Sorry to hear that you’re struggling, Steve and that you feel that WindWorks didn’t help you. I understand that you gave your best. But I don’t feel that it’s fair that you blame WindWorks for your struggles anymore than it would be for me to blame my teachers back when I was in high school and college for my failure to figure it out then–despite countless hours of practicing and lessons. I’ve been there myself–not getting above the G above the staff.
I thought if I kept my head down and practiced the exercises they prescribed for me, my hard work would pay off and I’d be a great player. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. We have to figure out how the instrument works and how it feels when it’s going good and when it’s going bad. We have to coordinate countless variables involved with our air and shape for each and every note.
I wish I could figure out a way to articulate what I have learned and experienced the past couple years. I’m not a great player, a strong player but I am playing better than I thought possible and I believe you can to. Playing is easier than we believe it is and we get in our own way. Nine times out of ten, when I run into difficulty it’s because I’m doing too much, not that I need more strength, etc. I’ve added nearly an octave to my range–the G above high C comes occasionally, but honestly I don’t try for it that often. I tend to play more classical/lyrical stuff; in part, I think it’s because it’s more structured and I figure I’ll play jazzier stuff later, once I feel like I am ready to screw around a bit. Right now, I’m trying to increase my consistency so playing something precisely (I think) is a better metric for me.
You gave your interpretation of WindWorks a shot. You may want to find an in-person teacher or even take lessons via Skype from instructors. If you haven’t taken Skype lessons from Greg yet, then I think you’re giving up on WW too early.
I’m sure it won’t work for everyone and maybe the way it’s explained and outlined just won’t make sense to you; that doesn’t mean it won’t work or hasn’t worked for others. It just means you need to find another way.
At the end of the day, we must each own our playing and results and not rely on anyone to tell us what to do. We need to understand the Why and the What for ourselves, our own way. And even the greatest players continue to learn throughout their lifetime.
I hope you give Greg a chance to SKype with you and sort things out. I never have taken a lesson from him but know others have and found it very useful for their understanding of playing, WW, etc.
Whatever you decide to do, Own it and you’ll figure it out.
From your past posts and the videos you shared, I wonder if you were spending too much time on unstructured practice–I too myself struggle with that due to my limited time. I work for a living and am just playing for fun, I don’t even play in any groups currently. And I found that spending all my time playing exercises kept me from really understanding how I was progressing. Playing music to a set tempo and having to coordinate the air, shape and articulation precisely and being able to compare that to your past is helpful. And it’s good for the soul and our morale to play music, to listen to our sound and try each day for a better, more resonant sound. That’s really important. It’s tempting to jump into a fox hole and play endless range exercises, harmonic slurs, etc. to speed our progress. But it doesn’t work that way–we have to understand the WHY and part of that is using what we’ve learned in practical applications. I suspect that’s why Greg has the “Process” and “Results” based progress. I wonder if you were focused mostly on Process and perhaps didn’t quite understand that correctly–it is a hard thing to understand.
I wish you the best and every success–I know you can achieve what you want on the instrument and believe you will find it, figure it out your own way if you are patient, focused, open-minded and you continue to be as dedicated and hardworking as you have been.