How do you circular breathe? We asked an expert

13 February 2017, 12:06

Amy Dickson saxophone

By Lizzie Davis

The brilliant saxophonist Amy Dickson popped into the studio to give our presenter Alexander Armstrong – who plays the oboe – a lesson in this notoriously tricky technique

What is circular breathing?

Circular breathing is a technique used by musicians who play wind instruments to produce a continuous sound, without interrupting to take a breath.

It means they can play long stretches of music by the likes of minimalist composer Philip Glass without breaking the flow of the music.

Amy Dickson has just released an album of music by Glass – so we asked her to stop by the studio to show us exactly how you can play without seemingly taking breath.

The technique you need for circular breathing

Her willing pupil was fellow woodwind player and Classic FM presenter, Alexander Armstrong.

Amy Dickson teaches Alexander Armstrong to circular breathe

The brilliant saxophonist gave our presenter a masterclass


You can hear Alexander Armstrong on air every weekend: Saturdays 3-5pm and Sundays 12-3pm.

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