Clarinet Notes

Odds and ends of clarinet tech and training

Farinelli Breathing Exercise


The Farinelli breathing exercise aims to enhance breath control, vocal support, and overall respiratory efficiency. Here is an explanation of the exercise, a video to practice along with, and links to more explanation from Guy Babusek.


Sit or stand with your shoulders and chest raised and your body relaxed. Set your metronome ticking at 60 bpm.

Step 1: Inhale slowly and completely over four beats. The breath needs to be completely silent (no sucking in sound) and needs to fill the lungs completely.

Step 2: Suspend the breath for the same number of beats (four in this case). Stay away from using the idea of “holding your breath.” Instead, you should feel as if you are about to breath in, even though you are not.

Step 3: Exhale fully for the same number beats. This breath should not be forceful. Your throat should not clench. Your tongue should remain in a stable, neutral position.

Without stopping, repeat the cycle, adding an extra beat to each step. Keep the amount of air constant — do not inhale more air as the count increases. In other words, take slower breaths, not bigger breaths. Continue adding beats until you become slightly uncomfortable.

Do the exercise once or twice a day, keeping track of the maximum beat count achieved each session. Over time you can increase your beat count. 20 beats is a reasonable goal.

Timer to breathe along with

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