Blowing in a Bombarde may seem difficult to a beginner, and all bombarde "sonneurs" seek to master the sound of the Bombarde as well as possible.
To do so, there are fundamentals and good habits that must be learned to get there.




For breathing, you have to remember to work from the base of the stomach so as not to block the abs and to be able to use it well while maintaining flexibility. There is one position that may be interesting to illustrate this. You hold your legs apart, your elbows on your knees to feel what the lower abdomen does when you are breathing. Without attacking the sound, you're just going to bring the air in. And you’ll feel the air drain from your lower abdomen. Try to keep the note as long as possible. Practise this for as long as it takes and then check to see if you are still feeling the same way. It’s a feeling to have. The sound should not change, if you breathe a little on the top the sound will change.
If you are working from the belly, there should be no tension in the throat. Remember to free your throat, be careful not to tie it up and to relax all the muscles in the throat.
It’s the lower abdomen that needs to work, not the upper nor the throat.


Holding the reed

To have the optimum possibilities on the work of the sound, the correct position of the reed in the mouth is located beyond the blade, before the black wire, so as to have a certain firmness and at the same time an action on the opening of the reed. You always have to keep in mind that you could hold the bombarde with your lips, without crushing the reed. The lips well folded over the teeth so as to have a firm hold from the start.


Mastering the sound

The sound should be as straight and steady as possible. If you hear unstable sounds it is either that you are not putting enough air pressure or the lips are not fully closed on the reed. So you need to work on the breath and hold the reed as steadily as possible.

If you try to crank up the volume just by working the air pressure you will find that at some point you can't do it anymore, you are in full swing, so you get to a sound that is limited.

You can then modulate the sound by controlling your lips and raising the sound only with the pressure of the lips. Simply bite and the teeth close with the lips on the reed. The air pressure does not change, it is the pressure of the lips that will change.

Then you use a mix of the two. You try to go up and down just with lip pressure, then with air pressure and with lip pressure. Finally you combine the two. You go up with the pressure of the air and then continue to go up with the pressure of the lips. This control will be important to work well on timbre, approach the octave, work on the firmness without crushing the reed to avoid crushing the sound which becomes muffled, does not come out or does not timbre well.

Finally, don't forget that in reality the sound is made when it comes out of the reed so it depends on airflow before the reed and holding the air column. When the sound comes out of the reed, it's done.
The Bombarde itself is only the amplifier: it will be help you with notes but the sound is already done before.