I’ve been struggling again after having switched to a shallow mouthpiece.
Things were going brilliantly and I was feeling very confident when all of a sudden, little by little my range began going backwards to where I had little flexibility and high C, which had became a given–a note I could control almost as good as any other, was no longer a given.
Long story short, I realized that for some reason I had begun slightly tightening my lips top to bottom rather than from the sides (aperture corners). It was a very subtle thing, but had a huge impact.
As soon as I went back to focusing on Ooooh and the corners, I popped back into what excited me about the shallow mouthpiece to begin with–how it almost is as if the wider you open the aperture, the better the sound–even high up above the staff.
I’m hoping for more success tomorrow and getting back towards an upward trend again.
It’s funny (scary) how easily we can revert back into old habits and accidentally begin reinforcing those bad habits–I believe I had been practicing incorrectly for a number of days in a row without realizing it and that’s what my problem was.
I had gotten busy at work and only had time for a warm up, some lip slurs / harmonic slurs up as far as I could go and maybe a few scales.
I believe if I was focusing just on air, like some recommend, I would continue to be lost–just as I was from age 8 when I started playing until age 22-25 when I gave up trying to have a range.
While I still battle and have had another backslide, it’s when I focus on the aperture corners, oooh/ahhh, resonant sound, open throat, etc. that I play my best / feel like I’m progressing.