Recently I have been corresponding with a flute friend about getting enough air into my lungs, and dealing with the spit in my mouth during a solo. I had recently played Massenet's "Meditation" from "Thais" and she was preparing to play it. I found myself thinking our conversation was worth sharing. So here's Part 1.
Question: How do you get enough air in your lungs to manage a long phrase?
Answer: I break phrases an awful lot to breathe. It seems like no matter how much I practice bit, when it gets to performance, I put so much more air into things, that I end up breathing more frequently. My teacher keeps reminding me what one of her teachers told her: "the only ugly note is an unsupported one, better to breathe in the wrong place, than to run out of air."
I have worked a lot on developing the ability to sneak bits of air between notes and not breaking the phrase while I do so. Some of the time, I am able to pull air in through my nose between notes. Like so many things, it takes practice!
I guess you could say I work at having good supported notes, and maintaining the Essenes of the phrase at the same time.
Hope this helps! Part 2 will address the spitting part of breathing! And Part 3 will explore other breathing styles, like "circular" breathing.