good posture

The Importance of Good Posutre

Playing a brass instrument well involves focus, concentration, energy and above all free airflow from your lungs to your lips.  This is achieved through a good posture. Poor posture will make it difficult to do all of these things.

When Sitting

Sit up straight, but relaxed – don’t sit up rigidly at attention.

  1. Only use the front half of a chair. Don’t lean on the back of a chair as this restricts proper breathing.  Don’t slouch or slump.
  2. Place feet flat on the floor, facing forward with knees slightly apart
  3. Knees should be below the hips
  4. Hold your head so the neck is straight. Avoid tilting your head.
  5. Look like you are ready for action!
Exercise:  Sit with your head facing straight ahead. Without moving your head, bring the instrument to your lips.  Don’t bring your lips to the instrument if it causes poor posture!  

Always maintain an upright posture with head facing straight ahead to keep your air-passages open and to allow correct placement of the mouthpiece.

When Standing

Stand tall and relaxed with legs slightly apart.  Don’t slouch, but also don’t stand rigidly upright like a soldier at attention.  It’s important to feel relaxed when playing while maintaining free airflow.

Placement of Music Stand

Place the music stand in a position where you won’t need to have poor posture to see the music. Place your stand directly in line with the conductor, so you can see both the music and conductor easily.  Rotate your chair if necessary to ensure you maintain good posture.

Tip:  Whenever possible place your music stand in a position where you can see the music without the bell being in the way. 
For trombones, the music stand should be on the right side.
For euphoniums, tubas, the music stand should be on the left side.
– Trumpets should make sure they are not playing into their stands, so they should play to the side of their stand if they can’t play over it.

Don’t play over the top of a music stand if it causes you to hold your instrument too high as this can cause an awkward angle of the mouthpiece on the lips.

Gently place the mouthpiece on the lips on an angle which follows the lines of the teeth so there is equal, gentle pressure on both lips – just enough pressure to stop air escaping from between the mouthpiece and the lips.  Do not mash the mouthpiece hard into your lips in an attempt to play high.

Now think about breathing!

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