What does a beginning shofar blower need to know to correctly make the sounds?
On Rosh Hashana I heard somebody say something like: if you can't get to a public shofar blowing, at least this is a commandment that is relatively easy to fulfill on your own -- most people, this person said, can get acceptable sound out of a shofar with a little practice. This person immediately qualified the statement, though, saying that of course there are halachot about how to make each of the sounds, how long they have to be, when to breathe, and I can't remember if this person enumerated any others. I didn't have the chance to ask more about this at the time.
I know that teruah must be short staccato sounds (nine of them, but I don't know if there can be more), that shevarim must be longer than teruah and rising (three of them), and that tekiah must be one longer blast. Every tekiah I've heard has been longer than the accompanying shevarim; I don't know if that's halacha or just how we do it. But what else? What are the "beginner-level" minimum requirements? Do you have to make the sounds a certain way, like tonguing the teruah versus just blowing lots of short blasts? Are there minimum lengths for shevarim and tekiah? And what's this about when you can/can't breathe? What else, aside from the musical aspects and assuming a kosher shofar, does a beginner need to know to correctly perform this mitzvah?