Hi jerman. I would follow Greg’s recommendations, of course. It takes time and i have done many laps through Largo and each time I do I’m glad for watching the videos again and take away more each time.
I had several instances early on in which I thought I had it all figured out and would just play increasingly better from then on. Unfortunately, our minds and bodies don’t work that way and it takes a long time and it’s not a linear straight-line upwards like walking up stairs. There are peaks and valleys along the way.
Greg does point out the 1% Rule in which we continually try to improve the quality and efficiency of our sound; I think that’s an important guidepost to use on our journey of experimenting.
And I would say that, in my humble opinion, the biggest benefit of WindWorks for me wasn’t as much about the initial setup of the embouchure on the mouthpiece, although that’s obviously very important, it was what we do to change pitch and the separation of Shape (Pitch change) and Air (Volume, Duration / long notes).
I try to set the mouthpiece as naturally and relaxed as possible; I don’t think I roll in or out. Personally, I think Oooohhh more than I actually say it and form that shape with my lips. Early on, in hindsight, I was hyper focused on the corners and squeezing them in horizontally inwards towards the air column and was puckering much more than necessary at times and that did lead to an airy, raspy tone at times.
Honestly, I still have an airy/raspy tone on occasion with some notes above the staff (from time to time) and am still on this journey and am working on consistency, dynamic control and articulation. Usually, I find that the G above the staff is free and easy, then sometimes the A is a bit airy/raspy then it opens up and the B natural, C and D and E are open and clear. And I have had success lately in approaching playing the notes that were airy in such a way as focusing on the Less Is More approach and relaxing to the point that I miss the note or slot down to the next note down and experimenting with how little engagement is necessary.
I’ve noticed that relaxing a bit more and opening the aperture a bit more helps things most of the time; clamping down tighter and pushing more air through never helps. I’m finally starting to remember that and I don’t catch myself repeating that mistake too often anymore.
It’s also important to focus on the Process, not Results–early on, I repeatedly grew frustrated as I would have a great day(s) with coffee moment(s) / ephiphanies, followed by a frustrating day(s) in which I couldn’t achieve the results on the great day.
I’m embarassed to say now, in hindsight, that I later realized I needed to re-focus on the Process which got me to where I was; once I did that, things usuaally quickly got better and I re-found my footing.