WindWorks Trumpet Academy Forums WindWorks Downstream player Reply To: Downstream player

#35748
johnelwood
Participant

You’re welcome. For me, what worked the best is when I try to keep the most natural feeling and take a less-is-more approach and focus on getting the best sound, most resonant, possible. Also, the exercises involving changing pitch on the leadpipe with a slight inward movement of the aperture corners (i.e. think oooh) and doing harmonic slurs with PASSIVE air–not using your air to kick to the higher harmonic, but in a disciplined way releasing the air and using shape change through engagement of the aperture corners is key to my gaining a better understanding of the movement I needed to make.

Early on, I overdid it into an extreme pucker/fish face type thing–which actually worked up to a point, but I could tell wasn’t ideal or necessary.

Lately, the movement seems more and more subtle to the point lately where I feel I’m barely moving at all to move from C or E on the staff to G above the staff, it almost seems as though I’m just thinking higher and somehow using lighter air and the note just speaks and when I have that, the note is the most resonant, open, etc.

I struggled with structure in my practice, so I would kind of swing from focusing diligently on process and not having expectations of results (most important, especially in the beginning…) to getting good results, then thinking “I’ve got this all figured out now…” then focusing on results the next few days, to the point that I started subtly manipulating to go higher and higher and losing focus on process, which ultimately inevitably resulted in my sliding backwards, etc.

It seems stupid now typing this and recounting it, it’s obvious I know; but I also know there are lots of others out there who have done the same thing.

Following Greg’s advice closer would have been better–doing the WindWorks course, then separately just playing music and other exercises, etc. I’m just playing for fun, a complete amateur / comeback player; I don’t even play in a group, just at home for fun. I played in groups when I was young, and sometimes think about doing so again, but I’m busy with work, family, etc. Who knows.

Experimentation is the key, but it’s wasted time mostly without a complete abandoning of expectation of results. Without that abandon, we’re not really experimenting fully. It would be like a scientist using a rigged experiment. We must observe the results of our experiment like an objective 3rd party in order to glean the most out of it. If we’re too emotionally attached to the results, it would be better to just play some music, take a break or do something else entirely until we’re in the right mental state.

Having said that, I have no regrets. I’ve come farther than I thought possible, and still have a long way to go working on making my range as useful as possible with articulations, dynamic control, technique, etc. And while it seemed at times frustrating, like I wasn’t progressing or even going backwards, that was all just part of the journey. I doubt many people walk a straight line upward like they’re climbing stairs; it’s more like a rocky mountain with hidden valleys, etc. And I’m confident I’m better for the experience.

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