I played for 40 years with a range of G above the staff, then a couple of years ago I experimented and figured it out.
“It” wasn’t just one step or thing, it was a combination of things, mental and physical.
I believe it’s more likely than not that the same will be true for you and for Steve if you approach it the right way.
There are countless great players with great range that say the same thing.
I played countless Clarke scales, harmonic slurs, etc.for years, demonstrating the definition of insanity–repeating the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.
I believe you can do it and hope eventually to see you both post your “coffee moment” on this forum and hope my ramblings somehow help you.
I’m very grateful for my progress and hope I can pay it forward by helping others achieve the same–I think I would probably feel a greater sense of accomplishment helping someone else than achieving it for myself. I know that’s true for Greg.
Keep the faith. But enjoy playing–play music you enjoy playing that you feel good about playing. Be careful not to focus too much on technical development and range. I made that mistake repeatedly due to a lack of structure in my practice/playing and almost burned out and quit.
I’ve tried to come up with a logical structure to follow with my playing (for example, X hours of WindWorks, X hours per week on range, X hours per day on articulation, flexibility, dynamics, etc. But I also pay attention to where my mind and body are and adapt. They aren’t all great days, mentally and physically.
And I try to keep record of where I’m at (metronome setting, number or repetitions, etc.)as that keeps me honest. I have a tendency to think I’m at a higher level than I really am and forget how sometimes I play less often and don’t consider the effect of that on my playing–I expect to pick up from my peak, when I havent been playing much lately, etc. I try to manage my expectations to ensure they’re reasonable.