Steve – what’s your point of knowing “what exactly to do” ?
– I know what to do exactly but like yourself I’ve been limited to the top of the staff for 10 years.
– Yes! – I can’t play above G on top of the staff, that’s my “cut-off” range.
– I’ve been doing singing Cs for couple weeks now and guess what? – I now get nice full sound up to middle C in the staff but I haven’t noticed any improvement above that. Not that I couldn’t play with nice full sound in this range before – I just get more confidence in doing that.
I get all Greg’s concepts and I consider his method flawless and perfect. However – I’m coming to a conclusion that it’s not the method that can’t help me – it’s simply some kind of my physical limitation that prevents me from playing higher.
– I work from the corners and leave the middle of my aperture free to vibrate and it works fine up to about E in the staff.
– Then I add more “tension” from the corners and the sound closes up – my lips stop vibrating in the middle altogether. No – I consciously prevent squeezing my lips together.
– I’ve tried all embouchure formations, all “dirty tricks”, etc. – most important of all – I’ve tried to approach those higher notes nice and clean – nothing works.
I think those who can get to high C within couple years from starting on trumpet are the ones who have natural ability to do that regardless of their technique.
They may play with lots of tension like Greg demonstrates in his videos but nevertheless they get there. Can you see my point here?
Those lucky guys will immediately benefit from the Greg’s method if they trust it.
For me (and maybe for you) – we can’t get there (up to high C) again – regardless of our technique but in our case it has just the opposite meaning. Again – can you see my point here?
– What do you feel with your embouchure when you try to play above E in the staff? I can tell you what I feel: Nothing! This may sound silly, I know. What I mean is I feel that there is really Nothing in the way the trumpet is designed in respect to my physical setup that will allow me to play above the G on top of the staff!
Not clear enough? – I know. I mean I can get solid E in the staff and that already feels like I’m approaching to the limit of… you name it – it just won’t play much higher. G on the staff top at best.
Again – I know what to do, I don’t press my MP into my teeth (I’ve been there long time ago and I fixed that later), I align my top to bottom teeth by moving my lower jaw forward so my lips don’t overlap (I used to play with my top lip hanging over my lover lip – I fixed that long time ago).
– I can play with an open feel in my throat
– I can play with reducing my airflow when playing higher – not overblowing
– I can do anything to make sure I could reach that @#$%^ high C in the worst case
– Nothing works!
Let me say that again – I don’t know how that high C is possible to play at all! It’s not that I’m ultimately stupid that I don’t understand that high C exists on trumpet – NO. It’s just I don’t feel any potential in playing up that high.
I get my clarinet out and I play as high as I need to cover any of the available concert repertoire.
With trumpet? – I can hardly cover 5 selected Jazz standards and NO, NO, NO! – I can’t cover one of my Duke’s favorites – “In a Sentimental Mood”.
Steve – I’m sure I can give my trumpet to a random guy in the street who’s never played trumpet and he’ll outplay me in a month or so.
I once gave a trumpet to an older woman from our previous job and the first note she got out was middle G. Easy! Yes – she easily did that. Nice and clean middle G!
I could play that G more or less with confident sound only after 2 or 3 weeks of everyday practice when I started 10 years ago.
PLEASE! – don’t consider this post of mine as discouragement. No! That’s not the point.
However – I suggest you to stick with the Greg’s concepts and use them as a ‘Reality Check’ after couple months of doing the exercises.
That’s what I’m going to do myself.
Once again – I ultimately trust Greg and I hope to benefit from his method. However – Reality will show me if the method works for ME.
If it doesn’t work out for me I will still recommend the Greg’s method to everyone who wants to improve on trumpet.
I consider this method as a last resort, the ultimate reality check if you will. Meaning – if it doesn’t help you (ME) – there is nothing else that could fix my problems.
So if I fail this Reality Check after diligently doing all the exercises for couple months I’ll consider the outcome to be TRUE and as such I’ll accept my limitations as a given.
SvV, did you see my replies on the other threads about your issues?
As I said there, you are psychologically defeated and I feel your pain. That being said, after seeing you on Skype, there are big issues that need to be dealt with.
You and Steve are both capable of playing what you want and I am yet to be proven wrong, however, the process of getting there is less joyous for some.
With the deepest respect, you have a very obvious (to me) flaw in your setup so where you say, “I know what to do exactly…” I really question that.
You wiring is unfortunately not where it needs to be. This can be fixed but it takes a particular approach that I am more than happy to help you with.
You anatomy is not a problem and I don’t believe that the scar tissue you mentioned is causing the issues either.
Keep working through the Largo Status Stage really slowly and when you find things that really conflict with you, especially the PROCESS driven exercises, be prepared to “let go” and be more willing to experiment based on the concepts.
You can do it, you just need to find it!
My best wishes to you.