Nice to hear, Steve! I’ve had a lot of success playing those mental games with myself–having the confidence/audacity to fail when attempting a pitch, trying to use as little effort (Shape, not Air–we need good consistent Air, but Passively released is fine/good) as necessary. More often than not, I find that I am doing too much when having difficulties and when I back off engagement of muscles things get better. I think we tend to overthing/do things a lot, worrying about the air being able to escape the sides of the mouthpiece if we don’t tense enough–how often does that happen? For me, I could probably count on one hand…we tend to do too much. Playing above the staff is coordination of Shape and Air, it’s not about strength of Air and the muscles that define Shape. It’s striking the right balance and letting things resonate.
BTW–a friend pointed me out to Tom Hooten’s Instagram site. You might want to check it out, he has some good stuff on there and will be doing a lesson on Facebook Live. Not to take anything away from WindWorks / Greg–I still recommend you Skype with Greg. But I have enjoyed finding info from other sources as well and have found more often than not that they make sense / coalesce with everything I’ve read on WindWorks. I think it’s useful to hear things from different perspectives, share info with others, etc. It has helped me.