Follow the videos in order and learn how to use circular breathing.
Circular breathing is an essential part of playing instruments like the Didgeridoo but can be useful for many other instruments: woodwind, brass, etc.
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What is circular breathing and how do we achieve it?
It is NOT possible to breathe in and out at the same time so you must adapt the body to engage this seemingly simple but surprisingly complex method. I have worked with many people over a long period of time to really get to the 'nitty gritty' as to what makes this technique easier to learn.
It is all a 'trick'. Our body controls our breathing 24/7 at a very deep sub-conscious level so we need to find ways to go in and take careful control of this mechanism. I have found this process is very analogous to learning to drive a manual (stick shift) car. At first, any time we push in the clutch pedal it can be a struggle to co-ordinate the movement of the gear stick with the release of the clutch pedal - leading to a frustrating 'kangaroo' bounce along the road in the car!
I will start with VERY simple exercises that can be tried pretty well anytime and will not need a didgeridoo.
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Learning to use circular breathing (and playing the didgeridoo) have been medically linked to a reduction in symptoms experienced with snoring and sleep apnea*.
The exercises, and the actual process of using circular breathing, help to tone the muscles of the throat and this is believed to help reduce nocturnal snoring and can even lessen the severity of sleep apnea.
* Here is a link to the main article published in the BMJ (British Medical Journal)
This article and lecture contains general information about medical conditions and treatments.The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.
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Getting started with circular breathing.
We need to re-educate the body / mind as to what is possible with the breath mechanism:
* Now is the time to discover if you have clear nasal passages and sinuses or not! If you have problems getting air in through your nose then circular breathing will be a real challenge. See the PDF download for ideas on how to solve this.
I'm going to suggest that you may wish to create a simple 'pipe didgeridoo' to experience these exercises simply before you take them to your instrument of choice.Throughout the lectures, and in the notes, I will refer to didgeridoos but a high percentage of these comments are also applicable to other instruments that use CB. I will be addressing a number of factors, in the last lecture, that will affect how you use CB on certain instruments. So learning with a 'didgeridoo' first will allow you to discover CB before you adapt it for your own use.
Let's start using the didgeridoo with these techniques.
Okay so now the next challenges:
This is the process of CB but with gaps between the spit sound and the normal drone.
Starting to close the gaps between breathing and sniffing.
As we saw in the previous lecture, we can create a cycle of normal blown drone / spit&sniff / normal blown drone, etc. This becomes CB but with gaps, now we must start to close up those gaps and create the continuous drone we are seeking. Here are a couple of ways to achieve this:
Smoothing out the gaps and creating a smooth sound.
Okay so if you have put in plenty of practice you probably now have a cycle of drone - spit/sniff - drone that has started to join up into a continuous sound. Maybe it is a bit 'lumpy' or you can only maintain it for a little while before it breaks down. Let's look at improving further.Watch this lecture and try to follow along with me at various speeds.
Practice, practice, practice!
If you are really serious about playing didgeridoo then good control of CB (circular breathing) is pretty essential so really put the hours in to make yours solid and dependable. There are a few people who are very lucky and CB comes naturally to them in just a few days but most folks take at least 2 weeks to really get it happening well.
If you have a busy life and cannot practice on the didge every day then at least try to practice without one, I'll show you how in this lecture.
Further refinements and improvements.
If your CB is progressing really well then you might not need this technique but check it out anyway as it is pretty useful in other ways.
You will have worked out or noticed then when you make your CB transition, from blowing to squeezing and back, that you need to close and open the back of your throat. This is achieved in part by your soft palette at the upper back of your mouth but your tongue plays and important role too. The tongue has to move to the back of the throat so that the rear part of your tongue can close with your velum. When you go back to open-throated blowing the tongue must move back away from the rear of the mouth.
I call this motion 'piston tongue' as the tongue moves back and forth like the piston in an engine. If we can isolate and control this motion we can make big improvements to our CB transition.
Try to play your normal drone with your tongue slightly forward near the back of your teeth. The, when you go to make an inhalation/sniff with your CB, your tongue jumps rapidly back to close with the velum / soft palette. Aim to make your sniff very short as before and shoot your tongue back forward as fast as you can.
This way our tongue rests in a forward position during most of our playing (unless we are using for other techniques) and makes this rapid back and forth motion for only the time it takes to take a rapid sniff in.
How to create circular breath without using the cheeks.
This more advanced technique can be very useful if we want little interruption to the drone quality or if we needs the cheeks flat for techniques like harmonics or fast tongue articulations.
We will learn how to use the upward motion of the jaw to provide the burst of air, with a closed throat, whilst we sniff in.
How to make it effortless and what happens when you run into problems.
Breathing when you need to.
Most didge players start out playing patterns or phrases and just breathing when they feel the need.
This will be demonstrated in this lecture, along with it's good and bad points.
How to create more complex patterns by using this technique.
As we have seen with 'on demand' breathing we can be limited to the need to pull in air at certain points and finding breaks can sometimes be a challenge. On demand breathing can even create breaks where we don't want them.
The technique of pulse breathing overcomes these issues and can free the player to play different timings and patterns more freely. It also allows increasingly rapid playing.
Check your progress before moving on.
Using CB (circular breathing) on other instruments should be reasonably straight forward if you already play those instruments. This lecture will look at a few of the common applications and associated problems.
Adapt your CB skills to use with a variety of other instruments.
Hello - my name is Jonny Cope but everyone calls me 'The Didgeridoo Man'.
I have been playing didgeridoo professionally for over twenty years, am the author of a best-selling range of tuition materials and have taught thousands of people, young and old, to play the didgeridoo. My tuition method has been published as a book since 1999, a cassette (if anyone remembers those!), a CD, and a DVD in 2007. These have been distributed the world over and reached and helped tens of thousand of people.
I also use and teach a variety of other instruments and techniques: Overtone singing, Throat singing (also know as Khoomei), the Jews Harp, ethnic winds and flutes, small percussion, etc.
I have published book & CD tuition methods on Khoomei / overtone singing and playing the Jews Harp.
Students taking my course may contact me via the forum on each course with questions or comments and I'll get back to you as quickly as I can.
Having studied with several well-known international players and Australian Aboriginal Elders, I have been teaching all levels of this increasingly popular instrument for the past fifteen years via international workshops, 1-2-1 lessons and even Skype webcam.
I have given performances and presented workshops at music festivals and events, corporate team building days, charity balls, weddings and family fun days throughout Europe. I also regularly teach in UK schools via my educational program.
My clients include many blue-chip companies, schools, education authorities and charities, not to mention a few famous folks (no I can't drop any names!).
My Youtube channel has had nearly 3 million views with 3 thousand subscribers.
Basically I've taught so many people with my methods that I'm pretty darn confident that I can help YOU too!
So confident that I'm offering a 30 day money-back gaurentee with Udemy.
Take the course and if you feel it is genuinely not helping then you can easily just stop and get a full refund.
So go ahead and dive into a course that will take you on a wonderful journey of discovery with this amazing and under-rated instrument and wow your friends with your amazing new skills!