Being a pro in muci since more than 25 years, I tried and experienced lots of things being beneficial for my playing and my physical state. Some tricks were quite cool, some tipps just were not for me. But there’s one thing that was and still is a blast for me since the very first second is:
The art of inahlation and exhalation, of conducting the breath and maintaining good health for body and mind.
When creating and playing music, we want to touch peoples heart. The journey to touching the listener is long and winding, for we have to be very self-critical and have to get along with ourselves. As a musician you have to be able to also dismiss your own ideas and you have to be able to admit from time to time, that some things you played, composed where not that good at all. So we have to be able to judge ourselves and to accept our limits. To realize this fact and to work on that, we have to have a clear mind, clear focus and high concentration.
I know of some colleagues, fearing this fact. They tradcue themselves. This results in stress, anxiety, effecting our physical wellbeing and finally also our playing and musicianship.
This circle of constant self-judgement doesn’t have to result in the above mentioned negative states of being. If you are already in this negative state or on the edge just falling into it, just breathe! If not, breathe to not even getting close to it!
Breathe deeply, breathe slowly.
Bring your awareness on the inhalation and a long exhalation, being also calm and soft.
Being a saxophonist myself, I’m glad to breathe properly. I do this daily since playing windinstruments: I inhale a deeply, put my instrument to my mouth and exhale calm and long (for about 10 seconds, I’d guess). And this is already a very basic breathwork!
You can and should also do this without your instrument, be it a drum, piano, strings…:
inhale deeply – retain the air shortly – exhale long and calm
Did you realize when it comes to playing technically difficult musical parts, you are holding the air? This is what causes stress and sore muscles. This is not good at all for your musical performance and your physical wellbeing. Deep inhalation and exhalation results in deep relaxation. Your mind is much more clearer, more open and more focussed. Your muscels relax and move in a much smoother and faster way.
When you practise breathwork, tensions in the body and mind losen. Breathwork helps to control your mind, you get away from anxiety and you get a much more realstic and healthier view on your work as an aritst.
Besides that breathwork is very easy to do, everybody can do it, you don’T need any special equipment, it can be done everywhere and if learned once properly it doesn’t cost you a dime!
The best thing is to just start to practise right away with me…check this video!
If you want more, check my new course „Breathwork for musicians“!