I’d never really considered my tongue position mid-note until watching the US Sunday session video of Mike the horn player. I’ve subsequently noticed that the back of my tongue stays pushed against the sides of my molars, pretty much all the time (maybe not when playing below the stave) and particularly when I’m playing higher. I’d assumed that…[Read more]
Absolutely! I must be on about the tenth iteration of my new embouchure. Each time I go back to Largo my first reaction is “I’ve failed – again!” but really it’s just a refinement of what went before, and it always takes a couple of days for that to sink in.
I’m always hoping that this iteration will be “the one” – that big breakthrough…[Read more]
It sounds like you and I are facing similar challenges. I keep checking back to the horizontal squeezing of two fingers and it does result in a bigger, more relaxed sound. Throughout the Moderato stage I understood well enough what my embouchure and corners were doing. In Allegro, the horizontal movement has to be more pronounced to…[Read more]
Thanks for the speedy response. I will try and get some video examples of the two settings. Before that, a couple of things I’d point out:
I always set up my embouchure the same before playing. As I play into the top half of the stave, my top lip settles (sometimes consciously, sometimes not) to one of the two positions. Since Elvis…[Read more]
In the spirit of making mistakes and trying things that are beyond you, I’ve just started on the Allegro stage and it’s truly eye-opening– I’ve learnt so much more by being utterly out of my depth.
I do have a recurring problem though. It stems from the fact that the techniques I’m learning are so vastly different from my old embouch…[Read more]
I’ve had similar worries so a huge thanks for posting this – it’s reassuring to know it’s not just me! I’ve just started on the Allegro stage and keep looking to the next lesson to tell me how to absorb new things into my existing playing. There’s nothing yet but I don’t think that’s how it works.
I find that improvements sneak in unbidden, eve…[Read more]
Thanks yet again, John! I know what you mean about the “random” books of studies. I have many that I get about 4 bars into, then have to stop, lie down and think happy thoughts. I DO need some new music to play – I think we talked about familiar pieces triggering old habits earlier in this thread so getting my chops into something new will be…[Read more]
Hi John, this all makes a great deal of sense. I don’t think I’m at that stage yet though. I’m still working on low-mid register consolidation, so I’m not consciously trying to push my range higher – my upper register (when I do check it) is improving as a result of the technical work I’m doing, so I’m quite happy with that!
My current goals…[Read more]
Hi both, thanks for your thoughts. It seems to be the lower notes that make my jaw move back so it’s not the same as what John used to do on higher notes. I think what I need to do is more like what Steve describes. If I play low notes with a recessed jaw, then try to go up a couple of octaves, my chops are in the wrong set up, so keeping my…[Read more]
Hi Greg. I made it to the end of your video! You really clarified some important things (the process of rewiring should have NO expectations attached, the exercises are an assessment not a target, keep a mental portrait, belief vs. confidence etc.) so thank you so much!
One thing I do which I know doesn’t fit with your description, is when y…[Read more]
Hopefully this will be a quick one as I think I already know the answer, but I’ve noticed my lower jaw sometimes moves back so my teeth aren’t aligned. All the diagrams I’ve ever seen show top and bottom incisors aligned and the MmmAahOooh embouchure set up infers that should happen too, but before I spend a few days training my jaw to…[Read more]
I’m not sure I could structure my practice like that. Whenever I try, I get distracted. I admire your focus!
John, I’m flattered that you think I start clamping down above the stave – with anything quiet and sustained, honestly, it starts at the bottom of the stave. My tension trigger is more about the style of music. I can play short loud phr…[Read more]
I too have treated warm-up as something to be got out of the way quickly before the “proper” playing starts, but am learning to appreciate the smaller things – a great sound, effortless playing.
In the last few days I feel like I’ve released my inner trumpet geek, so when things don’t go to plan, instead of getting irritated, I react with “o…[Read more]
Many thanks for all your comments. Sorry it’s taken me a while to respond but I’ve been digesting it all. I am taking two things away from this:
Firstly, development is definitely non-linear. No one will start at the beginning of Windworks and just work through it gradually improving incrementally. Everyone needs to revisit the fun…[Read more]
Thanks Rick, this is reassuring! I have complete faith in the process, I think it’s my understanding of the process that I doubt in these moments. I know I’m doing SOMETHING wrong, but doubt my ability to diagnose it. Calm and peace are definitely the way forward
Hi. I’m quite new to MTM so have dozens of questions, but one stands out. I’ve had a few coffee moments since starting, which are fantastic when they happen, but on the flip side, there are days when everything seems to unravel; my technique is nowhere and any progress I’ve made evaporates. Either that or after making real progress on the “circ…[Read more]
Hi Gary, you should keep your throat open all the time. The “ku” is much more likely to trigger your throat closing than “tu”; it’s just one of those things! As with most difficulties, go back to basics and start slowly then build up speed. BCH breath will help open the throat – really try and “yawn” the breath in then keep that open feeling at…[Read more]