In the Winter 2023 issue of Clarinet & Saxophone magazine, Dr. Katia Beaugeais writes our Single Reed Doctor feature, explaining the ten-step technique she used to teach herself to circular breathe. As a composer and saxophonist who wanted to create a particular soundscape, Beaugeais wanted to be able to play long, unbroken notes – something which is obviously limited by our need to breathe. In a series of videos to complement her article for us, she gives a step-by-step process to help single-reed players on their circular breathing journey.
Video One: Introduction and practising without your instrument
Katia Beaugeais explains a little bit about why she wanted to be able to circular breathe and why the first four steps of the process should actually be practised without a saxophone.
Video Two: Going over the techniques with just the mouthpiece and neck of the saxophone
In the next part of the process, Katia Beaugeais takes us through the foundational steps from the first video again, but using just the mouthpiece and neck of the saxophone, introducing the element of sound.
Video Three: Time to try circular breathing on the saxophone
In steps six to eight, Katia Beaugeais shows us how to introduce circular breathing and gradually extend our ability to hold longer notes. Finally she gives us a window into her creative process, at the point where playing, circular breathing and composing collide.
Video Four: Trills and Scales – and how they can help
Once you are comfortable circular breathing on one held note, using trills and scales can take your technique to the next level. In steps nine and ten of her process, Katia Beaugeais demonstrates circular breathing on trills and scales and plays an extract from her album Breath by Breath, on which she circular breathes with multiphonics.
Dr. Katia Beaugeais’ Single Reed Doctor article on circular breathing is published in the Winter 2023 issue of Clarinet & Saxophone magazine, only available to members of CASSGB. To purchase this issue, email [email protected]. To join the society, click here.