Piano Exercises For Dummies, 2nd Edition
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Breathing is an integral part of piano exercises — after all, it's the model for fluid motion where the end of an inhalation is the beginning of an exhalation. When you play the piano think of the music, your body, and your mind as part of this constant, fluid motion.

To create the smoothest, most luxurious breathing cycle you can imagine, follow these steps:

  1. Stand with your shoulders and arms relaxed at your sides as you develop this slow cycle of inhalation and exhalation.

  2. Inhale through your nose slowly and evenly, deeply filling your lungs over a smooth arc of time.

  3. Turn the inhalation into an exhalation without holding your breath, like a swimmer reverses direction in a pool, always in motion.

  4. Exhale fully, without pushing, and let go of all the air until you're ready to begin another inhalation.

  5. As you develop this slow cycle, let all your muscles relax and let go in the same rhythm.

Allow the breath to widen your upper body, back, shoulders, and neck so that you feel as if you're loosening and lengthening throughout your body.

About This Article

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About the book author:

David Pearl is the author of eight books on music, including The Art of Steely Dan and Color Your Chords. He has taught piano and performed jazz and classical music professionally for more than 30 years. His transcriptions and arrangements are published in many music books and magazines, including jazz transcriptions of the artists Grover Washington, Jr., Dave Douglas, Roland Hanna, and Wynton Marsalis. He has taught piano and performed jazz and classical music professionally for more than 30 years.

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