• FWIW, I dont believe tension in the lips when playing trumpet is analogous to guitar.

    My understanding is that reducing aperture (changing Shape) is what determines pitch.

    While tension is needed outside of the aperture in the muscles surrounding the aperture,the tissue that interacts with the air column must be left free to vibrate as fast…[Read more]

  • I’m probably not really qualified to say either way, but I doubt it.

    FWIW, I found the following forum on this question on a flute player forum (https://www.reddit.com/r/Flute/comments/kafdcs/cupids_bow_lips/). I realize Flute and Trumpet are different, but there are probably some common responses here.

    My gut is that your issue is…[Read more]

  • johnelwood replied to the topic Daily Routine in the forum WindWorks 2 years, 5 months ago

    I started back after a close to 30 year break a few years ago. I hope you have the same experience I’ve had–I can play things I never thought possible before. I’m not a great player or a screamer, I’m just an amateur hack who plays for fun, but WindWorks and its principles have allowed me to go from an effective range of G just above the staff…[Read more]

  • johnelwood replied to the topic BIG Coffee Moment! in the forum WindWorks 2 years, 7 months ago

    I stopped counting how many laps I’ve done. It happens less and less anymore, but when I used to start struggling again, feeling like my playing started going backwards for some unknown reason, I would start over and it would get me out of my “funk”. Fortunately, that hasn’t happened for quite some time.

  • johnelwood replied to the topic BIG Coffee Moment! in the forum WindWorks 2 years, 7 months ago

    Awesome! Yep–been there, done that. Our brain is our biggest obstacle sometimes. Unless we manage to remain objective and casually observe what we’re experiencing without any emotional attachment to the result, we won’t learn from our “experiments”.

    Glad it’s going good for you. Every lap through the course has taught me even more than before.

  • More bottom lip in the mouthpiece isn’t necessarily a problem as you go higher. I’ve been having that sensation a bit lately while doing some pretty effortless-feeling harmonic slurs above the staff. The aperture has to be reduced as we go higher and the lips should contract towards the center of the mouthpiece /air column (my understanding…).…[Read more]

  • I think the tissue visualization is a helpful exercise, but stopped doing it after a while.

    But even now, I sometimes catch myself moving too much rather than keeping things simple and straightforward and have to get myself back into the right mindset. A little Clarke 1 and 2 on passive air at a soft volume usually helps me a lot.

    I would…[Read more]

  • I tried matching the dynamic as opposed to releasing the air fully/passively, etc. My hum didn’t feel as openly passive where I just released the air out. I think I focused more on trying to match the dynamic volume than letting the air exhale fully passive/naturally.

    Regarding my post above, I suppose that experiment would be more linear if…[Read more]

  • I wonder if it would be easier to actually hold a note higher than a Low C for longer than one could hold a Low C for.

    Less air travels through the instrument the higher we play. I’m not suggesting one could hold a Double C for longer than a Low C, but I wonder what the easiest note may be.

    I doubt it’s low F# (123)–I suspect that note would…[Read more]

  • Welcome!

    Interesting question, it will be interesting to see the responses.

    For me, I think it’s actually easier to play a low C for longer / less effort than humming a low C.

    I may not be a very good hummer…I don’t typically sing and haven’t been doing the “MmmmWwwaaaOooohh” thing for a while now as I just feel like I “get it” now and…[Read more]

  • johnelwood replied to the topic Dry lips vs wet in the forum WindWorks 2 years, 9 months ago

    I’ve always played wet, FWIW. As may be evident from some of my other posts, I “geeked out” pretty hard a couple years ago on trumpet embouchures and read, in addition to WindWorks / Greg’s material, some material by others.

    In his book “The Art of Brass Playing”, Phillip Farkas devotes an entire chapter (albeit, only a couple of pages long)…[Read more]

  • Great, Tony, you’re welcome. Hope there’s something useful there.

    Forgot to mention, once you determine the optimal Shape for each pitch, we can / should experiment with moving between those Shapes as efficiently as possible…

  • Hi Anthony,

    I haven’t had that exact issue before, but I’ve battled an airy sound from time to time–in fact, it just so happens that yesterday was a bit that way for me.

    I have experienced great success and feel that I’ve learned the most / developed the most from doing harmonic slurs when I have done the following:

    1. Slow it way down, at…[Read more]

  • Very cool, thanks Pete. Glad you’re having success with that.

    That makes sense. I’ve never tried meditation for playing trumpet but that makes a ton of sense.

    Our minds are our biggest asset AND our biggest obstacle, often times within the same practice session.

    Learning to recognize when our minds and/or our actions are helping us and when…[Read more]

  • For me, it was, surprisingly, to slow things way down and focus on the quality of each pitch.

    My intent was not to increase my ability to slur notes faster, but that’s what happened–among other things, which were all good.

    I just ended my practice session this morning and feel like I’ve reached yet another “level” with my ability to slur…[Read more]

  • I was thinking of this thread a bit the past couple of days–I took last Saturday through Thursday off the trumpet completely due to travelling (decided not to take my horn).

    Playing on Friday when I got home felt very weird and a little frustrating (like I was a bit uncoordinated), but my lips felt noticeably relaxed and I felt like I had less…[Read more]

  • I’m not aware of anything. It would be interesting to see if anyone has / has any thoughts on this.

    Is there any specific reason you’re asking about this? Are you having difficulty with feeling too tight/stiff?

    I get that way at times when I overdo it after a session of “gladiator trumpet”–usually a mindless, unstructured set of harmonic…[Read more]

  • Nice! That’s great. When I have the Shape right, just releasing the air makes the pitch sound, and noted up there seem to be naturally louder, more resonant. Less air is required the higher we go, it just needs to be faster air, more compressed.

    The body has compression when we take a big breath, releasing air through a small aperture…[Read more]

  • Great to hear you’re doing well, Steve. I think whatever works for us that helps us visualize what we need to play more efficiently, relaxed, etc. is fine.

    For me, I’ve been having success taking a big breath and letting the air escape the aperture with the tension in the corners surrounding the aperture and thinking Ooohhh on High C and doing…[Read more]

  • Hi Graham,

    You’re in a good spot. Like you, I took a long break from the trumpet, 20+ years as well. I came to find WindWorks, and various videos on YouTube, in 2018 and have found the WindWorks content instrumental in my ability to play like I never thought I would be able to.

    I have experienced what you have described–regressing and having…[Read more]

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