WindWorks Trumpet Academy Forums WindWorks First post, a question, and a back story Reply To: First post, a question, and a back story

#72575
johnelwood
Participant

Welcome Chuck! Great first post. There are some great members on here, hopefully they will post on this thread / share their experiences as well, as that helps us all. I, myself, have benefited from others ideas, etc.

I’ve shared my backstory on here on a number of threads, but in a nutshell I started playing again a few years ago after goofing around on YouTube and stumbling onto Greg’s and other videos about playing. I could never really effectively play above the staff. G above the staff was my practical limit with an A on a good day. Never touched a High C. Limited endurance. Was told, I thought (probably my misunderstanding) to roll my bottom lip under to ascend. Played from 1978 to 1989, then focused on working, college, girlfriends… Gave it one more try in college, 1993 to 1994 or so but didn’t get through my range limitation again, so went into business major, got married, etc.

No regrets, I’m happy / we’re happy, but I’m happy to say my love for the instrument and hard work those many years ago (lots of Clarke, Arban, Schlossberg) have paid off now as I am playing at an all time high, thanks in large part to Greg / WindWorks.

I’ve spent a lot of time surfing the net / YouTube about the trumpet and there’s no better place that I’ve found than WindWorks.

The mantras scrolling across the bottom of the screen are golden.

And the way the course is laid out is brilliant, in my opinion–I understand it and appreciate it more each time I repeat it, which I recommend.

In my opinion / my understanding is that it all boils down to optimizing the balance of Shape and Air, findimg the optimum shape for each pitch (at each dynamic) and how to most efficiently move from one to thw other.

I start each day breathing into the horn (lips outside the MP), feeling the slight resistance the horn gives, then I put my lips in the mouthpiece and release air through an aperture and then begin to respond to the sound or lack thereof by making slight tweaks to Shape.

Then, I try to change pitch, ascending up and down (alternating “spider”). I usually start on G on the staff and go up to middle C and low C. I focus on feeling relaxed, releasing Passive air and observing that optimum balance of Shape and Air for each pitch.

“We must teach ourselves how to play again everyday.”

Paying close attention to this balance of Air and Shape have made Clarke and other exercises more interesting to me and I’m more motivated to play them.

Rather than feeling like they’re just chores and fingering exercises, I now know that they’re also flow studies that can teach us what the optimum balance of Shape and Air is for every pitch and how to most efficiently change from one pitch to the next.

I no longer feel like / treat them as something to get through / check the box on, I feel each day like I’m learning something again from them or reinforcing what I thought I knew / reconciling it.

I just began again the WindWorks course and am looking forward to progressing through it.

I didn’t take a structured, straight path through to where I’m at. But I’m grateful for the journey and am overtly grateful for what I’ve learned and how far I’ve come.

There were some peaks and valleys on the way, one point at which I almost throwing my one and only horn, a 35 year old Bach, across the room. It was a year into my comeback. I had gone from a range of G above the staff to consistently playing an F above High C, but lacking some control and consistency. I took a few days off after Christmas for a family trip and found things going the wrong way when I got back to the horn.

Greg helped me refocus on what it was that had gotten me to where I was before. By refocusing on those principles, and not on my expectations and emotional attachment to those expectations, I found my way back and way beyond where I was.

My consistency has now become remarkable. I can’t remember the last bad day I’ve had. And my endurance is greater than I ever thought possible. I remember when I was young, taking lessons, I had poor range and endurance…

I’m no screamer, and haven’t really tried that. I’ve focused more on efficient and optimum sound and tend to play more classical stuff. But I can play stuff up above High C musically and with dynamic control.

This year, I do plan on working on my range now that I’m where I’m at–my consistency, control, etc. I’m going to, and have just started to, work on my range and WindWorks will be a big part of that work.

Hope that helps, FWIW. Sorry for the long post…I tend to do that…it’s genetic…

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