Second Bassoon Lesson, Part 2. BDP #31

<Music: Vivaldi's Bassoon Concerto in E minor>

We have two different sets of muscles that participate in our breathing in--
inhalation--and breathing out, which is termed exhalation. So let's examine first
the muscles that help us breathe in. The costal muscles are those muscles largely
associated with the rib cage. Between the ribs we have muscles called the
intercostal muscles that help of rib cage expand and move up and out. This draws in
air with the lungs. This is a type of breathing that we might call chest breathing.

We have another very important muscle that is called the diaphragm. The diaphragm
is a domed-shaped muscle that sits underneath the lungs here and when you breathe
in, the diaphragm flattens. Here is another picture with the diaphragm down here,
and when this particular muscle contracts it draws in air.

There have been some studies of the effect of these different sets of muscles. 
It's largely found that chest breathing accounts for about 40% of lung capacity and
diaphragmatic breathing, that is, breathing using the diaphragm contributes the
additional 60%. So you can see the diaphragm is very important for breathing and
it's important that you learn how to do that.

Now normally when we breathe in we use muscles to breathe in and we just relax and
the air goes out. However, with playing a wind instrument there is a good deal
force that has to push through the wind instrument. (Here we have a little oboe
reed pictured.) We need to use the abdominal muscles, the abdomen the muscles in
this area to push out--as well as contributors from other areas--here to push out
the air. The diaphragm never pushes out air. The diaphragm only brings in air. The
abdominal muscles are the ones that push out air.

Now I often use the analogy of a bottle when describing a nice slow breath to
beginners. You should first fill the bottle from the bottom: that means using the
diaphragm to pull in the air. Then as the bottle fills (as it were), as the lungs
expand, we allow the air to increase in the chest cavity allowing the chest—the
intercostal muscles, and  the costal muscles--to participate in that breathing.
Obviously when you take a very quick breath both the diaphragm and costal muscles
are breathing all together in one very swift breath.

OK, it is time to lie down on the floor and practice this other method
[diaphragmatic breathing].

So get down on the floor, put your hand on your abdomen. We are going to get a
sense of the proper movement of the diaphragm as the diaphragm moves down and
pushes the internal organs out. 

Ah, that is so relaxing. I think I could just go to sleep there!

It is important for you to understand the proper use of those muscles. How that
feels with those muscles expanding. 

We don't want you breathing from the shoulders. The shoulders participate in the
breathing, but only after the lower part of your body expands. The lungs expand
from the base and expand up through the chest cavity and the shoulders simply rise.
We want to avoid chest breathing only. We want to use the entire lung capacity that
you have. The bassoon is a wind instrument that uses a lot of air.

OK,we are coming to the end of our second lesson. It is time once again take the
bassoon part. 

I showed in the first lesson how to take apart the other bassoon and I am going to
take apart  my bassoon too.

Everything needs to be stowed in the right place, so I put away the crutch, the
hand rest.

You will notice that my case is a little bit smaller.

Now next I take the bocal. I actually blow out the water out of the bocal. I put
down a piece of paper here so I don't get things too messed up. Put away the bocal.

Next comes off the bell joint.  Take off my contraption here. 

Stow that away.

Take off my guard.

Next is the long joint coming off.

Now, I keep a cloth between my two joints to avoid the joints rubbing against each

Next we take off the tenor joint. This is the thing I wanted to make sure you saw:
When you take off the boot joint keep that up[right]. Be sure that you dump the
water out from a little hole. I don't have much water here. This part is lined:
there is a rubber lining that goes down there. This part is not [lined]. You want
to avoid any water touching wood.

Well, now it is time to swab out the bassoon. Again you put down the swab in the
big hole. It comes out the little hole.

Pull it through.

And similarly, swab from the big end first.

Make sure your swab is not tangled up. Then pull it through. 

Pull it through this end. 

We just swabbed out the bassoon.

<Music: Vivaldi's Bassoon Concerto, “La Notte”>