WindWorks Trumpet Academy Forums WindWorks Pops McLaughlin and his didgeridoo trick Reply To: Pops McLaughlin and his didgeridoo trick


Great post, G. I’ve been thinking lately about the drum head analogy–our lips vibrate like a drum head (or reed); tensing the drum head (or vocal chords) inhibits vibration, deadens the sound or even stops the vibration.

I realize now, thanks to Greg, that I was tensing the lip tissue which was working against myself.

I’m still on my journey, but have gone farther than I thought imaginable. Today, I was thinking of a ring an inch or two around the lip tissue from which we engage the muscles and reduce the size of the aperture, indirectly from the surrounding tissue, rather than from the tissue that forma the aperture itself.

That is why it to me feels at times like I’m not doing “anything” with my lips at all, and I’m using less air so I know its not air; it feels at times like I’m just sort of thinking higher and perhaps directing the air upward, although thats subtle and doesnt seem / feel key.

I think the obvious answer is I AM engaging the muscles surrounding the lips subtly/slightly and sort of indirectly reducing the aperture slightly while ascending.

I also have felt that backing off the air as I ascend results in my lips sort of naturally moving inward towards the teeth, not rolling in, just naturally flattening a little subtly against the teeth rather than pushing forward/into the mouthpiece, which I tended to do more on my 1 1/2C or 3C as opposed to the shallower MP ive been playing.

I think this is why some players (I.e. Gordon) espoused or believed they weren’t doing anything meaningful with their lips / face muscles, but instead its all about the air.

That’s probably because they weren’t over engaging their lip tissue, throat, etc. It worked for them.

But for those of us not so lucky, I think we must focus on what we’re doing or not doing with our lips before getting to the point where it feels relaxed, minimalistic and even then it’s a spectrum that perhaps no one ever reaches an ultimate ideal/perfection; we are human and have limitations. Not to mention the fact that we also have to coordinate the air, tongue, mouthpiece placement, equipment, etc.

When I feel overhwhelmed, I focus again on the quality /resonance of my sound and feelimg of freedom, resonance and efficiency and range usually increases as a side effect.

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