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Anatelostaxus's avatar

Does anyone know about circular respiration techniques.. ? Are there any useful sites dealing with this topic you know of ?

Asked by Anatelostaxus (1428points) June 25th, 2009

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10 Answers

Strauss's avatar

It’s also known as circular breathing. I experimented with it when I was playing wind instruments, although I did not perfect the technique. Xome of the more popular musicians who were known for their mastery of this breathing technique were Miles Davis (saxophone); Maynard Ferguson (trumpet and flugelhorn) Sonny Terry (harmonica)(Wikipedia)

circular breathing is an important part of the technique for playing the digeridoo, which Iam now learning. The breathing is the hardest part, having put down my wind instruments some 40 years ago, plus the fact that I am living at a higher altitude than I was then.

gailcalled's avatar

This site is loaded with info, tips, diagrams and hyperlinks.

wundayatta's avatar

I heard that one way to learn is by putting a straw in a glass of water, and then you practice by maintaining a steady stream of air. When you need to breathe, you fill your cheeks with air, and close off your throat. You slowly squeeze the air out of your cheeks to maintain a steady stream of bubbles while breathing in quickly through your nose. After you perfect this, you can then apply it to your instrument.

gailcalled's avatar

Unless, of course, you drown first. And I think that he wants to learn the singing technique.

wundayatta's avatar

@gailcalled What’s the singing technique? I’ve never heard of it. I can’t begin to imagine from it’s name.

gailcalled's avatar

Click on my link ^^. It is the odd ability to sing both the main note and the overtones and sustain them by circular breathing. There are CDs of monks singing in the tubular or circular style and the vibrations make the walls shake, without amplification.
(It’s = It is. Its name = the possessive.)

Here is one example of a group.

And here is one guy sounding like a quartet.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t suppose you’re talking about Tuvan throat singing, or something like that. I don’t see how you can circular breathe while singing. If you don’t have air going over the vocal chords, you can’t make a sound. The only think I can imagine is if you make a sound on the intake of breath as well as outflow, but again, it’s hard to imagine that sound ever being something controllable, and certainly not like throat singing.

wundayatta's avatar

Ok, I look at your link, and it is about throat singing, but it doesn’t mention circular respiration. I googled circular respiration and came up with this question. I think someone is confused. Overtone singing is quite different from using circular breathing to maintain a continuous note. I’ve done both, but am much better at circular breathing than I am at overtone singing. Although, when I play didj, I do use some overtone singing techniques, which is much easier for me while playing didj than it is while singing.

Both types of sounds are way cool, though. I wouldn’t mind being a world travelling musical tourist. Not at all! Wherever I do go, I try to hook up with local musicians; and sometimes I have a great deal of fun. Unfortunately, it’s hard to carry all my instruments around, so I’m usually without any at all, and am dependent on local hosts to provide something for me to mess around on.

gailcalled's avatar

Link two is labeled “Tantra voice chanting,” but it is clearly overtone singing. However, they all seem to have extraordinary breath control.

Do trumpeters use the circular respiration (W. Marsalis and Louis Armstrong, for example)?

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t know about Marsalis or Armstrong. It’s not an often-needed technique. More of a coolness thing than much anything else for classical western instruments. On the dijeridu it is essential. Sometimes when playing the trumpet, I’ll just hold a note as long as I can. If I start circular breathing, then I could go all night, but what’s the point? As I said. It sees mostly like a form of showing off more than anything else.

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