: RE: windplayers: 'exhalers' vs inhalers'
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 06:12 PM

I guess I am an inhaler on the Native American flute, though I don't just let the breath flow of its own accord...I control how I let it out. I think that's partly from doing qi gong "wave" breathing and other deep breathing exercises in which one controls the intake and blowing out.

Interesting.


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Subject: RE: windplayers: 'exhalers' vs inhalers'
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 04:34 AM

I'm not sure?..I do know that my phrasing, on tenor recorder/English flute is simply one breath/line of verse, as in the song intros here.

P.S: there is also a good Native American flautist on my Top Friends there, Katlaughing.


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Subject: RE: windplayers: 'exhalers' vs inhalers'
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 05:33 AM

Well that's a really interesting article Jack, thanks, and it looks like I'm an exhaler - but I suspect my exhaling tendencies are probably being transferred back to the recorder-playing from whistle/low whistle, and of course from the rauschpfeife (the technique for which is less 'exhaling', more 'giving it all you've got').

I'm definately a straight-fingered player though, which again I suspect is from the low whistle, despite the article suggesting straight-fingered playing (on the recoredr at least) as an inhaler tendency.

Actually I was buttonholed by someone after a gig a few years ago, and lectured at great length about how suprised she was that I 'could play tenor recorder so well with such bad technique'; eventually I managed to narrow the perceived bad technique down to using straight fingers rather than curved, and had to plead guilty as charged on that one.

Mind you she also told me off for bending some notes and for using that percussive tongueing technique (which is of course much more common on the low whistle), and bristled at the very suggestion that I'd not had any formal recorder tuition since school music lessons, so I suspect she may have been a classical recorder teacher or some such ...


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Subject: RE: windplayers: 'exhalers' vs inhalers'
From: Hamish
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 06:22 AM

"Mind you she also told me off for bending some notes and for using that percussive tongueing technique (which is of course much more common on the low whistle)"

Hmmm... My daughter is a pretty good recorder player. Grade 8 with distinction and all that stuff. She plays a modern piece on recorder - Hans-Martin Linde's "Music for a Bird" - which uses all sorts of techniques I guess your button-holer would disapprove of: overblowing, hard tonguing, squeaks and swoops, using the knee on the bottom of the recorder, and more. It's certainly an established part of the modern recorder repertoire. I can't do YouTube from "work" but try searching on "Hans-Martin Linde Music for a Bird" and you'll find at least a couple of examples. I'd guess they're done well - it's not the sort of piece poor players would even attempt.


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Subject: RE: windplayers: 'exhalers' vs inhalers'
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 04:09 PM

A few years ago, on "Musicians Channel" TV, a recorder instructor recommended breathing in through the nose (although I noticed his own mouth open per phrase). I did this for a while to improve my strength, but found it too noisy on recordings.


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Subject: RE: windplayers: 'exhalers' vs inhalers'
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 04:20 PM

I take it you mean Anthony Wakeman? I am listening now and it is beautiful. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: windplayers: 'exhalers' vs inhalers'
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 04:39 PM

Actually I was buttonholed by someone after a gig a few years ago, and lectured at great length about how suprised she was that I 'could play tenor recorder so well with such bad technique'; eventually I managed to narrow the perceived bad technique down to using straight fingers rather than curved, and had to plead guilty as charged on that one.

As Breukink says, recorders can be made with the fingerholes in-line (assisting flat fingering and "inhaler" breathing) or in arcs (for playing with fingertips and with the arms angled downwards). Look at the tenor in this picture from Praetorius's Syntagma Musicum - use your fingertips exclusively and your hands would end up in a pretty strange position:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a0/Syntagma06.png

I have one like that as well as others with the arcuate layout. They both work.

Here is a player of one of the Praetorius tenors who is Doing It Wrong, no matter what your recorder teacher interlocutor might have said:

http://www.music.iastate.edu/antiqua/tenor_recorder.jpg

Looks awkward as hell and her tone on the sample on that page is feeble, nothing like what that instrument can do.


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Subject: RE: windplayers: 'exhalers' vs inhalers'
From: Weasel
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 04:48 PM

Just about every instrument I play I play "wrong" - not stopped me making a living from it!

In fact, in my recorder days I found that playing with wrong technique actually added something to what I was doing.

On my professional instrument being self taught, I do even the most basic thing wrong - when I started college and expected to be trashed for it, my teacher was, in this respect, even worse than I was. Didn't stop him from making a living from it either.

Doesn't matter how you do it, it's what comes out of the end that matters.

cheers,

Weasel
(who still doesn't understand the "inhale/exhale" principle.)


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Subject: RE: windplayers: 'exhalers' vs inhalers'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 04:48 PM

I get this image of someone putting the wrong end of the instrument into their mouth and sucking...


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Subject: RE: windplayers: 'exhalers' vs inhalers'
From: Hamish
Date: 23 Dec 09 - 07:04 AM

My nephew was a very decent trumpet player. Played in various orchestras and brass bands and won some pretty prestigious brass band competitions with one of them. Then he went to uni where the trumpet teacher told him if he wanted to become really good, his embouchure wasn't right: he'd basically have to re-learn the basic making a sound bit of his technique. The result? He stopped playing. Hasn't even had the trumpet of of its case for a decade. How very sad. I don't suppose the teacher even suspects the damage he did and is repeating the mistake.


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Subject: RE: windplayers: 'exhalers' vs inhalers'
From: Weasel
Date: 23 Dec 09 - 12:36 PM

Ive seen this happen very many times - sometimes for the good, sometimes for the bad, depends on the student usually.


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Subject: RE: windplayers: 'exhalers' vs inhalers'
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 23 Dec 09 - 12:50 PM

I cut a groove just above the thumb hole of my tenor recorder, such that I can tilt (and never lift) my thumb off.


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Subject: RE: windplayers: 'exhalers' vs inhalers'
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Dec 09 - 05:16 PM

I cut a groove just above the thumb hole of my tenor recorder, such that I can tilt (and never lift) my thumb off.

Yeah, we know. Read a book. (Rowland-Jones or von Hauwe, say). The reasons why your idea is crap have nothing to do with the way people breathe.

I know somebody who was a very interesting and expressive fiddle player until somebody told him he was doing it all wrong. He hasn't touched the fiddle in the last 20 years. But some people are objectively getting it wrong - not just using a different style. WAV's thumbhole technique will never allow fast and precise playing in the high register, and you can hear what's not working with that sound clip on the Iowa State site:

http://www.music.iastate.edu/antiqua/rec_ten.wav

It sounds as insecure and feeble as her grip in the picture.


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Subject: RE: windplayers: 'exhalers' vs inhalers'
From: michaelr
Date: 23 Dec 09 - 05:21 PM

What's a moothie?


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Subject: RE: windplayers: 'exhalers' vs inhalers'
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Dec 09 - 05:24 PM

Moothie = mouth organ = harmonica. There are all sorts of unobvious asymmetries between what happens on the blow and on the suck.


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Subject: RE: windplayers: 'exhalers' vs inhalers'
From: Tootler
Date: 23 Dec 09 - 05:48 PM

I cut a groove just above the thumb hole of my tenor recorder, such that I can tilt (and never lift) my thumb off.

The thumbhole of my recorders acquire a groove as a result of constant use. The result is that I lose adequate control over the notes in the high register and so I have to have a bush fitted to rectify the problem.

What you have done WAV is to create this problem and sooner or later you are going to have to do something about that groove if you wish to improve your playing in the upper register.


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Subject: RE: windplayers: 'exhalers' vs inhalers'
From: Hamish
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 03:48 AM

Evelyn Nallen plays "Music for a Bird" / recorder


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Subject: RE: windplayers: 'exhalers' vs inhalers'
From: BusyBee Paul
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 04:12 AM

Blimey! Your daughter plays that, Hamish?. I'm impressed and depressed now - my recorder will stay firmly packed away.

Deirdre (Inhaler, fwiw).


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Subject: RE: windplayers: 'exhalers' vs inhalers'
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 04:38 AM

To T. and J.C., the highest I go in my repertoire of English folk songs, hymns, and Chants is G' - but I do go through 2 octaves as a warm-up (as here).


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Subject: RE: windplayers: 'exhalers' vs inhalers'
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 11:58 AM

A couple of other extreme-technique recorder pieces to look for: Luciano Berio's "Gesti" and Maki Ishii's "Black Intention". Eve O'Kelly's book "The Recorder Today" (1990) gives an idea of what had been done 20 years ago, with a list of 400 compositions.

Most books on recorder technique will tell you how to go a whole octave higher than WAV's upper limit. Two octaves and a minor third is straightforward, beyond that every instrument acts differently.


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Subject: RE: windplayers: 'exhalers' vs inhalers'
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 12:54 PM

As I go up and down those 2 octaves, I still struggle with the high A more than any other note - which I seem to recall you mentioning as the most difficult one, Jack; it's about every other attempt that I manage the correct tone.


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Subject: RE: windplayers: 'exhalers' vs inhalers'
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 04:37 PM

High A often needs tighter thumbing than the notes each side of it (one reason why your nicked hole doesn't work properly). Particularly on the sort of tenor you've got - the Aulos works best in the lower register.


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Subject: RE: windplayers: 'exhalers' vs inhalers'
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 04:54 PM

> Moothie = mouth organ = harmonica. There are all sorts of unobvious asymmetries between what happens on the blow and on the suck.

But surely a similarity in requiring a significant pressure difference (positive or negative) between the mouth and the outside to cause the reeds to speak, and therefore significant effort from the chest muscles and/or diaphragm to produce sufficient pressure differences on both blow and suck.

FWIW, I had dabbled VERY briefly with a mouth organ before I started playing anglo concertina. The connection thereby established in my brain between which notes I wanted and what my lungs did has persisted to this day, so that my lungs tend to go in and out with the concertina bellows -- unless I am singing at the same time, when that takes precedence.

Richard


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