I have been able to slur more easily between octaves as you have asked, it is much easier to go G to G etc.
I have felt the burn in the corners, of the mouth, but this concerns me a bit, because I have felt something very similar previous to starting WW after doing many reps of other lip slur exercises. I’m not sure I always do the WW slurs correctly, because after going fast, if I slow down I can feel that I am using the air as a ‘lift mechanism’ when ascending, so maybe it’s a good idea to also check for this like Greg suggests to check in with your air after playing. Just returning to a slow tempo after fast ones to check you’re still doing it right.
I still have concerns regarding the method in general and this is why: When I do try to ascend to the upper reaches of my current range, using the WW embouchure, I do feel now that the center portions of the lips are now much more free, and the sides of the face are much more activated. However, I feel that the mp is now much more supported by the regions Greg is referring to as the aperture corners. So it feels like these have become the pressure or support points for the mp instead of the middle portion. What’s concerning about this is that my range seems to be nearly the same as it was previous to WW, about up to TA3 (trumpet A 3, first line above the staff) on a consistent basis, that’s my ‘highest comfortable note’ (HCN) as referred to by Bryan Davis. There’s not much I can do to play above TA3 after I have some significant practice time in. And I feel the mp pressing into and being supported by the aperture corner region of my lips rather than the center. So because I am limited to about the same range using this method, I feel there is something more fundamentally wrong about my playing, that I’ll be stuck here, just like I was with the std. embouchure. It’s not going to stop me from proceeding, it’s just concerning thoughts in the background of my mind. I try to not think about this very much and just go forward. As Jimmy Stamp said (I read) there is no up or down on the trumpet, only forward!
In general I think the course is really well constructed and Greg has done an outstanding job with it and it’s probably worth much more than what we are asked to pay for it.
I’m going to make a page to print out that has all of Greg’s suggestions listed sequentially in rows in large font so I can place it on my stand and read through them as I am doing the exercises, since there’s so much to be aware of. I’ll post it here if anyone’s interested.
I tried to add back in some warm-up exercises after my successful practice without them, and it wasn’t a good idea! I was looking through the Stamp warm-ups book and decided to try a number of the exercises but ended up playing Way too many. Someone suggested to try the alternate warm-ups listed because the standard one has too many large intervals too early in the warm-up process (for me right now) and I agree. So after playing through a lot of these I was basically shot for the day! It seems like the more I play the worse I get somedays 😉 For me it’s hard to judge how much I am draining my strength as I play. Just needed to stop and put the horn down for the day, and I did eventually. It’s hard to do, to stop trying to ‘make up’ for bad playing by continuing to play other things that are not what you’re supposed to be doing. I think that’s a critical thing for myself anyway. But I’m learning. I think Greg has a great attitude about this. Again, thanks for the help!
When I feel like things aren’t working after strenuous playing I try to rest and play shorter phrases initially, quietly, mid and low range, scale flow studies focussing on continuity, smaller intervals, descending arpeggios, quick, light, short, gentle repeating low-range arpeggios, and scale fragments, with gentle air, eventually working higher in range only if it’s easy to do, maybe some quieter mp b(l)uzzing glisses. I don’t know if these are the best things but these are things I’ve tried.